It’s coming, and you can send your nominations to executiveotaku AT gmail DOT COM for up to fifteen (15) individual robot units. The rules are all posted on the site, but here in this post I intend to demonstrate the thought that goes in (or I want to go into) the nominations.
While I don’t expect everyone to match my BURNING PASSION in these considerations, I don’t want fans to LIMIT THEIR LOVE by doing only what I do. By all means put all your HARD WORK AND GUTS not only into your nominations, but also when it’s time to campaign.
Alright, lets get into my nominations then:
It’s the most powerful form of the Mazinger-type super robot, the first piloted mecha in anime. Originally introduced in Super Robot Wars F as fans of the game thirsted for a “mid-season upgrade” (not yet a trope during Mazinger Z’s original TV run) for the relatively weak Mazinger Z unit in the game, series creator Go Nagai loved it and welcomed it into the Mazinger canon (as it were, LOL).
The latest, post-apocalyptic version “Skull” innovates by having alternating pilots in a single cockpit, incorporating a second fighting style involving pistol daggers and gun-fu. Mazinkaiser, is big, strong, and very very badass.
What a lovely piece of work.
1. The quad-wings.
Go ahead, watch some vids. The Kshatriya swooping in from beyond visual range and then to some blind spot of the RX-0 is magnificent. The silhouette is that of a demon, at times swirling but always menacing.
The wings, to date present the most detailed and good-looking funnels housing and deployment system. No more hovering from shoulders (a la Jagd-dogas), no more spitting from behind (like the Qubeley). The whole deployment and retrieval system is gorgeous.
Then the wings also serve as armor, allowing the Kshatriya to turtle up when it can’t outmaneuver its usually multiple opponents.
It looks every bit like a gigantic mobile armor, but is actually pretty much within the size of a mobile suit. The big Alpha Aziel while impressive looking is kind of hard to take when it’s dodging beams (it’s funnels alone is the size of the Nv-Gundam, a pretty fucking big Gundam). This also means that its funnels are of an impressively small size. It’s really lulz thinking about mobile armors such as the Elmeth and the Alpha Aziel packing funnels as big as mobile suits.
Despite being able to snipe from ridiculous distances via funnels, then spray an area with beams via funnels and its chest cannons, the Kshatriya is somewhat disadvantaged without a traditional forward-facing weapon like a beam gun. Without funnel cover fire, it has to reorient its entire torso to fire at targets as opposed to a rifle tip.
Thus when it does its aforementioned swooping, it HAS to deploy and attack with funnels because its torso is facing “downwards” or away from its targets. This can also be a big disadvantage when moving in reverse.
Under normal battle conditions these are not issues as the unit will severely outperform mass-produced suits, but against the RX-0 these limitations are severely exploited even without the benefit of the NT-D.
I imagine the Kshatriya will also have fits against the Sinanju if it comes down to a fight with it.
All these things (along with the finer details like the sleeves, the beam saber that pops out from them, the extra limbs, and the green color) make for a very different robot than the ones presented here.
Another monster from Gundam, the GP03 Dendrobium Orchis is a mobile armor set-up that is “carried” by the GP03 Dendrobium Stamen. The whole set up is a flower of death that spreads ruin among Zeon. In my mind it has a delightfully diverse weapons payload that isn’t magically streamlined into the mobile suit’s silhouette. Lots of weapons = bulk, and the GP03 is a great example of how it’d look like.
Relative to other similar configurations in Gundam, the asymmetry of the GP03 is far superior to the gimmicky color beamspamming ginormous backpacks of the METEOR series in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
The sleekest and sexiest Variable Fighter to date is the 25th anniversary edition of the VF. Code-named “Messiah” there’s nothing derisively Jesus-like about its abilities (nor its pilot Alto Saotome, who got shot down several times while piloting this). Overtechnology allowed the design to keep the silhouette as slim and minimalist as possible without sacrificing material strength.
While it’s always comical how such a retro jet plane design would be so necessary for a space fighter, it is a striking and beautiful shape on the Valkyrie and Gerwalk modes. I’ve always loved VFs, but I think I love this bird the most.
Ugly color, ungainly Battloid mode, unlikely swept-forward wing design, this bird indeed felt like the flipped middle finger at VF fans. It isn’t as technologically far-out as its rival YF-21, but the YF-21 went too far. Firstly, it had the Robotech-style “thinking cap” for controls, then its transformation feels like “morphing” instead of just “changing.” Thus, despite its departure from the original VF designs, it retained enough of the character of the Navy fighter jet… and perhaps the most important thing:
It let the pilot be the ace, because it demanded the pilot master it; as opposed to the YF-21 who wanted to become one with a worthy pilot. Less magic, more nuts-and-bolts-plain-old-flyin’ badassery.
To my 8-year old self, this was what a fighter jet looked like: white, broad, with extendable wings. No one let me watch Top-Gun as a kid, but even before I saw the movie posters and theatrical trailers; I already fell in-love with the F-14 Tomcat seeing it on the news on TV and reading about it on encyclopedias. Then I saw the F-14 Tomcat fucking transform into a robot. My world exploded.
Chodenji Machine Voltes V
Speaking of first love, how about first love anime? Voltes V for a generation became synonymous with Japanese animation, and was the representative for a number of shows both robot and otherwise in the 1970s here in the Philippines. Voltes V was so popular and influential that it received four separate dub treatments:
- an English dub which recorded over the still audible Japanese voice tracks during fights, so I could still hear the shouting and called-out attacks (BEST),
- the same cast doing the same dub but completely removing the Japanese voice track (TERRIBLE, since the actors can’t shout for shit)
- a Tagalog dub which took hilarious liberties in translation, plus some inspired bad voice acting (GREAT); and
- a Tagalog dub made by teen idols and established actors; massively hyped (MEH)
What’s even more interesting, is that the first Tagalog dub was done in the 1990s, and the second was in the 2000s. Voltes V first aired in the Philippines in the late 70s (aired in Japan in 1977). If that’s not multi-generational staying power, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.
The first combination using Lagann’s spiral powers, it is also the version we got to see in the most action. It’s a loving reference to both founders of the super robot tradition: Nagai’s Mazinger Z and Getter Robo. The former had a docking sequence of a ship smacking into the crown of the robot’s head, and the latter was the first to combine, ever.
Thus, Gurren-Lagann’s combination had Mazinger Z’s PILDER ON-esque docking maneuver, plus Getter Robo’s ridiculous combination animation, which has to be seen to be believed:
That first combination scene in TTGL was played for laughs, but it gets better, though never loses it’s ridiculousness:
Master Gundam & Fuunsaiki
If I have to explain anything after showing that image, then you’ll never get this awesomeness, nor deserve to do so. LOOK! THE EAST BURNS RED ANYWAY!
A God among robots (well, Zakus; but is definitely better than the God of GMs), Gunbuster was the second robot to push the scale of power into ridiculous galactic levels; and like the aforementioned God of GMs, had a strong sense of being in the real robot tradition. GAINAX will take this Tomino influence further in their subsequent work: Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Let’s just say that when confronting the aliens in “the conversations to come,” I feel better (and safer) having Noriko and Gunbuster going out to meet them, than say, the Gundam Qan t.
GN-001 Gundam Exia
I’m no big fan of supposedly real robots slugging it out in close range melee, while there is an overwhelming array of guns available. It doesn’t make sense why a pilot would risk getting shot at so many times just to close in and engage at melee. As a last resort, perhaps, but all too often (and especially in AU) Gundam, the pilots intentionally eschew firing guns at their opponents and charge at them using melee weapons (or worse, HUGGING IN SPACE).
Thus, a primarily melee-based anti-mobile suit Gundam is the height of stupidity for me. And yet, I find the SExia such a gorgeous design, with its tapered waist, broad shoulders, and 7 swords. I own several figures and at least 2 kits of this unit. It must have done something right to get past my fundamental dislike for its very concept.
MA-08 Big Zam
While Mobile Suit Gundam is the genesis of the “real robot” sub-genre, and remains in some ways the apotheosis of the same, it is a transitional work. This means it still works from within the robot genre as a whole at that time – the meta that it was attempting to transcend: super robot shows. As such, it made a number of concessions, the most obvious being the Gundam itself being a brightly colored machine (red, white, blue, yellow trim; as opposed to being purely white), and another being the inclusion of giant monster enemies.
