For decades, Toronto has been obsessed with acquiring “world class” status. Hogtown desperately wants to be spoken about in the context of the likes of London, Paris, New York, and so on…
That’s why the city loves to see really big things being built. For example, for decades, the CN Tower stood as “the world’s tallest freestanding structure.” And then there’s SkyDome, a.k.a., “the world’s largest retractable ceiling multi-purpose [etc.-etc.] entertainment/sports stadium.”
Alas, Father Time has not been kind to Hogtown’s whiz-bang infrastructure. The Tokyo SkyTree now claims bragging rights as the world's tallest tower. As for SkyDome, this playpen was obsolete the very day it opened. By 1989, multipurpose stadia were already out of fashion, being replaced instead by single-purpose stadia. Talk about the Argo Bounce!
But Toronto mayoral candidate Mason Carrie is thinking big, baby, big! If elected, he promises to build a giant Gundam in Toronto. For those not into the Japanese cultural genre that is anime, a Gundam is actually an acronym which stands for “Genetic on Universal Neutraly Different Alloy-nium Mobile” suits.
That’s a mouthful. But just think of a Gundam as a next-generation/supersized Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.
Still, does the city have the necessary financial wherewithal to build an enormous Gundam? Carrie notes that won’t be an issue given that a giant Gundam erected in downtown Toronto will surely have a multitude of well-heeled tourists flocking to the city. Indeed, what could go wrong? (Then again, SkyDome, which cost more than $500 million to build, was sold to Rogers in 2004 for $25 million – in other words, a 95% discount! Think about that next time you receive your cell phone and cable bills…).
Then again, maybe Carrie is on to something here. Given that violent crime is soaring in Toronto these days and riding public transit is a good place to encounter an assault or an impromptu fireworks display, perhaps Toronto could establish a manufacturing plant to churn out life-size "Genetic on Universal Neutraly Different Alloy-nium Mobile” suits for law abiding citizens to wear? We’re sure getting around town in Iron Man-like armour will likely transform Joe and Jane Citizen into so many Sweaty Bettys, but it sure beats getting a knife in the back or a fireball shot into one’s eye.
In any event, we’ll find out on June 26 if “Gundam-Mania” will carry Mason Carrie, 33, into the mayor’s chair. But for now, we think it’s a safe bet Mr. Carrie has locked up the anime demographic vote (assuming these folks actually vote.)
As Optimus Prime might say: “Autobots! Transform and roll out…!”