While the anime movie Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Clash at Loum is now screening in Japan to great success, Gundam fans can also enjoy its virtual reality (VR) experience, starting from 19 September. Ahead of the official opening, I had the chance to watch it during a pre-opening experience event for the press on 14 September at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater.
As you can imagine from the title, in Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Char’s Sortie we can jump into Char’s cockpit and follow his experience during the sortie. Utilizing state of the art VR technology, they have recreated the climactic scene of the protagonist Char Aznable controlling the red custom Zaku II and attacking enemies in space in Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Clash at Loum. My wish to become Char was granted in this VR experience.
Char with His Headset and Zaku Ⅱ Welcomed Me
Gundam fans would be overjoyed with just looking at the special booth in the foyer on the first floor of the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater. The box has a large mural of Char with his headset and his exclusive Zaku Ⅱ. Who wouldn’t want to jump into the special booth straightaway, but I recommend you stay calm and look around the foyer first. Don’t forget to check out the key frames of Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Clash at Loum exhibited in the foyer.
Let’s Get in The Booth
One of the staff members guided me to the experience booth. Another staff member wearing a bright red Gundam T-shirt helped me put on the rather heavy VR headset. Don’t worry if you are a first-timer using VR; the staff is very friendly and will guide you through the process. When the headset was firmly on my head, the three-minute Char VR simulation finally began. I immediately felt like I was Char sitting in the cockpit of the Zaku, preparing to sortie for the battle of Loum. Don’t forget to look around at the 360-panoramic view!
By the time the troops were marshaled, I had totally gotten into Char’s character. I (Char) climbed into the cockpit of Zaku Ⅱ, and then took off from the Papua-class supply ship in style. I then confronted the main squadron of the Earth Federation Force and fought through the savage battleground as the ace pilot Char. The three minutes glided away without me noticing. It was an amazing experience to go through the battle from Char’s perspective. Furthermore, it was mesmerizing to watch the battle from 360-degrees. Although Char wouldn’t lose his concentration during his battle, you shouldn’t forget to look all around you in detail and enjoy the real thrill of the VR experience.
‘Show me the capability of VR!’
Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Char’s Sortie is the first VR experience of The Origin. It’s a full-body experience of the Red Comet in the mobile suit, too good to miss for any Gundam fan. As you wear the helmet, I recommend to look at your body (which has turned into Char’s), as you’d definitely feel great having Char’s super cool figure.
I threw myself into the VR experience with exactly the same spirit of its tagline, ‘Show me the capability of VR!’ and came out of the simulation with a feeling of satisfaction. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this VR!
Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Char’s Sortie VR Experience runs from 19 to 22 and from 25 to 29 September between 12:00 and 20:00 at the foyer on the first floor of Shinjuku Piccadilly. Participants will need to bring either a dated ticket or ticket stub for Shinjuku Piccadilly theater. Reservations can be made on the official website.