Culture

Masahiro Sakurai Celebrates Birthday With Awesome Gundam Hathaway Gunpla

Sakurai celebrated his birthday by building Gunpla.

By Iyane Agossah

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021 marks the 51st birthday of Super Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai, who shared a special photo on Twitter of the latest Gundam toy he received from his team, and thanked his fans for the support.

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Based Sakurai celebrates his 51st birthday with Super Smash Bros, Gundam fans

After sharing a Splatoon-themed screenshot of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, as part of the usual random screenshots he tweets daily, the director thanked his fans for the birthday wishes soon after clocks hit noon, August 3, in Japan.

Masahiro Sakurai: “This is completely unrelated to the screenshot I just posted, but thanks for all the mentions wishing me a happy birthday. I’m really honored.”

A few hours later at around 8 PM JST, he tweeted that the Super Smash Bros development team gifted him AO glasses, a shoulders massager, and a new Gunpla: The RX-105 Xi Gundam appearing in Gundam Hathaway of the Flash, which just got its first novel adapted into an anime movie.

You can watch Gundam Hathaway on Netflix, though it’s in infamous Netflix quality which really doesn’t do justice to the night scenes, so I recommend buying the Bluray. Around five hours later at 1 AM JST, Sakurai had finished building the Gunpla. Noting that he didn’t have tweezers at hand, so he’ll put on the decals some other time.

More on Masahiro Sakurai, Gundam

Personally speaking, I get the feeling a lot of the Super Smash Bros community outside Japan tends to forget Masahiro Sakurai, like many other game developers in Japan, is naturally a huge otaku. Sakurai is into fighting games like KOF and Tekken, and he’s into Gunpla too. And spent several hours on his birthday building one. So these kinds of reminders are nice.

Bandai Namco also recently announced Gundam Evolution, which seems very close to an early Overwatch clone but with Mobile Suits. The announcement triggered various reactions from fans. Personally speaking, I’d say I’m not the target audience for the game. I’ll be waiting for Super Robot Wars 30 instead, which will be launching on PS4, Switch, and PC on October 28. The game is getting a worldwide English launch on Steam too, the first time ever in the series. The PS4 and Switch Asia versions will include the English localization too.

In May 2021, Masahiro Sakurai also ended his bi-weekly column in Famitsu Magazine, after 18 years. This is where he had most notably praised Death Stranding and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. He also chatted about Cyberpunk 2077. His column was sadly regularly mistranslated over the year. The final one was no exception as it triggered a rumor claiming Sakurai was about to retire, while he never said that.

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Iyane Agossah
@A_iyane07

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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