The most gigantic, and monstrous enemy was the Big Zam, the last stand of the Solomon Asteroid stronghold of Zeon. I love it partly because of how Gundam turned the super robot enemy tradition on its head. Dozle Zabi made his heroic last stand in the Big Zam – remaining both dangerous enemy, but also a sympathetic doomed and tragic one. The first, and only time the Big Zam takes the field of battle is one of the most memorable moments for me in the Gundam franchise.
Knight of Gold
Another unit playing hopscotch over the super|real robot divide is the KOG, along with practically all of the Mortar Headds of The Five Star Stories. Most of these magnificent machines with their chivalrous Headdliners (pilots) and fetching Fatimas (co-pilots). Most of the goodness can be found in the manga, but there is a 1990 feature film that presents the universe of the story (and the opening arc of the manga).
I actually favor at least two other designs over the KOG, but this is the headlining (LOL PUN) robot in the anime, and the rules of Sai Mecha limit the choices to anime units. What makes the KOG stand out is the incredible detail in its design, with an aesthetic that evokes both Escaflowne, and Broken Blade, and yet FSS is years and years ahead of both. Also, the KOG packs enough heat to bust planets.
More info on The Five Star Stories by Nagano Mamoru.
Genesic Gao Gai Gar
The King of Braves Gao Gai Gar FINAL takes the combining beast robot schtick to its beyond the impossible extreme and creates a combining sequence so amazing that it eventually enables an attack that well uh, smashes THE SUN.
This is the strongest God of Destruction. It’s the ultimate shape of Courage.
Another selection that I surprised myself with. Why? Look at it! The Gundam has a freaking mustache! And yet, it’s another unit that I have a kit of, and is one of my favorite finishers in Super Robot Wars α Gaiden. Even so, ∀Gundam remains one of the best, if not the best example of how giant robots can have a special magic whimsy that I can only previously associate with Ghibli films and things made in the same spirit.
It’s also good for transporting livestock.
These are my nominations! They are all awesome! Be sure to send an email to executiveotaku AT gmail DOT COM to give your nominations! Now, I understand that it can take a LOT of effort to come up with a list of 15. It’s tough both ways: for some it’s hard to build up to 15, for others it’s exceedingly difficult to cut their list down to 15.
I’ll help you through it! Just post your list in whatever form in the comments and we’ll have a grand time talking ROBOTS!
Some I was expecting, some I wasn’t on your list. It was fun listening to your reasoning behind your nominations list too. While this whole Sai Mecha thing is only in it’s first full day I’m really excited to be running it and to see how everyone’s votes play out. The current nomination tallies are pretty spread out, so a group of people who wanted to get together in a voting block could have a good bit of sway over which mecha will make it to the full tournament. WINK WINK, NUDGE NUDGE PEOPLE!
I think the nominations posts like this one is already a victory for the more obscure robots and their shows. It becomes an excuse to talk about them and advocate them; remember love for them.
I suspect the final 32 will be pretty much about the more popular units, and if the right/wrong groups are mobilized, we will all bow down to the Strike Freedom.
Also, obligatory “check out the preliminary exhibition matches too” plug.
The only real surprise was the Big Zam and maybe the Exia because I know how much you despise the melee combat in Gundam. Other than that, interesting choices. We’ve already said enough about our tastes in mecha so I’ll leave it at that. Your list does show that I still have a lot more mecha to watch. Especially of the super-robot variety.
Maybe 2 years ago when I was in the thick of discovering my love for the Universal Century, I had this incredible high when I got an insight into how Zeon waged war:
They didn’t have much in terms of numbers: both in terms of resources or soldiers. Thus, they had this obsession with technological silver bullets. At first it was mobile suits, but Zakus were made as assault machines against non-mobile suit targets. When they were confronted with mobile suits, their response was to build BIGGER.
Thus every Zeon hopeful bigwig had a Mobile Armor project they were sponsoring. Dozle had his Big Zam, Kycillia had her Elmeth (along with the Newtype Corps.), Gineas Sahalin had his Apsalas, etc. They were following the formula that a mass production version of their machine, even in limited numbers would be the solution against the Federation’s Zerg-rush approach to the OYW.
“WHEN THE BIG ZAM IS MASS PRODUCED”
…my favorite meme from Mobile Suit Gundam, c/o Dozle Zabi.
Hit me up if you wanna talk super robot shows. I’ll tell you all about the shows you’ll enjoy the most/hate the least.
I like the Exia, SKL and the NZ-666 =D
And that combination of Gurren Lagann was hilarious XD When a friend first showed it to me I was laughing like heck, then it actually worked and I was like “ALKDSJFLASDF WHAT WHAT WHAT WHATTT?????”
Still trying to decide for myself which ones to nominate, but since I only recently started watching anime again they’ll mostly be from the newer series.
That’s all good, and feel free to nominate more than one robot from the same series. For example, Lazengann from TTGL is so boss (Lord Genome’s), and so is Enkidu (Viral’s).
In Gundam 00, the Gundam Virtue is my next favorite: it’s the best fat Gundam ever even if I’m very fond of Z Gundam’s “The O.”
GL I know you hate my taste in mecha, but here are my failnoms (and some winnoms for what I’m sure you’d consider failreasons). I’ll do a post on my own site with the whys.
1. Turn A Gundam
2. Evangelion Unit 01
3. Evangelion Unit 02
5. God Gundam
7. Gundam Deathscythe
8. Big O
9. Overman King Gainer
11. Melan Blue
I’m going to re-check and research before submitting these as my final noms, though.
Great list, I don’t suppose that it’s ranked right?
I’ve no problems with it, as much as your problems with the robots you don’t pick LOL
I look forward to your post.
Nominations have been counted. Thanks for your picks!
my list would include the dirfinge from broken blade, its way too fast and powerful. but im too lazy to send in my lsit
Just build your list here, put some thought into it, and I’ll take care of the rest!
hmmm, heres my list, btw, is vajura counted as mecha?
1. SV-51 (from macross zero, used by anti-UN forces, it’s flight mode reminds me of the VF-25)
2. VF-25G (macross frontier, sniper version of the VF-25, i just love snipers)
3. Macross Quarter (fast and agile, despite not being a complete 1.6km long ship, it makes up for that with a Heavy Quantum Reaction Cannon)
4. VF-19 Custom (Nekki Basara’s own red VF-19, indestructible to the extend that it could survive a missile raid and crashlanding on a planet due to defolding too close to the ground)
5. VF-0A (Shin Kudo’s VF-0 that ended up with trashed engines, a damaged Eject System and went nowhere)
6. Freedom Gundam (to be honest, i only liked the design of the Freedom, the whole “killing entire armies” thing with just only 5 beams is like WTF)
7. Zegapain Altair [from Zegapain, piloted by Sogoru Kyo(gunner, or basically pilot) and Kaminagi Ryoko(Wizard, or Copilot) i love the green wings and the “Vanishment mode” which is basically self-destruct]
8. VB-6 König Monster [Macross Frontier, i like to call it a hybrid between a Valkyrie and a Monster]
9. Battle Galaxy [ Macross Frontier, the head looks like a VF-27’s and so advanced in technology that it can project an illusion on itself]
10. VF-25F Armored Messiah [ Alto Saotome’s custom in armor, i like it in armor (http://www.macross2.net/m3/macrossf/vf-25f-fullarmor/vf-25f-fullarmor-battroid.jpg)%5D
11. Dirfinge [ Broken blade, unbelievably strong, fast, give it armor and it is a killing machine, worthy of me calling it “Fast and Furious”
12. Byaku Shiki [ from Infinite Stratos, despite being more of a combat suit than a true robot , i like the white colour on it. and i like how it sounds like Hyaku Shiki from Zeta Gundam]
13. Shining Gundam [the first hero gundam of G Gundam, capable of shooting huge energy beams, turning gold, and also capable of crushing your head with a glowing hand]
14. Tauburn [from Star Driver ~Kagayaki no Takuto~, currently capable of pulling out light sabers out of the chest(i wish i could do that), using what seems to be an imitation of Fin/Funnel/Fangs/DRAGOONs, flying with the Fin/Funnel/Fangs/DRAGOONs imitations on its back(acting like a jet pack), shooting the “driver”out to defeat the enemy in a style similar to Shining/God Gundam]
15. Dynames Gundam [piloted by a person of equal epicness with Michel Blanc, then again, i just love snipers]
if vajuras count as mecha, remove the Battle Galaxy and replace it as Large-sized Vajura
The Vajura count, and you won’t get any complaints from me about this list that has so much love for contemporary Macross designs!
