Welcome to Japan, where robots riding on horses can be a thing.
In a country where almost everything can be promoted with anime collaborations, horse racing stands out as a tricky event to do so given its gambling nature. Yet even so, horse-racing partnerships with the likes of legendary soccer anime Captain Tsubasa have indeed occurred in the past.
In another unlikely collaboration that would certainly leave some people confused, renowned horse racing event Arima Kinen has recently teamed up with iconic mecha anime Mobile Suit Gundam to promote its upcoming annual race in December 23 in Nakayama Racecourse.
▼ Those are either extremely tiny Gundam suits or immense horses.
アリマ、行きまーす！「ガンダム」が有馬記念とコラボ、20本以上の動画公開（動画あり / 画像30枚）
#有馬記念 #ガンダム https://t.co/1krlqIUmEJ
コミックナタリー (@comic_natalie) December 13, 2018
Perhaps the highlight of the entire campaign goes to two videos of previous races, where Mobile Suit Gundam voice actors — including main protagonist Amuro Ray — provide narration as if a heated battle was unfolding right before viewers’ eyes. Reimagining jockeys as giant Gundam suits riding horses, the videos are every bit as outrageous as they are awesome.
▼ Horse racing just got a lot more exciting with anime characters. Here is the 2016 race.
▼ The 2017 version is just as thrilling.
▼ “I can see it… I can see the enemy’s movements.”
▼ “I can ride the best!” shouts a triumphant Amuro Ray.
A special site has also been dedicated to the promotion, featuring a series of games to test your reflexes and knowledge of Arima Kinen’s history.
▼ Such as memorizing the winning horses of past races…
▼ …and shooting robots with clicks of the mouse.
Some Japanese netizens were dumbfounded, while others were entertained nonetheless.
“This is so weird I laughed.”
“What a strange collaboration.”
“So… are the Gundams small or are the horses just huge?”
“This is the best Arima Kinen commercial to date.”
Strange as this collaboration may be, at least it did not turn out to be as crazy as that horse-racing game featuring laser-firing robot sumo wrestlers as jockeys.