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Old 2013-02-25, 18:10   Link #1
Kyuu
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The death or evolution of the sci-fi and mecha genres

MOD EDIT: This thread was split off from the Growing out of anime thread, as it really began to take a life of its own. This post was chosen as the split point:





Two genres are particularly dying:

Mecha
Sci-fi

This is true regarding the space exploration type of stories. It seems as if the dream of going into outer space is dying for most people.

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-02-28 at 09:10.
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Old 2013-02-25, 19:20   Link #2
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Yeah, there's nothing in space to go. It's dark and boring and there's no sound.
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Old 2013-02-25, 20:51   Link #3
Azuma Denton
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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
The only problem I see in mecha is the size of it.... Ok, let me finish... Remember Voltes 5, etc.. They're big. Why? Their opponents are big in the first place. And why did they made it big, though they are small?

Is bigger cooler and mightier?
It's different genre, GenjiChan.
Voltes V, Gurren Lagann, Mazinger, etc is classified as Super Robot genre. While Gundam, Code Geass, Patlabor, etc is classified as Real Robot genre.

The one with Android army like Star Wars's clone is more fitted to Action Sci-Fi.

Why?
Mostly because, the bigger the mecha, the more nonsense things they make out. No one is questioning why Mazinger can simply transform into one giant golden fist. Now, imagine if Gundam RX-78 do the same.

Basicly its about classification set by Japanese itself.
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Old 2013-02-25, 20:53   Link #4
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Weren't the original gundams meant as a weapon against convential modern military weapons such as tanks and jets? What is the point of making them smaller if you only end up making them less effective against such weapons?
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Old 2013-02-25, 21:02   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuma Denton View Post
Now, imagine if Gundam RX-78 do the same.
have you watched Gundam G?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
Weren't the original gundams meant as a weapon against convential modern military weapons such as tanks and jets? What is the point of making them smaller if you only end up making them less effective against such weapons?
Budget? What does they have that national military government has has not? Mad scientist?
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Old 2013-02-25, 21:14   Link #6
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Originally Posted by hyl View Post
Weren't the original gundams meant as a weapon against convential modern military weapons such as tanks and jets? What is the point of making them smaller if you only end up making them less effective against such weapons?
Is that so? From a pure military prospective, something like a Gundam which stand tall and proud only make them a bigger target. I have a bunch of friends who are engineers in the Air Force and the Army, they all can agree Gundam is the dumbest concept as a military weapon...ever.

Making them smaller would be more effective as weapon i suppose
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Old 2013-02-25, 21:28   Link #7
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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
have you watched Gundam G?
Yesh

Quote:
Originally Posted by backbone View Post
Is that so? From a pure military prospective, something like a Gundam which stand tall and proud only make them a bigger target. I have a bunch of friends who are engineers in the Air Force and the Army, they all can agree Gundam is the dumbest concept as a military weapon...ever.

Making them smaller would be more effective as weapon i suppose
Errr, before we continuing OOT and being scold by mod here, better back on topic.
I believe that a similar thread exist in Gundam subforum.



Well, the one completely dying genre is anime about musician (BECK, Nana, etc). Mostly nowadays it's about idols (Idolm@ster, Love Live, AKB0048). But i certainly love to see anime story about rock-band.
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Old 2013-02-25, 21:52   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuma Denton View Post
Yesh
Then, speaking of military then looking at gundam mermaid. What will one think?

What a state of the art mermaid gundam they got there... Anderson would be so happy.. especially kids!!! LOLS
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Old 2013-02-25, 22:55   Link #9
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Spoiler for Gundam Tangent:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Two genres are particularly dying:

Mecha
Sci-fi

This is true regarding the space exploration type of stories. It seems as if the dream of going into outer space is dying for most people.
I'm inclined to agree. I was sorting through upcoming shows for the next two months and I didn't see any real potential in the very small quantity of mecha/scifi that even appeared.

I would love to see more good sci-fi epics. I still love Banner of the Stars! Apparently there's just no market for it, though?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GDiddy View Post
It does feel that way to me sometimes. However, I'm the first to admit that my own tastes are weird.

But, I also understand that the studios are going to put out what's popular.
People can feel free to correct me, but as I mentioned before I was going through the list of upcoming anime for the roughly the next two months. I mostly saw slice of lifes and romcoms. Now, sure, these genres have always been outnumbering more serious ones. The issue is that all I saw were mediocre-sounding sols/romcoms and some potentially interesting other genre works.
Quote:
There's nothing wrong with mecha.

