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View Poll Results: What is your view on mecha in anime?
I love giant robots! 28 44.44%
I am okay with mecha in anime 16 25.40%
I am indifferent and mecha has no impact on how I view a show 17 26.98%
I hate mecha and refuse to watch a show if it has giant robots in it 2 3.17%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-10-30, 06:05   Link #41
Pocari_Sweat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragoonKain3 View Post
Macross is what got me into anime, so naturally I would love giant robots (and by extension, in the eternal war of Real Robots vs Super Robots, I'm in the Real Robot side).
Same with me. Except I watched the English dubbed Robotech version and I was 12 years or so at the time and didn't know it was "anime". Came back 4-5 years later and appreciated it even more. I am also too more on the Real Robot side. It was also the anime where I appreciate the first of the character archetype known as "tsundere" through Misa Hayase (or Lisa Hayes I think it was in English).
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Old 2011-10-30, 11:33   Link #42
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
However, I think what hinders mecha as a genre/element in the internet age, is that its novelty appeal has worn off. There was a time when mecha was fresh, new, exciting, and truly captured the imagination of futurists and technologists of all ages (but especially young bright kids and teenagers, of course). There was just something indescribably cool about a giant, flashy robot that you could personally pilot, and would act as an extension of your own will (to borrow from C.A.'s excellent point). It mixed the hot-blooded testosterone-fueled fun of being a race car driver or a fighter jet pilot with the technological awe and wonder of sci-fi.

Then, in time, we saw Gundam do such a superb job in incorporating giant mechas (or "mobile suits") into conventional futuristic warfare. The mechas became superb vehicles to help explore sociopolitical issues, as well as speculate as to what the future could be like.

But over time, the novelty did begin to wear off. Advances in animation technology managed to keep things a bit dynamic as newer mechas became increasingly elaborate and impressive looking in comparison to most older ones, but things have now just about plateaued here.
Mecha has been quite innovative over time though, NGE introduced seikai-kei, Gundam Seed mixed mecha with J-Drama, Code Geass and Macross Frontier gave us mecha for otaku. Recent OVA like Unicorn and Votoms for the nostalgia crowd. It keeps changing.

I do agree there has been a decline in the numbers but that it's hard to pinpoint a single cause. For example the consolidations in the toymarket in Japan have limited the number of possible sponsors for a few dozen to two (Bandai and Takara Tomy). Greater influence of Japanese PTA organisations made networks more hesitant to broadcast anime wth more mature themes.

Maybe the single largest influence has been the economic crisis. The decline in the popularity of mecha, and sci-fi in general, has coincided with the changed fortunes of Japan. People are afraid of their personal future, not abstract threats like the cold war or the the environment and there is less interest in what the far future will look like, the the areas where mecha traditionally shines. People are concerned about the short term: jobs, partners, a place to live. It's not surprising that anime went with the times and now mainly focuses on bringing escape and diversion to safe places (high school) and perfect friendships that never were. It's not to surprising that only anime targeted at the shonen demographic are more adventurist, as kids of that age are still to young to worry about the daily grind. You can see the same effect in the west in recent years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The mecha is an extension of the pilot, just as a sword is an extension of s/he who wields it. Tight associations need to be made between each notable individual mecha and its pilot. Colorful but practical and easy-to-remember names should be given to the mecha.

Char Aznable is an anime character that has transcended time to a degree, one of a precious few pre-NGE anime characters to be commonly known among most modern anime fans (I get the impression, anyway). Char's charismatic personality is part of the reason why, to be sure, but I think it also helped that him and his Red Comet were so tightly associated with each other. When you saw the Red Comet, you saw Char. When you saw Char in his Zeon uniform or civilian clothes, you instantly became excited at the prospect of him being in the Red Comet.

In future mecha anime shows, allow the mecha and the (wo)man to become associated with one another, infusing the mecha with the character's personality, and making the character seem empowered and emboldened by his personal mecha.
Char Aznable is the Red Comet, it's not the name of his mecha. It's a title/nick name like the Red Baron of WWI. His most famous mecha is the Zaku II but he used tons of different mecha, nearly all of them painted red. Charactes tend to be associated with colors or color shemes rather then particular mecha (as those get replaced frequently). This also allows toy manufactures to make different toys with the same design/mold by only changing the color.

