Miscellaneous mecha discussion thread

WMD

Combat Butler
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. 👍
Yeah mecha is almost more so a medium to tell different genres in than a classic genre in of itself. Though I think a lot I'd media is going that way. Marvel have shown that you can make superhero films in different genres rather than 'superhero film' be the genre.

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. 👌😌
Yeah and if you wanted a straight up retelling compilation film you would be disappointed but personally straight up retelling compilation films are a complete waste of time in my view. I've never seen one I thought was worthwhile. Hi Evos value comes precisely because it reframes the entire story onto an internal conflict of Rentons. Which is interesting and new.

Gurren Lagann and Mobile Suit Gundam are interesting examples where the first GL and first 2 MSG ruin the great storytelling of the series. And the final films of both work precisely because they're not really compilation films anymore but do something different. In GLs case I would still rather watch the series, i like the film but dont view it as essential. But in MSG case i would tell people to watch the 3rd film after watching the series to get the full story experience.
 
It's just that the third one gets more... How do I put it...? 🤔

With the giant robot genre in such an unprecedented slump, there seem to be more of these fringe cases than straight-up mecha shows.
I think putting a moe girl wearing a maidpilot outfit in a mecha and transporting it into another world just might revive the mecha genre...
"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!
I felt the same and thought I'm not really still into mecha and just like Eva for the non mecha elements, which I found was not entirely true as I'm finding I do like the genre but when it's done well with good character development in particular.


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
Hope you like! A short and surprisingly good mecha I'd suggest to try would be planet with to try maybe.
It's just that the third one gets more... How do I put it...? 🤔
Yeah I'm still optimistic in the hope that it will be appreciated (even) more in the context of the final movie heheh.
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.
Spot on! I'm waiting to watch fmp after buying it all off the Christmas sales and have high hopes given that I loved darling in the franxx.
 
Sorry about my message-bombing, I'm catching up as usual heh.

Gurren Lagann and Mobile Suit Gundam are interesting examples where the first GL and first 2 MSG ruin the great storytelling of the series. And the final films of both work precisely because they're not really compilation films anymore but do something different.
I got the gurren Lagaan blu ray but was disappointed to see that the movies aren't included (should've gotten the dvd set instead maybe..). Oh well, maybe if the dvd set comes back in the next sales heh.

Hi Evos value comes precisely because it reframes the entire story onto an internal conflict of Rentons.
That is very interesting way to look at it. I saw it and enjoyed the first half an hour which was linear but as a first time viewer of the series I can't say that I enjoyed the rest as it seemed a general mess and I assumed it was really for the fans. Alternatively I really liked Anemone especially down to the focus on her character and development. I'm a sucker for emotive stuff and the opening scenes with her dad and the haunting music had me hooked. I liked how also eureka/anemone roles were somewhat reversed and I really liked what that seem to be doing with the lore in that movie, making the third one highly anticipated for me. If anything it was the latter hi evolution that got me into the series and I'm glad it did. Have to try watching the first one again with the retroscope to see what you've mentioned.
 

WMD

Combat Butler
Spot on! I'm waiting to watch fmp after buying it all off the Christmas sales and have high hopes given that I loved darling in the fran
I loved both too. They are very different though. I highlighted FMP as it's an aspectvfo tehbsjow I hadn't really picked up on until season 4 but then realised it had been there the whole time.

. I saw it and enjoyed the first half an hour which was linear but as a first time viewer of the series I can't say that I enjoyed the rest as it seemed a general mess and I assumed it was really for the fans.
Yeah I would never reccomend Hi Evo as a starting point for the franchise. In fact I would tell people to watch in release order so save the Hi Evo films for last. But yeah the first film reframes Rentons story and the second Anemones bit that only works if you know their stories to begin with.
 
Yeah I would never reccomend Hi Evo as a starting point for the franchise. In fact I would tell people to watch in release order so save the Hi Evo films for last. But yeah the first film reframes Rentons story and the second Anemones bit that only works if you know their stories to begin with.
Very true and I'm looking forward to re-watching eventually now that I've seen the original series. Definitely deserve credit for being able to draw new fans to the series regardless.
 

