GundamThis is what happens when the geeks get old enough to run companies. And governments.

Tokyo has recently unveiled a to-scale statue of one of the giant robots from the “Gundam” comic series, on the man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay.

Not to be outdone, the city of Kobe (pronounced “KO-bay”, by the way) is working on a (to-scale, of course) iron figure of an earlier giant robot, Tetsujin 28. The linked page includes video of the manufacture of the “robot” and of the TV cartoon from 1963. By the way, this cartoon got some play in the US and other countries three years later, as “Gigantor“.

Not unrelated, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is trying to spend government money to build a Manga Museum. Aso being about as popular with the Japanese public as month-old bananas, it’s not too surprising that the opposition, led by Yukio Hatoyama, is bludgeoning him with this example of “wasteful spending”.

Guess Hatoyama wasn’t much of a manga reader.

(Photo from