Miscellaneous mecha discussion thread

ayase

State Alchemist
That thread was an interesting read @Neil.T and I think my overall thoughts on the series probably skew closer to those of @Professor Irony although with some important caveats - I personally really enjoyed when the show shifted away from the action to focus on the characters after Episode 6, it was just a shame that much of that ultimately had little bearing on where those characters' stories went.

The Eva and Lagann comparisons are apt because for me, that's somewhere Franxx falls down hard. Those shows had overriding themes they placed all their chips on - In Eva's case depression, and in Lagann's self-actualisation. I would have enjoyed it a great deal if Franxx had done the same for love and sex but, perhaps ironically, it wasn't willing to commit.

When Eva (and even Lagann) takes us aside and examines who the characters are and why, we understand those characters better. It helps explain their behaviour in the past and has some bearing on their direction going forward. Zero Two was the closest we came to this kind of development, because by Episode 12 we have a pretty good understanding of what made her the way she is. Perhaps if at this point she had questioned what she wanted or what she did to get there, they might have had somewhere to take her character. But instead her growth just seems to end. Her past, once exposed, appears to become entirely irrelevant to her present or future, despite the fact it has shaped her character utterly up until this point.

And then there are characters who didn't even make it that far. We understood Zorome's character as brash and competitive but unquestioningly loyal. When we get his little side-story we find that deep down, he is desirous of other kinds of familial relationships, the kind he can't find among his fellow parasites. We discover that what he really wants is a parental figure and that for him the distant approval of Papa, the medal being unemotionally pinned to his chest, is the only thing filling the void of parental acknowledgement, encouragement and love. That was all great. But after that happened, after he got a taste of what a mother/son relationship could potentially be like, how did that effect him going forward in the story? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it really did.

With the Futoshi/Kokoro/Mitsuru storyline there was an opportunity there to explore that feeling of unrequited love from both sides; Seeing Futoshi's anguish over loosing the person he loved to someone else could have filled Mitsuru with guilt about the fact he didn't really love Kokoro, but that she had chosen him and he didn't want to hurt her the way she had hurt Futoshi. That had the potential to say something about loveless or one-sided relationships, about caring for someone to the point you harm yourself. But it didn't, because Mitsuru went along with it without really feeling anything at all, then ultimately just fell in love with Kokoro anyway.

Similarly with Ichigo, we understood what Hiro meant to her and how painful it was for her to see him with Zero Two instead of her. And while Goro was more accepting of his fate, she was able to feel for him because she knew what it was like. Of all the characters, she should understand best how heartbreaking it is to be kept apart from someone you love. But even after she has realized that everybody needs someone to be there for them, refused to let Goro die alone and even decided that Hiro and Zero Two being together was good for the both of them, she is the one who decides to coldly separate them. Once again, it felt like the earlier development she received had no bearing on her later actions. Then suddenly everybody makes up and all is forgiven and everybody cares about each other again. And probably the less said about the central couple's non-love story which seemed founded on nothing so much as desperation the better. Why did they love each other, let alone enough for their love to endure through the ages? Who even knows.


I wrote a lot more than I planned to there (there's the second, previously unwritten half of that post, I guess :p) but I think my main point is that character development has to mean something. I think "relatability" is a bit of a trap (and certainly one Western media has fallen wholesale into in recent times with its over-reliance on "representation" and "likeability" over character) and the fact characters don't necessarily act the way I would doesn't bother me, but I at least want them to be believable and I'm afraid most of the characters in Franxx just didn't feel very real to me. Or they did at some points and then they didn't, which is probably worse because it felt like it was teasing me with deeper analysis that simply never came.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Having followed the thread as it moved along, I think what’s struck me most is how little I remember of the series now, beyond how much it seemed to catch the zeitgeist at the time. While my memory of it isn’t exactly positive, I‘m probably less annoyed at the show than I am at myself for not having just stopped watching it when it became screamingly obvious that I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. The OP is still a banger, I’ll give it that.
 

João Gomes

Magical Girl
Agreed on the OP!

Back in the Franxx

So, I've watched episode 22 yesterday. They clearly bit more than they could chew in the sense that you can't introduce new villains and have them flee into outer space over two episodes and expect it to feel coherent. It should've been given time to breathe.

The memory wipe thing feels like a cheap shortcut for ineffective drama.

I'm not super negative on the whole thing overall but then again, I still haven't finished it. Curious to read your final impressions, ayase.

My guy Goro speaks again! Joy.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Vampire Ninja
Those shows had overriding themes they placed all their chips on - In Eva's case depression, and in Lagann's self-actualisation. I would have enjoyed it a great deal if Franxx had done the same for love and sex but, perhaps ironically, it wasn't willing to commit.
Couldn't agree with you more here. For me Franxx is still amongst my favourite shows, but it can't be a masterpiece as it just didn't do for love & sex, as you mentioned, what the other shows managed for their respective themes, and a fair few characters' stories were just left dangling or ended abruptly. I wonder if it was a case of too many cooks, given the presumably whole assortment of big wigs from Trigger and A-1/Cloverworks (is one part of the other or are those two separate as well, I'm confused...).
 

