21st century mecha - a review

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21st century mecha - a review

Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:45 am

Hey all,

I hope it doesn't seem like I've been spamming the board today. It's just been the first chance I've had in a long time to really dive back into Gears in any kinda significant way! Now, on to the topic at hand...

Over the last several years, I have fallen REALLY behind in watching mecha anime. I consider Japanese mecha to be "my thing," so I want to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. So let's see here! What recent mecha shows have I NOT seen, and what do you-all think is worth skipping?

Samurai 7
I like the funky mecha in this show (designed by Makoto Kobayashi as they are), but I hear the show is really light and that the mecha do almost nothing except get hastily dispatched by a dude with a sword. Sigh.

Gaiking: Legend of Daiku-Maryu
I hear it's pretty kiddy, but also pretty fun. As someone who liked the Yuusha shows, I think I'd probably like this too.

Demonbane
Watching it now. Loving it.

Gravion & Gravion Zwei
Watched about 1/3 of the show. Think its actually pretty bad. Still, I figure I should watch the rest.

Godannar
Seen only one episode. Loved it. Wanna see more.

Jeeg
New show! Any good?

Shin Getter Robo
The newest one, not the one that was released a few years ago. I hear it's not all that great. Thoughts?

Gundam Seed Destiny
Ugh. I had a hard enough time with Seed. I hear Destiny is to Seed as Seed is to original Gundam. Eek.

Macross Zero
Seen the first two. It seems pretty good, but hard to swallow as a prequel.

Evangelion Rebuild
I'll watch these films, but I am sure they won't be as good as the original. Being remakes/retellings, how could they be?

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive
Latest Sentai show on US air. Love it. SO much better than Mystic Force, which sucked. SPD was great though!

Vandread & 2nd Stage
I totally wanna see this show

Full Metal Panic
Totally wanna see this show too. What is FMP Fumoffu like? Any mecha at all, or just silliness? And I take it TSR (The Second Raid) is more meca-tastic, hmm?

Mazinkaiser
I still havent seen this. Dammit!

Wings of Rean
Looks like it might be cool, though it barely resembles orthodox Dunbine at all. Reminds me of Orguss 02. Anyone seen it? Any good?

Super Robot Wars - Original Generation
Super Robot Wars - Original Generation - Divine Wars
The titles just get longer and longer and longer! Man, I wanna see this shizzle so badly. Anyone have opinions on the show(s)?

Overman King Gainer
Seen the first four. Love it!!! The opening song is a blast.

Brain Powered
Best opening song since CityHunter! I've only seen the first half of the series. Must see the rest.

Turn-A Gundam
Like Brainpowered, only seen the first half. Loved it. Must see the rest.

Muv Luv
Is there an anime of this game? The mecha are really slick, the chicks are really pornographic, and, well, I want more!

IGPX
I've seen a few episodes of it and I really can't tell if the show has promise or not.

Zoids Genesis
I haven't seen all the episodes of this yet, but I have seen a lot of them. It's nice to see people at the office working on episodes of the show. Can't wait for Zoids to be back on the air in some form, and for the toys to be back on the shelves. God, Fuzors was so bad...

Gigantic Formula
I soooo wanna see this!

Code Geass
Good lord I hate the mecha designs (and character designs) for this show! Anyone seen it? Is it any good at all?

Votoms Peruzen Files
I generally have little faith in prequels. I wish they'd just grow the balls to tell some more stories in the Votoms world that DON'T star Chirico. He's fantastic, yeah, but his story is done. Move on! How about animating Blue Knight?

Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex - 2nd Gig
Another super-long title! I loved SAC, but I hear 2nd Gig isn't that great. True?

Gunbuster 2
I hear this is totally gonzo and rad! I wanna see.

Gurenn-Lagann
Again, I hear it's rad, again, I wanna see it.

Skull Man
Not a mecha show, but I wanna see it. Any good?

009-1
Also not mecha. Is this a sequel to Cyborg 009, or a remake, or what? Any good? Kinda wanna see it.

Giant Robo
Revisited again! I hear it's good. I wanna see. Thoughts?

