After battling my way through the Pokemon EXPO Gym, I decided to stop by Gundam Square, which was conveniently located adjacent to it in Osaka’s EXPO Land. Outside of the store and cafe was a giant monument of Gundam 0079 combating MS-06S Zaku II with a beam saber. Naturally my first instinct was to get a picture with it doing a classic anime pose.
I had previously visited Gundam Square when I studied abroad in 2013, but the display and products they had in stock change significantly from month to month. This time, I was greeted by a miniature statue of Gundam Barbatos when I entered. A lot of merchandise from Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans had been added to promote the currently airing anime including Gunpla statues, candy and cookies, and character goods. There was also a lot of original 1979 Gundam merchandise; including Gundam curry, Haro cookies, and everything from cosplay to notepads of all of the characters. As I stood next to the restaurant to snap photos, I saw families of all ages come in and out. It warmed my heart to see that people still enjoyed the series, as it is continuing its 35th anniversary this year.
After spending adequate time at Gundam Square, I made my way to the sponsored Gunpla store, “Gundam’s”, in Nipponbashi. As I rode the escalator to the 2nd floor, there was a giant Gundam fist breaking through the wall next to a cutout of Char Aznable, the Red Comet, who remained unfazed. Awesome! I browsed through rows of Gunpla and took pictures of a bunch of the displays they set up. Building and assembling Gunpla is a hobby I hope to get into once I have more of a permanent residence. I enjoyed seeing all of the models as it was an extremely nostalgic experience for me. Listening to the “Raise Your Flag” theme in the background got me hyped up. I love well-done mecha series because they capture so many psychological states of the pilot and even the supporting cast. I hope to continue watching Gundam and browse more stores like this in the future!