This week, officials unveiled the logo for the forthcoming 2025 World Exposition – and Japanese social media is delighted with the result. The red, ring-shaped mass of eyeballs and blobs has immediately been compared to a kaiju, the giant monsters of Japanese cinema fame, with Twitter users immortalising it in art.
Per the Mainichi, graphic designer Tamotsu Shimada was quoted as saying, “Like the Tower of the Sun … we wanted to create something that was unique and has impact.” The Tower of the Sun, a huge sculpture by artist Tarō Okamoto, was built for the last World Exposition to land in the city, all the way back in 1970. Though most of the expo park is long gone, the Tower of the Sun still looms over the area.
Not only does the Tower of the Sun look like the kind of giant monster that should start walking around, an actual kaiju flick was shot in the grounds of Expo ’70 while it was under construction: Gamera vs. Jiger, also known as Monsters Invade Expo ’70! Unfortunately I’ve yet to see whether the Tower of the Sun makes an appearance, but rest assured I’m eagerly anticipating reaching that film after picking up Arrow’s Gamera box set.
With that history of monstrous art established, it’s not hard to see why Twitter users quickly started having fun – from describing it as ‘cute’, to comparing it to footage from Hideaki Anno’s Shin Godzilla, old shoot ’em ups, and even the recently-released game Carrion:
Of course, Osaka’s kaiju history goes further back than even Expo ’70. The 1956 sequel to the original Godzilla, Godzilla Raids Again, saw the action move from Tokyo to Osaka with Godzilla and his foe Anguirus battling around familiar landmarks like Osaka Castle.
Here’s hoping that the critter from the Expo 2025 logo has as long a pop culture life.