Miscellaneous mecha discussion thread

Neil.T

The Wildcard
Welcome to the Miscellaneous mecha discussion thread on AUKN.

This is a place where you can air your thoughts and opinions on the best (and worst!) that the mecha genre has to offer. From older classics like Gunbuster and Gurren Lagann, through currently airing new series (Back Arrow at the time of this post), to unreleased shows still in the pipeline, there's sure to be lots to talk about. It's one of the most popular genres in anime, after all!

So let's hear your views. Is Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution a worthwhile addition to the franchise? Do you love or loathe Code Geass's Lelouch Lamperouge? Does FLCL qualify as a mecha anime?

FRANXX.jpg
Darling in the FranXX had a contentious second half. What was your take on it?


As something worth noting here, if you've come to talk about either Evangelion or Gundam, we already have dedicated threads for those two popular franchises that might serve you better.

For Gundam, go here:

For Evangelion, try here:


So come one and all and join the discussion...

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Lelouch vi Britannia commands you!
 
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CommanderZx2

School Idol
Do you think that Girls und panzer would count as Mecha? The basic concept is the same, the only difference is they are piloting machines with treads instead of legs. I've heard of Gundam that have treads and can even transform into a tank like appearance to move like a regular one.
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
Do you think that Girls und panzer would count as Mecha?
Hmm... not to me, personally. I'd count it more as CGDCT or SoL or...

Sports...? No, maybe not sports. 😅

It does have intricate, real-life tank designs, though, so I know where you're coming from. It's more military than mecha, though, I'd say. It's the show you would get if an anime production committee decided they wanted to satisfy both factions of Hobby Japan reader by combining the collectible moe girls with the military model-making.
 
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sniper_samurai

Dragon Knight
Surprised you haven't mentioned the most popular mecha anime. Attack on Titan.
The key art for AoT is fantastic.

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Neil.T

The Wildcard
Ah, hell. 😅
Yep, this is partly the problem: defining where "mecha" begins and ends as a genre. In AoT, the spot where Eren "pilots" his Titan form from is exactly where the entry plug is inserted in Evangelion. And an Eva isn't even a robot either!

But...! An Eva at least outwardly looks mechanical (and is partly so inside), whereas a Titan is flesh (and muscle), so I say no! If you want to talk about Titan, don't talk about it here! Start a thread for it! 😆

(Also because I don't like AoT. 😝)
 
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Dai

Great Teacher
The only way AoT could be considered mecha is if they're made of nanomachines (if that's an upcoming twist, don't tell me). Otherwise it's unambiguously in the giant hero genre started by Ultraman.

With the giant robot genre in such an unprecedented slump, there seem to be more of these fringe cases than straight-up mecha shows. They certainly look like robots in Back Arrow, but they use an Ultraman-style transformation and become the person's body more than being piloted. Gridman is a sentient mecha, so again is he more giant robot or giant hero? Even Gundam has ditched the idea of giant robots being piloted from within with its current toy-battling phase.
 

Dai

Great Teacher
Is that with Gundam Build Fighters? (Forgive my lack of Gundam knowledge.)
Yeah, I've only watched the first episode though. Once I realised it was literally just kids playing with remote-controlled toys, I lost interest. I don't know if later seasons switch up the formula.
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
Ah, okay. I'm out of the loop when it comes to Gundam, so I wouldn't even know what its most recent iteration is; I've only seen December Sky, the first part of Thunderbolt. My girlfriend has Wing and Endless Waltz on DVD, though, so I'll get to see that as well at some point.

I always wanted to like Mecha but I just can’t get into it... I don’t know why either coz I really like the Transformers movies and the first Pacific Rim
Dragging your quote into this here thread, buddy. 😉

It's funny, because mecha has quite unexpectedly become one of my favourite genres of anime. I've told this story before, but my first mecha anime was a screening of Evangelion 2.0 at my local indie cinema back in 2011. They put on a weekend event called "We Love Anime" (with content provided by Manga Entertainment and Anime Limited).

The bit that makes me laugh is that I remember reading the cinema guide and thinking "Hmm, giant robots... Is that really gonna be my thing?" The animation looked great in the trailers, though, so I went to see it and, well, I became an Eva fan that day!

Since then I've enjoyed other mecha series to the point that I'd be more inclined to try a new mecha show than I probably would other genres. I also feel like I'd be more likely to entertain a lower-tier mecha show than I would a lower-grade action series or comedy, say. The only other bias I reckon I have in anime is towards Trigger as a studio; I'd watch a new show because it's Trigger and for no other reason. That wouldn't happen for me with any other studio. Funny how Trigger are pretty handy with mecha as well, eh!

But it's all totally subjective, of course. What other mecha shows have you tried, Dan, if you don't mind me asking? 🙂
 

Girls with Guns

Death Scythe
Lol, I'm not a mecha fan but I seem to like quite a few mecha shows, at least the ones I can tolerate the mecha being in them: Escaflowne, Knights of Sidonia, Gargantia, Appleseed, Patlabor movies, Aldnoah Zero, Kuromukuro, Full Metal Panic, IBO, Origins, Thunderbolt... Still not sold on Eva, most Gundam, Macross, or Code Geass though, nor my least favorite anime of all time, Gurren Lagan.

I would have to say that my Most Favorite mecha series is FLAG...

