Miscellaneous mecha discussion thread

Neil.T

Titan
FranXX miscellanea:

I feel even more sorry for you having just written the above post, Neil. Ever consider getting a tablet with one of those little fold-out keyboards? Your thumbs are going to be absolutely killing.
Don't be. (Yes, that was an Eva reference.)

I write what I write entirely voluntarily because there are things I want to try to put across, so it's all good. And I've never particularly considered investing in another device for posting. I'm not very quick at typing anyway, so I wouldn't really gain a lot there. The increase in screen space would be helpful, but...

(I love how you say that my thumbs'll be killing me: I've never been able to fathom how people can type on a smartphone using two thumbs. I type all my posts using just a combination of my right index finger and the word suggestions. 😅)


But if we're accepting this is the case, that definitely does make Kokoro's behaviour more dodgy, doesn't it?
...
which might in any other circumstances (and almost certainly if their genders were reversed) not possibly be considered a bit... groom-y
About Kokoro:
I think it would be considered like that, yeah. None of the kids have had anything close to a "normal" upbringing, mind, and then they start to learn all these new things, and... it results in a lot of emotional confusion.

Nana and whatzizname
It's Hachi. 😆
Nana is Japanese for the number 7, and hachi is number 8.
I'm annoyed at myself for missing the chance to drop in this bit of trivia before, so I'll make up for it now: in a neat twist of fate, Nana and Hachi are voiced in Japanese by Marina Inoue and Katsuyuki Konishi, who you might know better as Yōko and Kamina respectively in Gurren Lagann.

Next, back to Mitsuru:
he just came across very asexual
(I'll leave this outside of spoilers.)

This, again, hits the nail absolutely on the head for me. Perhaps I can so easily identify with this because, for the longest time, I possibly came across to people like that myself in real life. That, too, was an emotional defense mechanism. In fact, some years ago, a former workmate did actually once jokingly assess me as "asexual" in character.

This next part risks self-indulgence again and certainly doesn't belong in this thread, but perhaps in an effort to address any potential misconception of real-life persona that could've been created by that previous paragraph, I'd say that I feel more like I can see a bit of myself in Jirō from Studio Ghibli's The Wind Rises, who seems to be similarly viewed as removed from the arena of romance. There's a scene where Jirō tells his bosses that he's expecting a letter from his fiancée, and they react with hilarity. "You're engaged?!" one sputters. "He's human after all!" roars the other.

(The English dub actually adds a winning extra gag to the script: "I thought you'd marry an airplane!")

In an interesting twist to this topic that I just remembered as I was typing this, I'll add that I myself was once misconceived as gay in a particular instance back in school and unexpectedly experienced being on the receiving end of a quite sinister homophobic remark. The shocking bit is that it came not from a bully as you'd perhaps expect, but from a teacher! And a Religious Education teacher at that!

there was some drama at the time the show was in production/airing where Goro's voice actor (a reasonably popular chap whose career was really taking off) became very unwell during the second half and in the end they had to do a temporary recasting
Just to add to Rui's point for the sake of @João Gomes, Gorō's original VA was replaced for the last two episodes, 23 and 24:

You'd really never know, though, because his stand-in did an absolutely incredible job of voice-matching the character.


Moving on to episode 20:
it appears we are going to be spending it fighting Gunbuster's space monsters following what must surely go down as one of the most epic ass-pulls in fictional history. Was this series actually written on the fly, like did they have any idea where they were going with it from one episode to the next? Because as of right now, it certainly doesn't feel like it.
In all honesty, ayase, you're probably going to dislike everything that comes after this point. I know that I certainly did on my first watch. The VIRM twist broke my trust in the writing, and I became a reluctant passenger for the rest of the journey. I'd also have agreed with you that the script didn't seem to know what it wanted to do.

That was only on the first viewing, though. I later came to appreciate that the story is far too intricate to have been cobbled together on the fly. As a FranXX veteran, all I can suggest is that you try to just ride out the rest of it, as unsatisfying as that's likely to feel.

And lastly...
is there any chance AL will release the Eva soundtrack and Utada's Eva singles on cd?
I certainly hope so. That's what I'm holding out for too.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
all I can suggest is that you try to just ride out the rest of it, as unsatisfying as that's likely to feel.
Oh, I will do. It’s very rare for me to drop anything (especially not anything I’ve paid for a physical copy of, or this late in the game) given that I don’t normally even bother starting anything I don’t think I’ll be into.
In an interesting twist to this topic that I just remembered as I was typing this, I'll add that I myself was once misconceived as gay in a particular instance back in school and unexpectedly experienced being on the receiving end of a quite sinister homophobic remark. The shocking bit is that it came not from a bully as you'd perhaps expect, but from a teacher! And a Religious Education teacher at that!
I think anyone not sufficiently outgoing/nerdy/with no opposite sex friends/otherwise abnormal has that thrown at them at school, I know I did (at least not from a teacher though, that’s particularly crappy). My observations certainly weren’t meant as a disparagement of Mitsuru though, I just genuinely thought that was the way they were going with his character and franxxly, if he had been gay, it would have been quite a sensitive portrayal of someone struggling with their homosexuality in an otherwise very heterosexual environment. Better than they did with Ikuno, actually...
 