It just seemed like for awhile there, every other show was mecha.
Yup. Code Geass and TTGL are probably to blame for that bubble. Gundam was going pretty strong in that time period as well with Seed, Seed Destiny, 00, and now Unicorn (which is yet still airing its, like, bi-yearly episodes). I don't want to admit that mecha has kind of died, but there just hasn't been any new blood to revitalize that bubble. Maybe we'll get lucky and some studio will push a really great mecha, or maybe Unicorn will be followed up by an amazing Gundam (I realize there's a newer Gundam right now, but I haven't watched it yet).

Looking back on this post I guess it confirms my suspicion that I haven't grown out of anime as much as I feel like there aren't as many shows becoming very popular. I remember Code Geass being a huge, huge deal back in the day. Everyone was watching that show!
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Old 2013-02-25, 23:20   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
Weren't the original gundams meant as a weapon against convential modern military weapons such as tanks and jets? What is the point of making them smaller if you only end up making them less effective against such weapons?
I just want to answer this question. The original Gundam was not made to counter conventional weapons like tanks and jets. Gundam was made to counter Zeon’s Mobile Suits (Zaku I & Zaku II in particular). Originally, MSs are used in space for construction until Zeon declared war against Earth and use them for weapons. The spacenoids of Zeon are able to control those MS Zakus really good and helped by Minovsky Particles makes them so strong they can obliterate most of Earth Federation’s conventional weapons. That’s why the EF developed Gundam, Guncannon and Guntank along with cutting-edge battleship, White Base, hoping to match Zeon in firepower. Those are what I can remember after watching the original series long ago and some additional info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
have you watched Gundam G?
Genji, G Gundam is a Super Robot anime. It means, they can get away with any crazy mechas they can churn out just like any super robot anime out there (eg. Gurren Lagann).
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Old 2013-02-26, 04:51   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
I just want to answer this question. The original Gundam was not made to counter conventional weapons like tanks and jets. Gundam was made to counter Zeon’s Mobile Suits (Zaku I & Zaku II in particular). Originally, MSs are used in space for construction until Zeon declared war against Earth and use them for weapons. The spacenoids of Zeon are able to control those MS Zakus really good and helped by Minovsky Particles makes them so strong they can obliterate most of Earth Federation’s conventional weapons. That’s why the EF developed Gundam, Guncannon and Guntank along with cutting-edge battleship, White Base, hoping to match Zeon in firepower. Those are what I can remember after watching the original series long ago and some additional info.
Aren't the mobile pods (that should look like the gundam ball but w/o guns) originally designed for construction?
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Old 2013-02-26, 05:04   Link #12
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Aren't the mobile pods (that should look like the gundam ball but w/o guns) originally designed for construction?
Yes, the pods too, but then they need construction-vehicles with more power and durability and able to do more major works, so they created Mobile Suits. Considering those spacenoids were building enormous Space Colonies and mining on asteroids, they definitely need those MSs. But they didn't scrap the pods because they're still useful for little jobs.
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Old 2013-02-26, 19:45   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
I just want to answer this question. The original Gundam was not made to counter conventional weapons like tanks and jets. Gundam was made to counter Zeonís Mobile Suits (Zaku I & Zaku II in particular). Originally, MSs are used in space for construction until Zeon declared war against Earth and use them for weapons. The spacenoids of Zeon are able to control those MS Zakus really good and helped by Minovsky Particles makes them so strong they can obliterate most of Earth Federationís conventional weapons. Thatís why the EF developed Gundam, Guncannon and Guntank along with cutting-edge battleship, White Base, hoping to match Zeon in firepower. Those are what I can remember after watching the original series long ago and some additional info.
Furthermore, Minovsky particle made radar and other sensors obsolete, so missiles, so missiles and airplanes were useless in combat . This forced combats to be engaged in close combat hence mobile suits became viable weapon.
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Old 2013-02-26, 20:39   Link #14
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Originally Posted by Traece View Post
Yup. Code Geass and TTGL are probably to blame for that bubble. Gundam was going pretty strong in that time period as well with Seed, Seed Destiny, 00, and now Unicorn (which is yet still airing its, like, bi-yearly episodes). I don't want to admit that mecha has kind of died, but there just hasn't been any new blood to revitalize that bubble. Maybe we'll get lucky and some studio will push a really great mecha, or maybe Unicorn will be followed up by an amazing Gundam (I realize there's a newer Gundam right now, but I haven't watched it yet).
The golden age of mecha was early 70s to the mid 90s. A handful of successful titles in the late 00s doesn't make for a bubble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Two genres are particularly dying:

Mecha
Sci-fi

This is true regarding the space exploration type of stories. It seems as if the dream of going into outer space is dying for most people.
It's difficult to put into words. I think sci-fi and exploration has given way to supernatural and fantasy. Not just in anime but popular culture in general. I guess there is some kind of social need for escaping harsh reality instead of challenging it.
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Old 2013-02-27, 02:07   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
The golden age of mecha was early 70s to the mid 90s. A handful of successful titles in the late 00s doesn't make for a bubble.



It's difficult to put into words. I think sci-fi and exploration has given way to supernatural and fantasy. Not just in anime but popular culture in general. I guess there is some kind of social need for escaping harsh reality instead of challenging it.
Isn't it because space is boring?
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Old 2013-02-27, 03:55   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
The golden age of mecha was early 70s to the mid 90s. A handful of successful titles in the late 00s doesn't make for a bubble.



It's difficult to put into words. I think sci-fi and exploration has given way to supernatural and fantasy. Not just in anime but popular culture in general. I guess there is some kind of social need for escaping harsh reality instead of challenging it.

Which is exactly why this series now exists:

YouTube
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
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Old 2013-02-27, 06:42   Link #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Two genres are particularly dying:

Mecha
Sci-fi

This is true regarding the space exploration type of stories. It seems as if the dream of going into outer space is dying for most people.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969. The fact that we successfully put a man on the moon caused futuristic dreams to take hold and technology-based imaginations to soar.

So back in the 70s and 80s, concepts like "space exploration" and "robotics" were still very hot topics that wowed a lot of people, and greatly impacted on the world of entertainment. At the time, these concepts were seen as new, exciting, and dynamic.

In the anime world, this likely contributed to the rise of mecha.


But as time when on, people became more cognizant of the practical limitations of what we'd be likely to see achieved within our lifetimes. For older generations, this caused some dreams to fade. For younger generations, this caused a shift in focus to more immediate and impacting technologies like the internet and smart phones.

Sci-Fi is still reasonably popular, but mecha, space exploration, and robotics have all taken a bit of a hit. A lot of the futuristic dreams people had back in the 70s and 80s simply never panned out, and that has shifted the focus of modern sci-fi works.

We see this most clearly in the 80s Back to the Future movies. It's now 2013, a mere 2 years away from the 2015 future that Marty Mcfly experienced. For some reason, I doubt we'll be seeing flying cars and hovering skateboards take off within the next 24 months.

Technology has become increasingly small, compact, personalized, practical. It is not big, flashy, and with noticeable mechanical bits everywhere, as humanity had previously dreamed it would be. So Sci-Fi works start to reflect that, and become a bit more restrained.

Meanwhile, escapist entertainment now focuses more on fantasy and magic, where what the real world has to say about science and technology is less important.


Mecha hasn't died, and there's still good mecha shows out there. But I think it's now more driven by nostalgia than anything else. Maybe this will change some day, as I've read reports of robotics technologies really taking off in Japan. But for now, mecha does seem in decline.
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Old 2013-02-27, 08:00   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
It's difficult to put into words. I think sci-fi and exploration has given way to supernatural and fantasy. Not just in anime but popular culture in general. I guess there is some kind of social need for escaping harsh reality instead of challenging it.
In America, at least, it's part and parcel of the trend to anti-intellectualism which has pervaded this country since the 1980s. Growing up as I did in the 1960s, when science reigned supreme and powered American postwar economic development, the contrast is truly stunning. I never imagined I'd be living in a country in which, as late as 2013, nearly half of the citizens believe that humans were created by God ab initio in just the past 10,000 years. I won't get into the politics behind these trends, but they didn't just happen on their own.
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Old 2013-02-27, 13:19   Link #19
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I haven't gone back to try Steins;Gate, but I'd imagine that at this point, returned to the fandom, I'd probably enjoy it.
Steins;Gate is notorious for having an opening episode that's much worse than the main series. In fact, many of the people I've come across who like the show thought the first episode was outright terrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
It's difficult to put into words. I think sci-fi and exploration has given way to supernatural and fantasy. Not just in anime but popular culture in general. I guess there is some kind of social need for escaping harsh reality instead of challenging it.
Is it really so true for anime? The science fiction boom in the '80s and '90s came largely from OVAs, and the decline has come as OVAs were phased out. This doesn't seem to be a coincidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969. The fact that we successfully put a man on the moon caused futuristic dreams to take hold and technology-based imaginations to soar.