It would be hard for any new (mecha) anime character to reach the same level of recognition as Char due to media fragmentation. Char is a cultural icon in Japan on par with Darth Vader. Most people in Japan will have heard of him and Gundam in general even if they never watched anime, so it's not surprising that he is well known. Shows like Gundam and Kamen Rider are famous toy empires much like Transformers and Star Wars and like the latter have been around for decades. As Gundam never really reached Western mainstream audiences (except Wing for a very short time) it's not surprising he is only known in anime circles in the West.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DragoonKain3 View Post
Macross is what got me into anime, so naturally I would love giant robots (and by extension, in the eternal war of Real Robots vs Super Robots, I'm in the Real Robot side).
The real vs super debate has become pretty trivial these days. Sure, there are some distinguishing tropes left but both overlap to a large extent. "Real" hasn't been about serious storytelling with realistic physics anymore, and "Super" has become a lot more complex with both mixing elements. I haven't seen any serious debate on it for years except in SRW circles where it matters for stats.
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Old 2011-10-31, 12:42   Link #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fanty View Post
Technobabble differs from other kinds of nonsense in that technology actually exists. It's a real thing, and so when it starts getting severely bent out of shape and all logic is butchered, many viewers lose their suspension of disbelief.

Stuff like psychic powers and magic and stuff along those lines doesn't actually exist, and so, the writers can come up with anything they want, most viewers won't have any trouble accepting it. If psychic powers existed, then viewers would be much less accepting of stories that tamper with them.
I was more pointing towards deep psychological topics in anime, not magic

At least the technobabble can be defined
Yes, most Mechafans -and the military- already found out that humanoid giant robots are not world's best weapon
but the background for its technology -if well thought out- makes for interesting theories

whereas in psychological stories you can glue lala- and cuckooland together and still it makes sense
because you can infinitely pull traumas and psychosises psychological rejection/acceptance
out of your butt to discuss a character's motivation for his/her actions

So those Mecha anime that aren't easily poked full of holes are a lot harder to make then the 'wet finger in the air' 'discuss till you turn blue' 'undefined' stories
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Old 2011-10-31, 16:24   Link #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
At least the technobabble can be defined
Yes, most Mechafans -and the military- already found out that humanoid giant robots are not world's best weapon
but the background for its technology -if well thought out- makes for interesting theories

whereas in psychological stories you can glue lala- and cuckooland together and still it makes sense
because you can infinitely pull traumas and psychosises psychological rejection/acceptance
out of your butt to discuss a character's motivation for his/her actions

So those Mecha anime that aren't easily poked full of holes are a lot harder to make then the 'wet finger in the air' 'discuss till you turn blue' 'undefined' stories
Characters that feel real, with believable motivations are hard to create too, which is why you don't see them as often as I'd like. If you can pull half a dozen contradictory theories "out of your butt" as to why they act as they do there's probably something wrong with the writing. Or maybe you're just deluded or a literature student

Nothing wrong with a bit of technobabble here and there if you like it. My problem was that before I'd seen any mecha anime I gained the impression that the main focus of, and interest in these shows was the mecha's awesomeness and fine technical specifications. Which put me off for a long time. Someone starting out today probably wouldn't form such a mistaken idea.

Last edited by ujiuji; 2011-10-31 at 16:32. Reason: Attribution.
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Old 2011-11-01, 04:59   Link #45
Akuma Kinomoto
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Maybe it's just me, but options 2 and 3 are very close to each other.