Neil.T

Titan
I don’t normally even bother starting anything I don’t think I’ll be into.
Yeah, I'm the same. It'd feel like a wasted investment of time otherwise.

I think anyone not sufficiently outgoing/nerdy/with no opposite sex friends/otherwise abnormal has that thrown at them at school
Yes, unfortunately so. It was definitely par for the course at my school.

As for the thing with the teacher I alluded to before, I might expand on that in The General Conversation Area; it could make for an interesting topic, perhaps.

My observations certainly weren’t meant as a disparagement of Mitsuru though
Oh, absolutely not. I know that, ayase; that honestly goes without saying. And likewise from my side; I was just drawing what I felt was an interesting connection between a person's outward sexuality being seemingly repressed and other people's attempts to explain the reason for that. It's quite interesting how homosexuality can apparently end up becoming a kind of go-to explanation.

Better than they did with Ikuno, actually...
Oh...? I actually thought it was rather tastefully handled. You weren't so keen, then?
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Vampire Ninja
Even the bright spot in these last couple of episodes, the revelation of Wernher’s story and motivations, came to an unceremonious conclusion.......There was me thinking that having a similar couple to Hiro and Zero Two as the big bads of the series, but one-sided and forced together through necessity, would provide a nice mirror of the negative power that love and obsession can have to the central couple’s positive reinforcement of each other and render Papa & Co. suddenly irrelevant. But nope, sorry, bye lol.
Likely down, partly to having read critiques beforehand, and partly at some point (probably around when Zero Two became Hiro Two) realising the fascinating concepts won't be getting the developments they deserve, I stopped having much expectation in this regard but what you posit regarding Wernher & the Princess would have made a fantastic story (I already felt he was a particular character sold very, very short with his background story on motivations and love overall, but as with other things with the show by then I didn't put much heed into it). A shame when you think of what could have been, perhaps an Eva level of analysis of this aspect of relationships...
I type all my posts using just a combination of my right index finger and the word suggestions. 😅
As a fellow phone-poster, I don't think I could do traditional phone typing and so use the predictive swipe functions. For me that's still a heck of a lot slower than just typing on a keyboard, down to having to constantly edit the predictive texts (when I notice) heh.
I possibly came across to people like that myself in real life. That, too, was an emotional defense mechanism. In fact, some years ago, a former workmate did actually once jokingly assess me as "asexual" in character.
The emotional defense aspect is one very logical cause if you like, but I'd add that it may also result from putting a higher value on the emotional/mental aspects in relationships. As an example, I often separate and put more emphasis on the emotional fulfillment in relationships far more than the physical intimacy (hence being an unexpectedly happy sucker for those pure love romance anime for escapism purposes).
And a Religious Education teacher at that!
What a shame... Probably why I tend to do a 180 around preachy religious types, as I find they are more likely to be complete hypocrites, even if it is inadvertent, preaching love & acceptance for all as long the "all" is only the chosen ones that align with their own subjective preferences...
Oh...? I actually thought it was rather tastefully handled. You weren't so keen, then?
Yeah for me too I think this was another facet that was implied, started and then left hanging without any proper development. It just abruptly ended with her getting together with Hiro's previous co-pilot with no emphasis or commentary on how she seemingly accepted her sexuality and maybe even realised that it's physical limitations are just societal constructs and diktats to force the requirements of a "fulfilling relationship" (ie the notion that you must be able to pilot with or must be able to copulate with to conceive, otherwise it's not a "true" coupling).
 
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RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
@Neil.T @Geriatric hedgehog I used to think I might be asexual during part of my 20s but suspected it was my birth control pills (and possibly my depression as well) making me feel that way and eventually I just stopped taking them (relying on other methods instead) because I needed to know what the cause was and it turned out that it was totally the BC pills. It still horrifies and disturbs me that for the most part neither my friends or any of the medical professionals I talked to really seemed to believe what I said or view my problem as an actual problem. Like I felt miserable and numb and no one really cared or at least no one seemed to have any real understanding. I'm also someone who would never be happy with a relationship no matter how loving it was if the sex wasn't really good. So it's interesting to hear from men who have different perspectives and experiences of that. I don't wanna derail the thread too much from the discussion of mecha anime so sorry if I am but it's just life I guess, seldom consistently on one topic...

