A Reason to Keep Watching Classic Mecha Anime

What's on your mind?

Moderator: kosh

Post Reply
User avatar
Tachyon
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2816
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:14 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

A Reason to Keep Watching Classic Mecha Anime

Post by Tachyon » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:31 pm

I hope this doesn't come across as a disgruntled rant but I wanted to post on why I keep tracking down and watching classic mecha anime. When I say "classic" I mean mostly 80's anime but also some from the 70's and early 90's.

One of the reasons I enjoy classic mecha anime is the creative effort poured into them by their production staff. The mecha anime of that era take us to imaginative new worlds. These shows and OAVs showed us not only creative new mecha and monster designs but complete settings filled with details of every kind that made them come to life for the audience. Dunbine showed us a world where magical phenomena had worked itself into the fabric of everyday life. Gall Force, Votoms and many others had invented writing systems. Space Battleship Yamato showed us cities of the future with interesting high-rise towers and glass tubes for rocket cars that traversed the city from high above. Many of these shows portrayed humanity travelling the stars and establishing new homes light years away.

These imaginative stories inspired me greatly when I was younger (even though I often couldn't understand half of what was happening due to a lack of translation). Above all, I believe they left me with a feeling of optimism about the future. I wanted to grow up so I could help build these fascinating environments. I was imbued with a sense that scientific progress was going to lead us to places where we want to be.

From what I've observed newer mecha anime often lack the creative drive I had come to expect. Neon Genesis Evangelion may have been the turning point. We now see so many stories based in a near-future Earth where things aren't that different from today. There is little or no space travel and when aliens appear they remain so mysterious it's safe to assume you won't learn much of anything about them. The clouds of mystery around the strange enemies in Evangelion and Dai Guard were so thick they were never penetrated. A strong focus is seen on the personalities of the main characters and the focus on the setting and storyline are weakened.

I have 2 young boys of my own so I'm stocking up on some of the classics. Many of the DVDs out now offer both subtitles and dubs so it's really nice. My boys will probably get into newer anime on their own but I want them to have a grounding in the classics first so I can be sure they aren't missing the sources that inspired me years ago.

Why do you watch classic mecha anime? Or have you yet to discover it? I encourage you to reply to this post and voice your own thoughts.
If you don't like the news then go make some of your own.

User avatar
Daishikaze
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:35 pm
Location: Thun, Switzerland
Contact:

Post by Daishikaze » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:44 pm

I watch for pretty much the same reasons you do. I'm just more intrigued by the classics, they really draw me in.
Dr. Mystico: I'll build a private army of super-apes and take over Cleveland!
Cosgrove: Don't you mean the world?
Dr. Mystico: I meant the world, yes. What did I say? Cleveland? Oh, I *always* do that!

kosh
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:29 am
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Post by kosh » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:53 am

Your post pretty much covers my reasons too, well one additional reason for me; it takes me back to when I was younger and life seemed fresher and less complicated.
Do you understand?

User avatar
Daishikaze
Posts: 261
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:35 pm
Location: Thun, Switzerland
Contact:

Post by Daishikaze » Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:08 am

Another good reason, Kosh.

I was quite invigorated while I watched Macross recently. It really brought me back to the good old days
Dr. Mystico: I'll build a private army of super-apes and take over Cleveland!
Cosgrove: Don't you mean the world?
Dr. Mystico: I meant the world, yes. What did I say? Cleveland? Oh, I *always* do that!

Temjin
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 7:06 pm
Contact:

Post by Temjin » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:08 am

I agree mecha fans should watch more classic mecha shows, the thing is most of those shows are so long, and the animation is not at today standard. Even with great story and other elements in it, it's hard to sit though the entire show.

It's ok, if new fan doesn't like old shows. There is no reason to force them to watch old shows, or thinking they must have a taste it. Like if your parents make you listen to their music everyday, it's painful you know.

Kosh has a good reason for rewatch those shows . I grow up watching couple of the classic mecha shows. Going back and revisit them will bring back the memory. :)

User avatar
Grebo Guru
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Deep in the woods of Connecticut
Contact:

Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:10 am

I think the classics and the new stuff all have lots to offer. I like both. There's a certain nostalgia to older shows, and a certain sort of innocent enthusiasm, that later shows lack. They're more jaded, if you will. On the other hand, one could say they're more savvy and self-aware. I don't think there's any lack of creativity. Things are just different.

I've been watching Demonbane with Zoxesyr. The show is really fun, quite new, and very well researched and annotated. New stuff has plenty to offer, IMO. But the classics should not be ignored. I mean, how can anyone not love Tobikage?

Grebo!

2000YearsOldMan
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 1:55 am
Location: state college pa

Post by 2000YearsOldMan » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:36 pm

I like the old mecha alot.
not just they are classic, and another big reason is they are really simple to enjoy. They ususally has a pretty good story line, some thing like just good guys fighting the bad guys.
Now this kind mecha animations are really hard to find around, lots new mecha animation has weird story line, and really confusing relationship between the characteers. Also alot of main characters are just like the guy from EVA (I think every body know what I mean). :wink:
Some of the animation company now in Japan, alraedy start remaking the old mecha animations, like Dancougar, Great space dragon:Gaiking, Brave Raideen and some they are also making sequals to the old mecha animations, such as, Gunbuster 2, Votom, EVA, Gundam(this time is gonna to be the on the original story line :D), that means the even the Japanese mecha fan don't like the new mecha animations.
don't you think?
original gundam series rule.
my site www.ericguoart.com

Quanto

Post by Quanto » Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:05 pm

I really want to see a new mecha anime based on the old principles, i don't care about seeing old franchises brought back to life. I want to see new ones with characters that are actually fun to watch. They don't need to be all that developed they just need to be fun. I want a male hero who isn't afraid to make the wrong decision (and may actually be over 21! instead of one of those stupid 12-16 yearolds who haven't figured out their own lives yet. I'm sorry, i don't want some juvenile who can't even figure himself out, trying to save the whole friggin world.)

I'm also sick of the submissive dumb chicks who can't make a friggin decision on their own.

And Tachyon's comments about expressive and large settings (not just in time, but in place) hit a strong chord with me and I agree completely. I want more variety in my mecha, not just what "sells" or "works". There's more to mecha anime than a complex and "original" story. There's also the mecha! :D

Studios need to stop trying so hard a being original and start trying to create something fun.

User avatar
Grebo Guru
Posts: 354
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Deep in the woods of Connecticut
Contact:

Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:50 pm

This is actually why it pays to watch the original, oldskool -- REALLY oldskool -- shows, like Mazinger Z. Once you see that, you realize that a lot of the supposedly gropundbreaking stuff from Gundam and such actually can be traced directly from there.

It's kinda trying, at times, but it pays to dig into the 70s super-robots.

Post Reply