Kissdum
Worst. Name. Ever. Still, I'll give it a chance.

Eureka 7
I am not fond of the mecha, but I hear the show is good. True?

Heroic Age
Looks very very sweet.

Panda-Z
I've seen a handful of episodes and they were totally fun!

Kamen Rider Den-O
This looks really spiffy. Kamen Rider The First was quite a letdown though.

Dancougar Nova
I dunno, it looks like it might lack the creative spark of the original. Still, the Deified Beast was always one of my favs. I'll check this out.

Soukou No Strain
Looks like it has potential.

Gin-Iro No Olynssis
Also looks like it has potential.

Jeez.... with the 21st century's proliferation of cable channels, satellite channels, and webstreams, not to mention the advent of shorter (13-episode and even 15-minute) series, there have just been a MIND BOGGLING number of mecha anime productions lately! I know I must have missed a huge number of shows even in this post.

Man, thank God I don't play video games. I know I miss out on a LOT of sweet mecha action, but I also save a lot of time and money. And hell, I still pick up all the books and magazine I can, so I can keep up with the mecha designs.

Well anyway. Anybody got comments or anything? I'm just rambling, really...

Grebo!

EDIT: I just found an old link of mine, to a Japanese site which lists ALL mecha series. w00t! Here's the URL:

http://www.yk.rim.or.jp/~akira_t/rbdble/crnloge.htm

Looking over his list, I think I have A LOT of shows to watch. Oy vey...

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Post by Tachyon » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:15 pm

Gaiking: Legend of Daiku-Maryu
I'm curious about this one too. And was there a remake?

Gravion & Gravion Zwei
Some aspects got annoying but I thought it was worth watching.

Godannar
A fun show and the final espisode wrapped up all loose ends. Very nice.

Shin Getter Robo
If this is what I think it is I've seen it. Wasn't all that great.

Mazinkaiser
I sure liked it.
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Post by Newton » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:46 pm

So...
You HAVE been away on a secret mission! But interrogation about your adventures will come later.

First, to answer your questions...


Samurai 7
Don’t believe everything you hear. First, it IS, after all, Kurosawa’s 7 Samurai - top of the pops for the genre. Though it is an SF/mecha show, it’s a samurai epic first. In deference to that, I observed two levels of mecha in the show. The first level are the Nobuseri, whose technology is big, bigger, biggest. The second level is evidenced by characters with smaller, more subtle cybernetic enhancements. They are nonetheless as badass as the Nobuseri, if not moreso. Don’t take my word for it - just check out the opening of the first episode.

Gaiking: Legend of Daiku-Maryu
This is one I’ve got to get now that it’s finished. Kiddy? Yes. Like GaoGaiGar was kiddy, if you get my drift. Jammin’? OH YEAH!!!

Jeeg
Burning hot right out of the gate. It’s a direct sequel to the original Kotetsu Jeeg, Go Nagai and all. The original war was fought to a standstill, and now a new generation will finish the fight once and for all.

Shin Getter Robo
I keep hearing good things about this show. I’ve got to see for myself and make up my mind...

Gundam Seed Destiny
I fell completely out of love with this franchise during SEED. Judging by the mecha non-designs, I see no reason to re-start a failed relationship.

Macross Zero
It looked great, but left me with the same feeling I had with Macross 7: Oh no, THIS is canon?!

Evangelion Rebuild
No visual evidence on this project yet, yea or nay. But they say bovine growth hormone does wonders when you’re milking old cash cows...

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive
Latest Sentai show on US air. Love it. SO much better than Mystic Force, which sucked. SPD was great though!

Vandread & 2nd Stage
Yes, you do. STARZ ran both shows as a single series, and it was tons of fun.

Mazinkaiser
If ya love Go Nagai hotblood, you’ve got to see this one. It’s the first of the updated Nagai classics, and it delivers.

Wings of Rean
It’s part of the Byston Well saga, and is separate in time from Dunbine. My assumption based on the anime is that it is historically later in both worlds (present-day military hardware, more sophisticated aura ships, etc.), but our antagonist is from the past. Worth watching.