Dai

Great Teacher
Since we're in the middle of a massive dry patch for mech shows, I've found myself giving a second chance to ones I'd dismissed previously. I always enjoyed the comedy side of Full Metal Panic more than the drama, probably because of how uneven season 1 was in that regard, so I hadn't given The Second Raid a try until it was £5 in the Anime Limited sale. Since Fumoffu (my favourite) was all comedy, I'd assumed that TSR was all drama, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a mix of both, and also that it handled the drama and action better too. It's impressive that two shows as tonally different as Fumoffu and TSR were directed by the same person. It's odd that they amped up the violence so much though. I really didn't need to see someone's throat being slit in that much detail; this ain't supposed to be Genocyber!

Now I'm wondering what other mech shows slipped past me in the late 90s/00s back when they were all over the place and I got complacent. I've seen most of the big name shows, plus plenty of others like The Big O, Godannar, Rahxephon, etc, so it would be the kind of thing that only had one season with little fanfare and didn't develop a lasting cult following. Any thoughts? I had the first two volumes of Gasaraki back when the singles were being released, but didn't want to pay another £100+ for the rest of it, and sold them. I'm thinking I might import the US release, though it would practically be a blind-buy at this point since I've forgotten what I thought about it 15 years ago.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Can’t say I’ve seen it personally, but just about any time I’ve heard anyone mention Gasaraki, it was not positive. It’s a shame, Ryousuke Takahashi is usually a safe pair of hands.

As 00s things go, I remember quite liking Mazinkaiser SKL, but at only three episodes, it’s kind of done by the time it gets going.
 

Dai

Great Teacher
Can’t say I’ve seen it personally, but just about any time I’ve heard anyone mention Gasaraki, it was not positive. It’s a shame, Ryousuke Takahashi is usually a safe pair of hands.

As 00s things go, I remember quite liking Mazinkaiser SKL, but at only three episodes, it’s kind of done by the time it gets going.
I just noticed that it's MAL rating is the number of the beast:

gasaraki.jpg

It's annoying that I can't remember why I gave up on it. Maybe it was trying too hard to be like Eva? I remember the main girl being very Rei-esque and I think there was a lot of secret organisation nonsense, when I just wanted it to focus on the military SF.

I did have a Mazinkaiser OAV series at one point, but I think it was the one from 2001 rather than SKL. The one I had didn't grab me because it was squarely aimed at people who had nostalgia for Mazinger Z.

I know I had the first volume of Dai-Guard, but again I got rid of it because of the cost of buying five more volumes, and now I can't remember why I gave up on it. This is the problem with having limited storage space combined with compulsive spending: I keep having to go through painful purges of the collection every few years. It looks like it had a UK box set release eventually, but that's long out of print. Annoyingly it's streaming on Prime in the US, but not here.

Vandread is another one I overlooked, probably because it was one of the first to go the CG mech route. I notice it has a pretty affordable US DVD collection, so that might be another option. I don't recall it being massively well regarded back in the day, but it has a decent MAL rating now.
 
You've probably seen/know of Bokurano already but that's one that I read is meant to be good and is on my list to watch at some point (don't think it's available in the UK though...)
 

Dai

Great Teacher
You've probably seen/know of Bokurano already but that's one that I read is meant to be good and is on my list to watch at some point (don't think it's available in the UK though...)
Thanks, I had completely forgotten that existed. In fact, I think I was only ever vaguely aware of it. Looks interesting, and there's a US DVD release from Discotek, but I'm not sure if it's still in print.
 
Thanks, I had completely forgotten that existed. In fact, I think I was only ever vaguely aware of it. Looks interesting, and there's a US DVD release from Discotek, but I'm not sure if it's still in print.
Yeah only seeing expensive US imports. Oh well, have a long list to get through before I think of forking out for that...unless you managed to watch it and said it's a must have of course!
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
I think putting a moe girl wearing a maidpilot outfit in a mecha and transporting it into another world just might revive the mecha genre...
Moe Moe Mecha-chan (In Another World!!)? Help. 😅

A short and surprisingly good mecha I'd suggest to try would be planet with to try maybe.
You know what? That one's been on my radar for some time now (actually since around the time that @Professor Irony was posting about it in Viewing Journal), but I just don't have the opportunity to indulge in streaming at the moment. Hopefully I will at some point while it's still available to watch, though.

