March 11, 2011 was a horrible day. Japan was ravaged by a powerful earthquake and tsunami, resulting in destruction and death. Tokyo felt it, sure, but areas like Fukushima were hit hardest.
The earthquake touched so many different kinds of people. Complete strangers offered to help and give money. Many of those whose lives were destroyed could only offer thanks for the aid, assistance, and inspiration. A group of toy modelers decided they wanted to say thank you the best way they could: with custom Gundam figures.
In the days, weeks, and months following the disaster, regular folks and famous celebrities did they part—including idol group AKB48, who donated more than either Nintendo or Sony to quake relief.
A group of Japanese Gundam modelers, RRM (Real Robot Modelers), saw their Fukushima homes damaged and the area threatened by radiation. Their spirits were lifted when they saw their fellow man pitch in and help out—and overjoyed when they saw AKB48 come to Fukushima for a live concert.
Using AKB48's "Iiwake: Maybe" album cover as inspiration, the group modded Nobel Gundam (yes, the cute mecha) to look like the idols.
Not content with creating little robot idol outfits, the modelers made hairdos and bows that reflect each singer. If you are familiar with the group, you can easily pick out the likes of Atsuko Maeda, Tomomi Itano, and co.
The finished models were entered in OraZaku, Japan's biggest Gundam biggest contest. According to RRM, "We wanted to thank those girls somehow." That you did, that you did.
For more of RRM models, check out the group's official site. It's amazing.
Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.