Fans bid farewell to life-size Gundam statue

Fans of Japanese anime "Mobile Suit Gundam" have gathered in Yokohama, near Tokyo, to say goodbye to a life-size statue of the robot after which the sci-fi series was named.

About 1,500 people attended an event on Sunday night to mark the end of the robot's display at Yokohama Port.

The 18-meter-tall figure has functional joints. Since its display began in December 2020, the robot has become a symbol of the port.

The display period was extended twice, with more than 1.75 million people coming to see the figure.

The series's chief director Tomino Yoshiyuki said Gundam resembles a large Buddha statue, and building it was an engineering experiment.

He said he is grateful for the huge staff who helped realize the project.

Gundam moved its fingers and legs one last time.

Visitors applauded when fireworks were launched and 1,000 drones aligned to form images of Gundam and other characters of the anime in the sky.

An 8-year-old boy from Yokohama said the figure is impressive and he wants to see it again.

A university student from Niigata Prefecture said he was deeply moved, and he wants Gundam to be shown again.

The robot will be dismantled at the port.