You've probably seen/know of Bokurano
Crikey, I've heard of that series so many times but didn't even know it was mecha! 😯
Where have I been?
 

Azar

Pokémon Master
I was trying to think of a good mecha series in recent years and the best I could think of was Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan... Says it all really. To be fair, Masotan isn't that different from an Eva. 🙃
 
Moe Moe Mecha-chan (In Another World!!)? Help. 😅
Hahaha I love it, you just have to make it now!

In terms of the others, yeah I was pleasantly surprised watching Planet With, another one I saw on the back of reviews and it was really, really good, especially with the themes it managed to cover in such a succinct show. Reminded me of ssss.Gridman but, in my opinion, better. Would therefore definitely recommend it. Shame no UK release.. I don't think Bokurano was ever released in UK but certainly sounds very interesting, I remain hopeful crunchyroll will show it at some point (I think they do in the US).


Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan... Says it all really. To be fair, Masotan isn't that different from an Eva.
Heh didn't think of this as a mecha one but heard lots of good things about it so definitely going to watch it, especially given Mari Okada's involvement.
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
It's difficult to say whether this belongs in the Evangelion thread or here, but since we're talking about Darling in the FranXX, too...
I watched Eva 2-3 months before Darling and I'd argue Eva had a lot more issues, it made sense only if you read online about certain aspects, the actual series (especially near the end) totally suffered from lack of explanation.
First half throwing you into it was fantastic, 2nd half went off the rails a bit and required extra curricular reading to understand. EoE kind of fixed the ending a bit.
Unfortunately I can't be objective about Eva at all but would also add that after first watch years ago, I was confused by it, especially by End of Evangelion which wrecked me.

Now, this is a rather rare opinion that I hold, but... even as a huge Eva fan with perhaps a similar lack of objectivity to Geriatric hedgehog, I have to say I agree with Lordhippos' view: I really do believe that FranXX has a more carefully crafted story than Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Just as Lordhippos already suggested, I only understand what I understand about NGE through reading up on it, whereas I understand almost everything I do about FranXX just by watching the actual show.

Taking only the original run of NGE into account to begin with, the series ends with plot points like (just off the top of my head here) the nature of Kaji's investigation, the role of the Spear of Longinus, the identity of "Lilith" and Rei's "purpose" left unexplained. It was only the decision to make a replacement ending for the story (the film The End of Evangelion) and the creation of new "Director's Cut" versions of episodes 21 to 24 to give a lead in to it that gave any of those elements any kind of story payoff. And the new material in the DC episode 24 even opens up a previously non-existent plot hole that Eva apologists have spent the last 20-odd years trying to explain away.

When, even after fashioning a new ending to your story, it takes until the release of a PlayStation 2 game some eight years later to properly explain major elements of the plot...
... then you know that something has gone awry. And even that still contains some big contradictions. (How can the giant called Adam have simultaneously exploded and been reduced to an embryonic form?)

I'm a huge Eva fan and absolutely love it to bits, and I'd slap anyone silly for trying to take it away from me. But even I have to admit that it really doesn't all add up quite like some of its most hardcore followers would have you believe.


FranXX, though... I felt during my third viewing that it's exceptionally well mapped out right from the outset and actually uses all the elements that it introduces, but that's enough talk for this one post.
 

