Mechas 20 years

What's on your mind?

Moderator: kosh

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

Mechas 20 years

Post by Temjin » Sun Nov 21, 2004 8:55 pm

I been wondering what do you guys think 20 years from now mechas would look like?

User avatar
Tachyon
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2814
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:14 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Tachyon » Sun Nov 21, 2004 9:40 pm

When I look at mecha designs from 1984 and compare to mecha designs from 2004 I see some differences but nothing I'd call dramatic. Seed Astray and Seed Destiny Gundams are still hefting big metal swords.

I think we'll have some great designs but I'm not certain they'll be real different.
If you don't like the news then go make some of your own.

Altron

Post by Altron » Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:18 am

Somehow, I think they'll become sleeker, faster and more practical. I mean, compare the old, blocky designs to an Astray model or something like that. I think the evolution of the more polished looking suits will be coming.

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

Wonder...

Post by Kuruni » Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:41 am

While mostlikely that hi-tech look mecha would be mainstream. I still believe that stocky and bulk robot like Giant Robo would keep pop out here and there... They have a incredible charm... (LOL! I just finish SNES Live A Live game, and found I'm fall in love with that Buriki Daioh...)

Not to mention most robot in Super Sentai serie are still bulky...There are some sleek design, but most are stick to heavyweight powerhouse.
Justice will never lose!

SteamTrooper

Post by SteamTrooper » Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:28 pm

I sort of agree with Altron here - but bearing in minds the waves of fashion we could be talking about a backlash to old school followed by a reverse backlash to super sleek/ almost formula 1 type mecha or even back to Gear/Gasaraki type `practical/functional` type stuff - with the way things have been for about the last ten years I believe that without a new/renaisance of design we will probably only see slight tweeks to the designs - resulting in no real change in philosophy.

Without a major change in the real world of technology or even a theoretical breakthrough I feel it unlikely that design ethics will change a great deal - but who knows for sure :roll: .

Newton
Posts: 363
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:36 am
Location: Logan, UT
Contact:

Post by Newton » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:22 pm

Hmmm...

First off, I'm glad to have found Gears Online! This is an amazing site - more information and art than I can shake a stick at! But onto the subject...

I must agree that mecha design does depend on current trends in industrial design. That said, it's possible that the Next Big Thing - a groundbreaking design that just turns a corner - may come up soon. It really depends on what breakthrough production has a designer who creates that "right on the nail" design.

So far, I haven't seen anything that fits that description, but that's part of why I keep watching anime.^__^ It may be another sleek design, but there's equal probability that it could be an old-school design ethic or something completely unexpected. Inspiration comes from everywhere, and there's no telling what inspires every designer.

The sure thing is that it will be really weird and cool-looking...

-Newt

Altron

Post by Altron » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:51 pm

Naw, I'm betting my bottom dollar that there won't be a retro backlash. Just think of all the little american children who will think the censored, cut to ribbons version of Gundam just isn't cool anymore! The fanbase will be lost!

And yes, it's sad, but I'm really not joking. But then again, there are enough mecha buffs (us), to keep retro designs coming. IMO, however, I think mechs will follow the progression of the rest of our technology. More compact, sleeker, fresh -- techy look, more efficient. No one wants to see the mega zords of power rangers on their screens again. Those days are long past. The time is now, people.

User avatar
Tachyon
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2814
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:14 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Tachyon » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:56 pm

I don't know about a retro backlash but retro designs do pop up now and again. Just look at Gunbuster (the first OAV series). The mecha there were retro all the way back to Tetsujin 28 from the '60s.
If you don't like the news then go make some of your own.

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 » Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:02 am

Temjin wrote:I been wondering what do you guys think 20 years from now mechas would look like?
My guess:

The ever-increasing use of CG rendering of mecha in anime (as in games) will mean that more and more elaborate, complex, and baroque shapes can -- and will -- be used.

(As an example: Zoids could never have been animated until only a few years ago -- when CG rendering made it possible to animate such incredibly complicated designs.)

Already, we're seeing more and more bizarrely-shaped mecha used effectively thanks to CG -- especially in the form of semi-monstrous and/or alien enemy mecha designs.

I think, in the coming decades, 3D CG modelling will lead to mecha designs so unfamiliar and esoteric that our current standards will seem tame by comparison.

This is not to say that traditional mecha design trends will be abandoned. Time-tested designs aesthetics (70's "super robots", blocky "transformers" shapes, and of course the mainstay "Gundam" body form) will be around pretty much forever. Buuuut... CG will lead to new mecha design aesthetics which we really can but barely anticipate yet.

I think some of the designers whose work exemplifies what we might see in the next decades are Kenki Fujioka (Advance of Zeta, Medarot Navi), Kazumi Fujita (Zeta Gundam, GaoGaiGar Final, GunDriver), Yoji Shinkawa (Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear Solid), and Ikuto Yamashita (Dark Whisper, Evangelion).

SteamTrooper

Post by SteamTrooper » Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:12 pm

I think maybe along the way one important thing has been overlooked regarding the possible directions and limits of Mecha development - and it is one that has drawn me to this genre and kept me hooked like no other - Anthropamorphics

We can guess and predict to our hearts contents but only the future will tell for sure - but one thing is for sure that a majority of Mecha will remain familiar to us in that their basic design is man shaped - I am aware that many alternative designs exist with roots to other forms but for me the word Mecha instantly conjours the old upright four limbed and proud headed form that I awake to every day.

