Famous Mecha Designs

What's on your mind?

Moderator: kosh

Post Reply
User avatar
Tachyon
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2815
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:14 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Famous Mecha Designs

Post by Tachyon » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:03 am

I'm curious as to what people think are the landmark, famous mecha designs. Which specific anime/manga mecha designs were important and influential? Which ones marked turning points or revolutions in mecha design?
If you don't like the news then go make some of your own.

User avatar
Mr March
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:34 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Famous Mecha Designs

Post by Mr March » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:15 am

Obviously, the RX-78-2 Gundam by Kunio Okawara from the original Mobile Suit Gundam has to be one of the most influential mechanical designs in anime. Not only did it invent the real robot genre, but It's certainly been one of the most mimicked designs of all time.

The AV-98 Ingram by Yutaka Izubuchi from Patlabor is definitely a landmark mechanical design, but it's influence doesn't seem to be all that broad. It definitely feels like a niche design that couldn't be matched in it's sub-genre and therefore few tried to best it, much like the Valkyries.

On the topic of Valkyries, the VF-1 Valkyrie by Shoji Kawamori is definitely another iconic mecha and one that spurred the transforming mecha craze of the 1980s. The design lead to shows like Southern Cross and Mospeada, not to mention Space Gandam V and the plagiarism-heavy release this past year of Astro Plan.

Mamoru Nagano's mortar headds were definitely influential. Not only did they spur a shift in creative design in the Gundam franchise post-Nagano's involvement in Gundam Zeta, but Nagano's design sensibilities clearly create an inspirational lineage that affected designs as far along as Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Speaking of which, as much crap as it gets from the older fan base, the Evangelions designed by Ikuto Yamashita and Hideaki Anno for Neon Genesis Evangelion are highly influential upon modern mechanical design. Virtually every mecha show post-NGE embraced the thin, emaciated aesthetic of the EVAs. Everything from Full Metal Panic, to Gundam 00 to Macross Frontier embraced the thin-mecha style.

ANyway, that's some thoughts.

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

Re: Famous Mecha Designs

Post by 2000YearsOldMan » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:34 pm

Hi all.
Mr March pointed out lot good one, but most of them were the real mecha series, I got some super mecha.

The Getter or Getta robo, first super robot has the ability of combine 3 jet fighters and three form of robot on different positions.

The space run away, Iden, first true giant robot.

Tetsujin 28-go, first super robot is control by a little kid.
original gundam series rule.
my site www.ericguoart.com

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

Re: Famous Mecha Designs

Post by Temjin » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:05 am

Many good ones mentioned already.

Ryujinmaru from Mashin Hero Wataru, the first mecha that with SD like proportion in it's original form.

The origin of SD mechas I'm not so sure, they might be first inspired by super deformed anime charaters, then SD Gundam, and Ryujinmaru came after.

Really not sure all this stuff I said, correct me if I'm wrong.

User avatar
Kuruni
Posts: 300
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:03 pm
Location: Now you mention it,...where am I?

Re: Famous Mecha Designs

Post by Kuruni » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:29 pm

Few pop in my head...

Dougram - partial because the design was also as Shadow Hawk in Battle Tech.

Zaku II - pretty much set up the character of mecha grunts.

Daltanias - The series isn't that famous, but just count how many mech with lion head on chest and you have the idea how influence it is.

And while not mecha...I should note that EVA does got influence from Ultraman :D .
Justice will never lose!

User avatar
Tachyon
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2815
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:14 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Famous Mecha Designs

Post by Tachyon » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:08 am

The Zaku II from Mobile Suit Gundam is certainly an iconic design. You see it pop up so much in manga, advertisements, etc. that it's clear it has become part of Japanese pop culture. And yes, it has had a heavy influence on the look and feel of enemy "grunt" mecha.

The RX-78-2 Gundam, also from Mobile Suite Gundam, was a successful fusion of super robots and realistic robots. The design is truly a classic and we'll be seeing it a lot for many years to come. It's influence? I'd say it has shown how old-school colors and flair can be brought into realistic robot designs. It may have helped the realistic robots genre a lot by keeping the designs appealing to large audiences.

The VF-1 Valkyrie from Super Dimensions Fortress Macross was certainly a great design. One of those rare moments of true genius in science-fiction design (even Kawamori Shoji himself has been trying to recapture that moment in design over the years). It either made transforming designs popular or breathed so much life into them that they never faded from the mecha genre. It is at once sleek and appealing and also realistic and utilitarian. It increased the idea that mecha can be versatile designs that, once becoming vehicles, add possibilities to the story.

The Scope Dog from Armored Trooper Votoms is a much beloved underdog among mecha designs. Although some might call it ugly it is a smart design that carries its own appeal. Being more realistic than the majority of mecha designs, it has inspired many designers to veer away from the traditional flash and ornamentation of super robot designs.

Is the Garland from Megazone 23 a classic design? Others would be better suited to answer this question. It has a very nice look and has been popular for a long time. I'd say it has been an inspiration to many people to try the "mini" size of mecha design. Along with this, the Mospeada from Genesis Climber Mospeada bears mentioning. Many transforming motorcycles have shown up in anime and manga but the Garland and the Mospeada still hold their own many years later.

The Eva unit 1 from Neon Genesis Evangelion may qualify as an influential design. It isn't one of my favorites and, yes, it does seem to be inspired by Ultra Man designs. Since Evangelion became famous we've seen more simple, human-like mecha designs but I suspect Evangelion's influence on mecha design will be short-lived.

It seems the Z Gundam and Gundam Double Zeta were too clunky and awkward to have had much influence outside of the Gundam franchise. I could be wrong on this.

The Mazinger Z from the show of the same name deserves mentioning. The design is unforgettable and has been imitated countless times over the years. One might say it's the ambassador of classic super robot design.

Getter Robo, the first popular (or maybe the first?) combiner was very influential. The popularity of combiner robots in the 70's, 80's and even today should never be forgotten.

The mecha of Full Metal Soldier L-Gaim and Five Star Stories, although less commonly seen, made their mark on the world of mecha design. The idea of loosely fitting armor plates that don't fully cover the internal components of the mecha were very influential. That idea shows up commonly in mecha designs after those 2 stories appeared on the scene.

I always hoped the mecha of Dunbine and Cruise Chaser Blassty would be more influential but, sadly, they remain appreciated by aficianados of mecha designs.
If you don't like the news then go make some of your own.

User avatar
Tachyon
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2815
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:14 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Famous Mecha Designs

Post by Tachyon » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:13 am

Nagano's idea of mortar headds being able to change armor in the Five Star Stories manga is a really great idea that has not taken off. Mortar headds change appearance drastically, often looking like entirely different machines when they have their armor changed. Armor can be changed for upgrades/improvements, for different specialized combat roles, or just for the taste of the owner.

This idea probably never took off in anime or video games because of fears that viewers would get confused and fail to recognize the mecha. Branding no doubt also played a big role in it. When you show the hero's mecha on a DVD cover you want that to be a branding image that you can use again and again to build up recognition for the product. A shame, really.
If you don't like the news then go make some of your own.

User avatar
Kuruni
Posts: 300
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:03 pm
Location: Now you mention it,...where am I?

Re: Famous Mecha Designs

Post by Kuruni » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:31 am

Well, I think EVA is pretty enduring design. Mainly because of it "human" appeal, so its element will found it way when designer want something look less-machine but not too lien (RahXephon come into mind). Frankly enough, I think some Angels like Sachiel is somewhat more inspiring. The whole set of dimensional robots from Bokurano or OF from ZOE are more relate to Angels than EVA IMO.
Justice will never lose!

Post Reply