The BBC has made the hilarious mistake of calling the Gundam a Transformer at the 2020 Olympics today, leading to exasperated sighs from Gundam fans who have lived this hell for years now.
With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics going on right now, there’s a lot of buzz as some of the best athletes in the world compete to show the other countries what for.
By taking place in Tokyo though, there’s also been an extra element thrown into the ring- geek culture. The opening ceremony already featured music from various video games, and now various events are being overseen by the watchful eyes of the life-sized RX-0 Unicorn Gundam outside of Diver City.
Now, let’s be honest- not everyone’s geek enough to know what that is, nor should they be expected to. But the BBC posted a tweet giving in to every Gundam fan’s worst nightmare- being mistaken for a Transformer.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 5, 2021
Naturally, well adjusted fans laughed off the faux pas- I’m just kidding. There’s some pretty nasty comments in the replies, but for the most part, people were just adults about it and laughed off the mistake. BBC themselves even rectified the error, then inviting further debate by asking who would win in a fight, a Transformer or a Gundam.
On the other hand, the Olympics Twitter account had the right idea and played it safe- they called the statue a robot, without any brand names. Some people still took offense at this, with the pedantry of “mecha vs robot” out in full swing. Still, the Olympics knowing enough to not want to get on the Gundam fans’ bad side is a pretty hilarious turn of events.
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) August 5, 2021
Look man, as a fan of both series, life has been rough. It makes sense that anyone not in the rabbit hole would make the mistake- Transformers is arguably the most popular robot franchise right now- if it’s a robot, it’s actually a pretty safe bet to say it’s a Transformer in most western circles. In hindsight, it’s to be expected that the Olympics- which are about as mainstream as mainstream gets, would not be up to date on their mecha anime.
Should the BBC have done their research? Maybe? Honestly this mixup is pretty funny, if nothing else for the exasperated sighs of every Gundam fan who wishes they could talk to more people about one of the most iconic mecha series of all time. It’s a dumb social media mishap, it’s not like anyone died.
If nothing else it’s extra funny because the Unicorn Gundam does technically transform, making it a lowercase-t Transformer, similar to the Zeta Gundam which transforms into a Jet. Anyways, be kind to the Gundam fan in your life, this is gonna keep happening for a while.