This the next wave of designers are going to have a real problem shaking - if they truly want to (which I believe would be a sad sad day).

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 » Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:28 pm

Anthropomorphism, huh?

So your prediction about the future of humanoid-shaped machines is that they'll be... humanoid-shaped?
SteamTrooper wrote:I think maybe along the way one important thing has been overlooked regarding the possible directions and limits of Mecha development - and it is one that has drawn me to this genre and kept me hooked like no other - Anthropamorphics

We can guess and predict to our hearts contents but only the future will tell for sure - but one thing is for sure that a majority of Mecha will remain familiar to us in that their basic design is man shaped - I am aware that many alternative designs exist with roots to other forms but for me the word Mecha instantly conjours the old upright four limbed and proud headed form that I awake to every day.

This the next wave of designers are going to have a real problem shaking - if they truly want to (which I believe would be a sad sad day).

SteamTrooper

Post by SteamTrooper » Thu Nov 25, 2004 8:49 am

No and Yes - technically Mecha covers a wider range than the merely man-shaped form - but! I believe that this lies at the core and heart of mecha design - more so I believe that many mecha hold to an ancient design - that of the armoured knight - for these reasons (the underlying principles and thoughts behind Mecha - that go back way before film and tv) I cant see that current trends have ever realy held too much sway over the designs of their comtemporary Mecha. Art fashions and stylistic trends as well as cultural beliefs and myths have given us a myriad of different looks and interpretations but aside from a handfull of off the wall designers I dont believe the basic look has or will change and whats more has no real need too - if it is to change too much it will become something else entirley.

So yes I predict the man like robot fighting machine of now will stay just that simply by a loose definition - guess all I was saying realy is -

how much room for change is there?

p.s. Altron - when I suggested a retro-backlash I wasnt realy talking about a particular series being re-shown etc... just a return to the golden age of Mecha - the strories and ideas could be more sophisticated but with a retro look to the technology - a more Toy robot look - fashions are very hard to predict even a season ahead so in twenty years who knows what the youth will want to see - they might look back at the Halcyon days of yore and feel nostalgic for something like Evangelion or FFS.

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 » Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:45 pm

Woof woof!

OK, this is rather interesting...
SteamTrooper wrote:No and Yes - technically Mecha covers a wider range than the merely man-shaped form - but! I believe that this lies at the core and heart of mecha design
Naturally. This whole website's point is humanoid machines, and when one referes to "mecha design," what one's talking about is primarily such humanoid machines. Discussing a topic like "what do you think fictional machines of all forms will be like in 20 years?" is so broad as to be pointless.
SteamTrooper wrote:more so I believe that many mecha hold to an ancient design - that of the armoured knight
I actually disagree with this. Looking at the first mecha designs -- Tetsujin 28, Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, etc -- how much did they resemble armored knights? Not much, to my eyes. The whole point of a mech is not that it is a giant guy in in giant armor, but that it is "a machine made man" and "a man made machine." Plus, of course, there's the whole gigantism issue...
SteamTrooper wrote:for these reasons (the underlying principles and thoughts behind Mecha - that go back way before film and tv) I cant see that current trends have ever realy held too much sway over the designs of their comtemporary Mecha. Art fashions and stylistic trends as well as cultural beliefs and myths have given us a myriad of different looks and interpretations but aside from a handfull of off the wall designers I dont believe the basic look has or will change
You really don't think that the basic look of mecha has changed over the course of the past 40 years?

1960s: Tetsujin 28
1970s: "Shogun Warriors" (Mazinger Z, Raideen, Getter Robo, etc)
1980s: Real Robots (Super Dimensional style & Mobile Suit style)
1990s: Evangelion-influenced baroque designs & lots of retro
2000s: CG-rendered super-intricate forms

Comparing Tetsuijin 28 to Brainpowerd... can you really say that mecha design styles haven't changed?
SteamTrooper wrote:and whats more has no real need too - if it is to change too much it will become something else entirley.

So yes I predict the man like robot fighting machine of now will stay just that simply by a loose definition - guess all I was saying realy is -

how much room for change is there?
The human form is so primally distinct that there is plenty of room for change.

Consider: a four-armed humanoid shape is still recognizable as being based on the shape of man. Heck, eve the Gerwalks and M-Rovers from Orguss (jets with legs and jets with arms, respectively) still fall solidly into the man-based mecha category. Animal-based mecha, like Zoids and many Sentai machines, also fit the category. In other words, any machine which has limbs fits the bill, and that is a categorization with a LOT of wiggle room.

To the mecha designers of the future I say: bring on the innovations!

Newton
Posts: 363
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:36 am
Location: Logan, UT
Contact:

Post by Newton » Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:12 pm

I most certainly hope that the design trends continue toward more exotic, baroque mecha. It's my personal favorite design ethic, and artists like Ikuto Yamashita and Atsuki Takeuchi have made some truly impressive pieces.

On a slight tangent, does anyone here have Dark Whisper 3? I am looking for more of Yamashita's design work.

Speaking of future design trends, what does this season's anime look like as far as mecha (other than Gundam Seed Destiny, of course)?

-Newt

User avatar
Tachyon
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2814
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:14 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Tachyon » Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:08 am

I'm in the same boat! I've got Dark Whisper 1 and 2 on my shelf but I've never seen volume 3.
If you don't like the news then go make some of your own.

Post Reply