Neil.T

Titan
A-1/Cloverworks (is one part of the other or are those two separate as well, I'm confused...)
The specifics according to Wikipedia:

In April 2018, A-1 Pictures rebranded its Kōenji Studio as CloverWorks, giving it a unique brand identity, which made it distinguishable from its main Asagaya Studio. On October 1, 2018, CloverWorks separated from A-1 Pictures, although it still remains as a subsidiary under Aniplex.
[Last paragraph under the heading "History"]

Also, Wikipedia article about CloverWorks itself:
 

João Gomes

Magical Girl
Ending Rambling in the Franxx

Sure took my sweet time with this...

Giant Mecha Bride isn't something I thought I'd ever write, but here we are. How can you escalate your show, ending up with a mecha in space and have it be so... Boring. Seriously. I was dreaming of Gundam Unicorn's battle scenes all the way through the last couple of episodes. The pseudo metaphysical twin souls reencarnating out of nowhere also didn't impress me.

This was OK but disappointing. Echoing a mix of thoughts from everyone else from this thread and the ep 24 one but they had an interesting setup and decided to squander it with a last minute boring space threat.

They should've focused more on the squad members and having them matter more on an individual level. As it stands, it feels more like they're saying "unit 13 achieved such and such, look!". Futoshi being just the fat guy that no one takes seriously and ends up with a moustache is annoying. Him especially, they could've done better.

They should've focused more on their little underground society, they should've focused more on making Hiro being a likable and interesting protagonist and making sure Zero Two's character stayed coherent. So much could've been done better.

On the other hand, I liked the mechas, I liked that they turn the Earth into a more normally structured place, I liked how things ended for basically everyone (what the hell did they do to Goro's hair though) and I love the OP. It's suffocantingly beautiful.

I liked quite a large number of episodes but the final episodes changed my overall opinion in a negative way.
 

Dai

Magical Girl
The first episode of Getter Robo Arc is up on HiDive. For better or worse, this is 100% an old-school super robot show that doesn't know the 70s ever ended. The only entry in this franchise that I've seen previously is Getter Robo Armageddon, so I recognised a few names and faces, but felt like I was missing quite a few references to previous events, especially in the confusingly fragmented flashbacks. The art and animation are a mixed bag. The hand-drawn elements are quite shoddy, and look like they belong in a show from the time the Arc manga was written in 2006. Fortunately the CG robots and monsters hold up much better, so the centrepiece action scenes have some promise. The enemy design was pretty memorable in this first episode, especially with its Geiger-counter clicking sound.
 

João Gomes

Magical Girl
Lighting the mechasignal for opinions on Aldnoah Zero.

Now, I understand it gets quite bad quite fast but I was wondering if there is something salvageable about it, good, even. I'm gonna watch anyway, but I was thinking about it and got curious.
 

Dai

Magical Girl
Lighting the mechasignal for opinions on Aldnoah Zero.

Now, I understand it gets quite bad quite fast but I was wondering if there is something salvageable about it, good, even. I'm gonna watch anyway, but I was thinking about it and got curious.
The first half is great. It's like an anti-Gundam story where only the bad guys have the super-powerful mechs and the protagonist has to figure out creative solutions to defeat each one. It does falter in the second half due to a villain whose motivation seems kind of muddy and the protagonist gaining an ability that takes some of the tension out of the battles, but it's still an entertaining show and comes to a decent conclusion.
 

João Gomes

Magical Girl
The first half is great. It's like an anti-Gundam story where only the bad guys have the super-powerful mechs and the protagonist has to figure out creative solutions to defeat each one. It does falter in the second half due to a villain whose motivation seems kind of muddy and the protagonist gaining an ability that takes some of the tension out of the battles, but it's still an entertaining show and comes to a decent conclusion.

Sounds honestly pretty OK! I thought it crashed and burned but if the conclusion is at least decent, that's something to look forward to.

It couldn't possibly be tooo bad considering Urobuchi came up with the concept. I think that will be my first casualty from the Christmas haul of shame.
 

João Gomes

Magical Girl
Well I'm the guy who doesn't care for giant mecha anime, but my three favorite mecha series are Escaflowne, Aldnoah Zero, and Kuromukuro, in that order. Actually, Flag would be my very top pick, but that one doesn't have giant mech in it - it's more like Avatar-sized mech suits.

I don't know that I should trust you, then...

Kidding, I really like Escaflowne, so we've got that in common! Kuromukuro I've got to try out if it's still on Netflix (I think it's a Netflix series anyway).
 

