An 8-year-old girl has won the Japan’s junior Gundam World Cup and will be representing her country at the world finals, creating quite a stir with her diorama of a mobile suit blasting and smashing various tanks.
8-year-old Mei Hata, a 2nd year Hokkaido elementary school student, won 1st place in Japan’s junior round of the “Gunpla Builders World Cup 2011” with her diorama “The Battle with Zaku,” showing a mech blasting a tank with a rocket launcher whilst crushing another underfoot.
Judges praised the little girl’s work as “making you feel a real sense of story” and “a diorama with real intensity.”
She was interviewed about her victory:
Tell us how you felt about your win.
I was delighted. I was really surprised when I won. My mother cried with joy.
Were you confident of winning?
Not really. I didn’t think I could beat “Nightmare Hygogg.”
What was difficult about the diorama?
The Wappa [the flying vehicle]. I want people to see that the most.
How long did it take?
About two weeks. I did it as ‘free study’ in the summer holidays. I showed it at school and everyone was surprised.
Do you like Gundam?
I like it. I like Gundam Unicorn and Banagher Links.
When did you start making them?
Spring break of my second year. In March I saw my father making dioramas and I wanted to try myself.
I heard your father took part too?
He didn’t get pass the first round…
This is the first year the “World Cup” is being held, and on the 25th the world final round is set to be held in Hong Kong, with contestants from 12 countries vying for the title of “world’s best builder.”
Mei is set to represent Japan in the junior course for under-14s, and is apparently enthusiastic about competing for this great if rather new honour.
Some of the winners displayed at the event so far:
Japanese League Winners:
First Place – Open Course: “Negai”
Second Place – Open Course: “Nyasshima”
Third Place – Open Course: “Jion no Kaijuu”
First Place – Junior Course: “Zaku to no Tatakai”
Barbarian League Winners:
(Not all regions had junior courses)
(China actually had separate sub-events for Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou)
Hong Kong Open:
Hong Kong Junior:
Thailand’s event was cancelled due to excessive amounts of water.
There are mixed opinion’s about Mei’s victory:
“Did she really make that?”
“Her father must have done it?”
“Her favourite character is Banagher Links from Gundam Unicorn. She’s more mature than the average fujoshi…”
“An 8-year-old who like Unicorn, she’s a real maniac alright.”
“Her father probably did all the work for her…”
“At 8 she probably only put it together, I bet her father did all the painting.”
“‘Her mother was in tears when she won’ – doubtless because she gave birth to such a daughter…”
“What a great age we live in for this to be accepted as a school project.”
“If that interview is really how she responded she sounds like a very mature little girl.”
“It could win against the other Japanese entrants I think.”
“She could get far in the open course.”
“Her father surely did it all.”
“An 8-year-old could make that. Just how bad are all your Gundams, guys?”
“You lot are underestimating our 8-year-olds.”
“Her father’s site confirms that she did all the work. Her father is a journalist and actually interviewed her himself as well… her room is full of Gundam and you can see her holding her father’s failed entry:”
“No wonder he lost…”
“This is all the proof you need that her father had nothing to do with her entry:”