Super Robot Wars - Original Generation
Super Robot Wars - Original Generation - Divine Wars
Jammin’, slammin’ and oh-goddammin’! I was hooked on the OG OVA. Divine Wars suffers from insufficient episodes, but is a real winner. It should’ve been twice as long as it’s 25-episode run.

Overman King Gainer
Another one I really enjoyed! I highly recommend this show.

Muv Luv
No anime (yet), but there are plenty of lovely mechanical designs. I will post my sources for artwork, if needed.


Zoids Genesis
AT LAST!!! SOME HARD INTEL!!! So, the kiddies are working on Genesis, eh? Hot DAMN! It’s the best Zoids I’ve seen since the original show!

Gigantic Formula
Worth seeing. Think a darker IGPX with cooler mecha - and a hidden agenda which is SLOWLY being revealed.

Code Geass
I started this show, then dropped it ‘cause I quickly tired of the storyline and characters, all of whom I despised. It’s not even worth it for the mecha, which remind me of low-rent LFOs.

Ghost In The Shell - Stand Alone Complex - 2nd Gig
Another super-long title! I loved SAC, but I hear 2nd Gig isn't that great. True?

Gunbuster 2
Meh. Nowhere near as good as Gunbuster. Not to mention that I grow tired of the FLCL-izing of everything Gainax does now.

Gurenn-Lagann
Someone described this as Shin Getter FLCL. An apt description, but the kiddies are loving it.

Skull Man
Not a mecha show, but I wanna see it. Any good?

009-1
Not a sequel, more like an alt-dimensional cousin. It’s a world where the Cold War has continued for 140 years. Our heroine is a cyborg super-spy, an ace player in the deadliest game. The first ep made me think “Fox Force Five!”

Giant Robo
First episode rocked. I eagerly await all the others.

Kissdum
So far, it appears to be set on an alternate Earth where bug-spray was never invented. So the Japanese decided to solve their insect problem with mecha and heavy-caliber weapons. This show’s only saving grace is that it’s the test-bed for the new Macross series.

Eureka 7
WAY TRUE!!! Eureka 7 is Kawamori’s best work to date.

Heroic Age
This show kicks ass! I eagerly await each new episode. It’s the return of big SF to anime!
It’s David Brin-style SF with a touch of Ultraman.

Dancougar Nova
It’s tighter than the original show, with more likeable, interesting characters. Protip: I don’t know if we’ve yet seen the final form of Dancougar Nova.

Soukou No Strain
I enjoyed this 13-episode outing. Outstanding, original mecha designs coupled with a simple yet dark plotline.

Actually, your mecha-fu is still strong - you haven’t missed anything other than Toward the Terra, which is wonderful but getting no love from the raw providers.

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Post by Grebo Guru » Thu Apr 26, 2007 6:28 am

Wow... Goddamn, Newton! You've been really on top of things, haven't you? Cripes, I wish I had the time to be as well-watched. (I got home from work at 11:15pm today. Sigh.)

Thanks for the commentary, man!

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Post by Nu Soard Graphite » Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:06 am

For the record, Gravion is currently my favorite new mecha show, though admittedly, I haven't seen very many of the newer shows (I'm old school. My all time favorite anime is Dangaio and I love all the classics like Iczer-1, BGC, Sol Bianca etc) but I LOOOOOOVE supermecha and Gravion is quite well done, if you don't mind the fanservice (it is Masami Oobari after all).

I've only seen the 1st volume of Zwei, but so far so good.

I'm currently watching Godannar on Anime on Demand and its pretty good, but I don't like it as much as Gravion.

Also I have a confession: As a raving Nagano fan, I haven't seen Brain Powered.

(hangs head in shame)
Shinei!

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Post by Newton » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:16 pm

That's okay, Nu.

It ain't the easiest show to get through. I haven't finished it myself. My overall impression is that Tomino got pissed and got a case of "I'll show THEM!!!" (meaning Gainax and EVA) and fell into his own navel trying to write Brain Powered.

Not even Nagano's artwork could save what I saw.

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Post by Grebo Guru » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:51 pm

I thought Brainpowered was really fun!!! :-(

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