Miscellaneous mecha discussion thread

ayase

State Alchemist
My brain is too Franxxed to think of a title

That was great. I'd have watched a whole show about Wernher and the events portrayed in this episode. Almost Ghost in the Shell levels of considering where science and technology has the potintial to lead and what it means to be human. Interesting that he rejected immortality and valued human reproduction despite being pretty amoral and unfeeling otherwise. But I can see his point that a humanity that simply exists to exist would become utterly stagnant and pointless. And judging by the society they have now, he seems to have been proven correct. He's obviously done some questionable things, but he seems as trapped in the system as the kids are, and everything he does he clearly does for his dream as well.

I was glad Zorome brought up what was certainly the major thing I was considering as the flashback progressed - What do Papa and APE see as the purpose, not only of the parasites' existence but of humanity's at this point? You've screwed up the Earth, reduced humanity to a colony species and instead of bringing them to the top, you've sent them back to the bottom tier of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs where all of their resources are invested in simply fighting for survival. I admit that I'm pretty unenthusiastic about the survival of humanity even at this point, but I'd think by that point, certainly the rational scientific minds would be thinking maybe it's just time for the whole species to call it quits and let the Klaxosaurs inherit the Earth. Back to my man Wernher, who presumably, has concocted a third way...
ERM. This was the episode you were all on about earlier, wasn't it?

::insert sigh which lasts for approximately seven seconds::

Let me do this in order, okay? Allow me to collect my thoughts as I'm typing.

Well. It might have been a plan, but it wasn't a very well thought-out plan, was it Wernher? Your fatal mistake was forgetting that you're in an anime, and as was discussed earlier, given the choice between you, with your flaws and complexity and years of planning and dedication leading up to this moment, all for her, of course the sexy monster princess is going to choose the dull as dishwater teenage audience insert over you.

But then we needed something to come between our main couple (double-entendre not actually intended on this occasion, but for a minute there I thought maybe she would, all those tentacles...) mainly to give Zero Two an opportunity to be cool again since Hiro's dullness has clearly rubbed off on her (again, not intentional). Oh no, might Princess Klaxosaur even be a better Zero Two at this point? Please get your fire back Zero Two, I don't want to have to relegate you.

So the Franxx are reverse engineered Klaxosaurs? That's cool. That makes sense. I'm not sure exactly why anyone seems particularly bothered by this revelation though.

Now then. (Remain calm. Breathe) All these mysteries they set up throughout the series. All my questions about the nature of this society and the motives of its rulers. My genuine interest to see how the kids were going to go about overthrowing this unjust system. That's the answer I'm getting, is it? Ffffffffff

So I'm four episodes from the end. I feel I can say this now, and if I'm proved wrong I am more than willing to eat my words. Darling in the Franxx is a show that does not know what the Hell it wants to be. It was sold to me (not by anyone here I hasten to add, I would have bought and watched it anyway, you bear no responsibility for my actions) as a mecha show with an added focus on romantic/sexual relationships. For the first dozen or so episodes, that was certainly what it looked and felt like it was going to be. Things were moving in the right direction, the characters and their relationships were developing in the normal way you expect characters to develop (you know, things like remembering events that had happened previously and learning from their experiences). Things made some general kind of sense.

Then in the last five or six episodes, what on Earth happened? The characters have been all over the place. Previous development has gone out of the window. Plot-points that have gone nowhere and therefore seem completely superflous were introduced and seemingly forgotten about, sometimes within the course of a single episode. And now, rather than spend the remainder of the series unravelling the mysteries of the world and building those characters and their relationships (back) up further, 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.
And I've not forgotten about your previous post, @ayase. Still more typing to be done.
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.
 
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Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Final edit and such but why can't this series focus more on Goro, seriously. Goddamn.

It's definitely not the entire reason, but 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, which is very rare in Japan because voice actors become very entwined with the character in the minds of fans. So they may have reduced his role more than intended in a few places while the voice actor's condition was up in the air. It affected other shows too (very noticeably the LotGH remake, where his cut-down role was glaringly obvious while he was unavailable for recording). LotGH was working off existing source material, of course, but with Franxx they had more freedom to shift scenes around or change focus. I wouldn't be surprised if it led to a few changes.