Yes, you did a good job too talking about the Tauburn — the invincible Galactic Pretty-boy! Those funnels are lovely h4xx0rz among a plethora of h4xx.
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So I can just post my nominations here and not bother with any explanations and what not?
(not ranked, left out the ones already nominated by others)
1. Dai-Guard (Dai-Guard)
2. Mazinger Z, with God Scrander, of course (Shin Mazinger)
3. Tactical Armor (Gasaraki)
4. HAVWC (Flag)
5. Getter Robo (Getter Robo: Armageddon)
6. Black Getter Robo (Getter Robo: Armageddon)
7. Shin Getter (Getter Robo: Armageddon)
8. Giant Robo (Giant Robo)
9. Dix-Neuf (Diebuster)
10. Buster Machine #7 (Diebuster)
11. Alteisen (SRW: OG)
12. Gespenst Mk. II (SRW: OG)
13. Gratan (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water)
14. New Getter (New Getter Robo)
15. Lazengann (TTGL)
I’ll make sure EO gets these nominations. No need to explain, except if you want to (I’ll definitely appreciate it!).
I like a lot of robots on your list, I look forward to whatever you have to say about them whenever you wish to.
Don’t expect anything too in depth, a lot of it just comes down to these robots being aesthetically pleasing or particularly badass or just being personal favorites.
In retrospect I probably should’ve made room for Dygenguard, Aussenseiter and Megas XLR (maybe leave out some of the Getters), but fuck it, I’m sure they’ll get nominated anyway.
Oh dammit, I also totally forgot Ramrod/Bismarck!
Nominations received and counted. Thanks!
That’s a lot of Getters, hehe. One design that stands out to me from your list is that of Dix-Neuf’s. Man, that unit is something else. It’s remarkable how different it looks from anything we’ve ever seen before and the silhouette of the upper torso and head finds its way in many latter designs by its maker (e.g. Lazengann). Even so, in terms of look, function, and “plot” related tricks, Dix-Neuf is one of a kind.
If it makes it to the final 32, I’ve no problem not only voting for it, but also campaigning the shit out of it.
What can I say, I just love my Getters, particularly Getter-1.
But yeah, Dix-Neuf is pretty much the ultimate bad boy super robot, definetily in my top 5. Gigantic duster, battle scarred and all kinds of crazy ass weapons up the wazoo! Too bad Diebuster gets so little love, sigh…
Can I just say I too have huge adoration for the barrel chested OVA design for Getter 1? It looks so badass while having the mecha equivalent of a beer belly! Love that unit, not to mention crazy from 5 years of wrongful incarceration Ryoma…
Testify, brother! You had great picks too, glad to see I’m not the only one standing up for New Getter and Shin ZEEETTOOOOO!
Can I also make my nominations here?
1. MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki (Zeta Gundam)
2. ARX-7 Arbalest (Full Metal Panic)
3. Black Selena (Nadesico: Prince of Darkness)
4. AMX-004-2 Qubeley Mark II (ZZ Gundam)
5. MS-06S Zaku II Char Custom (MSG)
6. Guren SEITEN (Code Geass R2)
7. AMX-109 Kapool/Capule (∀ Gundam/ZZ Gundam)
8. RB-79 Ball (MSG)
9. MSN-03 Jagd Doga Gyunei Custom (Char’s Counterattack)
10. Zeorymer (Hades Project Zeorymer)
11. ∀ Gundam
13. Knight of Gold
14. NZ-666 Kshatriya
Also, does the GPB-04B Bearguy from Gunpla Builders count?I want to nominate it for the lulz?
Zeorymer is such a beast. Good choice!
Nominations recorded, thanks! Another mecha from Gunpla Builders did come up before, and since there’s an OVA of it I’ll allow nominations from that.
Qubeley Mk. II? Why? If anything, the color scheme isn’t very appealing. Otherwise it looks just like Haman’s.
LOL Zeorymer, I only know of it as this overpowerd piece of brokenmech in Super Robot Wars J. It does look kind of sweet though. The name system though is rather nice “…of the skies, of the wind, etc.).
Just as you said, it’s only about the color scheme. I particularly liked the purple version more than the white or the red. Still the Qubeley’s design looks appealing at least to me.
In no particular order…
1. MSN-06S Sinanju (Gundam Unicorn): It’s the ultimate expression of Zeonic design aesthetics while also serving as the ultimate “Char Custom”. It’s also the most beautiful Mobile Suit ever drawn, in my opinion. Sinanju is probably the only MS that’s immune to the NT-D system of the Unicorn, which I can appreciate for the reason that the simplicity of the design is what allows that immunity. No funnels, no funny busines, just a gorgeous, effective design that works well in-universe and out.
2. Genesic GaoGaiGar (King of Braves GaoGaiGar): All the same reasons everone else love GGG. HIKARI NI NAAAAAREEEEE! lol
3. Giant Robo (Giant Robo – The Animation: The Day the Earth Stood Still): I love the throwback design and the story Robo and his allies come from. “Giant Robo” was the first anime I ever watched knowing that it was “anime” and not just “another cartoon.”
4. Black Getter (Getter Robo Armageddon) – What could possibly be harder than Ryouma piloting Getter 1? Oh, I know, Ryouma in a super-psychotic-just-barely-not evil all-black Getter FROM THE FUTURE. That’s what’s up.
5. MRC-F20 SUMO – Harry Ord type (Turn A Gundam) : As much as I love the Turn A, it’s been nominated before, and since the SUMO inherited the design Syd Mead meant for the main protagonist MS, I find it fitting that it’s my favorite from the show. The color scheme remembers love for Hyaku Shiki and Harry Ord, the pilot, is probably the best-executed “Char Clone” of the whole Gundam metaseries. Unusual weapons and quirky shape included, I love the SUMO. I’d love even more if BanDai would make a Robot Damashii figure of it…
6. EVA-02 (Neon Genesis Evangelion) : Am I the only person who thinks this is the best-looking of all the Evas? The fact that I cannot separate my love of the mech with my love for its pilot shouldn’t disqualify my suggesting it, should it?
7. Mazinkaiser SKL (Mazinkaiser SKL) : 100 percent metal to the friggin’ bone. SKL is like the combination of every of every song by Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Metallica, Megadeth, Accept, Running Wild, Saxon, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Pantera, Loudness and Anthem song ever recorded. That conglomeration was then melted down and formed into this Devil Machine. There is simply nothing more B-A than SKL.
8. Gunbuster (Top o Nerae! Gunbuster): I can’t agree more with every one of Ghostlightning’s points, so I won’t try to elaborate. I love the Gunbuster (not least because it the God of Zakus ^^).
9. OZ-13MS Gundam Epyon (Gundam Wing): This was what first got me into Gundam. I realize now how hokey, impractical and “super-ish” it looks, but I still can’t help but love it because of the profound impact it had on my life. As an 11-year-old kid, seeing that red beast rip other robots apart while the pilot screamed in mental anguish and furious rage was just too incredible. You never forget your first love and the first mecha I loved was a Gundam.
10. X-ATH-02-DT Rabidly Dog (Armored Trooper VOTOMS): Though VOTOMS is rightfully renowned for its realistically brutal portrayal of mecha combat, the Rabidly Dog always stood out to me as a “super-among-superreals.” When Chirico gets ahold of this puppy on Quent, he cleans house like never before, and he cleaned plenty of house even using (and discarding) dozens of other, more mundane Scopedogs.
11. Zearth (Bokurano): Zearth is not a realistic mecha in terms of design or setting, but what it does show realistically is the horrific levels of damage that WOULD ACTUALLY be caused by a super robot battle in a populated area.
12. GNX-903VW Brave – commander test type (Gundam 00: Trailblazer blah blah blah aliens): I loved the Flag from season 1 of Gundam 00, and the Brave is, obviously, the next-gen derivative of that design combined with some of the superish samurai design ethose of the silly “Mister Bushido” MS. I really like the blue coloration and the simple but interesting transformation gimmick.