...

...

Shinji best girl? :) (Jk jk well I do love him but like as in it's not a serious attempt to start a discussion/argument/war on the topic). I've been thinking a lot about Full Metal Panic lately and how I honestly remember much preferring the first season to Fumoffu or TSR (not watched Invisible Victory or Season 5 if that's come out yet but I do have the AL CE of Invisible Victory). There were things I liked about all of the first three anime adaptations.... I'm thinking maybe I should just read the novels? What do other fans of the franchise think? :)
 

WMD

Cardcaptor
I've been thinking a lot about Full Metal Panic lately and how I honestly remember much preferring the first season to Fumoffu or TSR (not watched Invisible Victory or Season 5 if that's come out yet but I do have the AL CE of Invisible Victory). There were things I liked about all of the first three anime adaptations.... I'm thinking maybe I should just read the novels? What do other fans of the franchise think? :)
I love the anime. Fumoffu is my favourite. I watch it pretty regularly. Invisible Victory is very good. It's very high tempo story telling and the audio drama in the AL set that adapts the book that comes between Second Raid and Invisible Victory is also worth checking out.

So I've recently started the books and have read the first three that essentially adapt the 3 main arcs of season 1. The Behemoth arc (2nd book) is actually much better in book form I thought. The others are good too. I'm certainly going to carry on reading them.

Dont know if you're aware but j novel club have started releases them in nice hard back omnibus form. 3 in 1 releases. 2 books released so far which covers seasons 1 and 2 and has the audio drama story as well. It's worth pointing out that the anime season 1 has extra stuff that you dont see in the novels.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Vampire Ninja
it turned out that it was totally the BC pills. It still horrifies and disturbs me that for the most part neither my friends or any of the medical professionals I talked to really seemed to believe what I said or view my problem as an actual problem.
I'm often responsible for veering off topic but just wanted to add that you had an unfortunate experience as those are known to cause mood disturbances and I've known of a lot of people coming off of them as a result so, for what it's worth, I can completely see them having caused your issues previously.

The FMP series is on my shelf with lots of others awaiting a watch still so can't add anything on that heh.
 

Girls with Guns

Combat Butler
I've only seen the first season of FMP, but I will probably never watch Fumoffu, as I don't like comedy, and it's especially obnoxious in anime. I'm looking forward to Second Raid because I heard it was more serious than the first season. And I've heard a lot of good things about Invisible Victory. I'm holding off on watching any more of the series though, because that is one I will be showing to the neighbor couple later this summer.

On a side note, my Best Girl for FMP (for the first season, at least) is Tessa, the Captain.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
It's quite interesting how homosexuality can apparently end up becoming a kind of go-to explanation.
It’s certainly unfortunate that it does (though I feel mainly among children, and those who never outgrow their childish desire to mock people who don’t conform) for both the sake of gay people whose sexuality is used as an insult and those who might be hurt or have their social standing hurt by being wrongly labelled, but I did genuinely think Mitsuru seemed pretty into Hiro, especially given his internal thoughts that the audience is privy to. It’s not something I’d level at a character (or a person) solely due to their apparent lack of interest in sex. On reflection I can see how it might have seemed that way, given that apparently not everyone seems to have drawn the same conclusion I did. But in the back of my mind was also the “this is a show about sex and relationships” thing, which may also have coloured my judgement, especially given the focus on the romantic entanglements of many of the other main characters. It was really a case of “Oh, this might make things interesting and complicated” and when it didn’t make things interesting and complicated, I was probably also a bit disappointed by that.

Oh...? I actually thought it was rather tastefully handled. You weren't so keen, then?
No, it was alright, but I still think Mitsuru made the better repressed gay even though he wasn’t! :p We never really got to see very deeply into Ikuno’s thoughts I didn’t think, though her actions seemed heartfelt and genuine.
 

Neil.T

Titan
@ayase, @João Gomes:

This is a question I'd intended to bust out only after you guys had finished the series, but now actually seems like the perfect time, so:

How would you both respond to criticisms levelled at Darling in the FranXX that its piloting system for the robots, requiring one male and female pilot, makes the series inherently homophobic?
 

ayase

State Alchemist
How would you respond
Initially by rolling my eyes and then trying to resist the very tempting, cheeky urge to bait such people by implying their own argument is transphobic, I imagine.