R
 
I might not have read it like that if not for the fact that Franxx is very obviously a show about sex and relationships and its metaphors are in no way subtle.
Oh yeah, I totally see where you're coming from, I just meant to say that for whatever reason I didn't happen to perceive it that way despite the overt insinuations when I watched the series previously. That's why it will be interesting when I watch Franxx again with this in mind. I suspect it's because, as you mentioned, to me he just came across very asexual and even though I interpreted him as genuinely caring for Kokoro, I feel he was voluntarily partaking in the sex & conceiving to please his partner. Like @Neil.T, I honestly don't recall Kokoro being that nasty or manipulative, regardless of how horrid her betrayal of her first partner was, but then again I think being dishonest about her feelings and stringing him along, with both eventually being miserable would have been the bigger betrayal. Or in the end maybe I'm just remembering it all wrong or with rose-tinted glasses heh.

Utada actually did write it for the film
Aaahh that is good to know and makes sense given how beautifully it closes out that movie, delivering one final gut-punch on its way out heheh. And on that matter actually, is there any chance AL will release the Eva soundtrack and Utada's Eva singles on cd? I collect those but have no intention of developing another expensive hobby in collecting vinyls so am forlornly looking at the ones currently on offer...
[ SPOILER ] [ /SPOILER ] rather than ISPOILER, add ="title goes here" inside the brackets after SPOILER to add a title or press the symbol that has the eye crossed out and the code gets added for you. Equally if you've written something you think is spoilery you can highlight the text and press the symbol and everything highlighted will be in the bracketed section.
Thanks for the info dude, much appreciated!

Also in Mitsuru, very nicely summarised @Neil.T,
I agree that though his Hiro arc is a lot of melodrama, I can completely see his juvenile interpretation of Hiro's unintentional actions as betrayal on a massive scale, certainly in that context. I was clearly a far less reasonable teen than you lot and, not unlike Mitsuru, would overanalyze and assume disloyalty/betrayal over the most retarded things back then...
Please get your fire back Zero Two
Hiro's personality rubbing off on Zero Two was certainly very irritating, given how great a character she is, though I think she perks up somewhat at the end. I have the same issues with this series, in that it picks up so many interesting concepts and just doesn't develop them in the end (though the overall plot in the vein Gunbuster/Eva/Lagaan I didn't mind and felt was hinted all along if remembering correctly, and also the protagonists' relationship certainly got me but the other characters not so much, which was disappointing).
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Like @Neil.T, I honestly don't recall Kokoro being that nasty or manipulative, regardless of how horrid her betrayal of her first partner was, but then again I think being dishonest about her feelings and stringing him along, with both eventually being miserable would have been the bigger betrayal. Or in the end maybe I'm just remembering it all wrong or with rose-tinted glasses heh.
I don’t think she was supposed to be, but I do think the way she and Mitsuru were written (particularly Mitsuru, it’s more the way he is written that I think makes her character look worse) made it difficult for me to buy their relationship as being very real. I felt like she genuinely loved him, sure, but I never really felt like he loved her. And I don’t have anything against her for leaving Futoshi, I think people are always better off calling it quits if they're not feeling it.

I can completely see his juvenile interpretation of Hiro's unintentional actions as betrayal on a massive scale, certainly in that context. I was clearly a far less reasonable teen than you lot and, not unlike Mitsuru, would overanalyze and assume disloyalty/betrayal over the most retarded things back then...
Just as Neil seems to have helped João towards a better understanding of Mitsuru, perhaps you’ve helped open my eyes a bit there. Maybe one of the reasons I called his motivations wrongly and found his character difficult to understand is that love (and probably, money) is the only thing I can imagine would cause me that much resentment towards somebody I considered a friend, as a teenager or indeed now. Huh.

I think a major problem I have had during the second half of this series is that it seems to invite deeper analysis and questioning and then let me down with its answers. And it’s not as though I even went into the series expecting anything deep, but its initial run of episodes set that up by it striking a more serious and thoughtful tone. Hiro and Zero Two have unlocked their forgotten past. What will they do now they are reunited, powered up and in possession of their full memories? Get out their colouring pencils. What are the sinister end-goals of the Klaxosaurs and TPTB? They’re aliens fighting an intergalactic war.

Even the bright spot in these last couple of episodes, the revelation of Wernher’s story and motivations, came to an unceremonious conclusion. In that moment, when he was declaring to Klaxosaur Princess that she couldn’t pilot the Star Entity without him, I was actually quite hype. 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.
 

João Gomes

Great Teacher
@Rui Thank you for that info, I can't help but wonder what could've been, if circumstances had been normal.

I don't know if it's just confirmation bias on my end, but now that I know that, the way he kind of gets brushed to the side does feel sudden...

What a shame.
 

Neil.T

The Wildcard
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

The Wildcard
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?
 
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 operators. 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).
 

RadFemHedonist

Great Teacher
@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

Combat Butler
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.
 
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

Death Scythe
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.
 
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