The Japanese built a rough copy of the Eiffel Tower
in the 1950s as a tourist attraction and for TV and radio broadcasting. It's clearly visible from most of town, and is a frequent destination for class trips
from local schools. (It is also sometimes referred to as "Touto Tower".)
Apparently, they built the thing out of Imported Alien Phlebotinum
, because it's also a major Weirdness Magnet
—at least in fiction, where it's often subject to Monumental Damage
. If the Big Bad
or The Dragon
are going to attack, they'll attack the tower at the precise moment that the protagonists are visiting it. If the Ordinary High-School Student
and her friends are going to be sucked into another dimension
, it'll happen while they're visiting Tokyo Tower. Kaiju
seem to knock it over or blow it up
on a regular basis. The government might secretly turn it into a superweapon.
In fact, Livin' and Lovin' In The Anime Universe: A Basic Guide
warns, "Try to stay away from Tokyo Tower. It appears to mark an inter-universal nexus."
With all the suffering and destruction that happens there, it's a wonder that anyone is permitted near it...
It appears that the reason for its ubiquity is a combination of two powerful story compulsions: the need that spy characters (like James Bond
) have to fight on the Eiffel Tower
every time they visit Paris, and the fact that Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe
Since Tokyo Tower is not high enough to broadcast digital television signals over the same area, a new tower has been constructed: the "Tokyo Skytree", which opened its doors in May 2012. At 634 meters it is nearly twice as tall as its illustrious predecessor, and even though it has not been around for nearly as long, it seems to gradually take Tokyo Tower's place as an icon in anime.
The top was bent by a powerful earthquake
on Friday, March 11th, 2011.
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Anime and Manga
- The tower is heavily damaged in a fight between Sailor Moon and friends and one of the members of the third season's Quirky Miniboss Squad.
- CLAMP often features Tokyo Tower as the site of an important event.
- Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are sucked away to Cephiro from Tokyo Tower at the start of Magic Knight Rayearth. Their schools were holding student trips there on exactly the same day. Once the first part brings a Downer Ending, the girls are brought back there to square one. At the beginning of part 2 (at least in the anime), the three go to the Tower on their own to speak about their experiences... and are brought back to Cephiro to help deal with the choosing of a new Pillar.
- In Rayearth OVA, Tokyo Tower is the first thing that is "overwritten" as Cephiro starts replacing Earth, with Emeraude's Castle replacing it. At the end of the story, when Tokyo has been devastated by the Humongous Mecha battles and Cephiro goes away, Tokyo Tower comes back as the only thing remaining standing for miles.
- The various versions of X1999 are fond of having the climactic battle there. (In The Movie, even more Anviliciously, the magical shield Kamui generates there is a glowing golden sphere which visually evokes Japan's identity as the land of the Rising Sun.)
- Cardcaptor Sakura Midway through the anime, Sakura faces Yue during the Final Judgement. Also the manga's finale occurs there.
- Card Captor Sakura Abridged has, as one of the first lines of the first episode, "Tokyo Tower, as seen in all generic anime."
- An early chapter of Tokyo Babylon had Subaru attempting to placate a spirit which had become bound to Tokyo Tower after committing suicide nearby. Tokyo Tower was the one place in Tokyo she liked, so that'ś where she went after death.
- In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, the main group visits a post apocalyptic world where Tokyo Tower is one of only two remaining human settlements.
- The tower (partially destroyed during the war) became a museum in Code Geass.
- It also makes several appearances and makes a serious plot point as a fictional Expy called "Angel Tower" in Tokyo Godfathers.
- The tower is the site of yet another deadly battle in the first Tenchi Muyo! movie.
- Then again, the only reason the tower is used is that it's ... a big transmitting tower that happens to be in the middle of mystic sites, but is itself not mystic or Jurai or anything other than a big metal thing. The heroes just use it as part of their scheme to turn Big Bad Kain into Sealed Evil in a Can.
- The tower is the key to accessing deadly doomsday weapons on the moon base in Please Save My Earth.
- In Eyeshield 21, the Deimon Devil Bats rent out the tower for the afternoon as part of Hiruma's "Tower of Hell" test, where potential recruits for the team must carry ice up the stairs to the upper observatory on a hot day.