13. VF-4 “Lightning II” (Macross Flashback 2012) – I like this guy among all varible fighters. Don’t ask why, but I think it looks unique withouth looking strange like the YF-21.
14. PTX-003 Gespenst Mk III “Alteisen” (SRW OG) – A mech with a huge spike/revolver for an arm and a super-heated horn. Very red. Powered by all sorts of pseudoscience and hot blood. If the Rabidly Dog is a “super-among-superreals” then the Alteisen is a “sorta-real-among-supers.” Also, you have to dig the neat inversion of the “red mechs are 3x faster” trope in that the Alteisen is slower and heavier than pretty much everything – and that it was built that way ON PURPOSE because of pride in human technology instead of the alien mumbo-jumbo other Personal Troopers used. Love it love it love it.
15. Escaflowne (Vision of Escaflowne) – What an elegant, ethereal design! Only Kawamori could take something as absurd as transforming into a dragon the pilot rides through the sky like a horse and make it seem realistic – to an extent. While , in retrospect, I can see how the Escaflowne draws alot from the “Ryu Knight” series in terms of design elements, the fact I saw Escaflowne first makes it stand out more for me. Also, it’s cool to see how the “super-prototype” hero robot of an anime show is really not that great compared to other Guymelefs, even mass produced ones like the Zaibach Empire’s floating, cloaked units that shoot liquid steel and fire. Escaflowne is truly a sight to behold among mecha.
I would have included the Grille 6 from the Front Mission Series and Jehuty from Zone of the Enders if video game-exclusive robots weren’t unallowed. Also, at the risk of making my list even MORE Gundam-centric, I would have liked to put in the Gundam Maxter from G Gundam, Tallgeese III from Gundam Wing and the venerable MS-06 Zaku II line as well.
Nominations received and counted. Thanks for your nominations!
1. Hard to argue against your opinion on the Sinanju… the only reason I’m tempted to favor the Sazabi over it is the fact that Char piloted that one instead of the Sinanju.
3. While I love the Giant Robo design, I can’t nominate it myself over sleeker, faster, and complex units. Still, there’s a lot to appreciate from the Fat Pharaoh of Riveted Iron with its deceptively expressionless face and deceptively emotional groans.
5. I realize my affinity with the SUMO is made too much of my lurve for Harry Ord. Otherwise I don’t think that much of it.
6. Four-eyes doesn’t have Unit-01’s horn, which I think makes a huge difference. My love for Unit-02 has so much to do with the cape it wore during its debut on the ocean, but more so its exit against the mass-production Evangelions.
7. Fuck yes.
15. “Flying Dragon” was part of the OST of my own wedding reception. Such is my ❤ for Escaflowne.
1. I agree with you about Char actually piloting the Sazabi, and it was my second favorite MS (behind Epyon) UNTIL I saw Sinanju. What I like most about it is that, to me, it represents the best of what made a “Char custom” suit a “Char custom” suit: that is, simple armaments and , clean design and overwhelming high-speed performance. I feel my appreciation for Sinanju is in the same spirit as your love for the YF-19, in that it requires the best out of its pilot. Also, the fact that it alone among super mobile suits can stand up to the RX-0 specifically because it DOESN’T engage in the newype shenanigans of the Sazabi and other newtype weapons is particularly appealing to me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that my love for Sinanju comes from it being the kind of mobile suit I’d want to pilot if I were an ace pilot – it represents the highest aspirations of my real robot ideal, whereas I just liked Sazabi because Char was the pilot. After reading your take on Char and rewatching “Char’s Counterattack” a few times, I quickly came to realize I don’t like him nearly as much any more. Full Frontal seems like a much better human being overall.
I appreciate your approval for my selection of some of the others (we’re just going to have to agree to disagree about EVA-02 – though I’ll admit I do like 01’s horn and gaping maw it’s the color scheme that’s a turn-off for me). However, I figured you’d call me out for sure regarding my choice of the VF-4, since it’s not looked upon that favorably from what I understand. Honestly, I was vacillating between the “Lightning II” and the VF-2SS from “Macross II”! I bet that would have surely drawn your ire!
The VF-4 does seem a bit weird, and its “futuristic” appearance actually makes it look very dated as opposed to timeless like the VF-1 series. As for the VF-2SS, it is a gorgeous design and I wouldn’t blame you for picking it.
We are in agreement with many good things here. I just differ slightly in that the Sazabi is pretty badass beyond just being a Char-piloted red suit (I can’t say the same for the Gelgoog-J, and the Z’Gokk). The Sazabi makes me think of a souped-up Marasai, which I had always liked.
Char is a whole lot less likable as a person, after CCA… but I think I like him more as a fictional character after CCA. Among Gundam villains, he was spared the ignominy of becoming crazed, bug-eyed, and psychopathic — attributes and behaviors that became the norm for AU Gundam shows.
So glad to see the Turn A made your list, it’s really unfortunate that Gundam fans in general, as so anal about retaining the traditional Gundam design, because they’re overlooking the brilliant work of Syd Mead. Both the Turn A and Turn X, remain some of the most unique and refreshing looking mecha I’ve ever seen. Anyway, if I had to suggest a single best mecha (in an anime), I’d have to go with the Unicorn Gundam. 😀 But yeah, it’s a bit unfortunate that the mechas have to be from an anime, ’cause I’d totally nominate the exosuit from District 9 if I had the chance.
Go ahead and nominate those you’d like. Contestants are determined by total number of nominations and the 32 with the most nominations make it into the tournament. Just Ghosty’s nomination doesn’t guarantee entry.
In that case…
I gotta go with the original Megazord from the first season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
If I can, I’d like to post my nominations here then…
1.) Gundam RX-0 (Gundam Unicorn)
2.) Turn A Gundam (Turn A Gundam)
3.) Knight of Gold (Five Star Stories)
4.) EVA-01 (Evangelion)
5.) YF-19 (Macross Plus)
6.) AV-X0 (AV-2) Type X-0 (Patlabor the Movie)
7.) L.Gaim Mark-II (Heavy Metal L.Gaim)
8.) NZ-666 Kshatriya (Gundam Unicorn)
9.) GX-9900 (After War Gundam X)
10.) Garland (Megazone 23)
11.) Turn X Gundam (Turn A Gundam)
12.) Escaflowne (Vision of Escaflowne)
13.) MSN-06S Sinanju (Gundam Unicorn)
14.) MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam (Zeta Gundam)
15.) MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki (Zeta Gundam)
If the manga was allowed, would you prefer the L-Gaim over the Junchoon?
Definitely not, the Junchoon is one of my all time favorite Nagano mechs.
Received and recorded, thanks!
Take away its fat head and you have quite a rather sexy silhouette, which is rather amazing considering the shape of its torso. The legs in particular are quite a marvel, in terms of both the length, and the disproportionate size of the lower leg sections. The “underbelly” style of the back of the legs is pretty remarkable too, even if only for the big surprise it pulls out near the end, though the booster-type propulsion the Gundam gets out of it is pretty strange but good.
Awesome list here Ghost! I should knock my brain around and make a list xD
YAY for Mazinkaizer SKL I love the design of that machine, even thou I have only seen the newest ova episodes.
Just post it here so we can talk about it.
There’s only the 7-ep OVA of Mazinkaiser, and one movie. Pretty dumb fun, but amazing nonetheless.
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Holy shit, this is our tournament right here!
Not sure whether the objective is to select the strongest mech lineup or just the most popular, so I’ll give a list of mecha I just happen to love, in no particular order. Hope that’s alright.
1. Big O (The Big O). It’s just such a wonderful mix of retro sensibilities with modern aesthetics; a strange combination that works beautifuly. It’s arms make up two-thirds of its weight and it moves like a battleship, but that just makes it the more tangible. It’s certainly helped by its glorious array of weaponry and its very own personal transportation train. Few mechs I know that do that!
2. Giant Robo (Giant Robo The Animation: The Day the Earth Stood Still). Another retro modern mix, here taking the original design and distorting it to almost chibi proportions. It’s rocket backpack is roughly equal to the size of the mech itself, which would only seem sensible when you’re talking about a robot the size of the eiffel tower! It looks like an acient pharoh and you can control it with a wristwatch. It is every bit a robot like I could have designed as a child, hence the appeal.
