Gundam Kutani Ware Small Plates for Mobile Suit Gundam Funs
Gundam is a famous Japanese media franchise which has resulted in it becoming a part of the Japanese culture. Like other anime such as Doraemon, Gundam has also set its roots since the 1970s. Gundam is a military fiction that involves robots and humans working together for the greater good.
Created in 1979 by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Sunrise, the Gundam franchise started in April of the same year. The anime was started off as a Mobile Suit Gundam, which is a TV Series set in a military environment.
Gundam quickly gained popularity and a number of franchise spawned up including about 50 TV series and films. Additionally, there are novels, video games and manga. The franchise also tapped into the plastic model kits market called the Gunpla that makes about 90 per cent of all Japanese character plastic-model market.
The Concept of Gundam
Although the original concept of Gundam was created by Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creators from the Sunrise team came together to make it better. The collective team worked on the concept under the pseudonym Hajime Yatate. The name of the series was kept after the robot’s gun Freedom Fighter Gunboy and just Gunboy. The objective was to attract teenage boys.
The Yatate team combined the word Gun with the last syllabi of Freedom to make it Gundom – a catchy word for teen boys. However, Tomino changed it to Gundam, which suggested that the word Dam is more powerful. His reasoning came from hydroelectric dams that hold back water pressure. Therefore, a Gundam was powerful enough to hold back enemies.
Each Gundams are designed as large, bipedal vehicles, which are humanoids. The controls are in the cockpit with a human pilot located in the torso area. The head of each Gundam has camera that transmits images, videos and audio to the pilot. The anime have genetically advanced humans who are adapted for space travel making it a space opera of its own.
Gundam in the Academic World
The educational world of Japan is unique like its culture. What is truly astounding is that the Gundam series inspired a virtual academy. Thus the first ever academic institution was formed called the Gundam Academy based on an animated TV series.
In March 2020, Bandai Namco Holdings purchased the franchise through Sotsu and Sunrise. In 2000, the franchise grossed over $5 billion in retail sales alone. In the next four years, the Gundam franchise crossed ¥80 billion per annum. The franchise includes toys and hobby items.
Bandai is the official licensee of Gundam’s merchandise production. Several other companies produce the merchandise but they do it unofficially. The merchandise includes toys, t-shirts and robot models. Other products include the Mobile Suit in Action (MSiA) figures. Fans can buy the Gundam model kits with different design complexities and scales.
Other merchandise also includes the Kutani art. Kutani is an ancient art form of hand painted pottery and dinnerware. Gundam being the recognition symbol of the Japanese culture has made it to the Kutani ware with lots of options available for fans.
Kutani & Gundam Collaboration
Since Kutani is a representation of the Japanese culture, it uses its global customer base to promote other Japanese concepts. The collaboration between Gundam and Kutani has proved beneficial for the franchise and the sale of Kutani ware.
The Gundam theme in the Kutani ware has gained popularity over the years and the procedure to make them has not changed. Kutani artists use paints and themes to create paintings on pottery and dinnerware. The final piece is then oiled to create a polished look that adds finesse to each piece.
Started back in the 1600s, Ko-Kutani is the old Kutani which was a valley consisting of rivers. Several kilns were set up to create these Kutani art pieces. Unfortunately, due to the financial pressures, Kutani kilns were shut down and the business ended.
However, in the mid-1800s, an enthusiastic artist set up new kilns again to revive the art. This time, the designs were made using better techniques and the idea of exporting the Kutani pieces was introduced. Kutani ware was exported to the world and soon became a hit. It became a collectible item and still is today.
Kutani Art Today
It became difficult for people around the world to recognize the real Kutani art from cheap knock-offs. Today, Kutani pieces are manufactured in factories and exported in great numbers. Although, the original pieces from the 1600s and 1800s still exist. There are a few tricks to identify the antique piece from the modern, mass-production version.
The first thing to look for is the mark present at the bottom of each Kutani piece. The mark will be either hand-painted or embossed to show the name of the artist. If that is present, the chances of this piece being an antique are high. On the other hand, if you see a seal stamp of the manufacturer it will indicate that the Kutani piece was made recently in a factory.
As long, as apiece was made in Japan and exported, it will be an original Kutani. However, take caution when investing in an antique piece because you can be tricked into paying a lot of money for something that does not hold its true value.
Buying Gundam Kutani Ware Online
When it comes to making an authentic purchase online, several websites guarantee original Kutani pieces. Several Kutani exporters and manufactures sell and ship Kutani pieces online. If you are looking for a legitimate website consider Japanese Kutani Store for all authentic Kutani ware.
However, if you are looking for the best Kutani options of the Gundam theme design, look at the following pieces:
This small plate displays an impressive scene from the series where two characters are in sword battle. The plate is great for both Kutani and Gundam lovers and fans. A great addition to any collection.
The awakening diagram is a special feature of the anime series that shows the Mokubei in space. The different poses of the character is an attractive feature of this small plate. This plate is great for a gift for someone who loves Gundam.
This plate has an exclusive use of Char featuring Iidaya – the most famous character of the Gundam series. The plate is a little different with the use of only red and white paint to create the perfect painting of a Gundam character.
This plate is called The Red Comet showing an impressive pose of the character. The bold colors of red mixed with blue and white accents are eye-catching. The framing of the character displaying true Kutani art makes it a must buy.
The Zaku plate is a true depiction of Gundam and what it is all about. The two characters ready for battle with their guns pointing beyond the branches of the tree shows Gundam in its full glory. The combination of blue and mustard colors is a classic that can be the perfect addition to your collection.
There are few things you need to keep in mind investing in the Kutani dinnerware. You need to make sure that each piece needs to be cleaned with a mild detergent and warm water. Avoid scrubbing the dishes and plates as it may alter the quality of the polish on the Kutani ware.