- In the anime Somedays Dreamers, the Tokyo Tower is bent by a girl's magical powers. This was in a desperate attempt to impress someone, so she couldn't muster the power to fix it. Fortunately, her tutor apparently can, as the tower appears intact in subsequent episodes.
- Tokyo Tower is the site of a bombing attempt in one episode of Detective Conan, and the scene of the climax of the 13th Non-Serial Movie Raven Chaser.
- Heck, it very nearly qualifies as a Weaponized Landmark when Conan takes out the Black Organization's helicopter by turning Tokyo Tower into a giant slingshot.
- Speaking of Gosho Aoyama, the Big Bad of Yaiba blew up Tokyo tower as evidence of his power.
- The first Mew Aqua battle in Tokyo Mew Mew takes place on Tokyo Tower.
- The titular character of the anime Samurai Deeper Kyo manages to actually impale the main villain on a collapsing Tokyo Tower. Doubly impressive since the series takes place in 1603.
- During a series of real-world battles in Digimon Adventure, one of the evil Digimon follows Sora and Mimi into Tokyo Tower. He manages to bend the top half of the tower before being defeated.
- Another GaoGaiGar example: big bad Pasder set up shop underneath it shortly after crashing on Earth. He later used it to assimilate every computer in Tokyo (apparently) into his battle form.
- In Detroit Metal City, DMC's fans overanalyze something Krauser says at the end of a concert, thinking it means to gather at the Tokyo Tower and chant his name. Negichi, as Krauser, goes to the Tower to make them stop. However, it ends with him raping the Tower. Naturally, the fans love it.
- The tower is seen in both the anime and live action film versions of Death Note.
- Lampshaded in Sgt. Frog - the Nishizawa Radio Tower may look nothing like the Tokyo Tower, but does all the things the Tokyo tower would in other anime, etc. One time Giroro gets warped into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where he finds a derelict Nishizawa radio tower in ruins. Turns out the tower was merely obsoleted and abandoned along with the surrounding land, and there's three other towers not far away that have also undergone this.
- In Transformers: Robots in Disguise, X-Brawn drives to the top of the tower to chuck a bomb into space.
- It gets knocked into orbit along with a monster in Super Dreadnought Girl 4946, and manages to impale the monster when they hit the moon.
- The Tokyo Tower was seen in Mobile Fighter G Gundam being destroyed by Domon Kasshu to root out the Devil Gundam's minions, or rather the mind-controlled Shuffle Alliance members.
- The tower is also featured in the Hana no Ko Lunlun Japan OAV. Togenishia and Yabooki are seen hanging out there alongside some high school kids.
- Rather plot-important in Mawaru-Penguindrum. It didn't look the way it does in real life... but it was a 30-meters tall David sculpture. It got retconned into the Tower we know and love when Momoka rewrites reality to free her friend Yuri from her abusive father.
- In Gantz, the tower can be seen from the apartment where Gantz gathers its latest "recruits".
- The early climax between Our Hero and the Big Bad (and literal dragon) Oynx in Dragon Crisis! occurs in a rebuilt/remodeled Tokyo Tower, just before reopening. Let's just say that the work will not meet the expected deadline....
- The Cowboy Bebop movie has the final battle with Vincent take place on top of what appears to be similar to the Tokyo Tower, although the movie is set on Mars.
- On the cover of the Blake and Mortimer album Professor Sató's Three Formulae - volume 1, Tokyo Tower is really prominently seen (as seen here). Funny enough, apart from one panel where it is seen broadcasting a TV signal, and one panel where it's a vague outline in the background, it doesn't appear whatsoever in the story itself.
- To add to it, the series is a repeat offender about displaying prominent ladmarks on the cover which then don't appear in the story itself. In the story SOS Meteore, the Eiffel Tower is prominently seen on the cover, but not once in the story itself.
- Very mundane film sighting: The tower can be seen in the background of a scene in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice set in Japan, when a helicopter uses a huge electromagnet to pick up a car full of Evil Minions that are chasing Bond.
- In the 1961 daikaiju movie Mothra, the title monster knocks over the Tower◊ and then builds her cocoon in the ruins.
- In the 1995 Heisei Gamera , the Gyaos deftly evades killer missiles, lets them take out Tokyo Tower, and proceeds to build its nest in the ruins, almost mocking its human prey.