3. Tetsujin 28 (Tetsujin 28, 2004 version). Another golden oldie, Tetsujin makes it for me not just for his legacy, or the wacky touches like his rooster crest or his pointy nose. I like him for being simply a giant grappler that weighs over 30 tons, he’ll use his own weight and armour as a primary weapon, not electric yoyos or robot sized machine guns. Unarmed robot combat all the way. Odd how the grandaddy of super robots is ten times more “real” than the average gundam. Plus his remote control operator system speaks to the child in me 🙂
4. Mazinger Z (Shin Mazinger Shockwave! Z Chapter). The Invincible Black Castle of IRON! Forged from Super Alloy ZETTO! Not much to say really, I just prefer this design over the toei original. Turning into a giant golden fist helps, as does Photonic Beam being his STRONGEST weapon. Makes a lot of sense to me given his power source.
5. Boss Borot (Mazinkaiser OAV). Doesn’t really matter which icarnation of Borot you choose, I love it all the same. The idea that super robot is just inheretly CRAP from the drawing board to production just makes me laugh. Plus, this version is driven by Boss as played by GENDO IKARI. Let that sink in when he butt stomps you.
6. Gaofighgar (King of Braves: Gaogaigar Final). Seeing as Genesic gets all the love, I nominate my second favourite icarnation of the King of Braves. The blue and gray pops wonderfully, I love how it has a space shuttle to replace a bullet train as its shoulders, the glowing G on its hand: its the original, but BETTER! I would include Mic too, but this list is for pilotable mecha, not sentient ones.
7. Steel Jeeg (Kotetsu Jeeg). Pure Uncle Go madness icarnate. A nine foot tall, magnetic, magical bell powered mecha assembled like a lego set. It’s colour scheme: gold, green/black and yellow. It’s cyborg pilot forms THE HEAD. It slaps its enemies to death, it HUGS them. It can swap out its parts according to battle conditions, drill arms, bazooka arms, MORE ARMS THAN YOUR BODY CAN HANDLE! It looks like a pro wrestler. And its pilot sounds like a 12 year old Amuro Ray. I heart Jeeg.
8. New Getter Robo (All 3 forms, New Getter Robo). A glorious mix of the design archetypes of the 70’s original getter, updated with touches from the godly Shin Getter. This Getter 3 is by far my favourite. Getter 2 has this great spindly legs, two metal spikes with a single nub for legs. And Getter 1 is perfect as ever, wings and all. Throw in easily the most psychotic and murderous icarnation of the Getter Team …
(Ryoma wants your blood! Hayato is even MORE batshit crazy than usual! And he’s a terrorist! Fat guy is a composite of Musashi and Benkei! He’s a horny monk! HE DOESN’T DIE IN THIS ONE!)
And you have a damn underated Getter. And everyone picks Black Getter just because it looks like Batman! 😦
9. Combattler V (Chodenji Robo Combattler V). My favourite design of the Nagahama Romance Trilogy. I would include Voltes and Daimos, but I wanted to limit it to a few per series (they aren’t technically connected but SHUT UP, it’s my list!). Five pilots, only two of whom seem to do anything, cool headpiece, red and blue, kickass opening theme, and its weapons include a crotch cannon, chest lasers, electromagnetic YOYOS, and its finishing move turns it into a vertical spinning drill…thing. Pure old school cool.
10. Gunbuster (Aim for the Top! Gunbuster). I doubt I have to say much about this one that anyone else will say better. Two combining jets, getter homages, deflector cape (never seen that since), kamen rider KICK, and piloted by two cute schoolgirls. WITH HARD WORK AND GUTS!
11. Daitarn 3 (Muteki Kojin Daitarn 3). Driven by the mecha equivalent of James Bond. Hundreds of feet all. Lives up to its nickname of “Invincible”. Looks like a resplendant feudal daimo in armour. Kicks missiles at you out of its heels. Nunchuks. Giant blade. Enviromentally friendly (solar power). Transformation sequence involves a cop car turning into a flying car, combing with a jet, which combines with a BIGGER jet, which turns into a robot. One HELL of a theme song. “If you fear not the shine of the sun, COME AT ME!”.
12. God Gundam (Mobile Fighter G Gundam). My first ever Gundam. And you never forget your first time…Perhaps the most blatant Samurai Gundam ever (until Musha Gundam), it’s a motion capture mecha piloted by a fighter of early Dragonball level abilities, regular vulcans, 2 vulcannons, two beam sabres, and the ultimate gundam finisher, “GODTOH! FINGAAAA!!!”. Emotion energy powered super mode, a plethora of Ki attacks (including summoning the Burger King), and it flies with a literal Shining Sun on its back. Patriotism of Great Nippon indeed. A simple, wonderful Gundam.
13. Zaku II (Mobile Suit Gundam 0079). Obligatory mook mecha. A design so iconic, the franchise never bothered to replace it, they just altered it a bit. Suck it Zeong and Rick Dom! Mass produced, a perfect storm of superior design and cutting edge technology employed to devestating effect in the one year war. After this, it was all downhill for Zeon. They should have made the Zaku III and called it a day. Or you know, just painted them all red. It would have made them all 3 times faster 🙂
14. Gundam-GPO3 Dendrobium (Gundam 0083: Stardust Memories). I know EVERYONE esle chose this, but I still love it enogh to put on the list. For one thing, its a decent gundam on its own. For a second, it makes the most sense to me as an upgrade from the usual mobile suits: a mecha expansion pack in a real robot series (and one handled well at that). Its a giant lumpy steel box designed for protecting colonies, and reducing entire MS fleets into FLOWERS OF FIERY EXPLOSIONS. Great concept, well executed, Kawamori design, and a beam sabre long enought to cut through 3 battleships. Pure love.
15. Megas XLR (Megas XLR). Did NOT see that one coming did you?! The only purely American mecha show I can think of (at least before sym-bionic titan, and that show’s still running), Megas is what happens when you take a cutting edge protype designed by squid aliens to wipe out the human race, and then send it back in time to be salvaged by a modern day, fat, videogame playing nerd who lives with his mother. Said idiot with a beginners understanding of mechanics then does some repairs and upgrades…
The result is the most ridiculously overpowered Mecha in the universe, with a hotrod flames paint finish. Said mech is so hotwired and altered, only this cretin can drive it, and he does so mainly with a PS2 controller. Did I mention the control head unit was missing when he found it, so he replaced it with his own classic muscle car? And that it has buttons for everything? Did I mention the back up control scheme is an atari joystick and a dance dance revolution mat? Or that Megas has every weapon for a giant robot ever concieved? Including the Yamato’s Wave Motion Gun, AND the Macross Cannon? Which it fires at THE SAME TIME.
Did I mention he found it at a junkyard? And that it only cost him two bucks? Did I mention he never even PAYED those two bucks? Yeah. Ghostlightning, if you haven’t, you REALLY should watch this show. It has references from everything, from Voltron, to Transformers, to Space Battleship Yamato, to Robotech, to Sailor Moon, AND Space Captain Harlock? It really is a buried gem of a show, and an American cartoon as well!
Thanks for this great list, and the great oppertunity to list our favourites Ghostlightning. Sorry my post went on forever, and for the relative lack of originality in my choices. I only chose mecha from shows I’ve watched in their entirity, and tried to avoid ones chosen by many others, like Mazinkaiser, Turn A, Gurren Lagann and Master Gundam, despite my love for them.
Sorry also for the lack of real robots, but aside from being more a super robot fan, I’ve seen very few real series outside Gundam. I have the cardinal sin of never having watched a whole Macross series. I know, and I’m sorry! I will watch the original Macross when I have the time, and I refuse to watch the whole of Do You Remeber Love? until I have. The same goes for Macross Plus. I’m planning on getting the DVDs to Votoms soon, so I’ll soon fill that gap.
Once again, sorry for the length, and keep up the good work.
Great list! My “cardinal sin” as you put it is that I haven’t seen many super robot shows, hence why I didn’t include many outside of GGG in my list. One thing I thought was cool enough to point out is that, when you mentioned Gunbuster’s deflector cape idea never being used since, it occurred to me that the Crossbone Gundams also use a beam resistant cape. Tomino “remembering love” for a GAINAX PRODUCTION?! Amazing.
