Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mecha Monday

On Youtube lately, I've been following one anime lover's videos about mecha (or robots).  I think the genre started out being about a boy and a giant robot friend, like with Gigantor and Astro Boy, but also evolved into a giant robotic vehicles that someone could man and run like an armored vehicle or plane.   The craze is still pretty popular today as other films are still being released today with that influence  like Wall-E, Big Hero 6, and another of my favorites, The Iron Giant.  No less the robotic creations in the Star Wars films.  I don't think the craze is going away anytime soon.

So the poster on YT, Part-Time Samurai, has been running  highlights of some of his favorite Mecha series.  So far I think there have been three or four of them, unless I've miss something.  They've all been nostalgic fun, and I wish he would continue the theme a bit longer or else cobble up together a new theme of anime videos.  It's just it seems like there has got to be more than four or five great mecha series.  At any rate, it would interesting to see what else he could do with a post apocalypse themed series, horror series, early anime series, or space opera series.  The newest Mecha Monday he covered was Macross or Robotech, which aside from Gigantor was one of the early ones I was introduced to.

Here's is a link to his video on Super Dimensional Fortress Macross!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFqTtsucU44

Here's one to his Moblie Suit Gundam!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEVLpyx63Nk

Gigantor:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YQxbWSWH9o

And Mazinger Z:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXUBc7SRcFQ

4 Comments:

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Since we were children people have told us, “You can be whatever you make of yourself.” There is a certain appeal to that literally being true: design your own robot body. In much of scifi robots strive to be human; the reverse is more likely.

 
At 11:23 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yeah that true. On Star Trek Data was always wondering what it was like to be human. I guess the same is true for Ex Machina. People tell us you can be whatever you want to be, but I'm not so sure that is true. Sometimes one would really have to strive hard and persevere to achieve their dreams. I wonder if that would be part of our next evolution--some sort of add-on to our bodies. I read somewhere about interfacing ourselves with a chip or whatever so you could access the web say just by thinking it. Sort of a spare brain. I could use one of those.

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Yeah the Japanese really seemed obsessed with robotics. It can be robots that are characters or robots controlled by characters, or characters that are mostly synthetic. They've come up with some great stories for those characters too.

I grew up watching "Robotech" when I was a kid and that may have been my gateway drug to anime. But "Voltron" and "Transformers" were all on at the same time so it is hard to say which I saw first. "Robotech" was more of a mecha show, essentially the main characters are humans that control or pilot giant robots. This kind of thing was hugely popular in 60s and 70s anime, and was eventually homaged and improved in "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and parodied in "Martian Successor Nadesico".

What is funny is that "Robotech" was more like a soap opera in a lot of ways. When my grandmother lived with us, she loved watching "Robotech" with me because she wanted to know how the love triangle would resolve itself and some of the other assorted relationships of the series (like the one pilot falling for the enemy alien commander). I just loved the action and transforming mecha.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yes, Roman, I just recently saw the final installment to the Mecha Mondays, in which he spotlights, Neon Genesis Evangelion. He had to include it right? I think you are right about the soap opera angle to Robotech, which is a funny story about your grandmother. A lot of those other animes have that as well. Comics and in Japanese culture, manga, share that too, which is why I guess it carries over into their anime. Of course their manga and anime are so diverse they just have a little bit of everything so if you are a romantic at heart I'm sure there's something without the SF trappings if that's what you'd want to see.

I don't know where I was when these early robotic animation films were airing, I guess at work or sleeping in, but I don't remember seeing Transformers or Voltron, though they might have been on Saturday mornings. I did pick up the first couple of Transformer comics by Marvel however.

 

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