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Dan

Stand User
But it's all totally subjective, of course. What other mecha shows have you tried, Dan, if you don't mind me asking? 🙂
Do u know I actually can’t remember. I think it’s more of I watch a trailer and think nope not for me... anyway I’m about to contradict myself as I actually enjoyed the original macross series (as a one off watch) and the Patlabor movies (1&2), although if memory serves me correctly the patlabor movies weren’t really about Mecha or was that just the 2nd one? Oh and loved the Big O but I preferred the parts before the Robot fights. Some pre 2000’s stuff looks quite good like Gundam 0088, the animation looks outstanding so I’m gonna have to give that a go... I really don’t like modern mecha though... 3DCG (Cell shaded or not) is a massive turn off for me.

I think it’s more just robots fighting.. I wanna see humans with guns or swords creating blood splatter 😂

Anyway I’m literally about to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion as I’ve wanted to see if it for years and I did like the first remake movie... never got round to the others but heard they got worse so why not go back to the original. So let’s see how it goes.
 

Dai

Great Teacher
Patlabor movies (1&2), although if memory serves me correctly the patlabor movies weren’t really about Mecha or was that just the 2nd one?
Patlabor is almost always a cop show first and a mech show second. It has two separate continuities that have slightly different tones. The first OAV series and the movies are a police drama with robots, while the TV series and the second OAV series are a police comedy with robots. The only time it veers away from this is the Griffon arc in the TV series, which starts to feel more like a traditional hero robot show for a while, and is the weakest part of Patlabor, IMO. Fortunately it gets back on track after that.
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
my least favorite anime of all time, ∞¥®≈€π £∆∞∆π≈
There you go: I've censored your blasphemy in that quote there. 😛

I’m literally about to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion
Oh, nice. 😯
Netflix?

I did like the first remake movie... never got round to the others but heard they got worse
I wouldn't say so. It's just that the third one gets more... How do I put it...? 🤔

(Yeah, how do I put it? 😅)
 

WMD

Combat Butler
Obviously I enjoy cool and interesting mecha designs and well animated battles but one of my favourite things about mecha shows is their ability to be a canvas for a wide variety of themes and sub genres.

For instance Gundam is at its best for me when its displaying the horrors of war. PTSD, grief, political and ideological power struggles, genocide. It can be presented in such a fascinating way that holds up a mirror to the real world. The original series, December Sky and Iron Bloded Orphans being the best example of this.

Then theres the more cerebral (with action) entries like Evangellion and Ghost in the Shell (I'm including arm slaves and tachikomas as mecha) with really delve into aspects of the human condition.

Then you have shows like Full Metal Panic and Darling in the Franxx which are much more focused on relationships and use the mecha as a mirror/metaphor for the relationships. FMP is initially quite subtle about this but as it goes on it becomes very apparent that Souske's relationship with his mech is a direct parallel to his relationship with Kaname. He starts out incapable of truly understanding either, then incapable of understanding himself and almost loses both and only once he's grown emotionally is he able to gain what he needs which is both of them.

And even then we have stuff like Promare and Samurai Flamenco with are rooted in comedy/parody and shine a fun subversive mirror to the genre as a whole and just give you a fun time watching.

Sorry this ended up being such a long post but theres a lot to enjoy in mecha and I feel it's often the dressing put on top of the mecha aspect that makes it work.
 
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WMD

Combat Butler
Also meant to address this earlier
Is Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution a worthwhile addition to the franchise?
Yes. I really like the Hi Evo films and as I've said before Hi Evo 1 is the best compilation film ever made! It took old footage and gave it a new thematic context. It's great. Also the way the second one uses aspect ratios to distinguish one universe from the other was a neat visual trick

This is what I originally wrote about Hi Evo 1 and I stand by it.
Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution 1
I really enjoyed this film. I'm not sure it would work for those who havent seen the series as it makes a very deliberate decision to jump back and forth. But it's an amazing way to re-experience the show from a different perspective. Rather than being about Renton and Eurekas relationship it's all about Renton and his trauma and it's mostly set against his time with Charles and Ray as the one good thing he has. Also the opening 25mins before the mains story starts are spectacular. In some ways worth seeing the film just for that.
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
one of my favourite things about mecha shows is their ability to be a canvas for a wide variety of themes and sub genres
you have shows like Full Metal Panic and Darling in the Franxx which are much more focused on relationships and use the mecha as a mirror/metaphor for the relationships
That's really very well put, dude. So wonderfully concise.

I think, yeah, that the kind of setting that demands giant mecha to resolve the problems at hand is a really effective way for the stakes to be upped and the character drama heightened.

It's like how (I'd never find the source for this sentiment now, but...) a comment was once made about how Mamoru Oshii's sci-fi settings are basically just a "dish", if you will, for him to serve his story on.

So, in the case of mecha too, the robot conflict is often to quite a large degree a vehicle to tell the real story that the writers want to tell. 👍

I really like the Hi Evo films and as I've said before Hi Evo 1 is the best compilation film ever made!
That's really interesting, because that film cops a lot of flak. 🤔
I'm keen to see it myself at some point.

My own personal favourite compilation film is the second Gurren Lagann movie The Lights in the Sky are Stars. It's so much more than just a compilation film. 👌😌
 
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