Considering Gunbuster is a massive love letter to mecha in general, the deflector cape probably came from somewhere else. I just cannot think of a series that did it before Gainax. Granted, no other robot I know of had energy pylons in its arms and forlegs, but it seems like such a great idea; you would think it appeared in far more mecha shows than it has.
The closest I can think of is Baron Ashura’s Super Alloy Z cape, as seen in Shin Mazinger, but which also appeared in Go Nagai’s original 70’s manga.
Thank you very much for the praise and feedback, and excellent work on your own list! Considering you’ve seen G Gundam, Mazinkaiser, Getter Robo: Armageddon, Gunbuster, Gaogaigar AND Giant Robo (my favourite show!), I would not say you lack experience with Super Robot series 🙂
Aside from Gundam, Macross and Votoms, could you reccomend me any real robot shows you liked? I’d love your input, and my own experience with reals is sorely lacking compared to yours with supers. Thank you!
Thanks for the kind words and good points about the Gunbuster. It’s truly one of the coolest robot designs ever, and who can argue with the awesome display of hot-blood-fueled firepower?
As to real robot shows I recommend:
1.Check out “Megazone 23″ (1, 2 and 3) for a decidely…”interesting” take on the typical robot story. Spoiler: the pilot is NOT an ace 🙂 The music is right up there with “Macross” in my opinion.
2.I would suggest “Gasaraki” but the story is actually pretty boring and comes across very jingoistically in a preachy, insufferable kind of way. There was sooo much potential here, but the end decided to go all “Eva” on us and it just didn’t work too well. The action sequences in particular left a lot to be desired. However, if you just want to nerd out over cool robot designs regardless of how they’re portrayed in the show, the mecha designs are really cool and very plausible too, as it’s directed by guy who brought us VOTOMS and…
3. Blue Comet SPT Layzner. It’s a little odd and the story’s a tad generic, but the action is cool and you can see the genesis of a lot of today’s real robot conventions, including the progenitor of the Trans-Am system from “Gundam 00”, the EXAM system from “Gundam: Blue Destiny” and the NT-D system from “Gundam Unicorn”.
4.”Broken Blade” (or “Break Blade”, whatever) is great. Just read Ghostlightning’s posts about it and you’ll see why I recommend it. I completely agree with everything he says about it.
5.”Heavy Metal L Gaim” is another good choice. The mecha designs are from Mamoru Nagano, so be prepared for spindly robots with high heels that still manage to look completely masculine (it’s kind of like the mecha version of Judas Priest, actually ^^).
6.”Metal Armor Dragonar” – I’ve never seen it past a few episodes, but it’s clearly what was supposed to be “the next big thing” should the Gundam phenomenon ever die out. Sadly for Dragonar, that never happened. I like to think of the series as a retelling of the core Gundam story but set in a COMPLETELY unrelated universe, unlike “SEED/SEED Destiny” which…well, unlike those two. It came out shortly after “ZZ Gundam” and the influence of that show is clearly felt here, even in the first few episodes. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you.
7.”Mobile Police Patlabor” in all its incarnations is a great look at how mecha, even the sillier-looking ones, could actually work in the real world. Check out Ghostlightning’s posts on this one too for a better understanding of what I’m talking about.
8.”Appleseed” is great too. The manga is, of course, better, but the latter CGI movies are pretty slick. I wasn’t ever much of a fan of the original OVA (too short). This show straddles the line between standard action/sci-fi and real robot, so there’s a good mix of cool stuff going on. Another show that blurs the line between action/sci-fi and mecha/action is “Bubblegum Crisis”. It also has terrific music and a good story.
9. If you’re in the mood for an awesome mecha show that is very much aware of all the great stuff about mecha shows, check out “Martian Successor Nadesico”. There’s a cool show-within-a-show called Gekiganger 3 that all the heroes enjoy watching. It’s a HUGE shoutout to the super robot shows (particularly to Getter Robo) of the ’70s and ’80s. This is a great “genre savvy” mecha action show with great music.
10. FIIIInally (sorry if I’ve worn you out): “Aura Battler Dunbine”. Like “Vision of Escaflowne” it’s a little bit super and little bit real, but it’s really really good and really really dark. The ending is, to me, right up there with “Space Runaway Ideon” and “Zeta Gundam” in terms of the impact it has. It’s a little bit lesser known, and tracking down the DVDs is a chore, but it’s worth a look into for the mecha designs alone: Aura Battlers are pretty much bugs of various shapes and sizes.
You really should also check out the various Macross shows (mayyyyybe not Macross 7 but it’s up to you) and the full breadth of the Gundam universe(s). So much of what is “real robot” comes from those two properties that it’s really a required viewing.
I’m sorry, everyone, for being so long-winded. This thread just really got me going and it’s hard to stop. I’ll try to be more concise in the future.
I’ve seen G Gundam, 8th MS Team, Stardust Memories, and I’m planning on buying Turn A when Bandai finally releases it. Same for the japanese title track version of the original gundam. Watching new episodes of Unicorn, and loving every minute! Looking into Gundam X, and it seems right up my alley, and a unique exploration on the newtype theme other than “we are special, and war sucks.”
That leaves Zeta, which I’ll watch after the original series, Double Zeta, which sucks, and Gundam Wing. I’m no fan of pretty boy shows with yaoi fan girl bait, and the show itself doesn’t seem the equal of classic series. When I feel suicidal I’ll watch Victory, if only to cheer myslef up, and I’ll skip SEED through 00 as my complaints with Wing seem more common here, with the disadvantage of worse characters.
Macross, as I’ve said remains a big hole in my knowledge, but that certainly isn’t helped by the lack of availability; few DVD’s for the show in the UK or the US. I will watch the original and Plus; even Macross 7 I could probably learn to love (Basara aside). The recent installments don’t do much for me though. Aura Battler I know of, but I refuse to commit to a series unless I CAN watch it in its entirity, and those last DVDs are rarer than gold dust. I know nothing of Megazone other than that it was the basis of a Robotech movie, so I’ll definitely check it out!
Nadescio and Patlabor I know of, again its a poblem of time and investment. Thy are both on my to do list, I swear! L-Gaim is good with great designs, ditto Five Star Stories, but I wasn’t aware they were subtitled to watch anywhere! I’ll look into that…Dragonar sounds cool from what you’ve said, and Layzner I know only the vaguest things, but it sounds like another Sunrise classic.
Thanks for the kind reccomendations, and I wouldn’t worry about the length of these posts. Here WE REMEMBER LOVE, and a very big part of that can simply be geeking out over our favourite mecha. 🙂
Yeah, Gasaraki sort of fails as a whole, but I have a soft spot for it. The Tactical Armor and Fakes are awesome, too bad they include all that mystical and supernatural nonsense (the ending almost manages to out-Gainax Eva!) and bland teenage main characters. Great OP though.
You (and anyone else interested) should check out the superior Flag, which explores a lot of the same themes.
1-3. I enjoyed the consistency of your aesthetic sense here. I’ve only really seen Giant Robo (didn’t care much for The Big O, and Tetsujin is still in ye olde backlog) but I love it too.
4. I like your reasoning here too, and as for myself I like the non-pointy breast plates too, as well as the Juuzo-tastic OS.
6. I heart Gao Fai Gar too.
9. No way. Combattler is Voltes V’s ugly older brother.
11. I heart Banjou Haran, and I got to play with a heavy lump of die-cast Daitarn-3 toy as a kid. But ugly is ugly.
14. Fucking yes.
15. Ugly robot like Xabungle, then unforgivably ugly character designs. Unwatchable for me.
What can I say, I just love ugly, ungainly lumps of metal! Just gives the robots a far more satisfying metallic crunch when they go head to head! That is definitely my super robot bias coming through, I’d rather watch iron towers topple each other than sleek, streamlined laser blasting engines of death dogfight. Character flaw of mine I suppose.
THANK YOU for replying, your comments easily made this the best part of a crappy day for me. Apologies for my fanboy ranting regarding Megas, but that show was terribly neglected by the majority of western fandom. It needs more love!
And Diatarn looks far better than its brother Zambot 3; that one is just a mesh of concepts that never quite form a cohesive whole. Not helped by the dhalf dozen seperate odes either. And while my head tells me Voltes is superior to Combattler in every single way, I can’t bring myself to like that thing. It’s the head that does it for me. It looks like some sort of limpet or hermit crab, or a traffic cone!
