Sixty-foot Gigantor bot towers over Japan

The Japanese have built another giant robot, this one a monument to Gigantor of cartoon fame. The 60-foot colossus has been completed in Kobe.

Workers in Japan have built a 60-foot statue of famous cartoon robot Gigantor in the city of Kobe. The statue is an actual-size replica of the hulking robot depicted in numerous manga and anime. It's known as Tetsujin 28 in Japan.

Towering over Kobe's Wakamatsu Park, the statue weighs 50 tons and cost some 135 million yen ($1.5 million) to build. It took about six weeks to erect.

The body parts were made earlier this summer. Here's a neat video showing manufacturing at a factory in Kishiwada City, Osaka.

Gigantor follows the construction of another 60-foot robot statue in Japan. An incredibly detailed, life-size replica of the fictional Gundam robot was built in a park in Tokyo in June, and it could shoot light from its body.

Designed as a permanent tourist attraction, the Gigantor monument was organized under the NPO Kobe Tetsujin Project to honor the work of the late cartoonist Mitsuteru Yokoyama, a Kobe native and the genius behind such manga classics as Sally the Witch and Giant Robo.

Gigantor is also a symbol of the rebirth of Kobe after it was devastated by the 1995 earthquake that killed more than 6,000 people. January 2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the tragedy.

Ironically, Gigantor was inspired by Yokoyama's experiences in World War II, specifically the awesome sight of U.S. B-29 Superfortresses flying over Kobe, which was bombed to ashes.

First serialized in 1956, the fictional Gigantor was a secret weapon developed by Japan in a desperate bid to avoid defeat. It later goes to work fighting crime along with boy wonder Shotaro Kaneda.

An opening ceremony for the Gigantor statue is scheduled for October 4.

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