- King Kong Escapes has Kong and his robotic foe climb Tokyo Tower during the film's climax.
- The tower is destroyed once again in Godzilla Tokyo SOS
- The final battle in Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl happens on Tokyo Tower.
- Madan Senki Ryukendo has Akebono Tower which is obviously Tokyo Tower transformed into a Monster of the Week. Then exploded by the titular hero and reformed in the wrong location, where it will take a week to move it back to where it originally was.
- Kamen Rider Kabuto, Tokyo Tower is located near where many of the big events happen and is even used on occasion. For example, "a one-of-a-kind tulip". In the AU movie, it's even bent down from the explosion in Shibuya.
- Kamen Rider Decade reuses it. In Kabuto World, the Hikari Studios is placed right near the tower. Natsumi calls it "trendy". The tower is also used for the final battle. There is surprisingly little property damage.
- Decade even lampshades the tower's prominence in Kabuto: each of the AU worlds is represented in the photo studio by a backdrop that shows important elements from their source series. Kabuto's backdrop is Tokyo Tower with Tendou's skyward-pointing finger next to it.
- The movie Cho Kamen Rider Den-O: Onigashima battleship has our heroes successfully fool the villains with a fake Tricked Out Time sequence, creating a fake skyline outside the DenLiner with Momotaros manning the fake Tokyo Tower (which he calls "MomoTower".)
- Kamen Rider Double, set in Futo, the Windy City, has its own Futo Tower, which is really a gigantic windmill.
- In the Monsterpocalypse set Big In Japan, there's the "Tokyo Triumph," which looks identical to the Tokyo Tower. Its combination of abilities make it both a very attractive target for alien invaders and the like to take over, and also serve as a big bullseye saying "Monster Goes Here" for when you question what exactly to body slam your enemy into.
- Arcana Heart uses the Tokyo Tower as the backdrop for Lilica's stage.
- Destroy All Humans! 2 does NOT have the Tokyo Tower. Just the Takoshima Tower. Guess what it resembles....
- The setting of Makai Toshi SaGa consists of four "worlds" connected by a huge tower, one of which (the "World of Ruins") resembles a devastated Tokyo cityscape, with the tower represented on the world map by a likeness of the Tokyo Tower. (So, the Tokyo Tower actually does "mark an inter-universal nexus" in this game.)
- Devil Survivor 2 establishes Tokyo Tower, along with five others (Hakata Port Tower, the Tsuutenkaku, Beppu Tower, Sapporo TV Tower, and the Nagoya TV Tower), is part of a supernatural defense system designed to protect Japan against attack. Strife ensues as the Septentriones start showing interest in demolishing the towers...
- Drakengard infamous last ending ends with the player seeing the reamins of Caim and Angelus skewered on the Tokyo Tower.
- It also makes an appearance in the Transformers: Robot Masters web cartoon: Optimus Primal climbs to the top and fights off Smokesniper and Gigant Bomb in a clear homage to King Kong.
- In the Pixar Short Tokyo Mater, Mater from Cars is in a drift race to the top of Tokyo Tower.
- In Phineas and Ferb: Summer Belongs to You, Dr. Doofenshmirtz drags his daughter Vanessa to Tokyo for one of his evil schemes, and she ends up falling from the Tokyo Tower and caught by Phineas and Ferb's plane.
Examples other than the Tokyo Tower itself
Tokyo City Hall
- Tokyo's city hall is a distinctive building with two tall square-ish towers, each of which has an observation deck on top. In a pinch, it can function as a substitute Tokyo Tower.
- This happens in Angel Sanctuary.
- ...and Kodomo no Omocha.
- It was the center of operations in Blue Seed.
- As well as for the Hypnos Men in Black organization in Digimon Tamers.
- CLAMP's fond of using it in this way, as they do in both X1999 (the Dragons of Earth are headquartered beneath it) and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (it serves as a foil to Tokyo Tower in a world where there are only two intact structures left).
- Its ruins play a small role in Silent Mobius as the resting place of Grospoliner, Katsumi's sword.
- It was nearly attacked by EI-02, the first Zonder Robo in GaoGaiGar.
- For that matter, nearly any tall observation tower in Japan will do, if Tokyo Tower is booked up for another emergency.
- It was seen in a ruined state in Code Geass.