The Department of Transportation referenced a character from popular anime “Attack on Titan” in describing a new equipment that will soon arrive for the country’s subway project.
In a statement on Thursday, the DOTr shared an update about giant excavating equipment called Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) from Japan that will be used in the construction of the Metro Manila Subway.
Each TBM unit measures 6.99-meters in diameter and 95-meters in length. It also weighs a hefty 700 tons.
The Metro Manila Subway project is an under-construction rapid train transit under the “Build, Build, Build” plan of the Duterte administration that is expected to be completed in 2026.
It has 17 stations that will traverse from Valenzuela to NAIA Terminal 3 and FTI.
To further illustrate the TBM’s size, the DOTr Facebook account cited a post by a certain Jane Deocampo who likened the cutter head of the machine to that of a “Cart Titan,” one of the giant humanoid monsters in the popular apocalyptic fiction.
The cutter head is only a part of the TBM unit. It weighs up to 74 tons.
“HANDA KA NA BA SA HIGANTE? Gaano nga ba kalaki, kataas at kabigat ang Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) na darating sa Pilipinas?” the post read.
It even attached an impressive graphic from Deocampo that shows how tall the TBM cutter head is compared to the fictional monster.
“Sa Facebook post ni Jane Deocampo, inilarawan niya ang sukat ng laki at bigat ng isang TBM. Kung ikukumpara sa Cart Titan na may sukat lamang na 4 meter, ‘di hamak na mas malaki ang TBM sa kanyang sukat na 6.99 meters, haba na 95 meters at bigat na 700 tons,” the DOTr said.
In both the manga and the animated adaptation, the “Attack on Titan” follows the adventures of Eren, his adoptive sister Mikasa and their friend Armin who join a group of soldiers in direct combat against the Titans, a race of massive man-eating creatures that had lived for thousands of years.
For added hype, the DOTr even mentioned a battle scene between Eren and the Cart Titan.
“Kaya habang nagpapagaling ang Cart Titan pagtapos magtamo ng matinding sugat mula sa huling laban nila ni Eren, at habang hinihintay natin ang next episode ng anime na [Attack on Titan], dito muna tayo sa TBM cutter head! Abangan bukas! it said.
“Sa huli, si Eren at TBM lang ang malakas!” it added.
The large excavating equipment’s cutter head was unveiled on Friday. It is considered as the largest part of the machine which was named “Kaunlaran.”
Several units of the TBM are also expected to arrive this month.
How fans reacted
The post immediately caught the attention of both fans of the anime and other Filipinos who found the social media copy funny and interesting.
It gained 16,000 shares on Facebook and earned 25,000 reactions. Of these, 18,000 were laugh emojis, 4,600 were likes and 1,400 were heart emojis.
In the comments section, social media users got curious if theDOTr’s Facebook page administrator is a fan of the anime.
“Sino po social media head niyo,” one user said.
“Anyare DOTR…napasok na din kayo ng WEEB,” another said. The term “weeb” is a slang that refers to people who are not Japanese but love Japanese culture.
Some fans, however, claimed that DOTr confused some details.
“Hindi po si Eren ang tumalo sa Cart Titan, yung survey corps. Pali ulit po yung episode,” one user said.
This was not the first time the DOTr made a popular culture reference in its social media posts.
Last January, the transport agency’s Metro Rail Transit Line 3 also promoted its new contact tracing app called MRT-3 Trace and branded it as BTS or “Bagong Tracing System.”
In the Facebook promotion, it attached a graphic that creatively featured a caricature of one of the members of the South Korean group BTS.