The brand new RX-0 Unicorn is now fully functioning and ready to defend the magnificent DiverCity Mall on Odaiba island, the Japanese Mall-lovers’ paradise in the middle of Tokyo Bay. The project began back in April of this year and now amazed onlookers can view this 64-foot giant Gundam in all of its glory, over six feet taller than its predecessor the noble RX-78-2, which probably now lives dismantled in a Namco Bandai warehouse somewhere in Japan; no doubt we will see it pop up again, perhaps back at the company’s headquarters in Shinagawa, where it stood before being moved to Odaiba back in 2012.
By day, the Unicorn stands sentinel in ‘Unicorn Mode’, with its distinctive single antenna which protrudes from the head much like its equine namesake. By night, however, the Gundam is set to ‘Destroy Mode’, where its antenna separates into the distinctive ‘V’ shape and it glows a fiery neon red; this display of intent will surely keep the Mall safe from any malicious Neo-Zeon attack. Seeing the ominous ruby glow is enough to set our hearts aflutter anyway.
DiverCity Tokyo Plaza has had a Gundam in front of it for almost ten years now; the cherry on the cake for our favourite Mall in Tokyo. It is a glorious Centre, with seven levels of stores, featuring many famous Japanese and international brands. The plentiful shopping is topped by an awesome entertainment complex which occupies the entire 7th level. The bottom level of the Mall, provided you are granted entry by the Unicorn of course, is home to a massive food court, where you will find all of the best Japanese eats - takoyaki, tenpura, yakitori, okonomiyaki, soba and ramen.
However, the Mall-entertainment doesn’t stop there on this fantastic man-made island - if you, for some reason which will remain unknown to me, decide that you have had enough of DiverCity, there is the Fuji-TV complex, Decks Tokyo Mall, Aquacity Mall (which features a traditional Shinto Shrine on its roof) and Palette Town Mall, which houses the breathtaking classical European themed Venus Fort Shopping Centre. If you want a true taste of modern Tokyo, a day on Odaiba is absolutely necessary!
For six months, the Mall stood unprotected by any giant robots, and we are quite frankly lucky it didn’t fall to the nefarious forces circling our planet. That being said, we can all give a huge collective sigh of relief when we turn the corner from Daiba Station to now see the magnificent Unicorn at the entrance of DiverCity. What’s more, the far taller and noticeably chunkier new Gundam is a sight to behold, especially at night time where the robot is glowing and the Mall is buzzing.
The Unicorn is also far more dynamic than the original RX-78-2, which first appeared on televisions way back in the late seventies. When the Gundam switches to Destroy Mode, multiple areas on its armour shifts and its protected face swaps out for a far more menacing open-mouthed, glowing expression. It is quite a sight to see and is at most times met with ‘aaaaaaaaaahs’ from the appreciative onlookers. When the show is over, you can now also head inside the Mall to the brand new Gundam Base Tokyo model showroom, which is the largest of its kind in Tokyo, featuring over 2000 model kits based on over forty years of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise.
You can see the transformation at multiple points during the day, but do hang around the Mall until the evening, where the Destroy Mode switch is accompanied by thumping music and awesome video, played on the big screen attached to the Mall, just to the right of the robot. Also, if you are lucky enough you’ll get the chance to see the Gundam in the rare ‘Awakened Mode’, where it emits a mesmerising blue-green glow thanks to the suit’s Psycho-Frame picking up on the presence of another Gundam with the same frame.
Of course we will say that you should come to the magnificent DIverCity Mall when you find yourself in Tokyo regardless, but this amazing new Gundam certainly gives another 64-foot reason to make your way there; and if you still aren’t convinced, the train from Yurikamome Station on the mainland to Daiba Station is elevated and fully autonomous, which will make you feel life you’re some kind of intergalactic cadet docking with a space station. We shall say no more, we’re sure you have plane tickets to book!