The statue was built in an area of Kobe that was badly damaged during the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. The statue is being seen as a sign of the area’s recovery.
In the three months since the statue went up, about a million people have come to see it. Most of them are too young to have actually seen the original anime series, but they are nonetheless drawn to the cool-looking giant robot.
This has been a great boost to the shopping arcade immediately adjacent to the park containing the statue, and many shopkeepers are capitalizing on the statue’s popularty by selling Gigantor-themed products. There is even a taxi company that has decked out two cabs with Gigantor decals, full sets of the Tetsujin 28-go manga, and faux remote controls for the giant robot.
Things are not so great, however, for the shops that are not close to the statue. They have noticed any boost in business since the statue went up and the streets in front of their shops are very quiet. There is a plan to erect statues of famous figures from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which will hopefully draw a few of the Gigantor tourists.