If I were able to resist that particular course of action, I’d likely point out that it has been explained that the Klaxosaurs (and by extension the Franxx) are semi-biological in nature and require xx and xy chromosomes in order to function, in a likely allusion to sexual reproduction as one of the show’s themes (not unlike the womb allegory of the Evas). I would further ask if sexual reproduction is therefore homophobic. Depending on the answer to that, I would either continue or leave the discussion.

The show has made no negative comments about gay people, in Mitsu Ikuno it has a perfectly sympathetic gay character and I don’t think the fact Ikuno can’t pilot a Franxx with Ichigo implies that she couldn’t still have a happy gay relationship with a woman. She just can’t pilot a Franxx with Ichigo in the same way she can’t conceive a child with her.

However. Is it a bit sexist by making the women (or presumably, judging by the more ambiguous Nines, those with the xx chromosomes) the bottoms in an obvious sex position configuration? Yeah, a bit.
 

Neil.T

Titan
I’d likely point out that it has been explained that the Klaxosaurs (and by extension the Franxx) are semi-biological in nature and require xx and xy chromosomes in order to function, in a likely allusion to sexual reproduction as one of the show’s themes.
Huh, would you look at that? I used that very same line of reasoning in one of my own posts:

The machine will only respond to a pairing of XX and XY chromosomes, much like how reproduction occurs.

The exception is the intersex pilots of the Nines. This ties neatly back in to the Stamen/Pistil designation of the male/female pilots respectively, and thus is also a reference to how plants are both male and female.

It's all a comment on the basic building blocks of life, and how, without both the male and the female components being present, new life (in this case represented by the activation of a FranXX) cannot be brought to bear.

I think it's very clever.

My argument was shot down, though, by an assertion that the biology viewpoint is the same as a line of thought commonly expressed by homophobes over what is or isn't "natural".
 

João Gomes

Hunter
@ayase, @João Gomes:

This is a question I'd intended to bust out only after you guys had finished the series, but now actually seems like the perfect time, so:

How would you both respond to criticisms levelled at Darling in the FranXX that its piloting system for the robots, requiring one male and female pilot, makes the series inherently homophobic?

I'd give the series some side-eye if Ikuno was ridiculed for her feelings, for instance, or if she couldn't pilot her Franxx or if I'd noticed some kind of negative pattern concerning lgbt characters.

As is, they had an idea for a story where one of the main themes is procreation and incorporated it over other facets and details of the plot, the way the mechas roll being one of them. There's nothing homophobic about it, no disrespect towards gay people nor insinuation thereof, no bury your gays trope or anything of the sort.

You could argue that I'm not the person to answer the question considering I'm an hetero dude, but that's my view on it, up to others to decide its value.

Does this criticism seriously exist? 🤔
 

ayase

State Alchemist
My argument was shot down, though, by an assertion that the biology viewpoint is the same as a line of thought commonly expressed by homophobes over what is or isn't "natural".
I’m not sure I’d go as far as to say “shot down”, maybe dinged the fuselage a little, where’s @thedoctor2016 ? We having this sortie again? :p

I think if we’re looking at what is “natural” from a biological standpoint (what else is nature?) then homosexuality is absolutely a naturally occurring biological mutation present in a percentage of humans as has been documented for thousands of years (and it’s probably worth pointing out, perfectly tolerated in most societies for most of that time). But it’s also an absolute biological truth that two people with the same sex chromosomes cannot conceive a child by natural means. If anyone wants to argue with that they’re more than welcome, but we might be straying a bit from the topic here...
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Please do not bait other users. Calling someone out over an argument from two years ago when they aren't currently participating in the thread is not cool.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Just to be clear, I'm not attempting to "own" you or anything here doc, if you are reading. I just thought with you having expressed a difference of opinion in the past it might be healthy to discussion and debate to have a dissenting voice, and perhaps my language seemed a little too derisive there, for which I apologise.
 

Neil.T

Titan
✋
And to add my own two cents' worth as well, my objective in raising this topic in the first place was to seek input on what I felt were scurrilous accusations against the series in question.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Vampire Ninja
I can see why one may go down a thought process to potentially find the set up dodgy but I guess it comes down to interpretation. My first reaction to that question was similar to others in that for me that is a reflection of simple, factual biology. However, this was another interesting concept for me as it could've been developed as a commentary on the attitudes of some in society who justify their homophobic views using nature as an excuse and thereby could also have been used, as I alluded to earlier, to demonstrate Ichigo's grappling with her sexuality and the preconceptions of how a society may only accept couplings where reproduction is the expected outcome (actually I just remembered that in Franxx's lore there is no standard reproduction any longer but rather cloning, so my latter point goes out the window...).
 
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