I make no apologies, and expect no quarter for Borot. But I STILL love robots with steering wheels and pipecleaner thick arms. And you really, REALLY should watch Tetsujin. Certainly not for the mecha fights, they’re far and few between, and not the designs, unless you like 60’s gonk.
But see it for the themes present in that show, and the characters. It’s a look at robots as evidence or war crimes, an examination of guilt and sins of the past revisting themselves on future generations. Not even Gundam did that this well, and it’s unique if othing else to watch a Cold War thriller where the doomsday devices are giant robots.
Its easily the most underated thing Imagawa’s ever directed, and ties in perfectly to the themes he explores in Giant Robo and G Gundam, and to a lesser extent Mazinger. And more importantly, NO BLOGGER EVER REVIEWS IT! I’ve seen it on the backburner for countless anime bloggers, and none of them have gotten round to watching it. I estimate only 500 people in the western world have ever watched the entire series! It’s so unknown I haven’t found ANY downloads or illegal streams of it!
Thanks again for the wonderful feedback.
I don’t think I’m ready for Tetsujin 28 and may not be for some time. Until then maybe you’ll find something to enjoy in a loving post on Imagawa I made last year.
I say I’m not ready because I want to watch it when I feel I can really get into it, because I really want to like it. And now I’m in the thick of rather daunting anime blogging projects — one of which is a rather ambitious take on Cowboy Bebop involving many if not most of all the references it made, all the love it remembers for pop culture.
I know your Imagawa post of old, its what made me a follower of your blog in the first place 🙂
I understand how busy you are of course, and I’m sorry if I came across as impatient. But I really am glad how cautious you’re playing it: Tetsujin IS a show you have to devote serious time and energy to properly digest.
Its all to easy to lose interest in it in favour of something more overtly entertaining, which is probably why so few people in Western fandom continued watching it. By all means take as long as you need, I’d rather wait a year for you to watch it an write an in depth and brilliant blog than rush through it and get bored. Looking forward to the article on Cowboy Bebop too!
Thanks, people I like have made impassioned recommendations for it and I don’t want to let them down by approaching the show half-assed.
The Cowboy Bebop project will take on all the episodes, so it may run for half a year or more. I just want it up and running this year.
Nominations counted! Though the Megas XLR can’t be included because it’s not from an anime series.
Here’s my own list, in no particular order:
1. ∀ Gundam
3. Big O
5. Evangelion Unit-1
6. Giant Robo
7. VF-1 Valkyrie
8. MS-07B-3 Gouf Custom
9. MS-06 Zaku II
10. Knight of Gold
11. RX-0 Unicorn Gundam
12. MSN-06S Sinanju
14. Master Gundam
15. MS-18 Kämpfer
Well, I thought I’d apologise for not writing out my list of reasons but really I should apologise for writing “Gumbuster” as rather than “Gunbuster”.
Love the list, especially appreciate the love for the MS-18 Kämpfer. Part of how much Ecole du Ciel was so gratifying to read was seeing the MS-18 Kämpfer again. I wouldn’t mind seeing yet another UC show even if just to see this bad boy in action again.
Your nominations have been received and counted. Thanks!
Knight of Gold needs to be in an SRW! Make it happen Banpresto!
FSS should be foundational series of an SRW game that also has Escaflowne, Panzer World Galient, Code Geass, Broken Blade, of course Mazinger/Kaiser & Getter, Code Geass, TTGL and other swordy robot shows. The Joker Galaxy is a perfect kind of alternate universe.
Of course it’s up to Mamoru Nagano for that to happen. Reportedly, he doesn’t want to consent to putting his FSS MHs in a SRW series because he considers the MHs the epitome of his work and doesn’t want to see it defeated by other artist’s mechs.
That’s a shame really, since MortarHeadds are great and the Joker Galaxy itself is an excellent setting. As for MH’s losing to other robots… you can always make them high-level enemies. It’s not like we’re not used to seeing SPTs with 50,000 hit points LOL.
Haha this is actually my first post here. I don’t really consider myself a big Mecha fan, but I am a big list fan, so I want to make my nominations here. Knowing that I have a pretty big Real Robot bias, here goes…
1.) MS-06F Zaku II (Mobile Suit Gundam)
The perfect enemy grunt mecha. It’s pretty much the TIE Fighter of anime. Instantly recognizable and slightly intimidating despite the fact that it rarely serves as anything more than cannon fodder. I love the ominous single red eye and the vaguely Nazi-esque design of it.
2.) MS-06S Zaku II Commander Type (Mobile Suit Gundam)
Take everything good I said about the Zaku, add in the best character of all Gundam at the helm, and make it three times faster. This list isn’t ordered by preference, but if I had to pick my favorite mecha with a gun to my head, it’s Char’s custom red Zaku.
3.) RX-77-2 Guncannon (Mobile Suit Gundam)
The Guncannon itself is a little goofy looking, but I like it because of the questions it raises. Why exactly do real robots generally use scaled up versions of human infantry weapons with triggers that have to be operated by giant robot fingers? Triggers are for human soldiers that aren’t made of metal and can’t graft giant cannons to themselves. Also, what can I say, I like rooting for the underdog. Anyone can take a state of the art prototype Gundam and carve a path of destruction through the battlefield, but it takes a real man to fight in a Guncannon.
4.) RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type (08th MS Team)
This will always be the definitive Gundam to me. It’s got all the advantages of the original design but with none of the newtype baggage. I generally prefer real robots to act more like walking tanks/artillery and less like space infantry with laser swords, and of all the Gundam units I can think of, the Ground Type fits that description the best.
5.) MS-18E Kämpfer (MSG 0080: War in the Pocket)
Just a badass mecha all around. Shotguns are pretty rarely seen on mecha for good reason, but somehow the Kampfer manages to pull it off and look cool doing it.
6.) Shining Gundam (G Gundam)
I know some people prefer Domon’s mid season upgrade the God/Burning Gundam, but for me it’s the original Shining all the way. Maybe it’s because it’s a bit bulkier looking, or maybe it’s just because I love the shining finger sword. Take my love, my anger, and all of my sorrow!
7.) Master Gundam (G Gundam)
You know, it was hard for me not to just make this a list of the 15 most ridiculous G Gundam mecha (think the Tequila Gundam, Pharaoh Gundam, Nether Gundam, Butler Bensouman, etc), but I think I’m going to cave in to peer pressure and nominate the one everyone else is going to. Master Asia is just a badass, end of story.
8.) RPI-00/SC Gloucester Cornelia Unit (Code Geass)
I totally agree with what you said about melee focused real robots, but I give the Gloucester a pass because something about a purple jousting robot with a lance just looks damn cool. All hail Britannia!
9.) Mass Production EVA (End of Evangelion)
I love the look of the EVA units in general, what with the sleek curves and everything, but the Mass Production EVAs are by far the most unsettling. Equal parts military technology and disturbing biological monster, they are the scariest mecha villain I can think of.
10.) Lazengan (Gurren Lagann)
Even though it’s only for one scene, the Lazengan completely steals the show, thanks in no small part to what a badass Lord Genome is. There’s a real sense of heft and deliberation put into every one of the Lazengan’s movements, and you get a great sense of the momentum behind every one of his attacks, and it results in one of my favorite anime fight scenes.
11.) Giant Robo (Giant Robo)
I’m not 100% sure what it is about Giant Robo that I like so much. Maybe it’s the retro styling. Maybe it’s just how huge he feels stomping around; he really feels like a big machine, like a walking freight train. Maybe it’s the way he has his own personality without being annoying. Maybe it’s all those things. The point is, Giant Robo is awesome.
12.) PT-003C Alteisen (SRW:OG Divine Wars)
Another melee oriented real robot, but I just think Pile Bunkers are the coolest weapon ever, especially when fed by a revolver cylinder for some reason (the reason is that it looks awesome). Swords never really seem like an ideal weapon for robots, since it’s a shape designed for fighting between humans. I like less conventional melee weapons more.
