Parts of 18-meter Gundam to return to Odaiba

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Parts of an 18-meter statue of the Mobile Suit Gundam robot from the famed anime series will be displayed at the central square of the Symbol Promenade Koen Park in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront district for nine days from Aug. 13, the project organizer said.

The parts are from the same statue that attracted much attention when it was sited in Odaiba in the summer of 2009. It was later moved to Shizuoka for display from 2010 to 2011.

The organizer says that visitors can take a closer look at the parts, and even climb up on the right hand of the robot statue.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 13-21, with last admission at 5:30 p.m. each day.

Admission is 500 yen ($6.50) for elementary school age or older.

In addition to the parts of the statue, there will be a food court and other attractions on the site.

The event should be a big draw again for tourists visiting Odaiba.

It is also intended to promote a new anime series slated to air this fall, “Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.”

The looming statue of Gundam was originally built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the start of the animated TV series. The model was put on display at the Shiokaze Koen Park in Odaiba, drawing about 4.15 million visitors in less than two months before it was moved to Shizuoka.

The Gundam statue was scheduled to be displayed at spots across the country.

For more information, visit (http://www.odaiba-gundam-2011.jp/).

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura, who make up the girl pop duo Puffy, or Puffy AmiYumi, will guest star on the popular “Usagi Drop” (Bunny Drop) animated TV series, the anime and Puffy’s official websites announced.

They will make an appearance in the form of anime characters in the ninth episode, which will air on Sept. 1, the websites said.

“Usagi Drop” is a popular anime show airing on Fuji Television Network Inc.’s “noitaminA” animation block and elsewhere. It revolves around a 30-year-old single man named Daikichi who becomes the guardian of Rin, his grandfather’s illegitimate 6-year-old daughter.

In the show, they will play instructors at the nursery school that Rin, and her friend Koki attend, they said.

After they recorded their lines, Ami and Yumi shared their excitement for their collaboration with the anime.

“I think our personality traits and vibes are expressed very well. You can see which one is Ami or Yumi when you look at the picture,” Yumi said. “I’m very nervous what you will think when our pictures are given life on the air.”

“But actually, that character is not speaking in a voice I imagined she would speak,” Ami said, laughing, of her character in the show. “I wanted her to speak in a prettier voice. …”

Ami also said she was overwhelmed to see how devoted the production staff members were. She even said she thought she should have enrolled in a voice acting class.

A big fan of “Usagi Drop,” Yumi said they were under pressure not to destroy the anime’s world.

Puffy is also popular outside Japan and has performed theme songs for many animated series. For “Usagi Drop,” they sing the main theme song titled “Sweet Drops.”

The song is also used as the theme song for the live-action adaptation of the anime, which is based on the manga of the same title by Yumi Unita. The movie will hit cinemas across the country on Aug. 20.

“I love the original manga, and the anime is such a good piece of work, and we sing the song as we conjure up their images in our minds,” Yumi said. “I’d be happy if you would think everything about it is great.”

“I think it will reach the hearts of girls our age, and we’d like men to see how Daikichi lives his life,” Ami said. “This is a kind of work that is not only fun but also a little thought-provoking.”

Visit the anime’s website at (http://www.usagi-drop.tv).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.