Inspired by the plot of the popular anime series Gundam, Bandai Namco is utilizing Gundam’s fanbase to take action to tackle global societal and environmental issues like climate change and overpopulation.
The Gundam Recycling Project aims to boost sustainability collect the left over plastic from figurines to recycle them to use for new plastic figurines.
The Gundam Open Innovation Project calls upon scientists, researches, innovators, or anyone will good ideas on how to make our world more sustainable.
As earthlings of the twenty-first century, we have been granted the difficult task of dealing with societal and environmental issues from overpopulation or climate change. If we can successfully tackle these issues, life on earth as we know it may eventually come to an end or change drastically.
Thus, to ensure sustainable planet earth for our future relatives hundreds or thousands of years from now, we must act.
Our current social and environmental dilemmas are not too far off from those in the Gundam universe who resorted to colonizing space after the earth’s population exceeded 9 billion, a number that we are not too far off from.
Inspired by the Mobile Suit Gundam universe’s plot, the video game creator and owner of the Gundam video game series, Bandai Namco, has decided to utilize its multinational fanbase to “go green.”
Over 40 years after Gundam’s original broadcast as an anime series, Bandai Namco has announced the Gundam Universal Century Development Action abbreviated as “GUDA.” The project aims to solicit new ideas for creating technology, enhancing environmental sustainability, and tackling social issues like overpopulation.
Ever since Gundam’s release in 1979, the popular series has led many fans to speculate about the future of humankind as it outlined the concept of the Universal-Century which saw humans begin to colonize space as a result of environmentally devastated and overpopulated earth.
GUDA aims to take these “lessons” learned from the anime series to promote innovation for a better and more sustainable future. This will take the form of a couple of initiatives.
The Gunpla Recycling Project
Firstly, the Gunpla Recycling Project, a joint initiative between Bandai Namco Holdings, Bandai Spirits, Bandai Namco Amusement, and Bandai Logipal, will strive to make the Bandai Namco corporation more eco-friendly by implementing a recycling program. Gunpla refers to “Gundam plastic models.”
The Gundam Recycling Project calls for the collection of the remaining plastic runners left behind after the pieces of a Gundam figure model are removed. Bandai Namco will then use a new method of chemical recycling that will allow them to transform the plastic runner pieces into new pieces for their figurines.
Gundam Open Innovation
Another initiative that has been launched is the Gundam Open Innovation project. This project calls upon fans, scientists, and innovative thinkers all over the globe to come up with ideas that will help us in our real universal-century.
While Bandai Namco has not outlined how exactly the program will work, on the official website, they state that the “Gundam Open Innovation aims to utilize various ideas, technologies, and resources, to co-create new values and realize dreams for the future society of Universal Century.”
What is clear at the moment is that Bandai Namco will engage in a collaborative project with innovators and help fund the initiatives that people come up with, as well as playing a large role in the implementation of the said initiative. Bandai Namco will consider any technological research and development, as well as initiatives, and are looking to cover a wide range of industries and fields.
Those who are interested should refer to their website for more details. The project overview presentation took place on June 15th, and the idea entry period will open in mid-July. Following this, the deadline to submit the first application will be in mid-August, and the second application will be due in mid-September.
The selected partners will be announced within the year, but the collaborative plans will be announced in 2022. In 2023, Bandai Namco aims to disclose their progress with their partners in their innovations, and in 2024 or 2025, there will be presentations on their progress.
Those of you out there with good ideas on how to help change our world into a more sustainable one, please enter! In the meantime, send in your plastic runner pieces!
Kevin Murasaki grew up moving back and forth between Chicago and Yokohama, Japan. Known as a "hafu", Kevin is half Japanese, and half American. Now a videographer and drone operator based in Fukuoka, Japan, Kevin enjoys playing basketball, driving on mountain or "touge" roads, and fishing in his free time. Kevin is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia.