Mecha N’ Me
A brief post on my thoughts of mecha.
I have had a fairly long love/hate relationship with mecha. If you read my previous post you will notice that atleast 3 or more of the shows i loved as a kid had giant robots in them, so what happened why am I not so fond of them anymore?
This might take a while so I suggest you sit back and try to follow me down my road through becoming an Otaku. During my better years in Primary school, I used to love playing with toys. A certain company called hasbro knew little boys my age loved playing with action figures so they funded a TV anime to both advertise and boost their sales. This anime somehow found its way onto my television screen Im sure most of you would have experienced the awesomeness that was ..
I remember very little of this show because it aired a very long time ago but theres bits and pieces I remember that I loved, like the intermission cut scene between the Decepticons and Autobots, you know the one with their symbols switching and the music.. simply epic and the actual transformation animation it was very basic at that time but still amused me so. At that point in my life I enjoyed watching Giant robots blow each other up. So much so that i watched beast wars and Beast machines which both take a lot of flack from the Transformers fanbase.
There were so many more others I enjoyed Voltron, Thunderbirds heck even the Power Rangers used to turn into a Giant mech most of the time and I loved it very much. So what changed? Well there was a huge gap between power Rangers and my next venture into the Super robot genre. I grew taller, wiser, my voice got deeper and I graduated high school. A lot happened in my life and my tastes changed. I now liked drama and well written plot lines to insane mindless violence, I even enjoyed a good romantic subplot in my stories a far cry from the “ewwww girly stuff” reaction I would give such things in the past and probably most of all the shows that brought me back into anime gave me a taste that didnt really go well with mecha.
My first show was Naruto Shippuden then Bleach, both action adventure shounen shows that had deep back-stories and some philosophical depth. yes people depth, thats what hooked me onto anime. Not the violence, not the explicit sexualism, the depth but ill get to this in another post. These shows gave me a “false” pretence of what anime is or should i say of what I Expected from anime. Which is why I was sorely disappointed when the highly praised Ninja Scroll was absolute garbage In My Opinion.
So anyway back to mecha. I remembered I used to enjoy Giant Robot shows back in the day so i decided to look up some really good ones. I was shocked to find out that most of the mecha being produced had some really crazy plots or were just plain silly, I couldnt watch that now way. “What of this Gundam it seems popular…WOAH! theres how many of them? this is insane im already trying to keep up with 2 long running shounen shows plus this, where do I even start?” Those reason detered me from going back to the genre for a very long time but then I stumbled upon a review of
The review said “Newcomers to the franchise(provided they actually exist) will have a good time but would probably be better served by just watching the original TV series and then waiting along with the rest of us for Rebuild of Evangelion 4.0: Now We’re Finally At The Good Part.” Anime News Network. This intrigued me so I decided to watch this TV series that presumably has no newcomers and is a “classic” Its a super robot show what could possibly be so different about it? What i got was my favourite anime series of all time. I could go into all the things that make Evangelion the best show I have ever seen but that has been done to death so all i will say is it actually had a plot that I cared about and it took itself seriously. It was fairly realistic too, the Evas only had about 4 minutes to run when not plugged in to their “Umbilical cords” (power cables) and they were destructable.
I then watched more mecha shows like Code Geass, Eureka 7 and some of Full Metal Panic and they were very good too, strangely Hardcore mecha fans dont consider these to be true mecha at all. I still dont understand this line of thought to this day, The show cant exist without the giant robots so how is it not mecha? Oh well. This continuous negative bickering really put me off an otherwise great “return” into the genre. For the next two years I had convinced myself that mecha was not for me and avoided it like the plague.
More recently I came across the moe genre and we all know what reaction that word entails in the community. Its got its hardcore followers who can be very obnoxious and its got a lot of haters who can also be very obnoxious too. I personally like moe because I gave it a chance and have actually seen good stuff. I noticed a lot of fans that didnt give the genre a fair go simply because they had some really crazy plots, had no real plots at all or were just plain silly. Look familiar? yes, the exact same reasons I had for not watching mecha. So I figured hey I dont want to be a hypocrite, looking back I dont have a proper reason for not liking Mecha. I decided to go back into the genre but with the right mindset. I asked around for recommendations and ended up picking..
I knew this was over the top, I knew it was ultra stylistic, I knew it was rather silly and with that mindset I ploughed through the series and really really enjoyed it. The Dialogue was incredibly awesome, I would call it it cliche but that would be unfair to the witty spin they put on the script. The mech battles were very well animated with build ups and cliffhangers that lead up to insane climaxs’. This show has one of the best dubs I have ever heard in anime with Yuri Lowenthal(Sasuke Uchiha), Kyle Hebert(Gohan adult), Steve Blum(Spike Spiegel), Michelle Ruff(Rukia Kuchiki) and Johnny Bosh(Lelouch Lamperouge) gracing the main cast. Not to take anything away from the Japanese which is just as good. Even its finale was as over the top as its premise and its characters it truly was spectacular.
I had finally got it! a mecha show I genuinely enjoyed and I wanted more. However, I wanted something with a little more depth so I turned back to the fanbase for recommendations and was flooded with all sorts of shows but most of them were pre 2000. I have no problem with old anime shows but when you are still new to a genre it kind of helps to see newer series because anime tends to parody itself or it previous shows and the older anime just tends to have a different way of executing jokes and some tropes. Anyway, I was really intrigued by Gundams political plots. I wanted to see one of them but where to start? Lucky for me Sunrise had and are currently making the hit Gundam Unicorn which is a big hit with people new to the franchise and with the veterans too. Madman (Australian Anime Distributor) will be releasing these OVA’s very soon so ill get the chance to watch them soon but while waiting I figured I would get myself ready by watching..
Mobile Suit Gundam OO. Im currently 8 episodes in and I am enjoying it, the politics is the best aspect of the show and while many hardcore Mecha fans have told me I made a bad decision to start with Gundam OO its really not that bad. The basic premise of the show is that a mysterious military NGO called Celestial being uses the Gundams to halt all conflicts on Earth. Think the UN actually goes to wars with weapons kills both sides fighting and successfully accomplishes cease fires. For anyone who is really into politics i strongly recommend this show or any other Gundam for that matter. Im still eagerly awaiting the release of Gundam UC because all the reviews have been stellar so far.
So it seems I dont dislike mecha afterall it just took an open mind and intelligent picks. I hope i get to see more good Giant Robot shows in the future I just dont think ill be on forums singing the praises of Godannar any time soon though.