So back in the 70s and 80s, concepts like "space exploration" and "robotics" were still very hot topics that wowed a lot of people, and greatly impacted on the world of entertainment. At the time, these concepts were seen as new, exciting, and dynamic.
That may be true of the United States, but I'm having a hard time seeing this apply to anime. Of the real hard-core space exploration shows, there may have been only a few in the last several years (Space Brothers, Moonlight Mile, Rocket Girls, Planetes), but they don't seem all that common historically either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
In the anime world, this likely contributed to the rise of mecha.
Mecha shows are basically the Japanese equivalent of superhero shows/comics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But as time when on, people became more cognizant of the practical limitations of what we'd be likely to see achieved within our lifetimes. For older generations, this caused some dreams to fade. For younger generations, this caused a shift in focus to more immediate and impacting technologies like the internet and smart phones.

Sci-Fi is still reasonably popular, but mecha, space exploration, and robotics have all taken a bit of a hit. A lot of the futuristic dreams people had back in the 70s and 80s simply never panned out, and that has shifted the focus of modern sci-fi works.
Again, this seems to be more an American phenomenon than a Japanese one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Mecha hasn't died, and there's still good mecha shows out there. But I think it's now more driven by nostalgia than anything else. Maybe this will change some day, as I've read reports of robotics technologies really taking off in Japan. But for now, mecha does seem in decline.
Your diagnosis may be a bit premature. There are three new (and original!) mecha shows airing this Spring, and there are actually quite a few currently airing (for a given defintion of "airing" and "mecha show" .

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
In America, at least, it's part and parcel of the trend to anti-intellectualism which has pervaded this country since the 1980s. Growing up as I did in the 1960s, when science reigned supreme and powered American postwar economic development, the contrast is truly stunning. I never imagined I'd be living in a country in which, as late as 2013, nearly half of the citizens believe that humans were created by God ab initio in just the past 10,000 years. I won't get into the politics behind these trends, but they didn't just happen on their own.
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the American scientific pessimism is due to the perceived failure of NASA and the space shuttle. Manned space exploration has always been the sexiest image of scientific endeavors, and as such has been the primary seller of science fiction and futurism to the general public.

Religious anti-intellectualism is also a big problem, but it's not one that directly affects the primary consumers of science fiction to begin with. The bigger problem may be Hollywood as it's one of the most pervasive proponents of anti-intellectualism (and really anti-science) while it still harbors credibility with potential fans.
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Old 2013-02-27, 13:40   Link #20
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Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
That may be true of the United States, but I'm having a hard time seeing this apply to anime. Of the real hard-core space exploration shows, there may have been only a few in the last several years (Space Brothers, Moonlight Mile, Rocket Girls, Planetes), but they don't seem all that common historically either.
Much of the conflict in many of the Gundam shows revolved around those who stayed on Earth being at odds with those who lived "in the stars" (i.e. who colonized other worlds and/or built vast artificial environments to live in within outer space).

There hasn't been as much of that in recent years. I think this reflects how colonizing outer space and "living in the stars" no longer captures the imagination of people as much as it used to.


Quote:
Mecha shows are basically the Japanese equivalent of superhero shows/comics.
Really? I always thought that Super Sentai heroes, and big shounen shows like DBZ, Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach, were the Japanese equivalent of superhero shows/comics. Goku being the anime/Japanese equivalent of Superman is a concept commonly held by fans of both anime and superhero comics.


Quote:
Your diagnosis may be a bit premature. There are three new (and original!) mecha shows airing this Spring, and there are actually quite a few currently airing (for a given defintion of "airing" and "mecha show" .
Which mecha shows are currently airing?

But yes, it'll be interesting to see if the upcoming Spring mecha shows can turn the genre around.

Still, there certainly hasn't been a mecha show on the level of Code Geass since Code Geass itself.


Quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the American scientific pessimism is due to the perceived failure of NASA and the space shuttle. Manned space exploration has always been the sexiest image of scientific endeavors, and as such has been the primary seller of science fiction and futurism to the general public.
That's probably a factor yeah.
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