Giant Gundam comes alive in time-lapse video

Simply the coolest robot video ever. 'Nuff said.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
Even Gundam's calves are cool. Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

We've been following the proliferation of giant robots in Asia, and while the threat to humanity they pose is terrifying, there's little doubt that they look transcendentally awesome in time-lapse videos.

As we mentioned earlier, the iconic Gundam RX-78 robot from the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise has returned to Japan in the form of a 59-foot statue, recently erected in the city of Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo. This time it's clutching a giant beam saber.

The video below, featuring billowing clouds and Gundam apparently coming alive at dusk, was shot by YouTube user darwinfish105 just before the statue's unveiling on August 4th using a Pentax K-7 camera and other equipment. He has a number of other videos of the statue.

The colossus graced the capital last summer for the franchise's 30th anniversary, drawing more than 4 million geeky worshipers and providing plenty of opportunities for amazing photos.

It weighs nearly 35 tons, can rotate its head and emit light and mist from 50 points on its body. At 18 meters tall, it's a 1/1 scale version of the robot in the animated series.

In Shizuoka, home to several plastic toy and model manufacturers such as Bandai, Gundam is expected to draw about 900,000 gawkers and add millions of dollars to the local economy through jobs and tourism. The photogenic titan is slated to stand guard over the city until the end of March 2011, so expect a lot more pics to flood the Internet.

(Via Pink Tentacle)