Anyway, as a general rule of thumb I tend to like the series that treat their mecha as simply another vehicle rather than it becoming a representation of the pilot, and by extension a series focusing on the robot itself. Then again, I rather enjoyed the Zoids series (except Fuzors) and that's pretty much toy advertising 101, so I dunno (maybe robotic dinosaurs are just really awesome).
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Old 2011-11-01, 08:06   Link #46
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I usualy dont watch it. But Neon Genesis Evangelion is the only one, very big exception. NGE makes it(from my point of view) the most logical and most realistic way, i have ever seen. Watching it, makes it feel like, that these things could be realy possible.
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Old 2011-11-01, 15:17   Link #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ujiuji View Post
Characters that feel real, with believable motivations are hard to create too, which is why you don't see them as often as I'd like.
Actually, you never see them, usually it's one certain trait that defines a 'complicated' character

Quote:
If you can pull half a dozen contradictory theories "out of your butt" as to why they act as they do there's probably something wrong with the writing. Or maybe you're just deluded or a literature student
I meant for the minute details 'tech-savvy' otaku have with mecha, some people apply to psychological shows as well
trying to 'read' certain characters 1-dimensional 'flaw' as if it were a world to explore and map

Oh, in practice, I never pull things out of my butt, but in theory I'm World's best magician


Quote:
Nothing wrong with a bit of technobabble here and there if you like it. My problem was that before I'd seen any mecha anime I gained the impression that the main focus of, and interest in these shows was the mecha's awesomeness and fine technical specifications. Which put me off for a long time. Someone starting out today probably wouldn't form such a mistaken idea.
I'll agree
When you're 10 years old, a giant robot kicking the crap out of planets really has no equal
and when technology still looks like modern day magic, it gathers a very 'analysing' fanbase
but these days, mecha shows play second fiddle to "thinking" or "reality" type of shows
the robots are old and outdated (or soon will be), so makers of these shows try to only use them as icing on a cake, or if not, certainly not for an older audience

Me, I still enjoy Robots applying 50,000kN to dislodge a titanium mangan fortified, 45 inch caliber,
3 axis-targeting, pulse width modulated, Ion plasma, repetitive, smoothbore cannon
and then by a 53.7 angle, hurdle it exactly into the location of the 7000.07 tonne flying battlefortress bridge, where 59 crewmembers
(including 3 navigators, 5 communication officers, 2 operations officers and their assistant ensign,
1 helmsman, 2 security agents, head physician and wanted collaborator, oh, the second in command died 3 episodes ago
and apparently hasn't been replaced) and the main antagonist, die in a 567 megaton explosion which has a radius blast of 367050 miles
the protagonist only barely escapes by applying 20% more power taken from the lifesupportsystem taking him to mach 29.34

AKA:: throw the gun into the bad guy's face, then get the hell out of there


instead of todays 'mecha shows' where the tormented girl, who 7 years ago lost her chilhood friend in a horrible accident (spontatious selfcombustion),
but now has a crush on a boy, -who walks around disguised as a girl who acts like a tomboy-
can only come to terms with her feelings driving to the mountain lookout point which holds so many favourable
memories of her haunted past on her Vespa

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Old 2011-11-02, 05:08   Link #48
Jazzrat
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Like most guys, I like mecha genre unless it's over loli moe-ified. It's the knight in shiny armor of our time.
I grew up with stuff like macross, voltron, transformer, patlabor and battletech.

So far the only gripe I have these days with them is that most of the offerings are very shounen oriented. Wish
There are more series that doesn't have the hero mowing fodder mecha with godlike power.

So far my favourite mecha design are those in battletech universe and front mission. Too bad neither have much chance of being animated
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Old 2011-11-07, 04:54   Link #49
Hiroi Sekai
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I quite dislike the mecha genre- the idea of pilots fighting each other in giant robots had exhausted itself quickly in my case, and I questioned how such a singular concept could give birth to so many episodes and seasons.

Then, I realized that just like anything else in the world, there are exceptions. Fantastic exceptions, I might add. Macross Frontier had such likable characters and great music that it was easy to get into, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had a unique visual style and raw action alongside a new type of plot, and Code Geass didn't even focus on the robots but instead used them in the main idea of the cat and mouse idea. It all depends on how it's done, and I know I'll keep finding exceptions to what I consider to be a somewhat tired genre.
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Old 2011-11-07, 05:46   Link #50
Stiletto
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I really enjoy mecha anime, and I'll watch most anything long has it's in my preferences.
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