RadFemHedonist

Great Teacher
Sooo... I'm gonna try and weigh in on this topic! :D

I have never been a mecha fanatic and have no interest in building model kits, etc... but I believe in keeping an open mind to just about anything when it comes to not just anime but animation generally and live-action film and television as well - I'm a lot more interested in the story/characters/acting/comedy/music/animation than whether it contains giant robots or not, and that's long been my stance. So some shows with giant robots (or things that are initially presented as giant robots then turn out to be something else!) that I have seen and enjoyed are:

Neon Genesis Evangelion (I have seen TV version, director's cuts of all TV episodes that have them, Death and Rebirth, End of Evangelion, and rebuild films 1-3 in their 1.11, 2.22 and can't remember which cut of the third one it is I saw.) - I don't really know how much I can add to discussion of this title at this point but I will say that I really empathise with Shinji a lot and can't stand it when people give him **** for being a teenager/boy with depression who doesn't always handle things very well. Really felt for the poor guy. I liked the female characters too though Asuka can be a complete b**** and Rei can be cold. I get they have their reasons for that too though. Honestly though, that said Evangelion really compounded my depression on first viewing and I didn't go back for quite a while after that (I was a teenager when I watched it and it messed with my head in ways I couldn't really deal with). That obviously means it had an impact, but that's not always a good thing depending on what that impact is. I still love it but yeah :/

Bokurano
Dai-Guard
(The Vision of) Escaflowne
Eureka Seven
FLCL (if it counts lol)
Gunbuster
Gunbuster 2/Diebuster
Gundam 0079 Movie Trilogy Version
Gundam 0080 War in the Pocket
Gurren Lagann (though I don't like it as much as some people here do - I much prefer Kill la Kill)
Patlabor movies (1 and 2 were best though 3 still has some things going for it)
Rahxephon

I honestly quite liked Gasaraki the only thing about it I found distasteful was the nationalism, and the ending was a bit rubbish but it was mostly enjoyable for me, I thought they incorporated traditional noh dancing/theatre/rituals(?) with the mecha really well :)

Series on my list of stuff to watch:

Armored Trooper Votoms
The Big O
Code Geass - I have actually watched the first season and some of the second, wanna finish it tho)
Darling in the Franxx
Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan
Flag
Full Metal Panic (I have actually seen Seasons 1-3 but not 4 or 5, if I'm honest the first season was my fave of the ones I have seen but I liked some things about Fumoffu and Second Raid as well)
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (though I find it's portrayal of trans/crossdressing characters to be cruel and inaccurate, based on offensive stereotypes)
Ghost in the Shell (I wanna rewatch the first movie and SAC TV and movies cuz it's been sooo long I'd need to see what I think of it now and I'm not sure I ever finished the second season of SAC, I certainly didn't watch Solid State Society in full and would really like to)
Giant Robo: The Animation (OVA series)
Godannar (those hilarious ADV trailers sold me on it XD)
Gundam - some of the many series out there, but not all of them
(SDF) Macross, Do You Remember Love? and Macross Frontier
(SDC) Orguss (I think this had mechs? I remember enjoying what I saw of it)
Patlabor TV and OVAs (I have actually seen the first OVA series, I wasn't head over heels but it was years ago so I'm willing to give it another try)
Planet With (words cannot express how stoked I am to see this series)
SSSS. Gridman (tho again I don't think I'll like this as much as others did - I saw the first half or so and it was good but not the best)

I loved the Knights of Sidonia manga, wasn't as keen on the anime.

I'm also curious to know if anyone here is a fan of either Sym-Bionic Titan or Exo-Squad? Two US cartoons with a mecha element that I really enjoyed (though I haven't finished Exo-Squad yet but it's definitely something I will finish).

I will try and post deeper thoughts on some of these other titles in this thread at some point :) Question: Is there a magical girl thread on AUKN forums? I'm no expert but might be a good idea for someone to make one :)
 

MD_Prometh

Brigade Leader
Some aspects of Eva's story can take some filling in the blanks, but that is primarily related to the lore. Stuff like the psychology themes and character related stuff I feel are made pretty obvious through the show itself. I do find that people can read too much into the religious symbolism, when it's there to evoke a mood ala Ultraman and Devilman.

https://www.gwern.net/otaku This is probably the best Eva source you can find on the internet.
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
Question: Is there a magical girl thread on AUKN forums? I'm no expert but might be a good idea for someone to make one :)
I second the Prof's sentiments. There wasn't a general mecha thread either until I started this one, so all it needs is someone to do just that. 😗~♪
[hint, hint]
 
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