João Gomes

Magical Girl
Lighting the mechasignal again for Gundam Wing! (and @Dai signal since Aldnoah is as you described so far; I'm having a good time - on episode 11)

After much resistance on my part, I'm going down the Gundam rabbit hole, for better or worse! I can't love mecha and ignore its most enduring IP (I guess) 🤷‍♂️

I understand it's popular as hell thanks to it being the gundam series that made it to the mainstream in the US and nostalgia and such, but looking at it in isolation doesn't really do it any favors. Is it that bad?

I admit I have a soft spot for the drawing style and animation of the time, the character and mecha design are also lovely and supposedly Endless Waltz is OK? Hit me with your corrections 🙏
 

Dai

Magical Girl
Lighting the mechasignal again for Gundam Wing! (and @Dai signal since Aldnoah is as you described so far; I'm having a good time - on episode 11)

After much resistance on my part, I'm going down the Gundam rabbit hole, for better or worse! I can't love mecha and ignore its most enduring IP (I guess) 🤷‍♂️

I understand it's popular as hell thanks to it being the gundam series that made it to the mainstream in the US and nostalgia and such, but looking at it in isolation doesn't really do it any favors. Is it that bad?

I admit I have a soft spot for the drawing style and animation of the time, the character and mecha design are also lovely and supposedly Endless Waltz is OK? Hit me with your corrections 🙏
I enjoyed Wing when I first saw it 20 years ago, but I tried rewatching it last year and lost interest after a few episodes. It hasn't aged as well as some of the shows that preceded it. I just couldn't take its cast of moody boy band rejects seriously.

Now that practically the whole franchise is available in the west, I'd recommend most other Gundam shows over Wing, especially the original movie trilogy, Origin, Zeta, G and Turn A.
 

João Gomes

Magical Girl
I enjoyed Wing when I first saw it 20 years ago, but I tried rewatching it last year and lost interest after a few episodes. It hasn't aged as well as some of the shows that preceded it. I just couldn't take its cast of moody boy band rejects seriously.

Now that practically the whole franchise is available in the west, I'd recommend most other Gundam shows over Wing, especially the original movie trilogy, Origin, Zeta, G and Turn A.

So yeah, it's something that doesn't hold up under a critical viewpoint. Thanks!

I'll get started with either 00 or Origin shortly, I think. I'm getting IBO as I've heard that has a good story with a great conclusion and I'll re-watch Unicorn eventually for all the stunning fights.

If I really get into it, I'll look into the original movie trilogy and Turn A as those have peaked my interest. It would be lovely if 0079 was remade but Sunrise have a lot on their plate as is, it would seem.

I'm also curious about War in the Pocket and 08 Ms Team as those seem generally well regarded and different takes on the Gundam formula, but I'll wait for a UK release (maybe it'll happen in 2022).
 

WMD

Cardcaptor
Lighting the mechasignal again for Gundam Wing! (and @Dai signal since Aldnoah is as you described so far; I'm having a good time - on episode 11)

After much resistance on my part, I'm going down the Gundam rabbit hole, for better or worse! I can't love mecha and ignore its most enduring IP (I guess) 🤷‍♂️

I understand it's popular as hell thanks to it being the gundam series that made it to the mainstream in the US and nostalgia and such, but looking at it in isolation doesn't really do it any favors. Is it that bad?

I admit I have a soft spot for the drawing style and animation of the time, the character and mecha design are also lovely and supposedly Endless Waltz is OK? Hit me with your corrections 🙏
Of the stand alone shows (that I've seen) I'd rank them as :
  1. Iron Blooded Orphans
  2. 00
  3. Seed
  4. Wing
So I'd defo reccomend IBO as a good starting point.

Of the main timeline stuff Origin is a good starting point. Also Thunderbolt: December Sky is a quality film that can be enjoyed on its own. As for the original series I believe the series is vastly superior to the movie trilogy version. The first 2 movies are an absolute butchering of the series imo. Though the 3rd one has a lot of merit and adds a lot to the story if you do watch the series first.
 

João Gomes

Magical Girl
Of the stand alone shows (that I've seen) I'd rank them as :
  1. Iron Blooded Orphans
  2. 00
  3. Seed
  4. Wing
So I'd defo reccomend IBO as a good starting point.

Of the main timeline stuff Origin is a good starting point. Also Thunderbolt: December Sky is a quality film that can be enjoyed on its own. As for the original series I believe the series is vastly superior to the movie trilogy version. The first 2 movies are an absolute butchering of the series imo. Though the 3rd one has a lot of merit and adds a lot to the story if you do watch the series first.

Nice, thanks!

I have both Thunderbolt movies, so I'll get to that eventually.

I've searched high and low for the 0079 CE series but it's nowhere to be found. I guess I'll get the standard versions in the next AL sale... But I'll keep that in mind about the movies!
 
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