The last three kind of stretch the definition of Mecha a bit, so tell me if there’s a problem with them;
13.) MSDF Type 303 (Ghost in the Shell: SAC)
In case you don’t recognize the name (I had to google it, myself), this is the name of the four-armed suits of power armor which section 9 has to battle from time to time. Most of the memorable action scenes in the series are because of these guys. They really feel impervious even compared to the cybernetic members of section 9, so it always feels like a triumph when they manage to take one down. ESPECIALLY that one scene in episode 23 where Major Kusagari defeats one by one-handing Saito’s monstrous anti-tank rifle.
14.) Lord Canti (FLCL)
Half television, half robot maid, half god of flame, half immortal pirate lord, and half the manifestation of a 12 year old’s adolescence, Canti isn’t really like any other robot out there, and if you think that’s too many halves, well, you haven’t seen FLCL. Definitely not a typical mecha, but I submit that Naota totally “pilots” it, so hey.
15.) Bonta-kun (FMP: Fumofu!)
He’s in a Super Robot Wars game so he totally counts. It’s a set of heavily armed personal power armor built into a teddy bear shaped theme park mascot. Nothing about that sentence wasn’t awesome.
Honorable mentions go the the RX-78NT-1 “Alex”, the EVA units, the ARX-7 Arbalest and M9 Gernsback, the AMS-119 Geara Doga, the PTX-007-03C Weissritter, the Big O, and the entirety of the Shuffle Alliance.
Loved to see 8th MS team units on your list, it only makes me feel guilty for leaving them off mine 😦
And don’t forget Bonta-Kun’s theme song is an erzatz version of the A Team’s theme song! Makes it only the sweeter and funnier to watch in action…
Good choices on all of them, but I am especially behind the Zaku II S, Alteisen and the Gundam Ground Type. Like Matt said, I feel a little guilty for having left “8th MS Team” robots off my list, but my list was already Gundam-heavy so I had to make a cut. I’m particularly fond of the EZ-8. Great reasons behind your choices too! What’s the best thing about this thread is that we can all see the reasons why we like the different mechs we like and maybe understand the reasons why others like ones we don’t (I’m looking straight at you EVERY “Code Geass” KMF).
The Ez 8 is a wonderful little design, right down to the single radio antenna and all white body. Shame we rarely see any of it. And don’t forget Aina’s Prototype High Mobility Zaku II! It’s the missing link between the Zaku and the Rick Dom! (or Gouf. My memory’s fuzzy on that part)
Haha, I don’t even really like Code Geass that much, but I like the design of the grunt knightmare frames quite a bit. I think the biggest point of contention with them is the way they “skate” instead of walk, which I actually like because it’s more realistic(tm)! I also like their smaller size; They really feel like something that would support a more conventional army instead of replace it. But I can definitely see how their differences would turn some people off.
Man, I don’t dislike the skating or a KMF’s small size! lol far from it. I’m a VOTOMS and Maschinen Krieger guy, after all. It’s just something to do with the way they’re so small AND so tremendously powerful in a way that’s portrayed as making sense (not like Megaman being really powerful and small where it’s played for laughs) in a realistic universe. I liked everything about Code Geass’ setting EXCEPT for the designs of the KMFs. Well, the character design wasn’t really my thing either, but it grew on me by the end. One thing I will say I liked about CG, mechanically speaking, is the way that the Gurren line was piloted: the operator lays down in it like a motorcyclist. This is brilliant because it allows a smaller overall cockpit compartment and therefore a smaller torso. That’s how the Bonaparte minitank in “New Dominion Tank Police” maintained a small size while still carrying two crewmembers.
Gyro, please don’t take what I said the wrong way. I wasn’t complaining about your choices. I really didn’t mean to come across that way if I did, and if that’s the case I’m terribly sorry. It occurred to me that I might have seemed, well, kinda jerk-ish without intending to do so. Thanks for the great conversation! I just wanted to clear up any potential bad blood that might come up because of something stupid I inadvertently said.
Nah don’t worry about it, I didn’t find your post confrontational at all. We’re just talkin’ ’bout cartoon robots on the internet. I wouldn’t be discussing it if I didn’t enjoy it. Though, it sounds like your complains are more about special knightmares like the Lancelot or the Gawain, in which case I actually agree, those really never fit the setting for me. And maybe R2 followed that direction more; I wouldn’t know, I didn’t watch it. But the regular grunts never seemed disproportionately powerful to me.
Your nominations have been counted. Though I’m running all Zaku II variants together to avoid severe vote splitting so you’re entitled to one more nomination if you want it. Thanks for participating!
I had a feeling that would be the case, but I wasn’t taking any chances when it came to Char. I’ll pick another nomination later.
Okay, I’ve thought long and hard about it, and poured over my list of honorable mentions, but after looking at Emperor J’s list, the only real answer is clear.
15.) RB-79K Ball Type-K (8th MS Team)
If I had to pick one word to describe the Ball, it would be “plucky”. It’s pretty ugly, but also cute in a grotesque kind of way. It’s also 100% functional when it comes to space combat, without any unnecessary flourishes like horns, or wings, or a colorful paint job, or… legs. It’s a design born of necessity; it was never a secret weapon or a prototype, the federation just had some spare guns and some spare construction vehicles, and decided to put them together. Of course, the only reason that any one is nominating this little guy is the fight from the first episode where Shiro out-flies a prototype Zaku unit. It’s a great scene that really establishes Shiro as a courageous and resourceful pilot.
And hey, I said I liked rooting for the underdog, so now I’m putting my money where my mouth is.
I’ve never wathced the whole of the original 1979 gundam, but was the ball really the only mobile suit the federation had before they developed the Guncannon and Guntank? Were the early stages of the one year war fought between Feddies in balls and Zeeks in Zaku I’s?
I’m just asking because its never really discussed what kind of mobile suit weapons the Federation was using en masse before they began Project Victory, and we saw only the results of that program fight in the series.
Pardon the very late feedback, I wanted to be good and ready to respond and I didn’t have much time to do so this week.
Very well thought-out list. It shows your affinity for such.
3. Re: Guncannon, here’s my answer: The human form is what humans find the most beautiful, most appealing, and therefore what we see most often in action shows (and not mass-produced tentacle mecha with omni-directional firing arcs).
4. Re: Newtype Baggage. I used to be like you, until I became more a fan of Gundam the franchise, the tradition, and the possibility, than any particular robot, theme, or character.
I accept that to love Gundam is to accept Newtype BS, and all the kooky deux-ex-machina crap. As I said, I’m more fan than judge.
5. No argument, except a comment on your omission of the grenade bandolier whip thing. That was boss.
8. I like it, and Cornelia. I think I unfairly mark the jousty KMFs down because lances were so fucking lame in Gundam 00 S2.
9. Great write-up. You should write. Write for WRL.
10. You know I never noticed the heft you speak of, but now I’ll have to fucking rewatch some TTGL because I really like the Lazengann as well. The only thing that takes away from it is how Lord Genome seems to…
NOT FUCKING NEED IT.
13. Gah, gonna have to hunt down those scenes again. GIVE ME EPISODE NUMBERS DAMMIT. I love these and I feel like crap for forgetting.
Geara Doga looks amazing, though it looks even better with sleeves (Geara Zulu).
I’m serious about your contributing for WRL in whatever capacity you intend. You don’t have to write about robots at all.
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Hmm… I only have 2 nomination that hasn’t already been submitted
1) MS-07B-3 Gouf Custom – Norris Packard did the impossible by taking out all the Guntanks protected by squad of Gundam types. He was out gunned badly, had maybe half loads for his weapons, and probably low energy reserves since he never turned on the heat function for his sword. Despite all this, he back the 08th team into a corner. If Amuro had faced Norris and the Gouf custom early on, the Year One War might have turned out vastly different.
2)DGG-XAM1 Dygenguard – Sanger Zonvolt’s custom suit complete with “just the right size” Zankantou. If we’re playing with mounts (see Master Asia) then we throw in DGG-XAM2 Ausenseiter in horse mode.
The sequence where Norris wipes out the entire 8th MS team is still my favourite real robot combat setpiece of all time. All the satisfaction of robots hitting each other mashed up with superlative battlefield tactics, and with halfway believable physics too. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t cheering him on towards the end. And all due respect to Ramba Rall and his glorious facial hair, but Norris, Ramba clone or not is my favourite Zeon ace.
Glad to see the blade that slays evil getting some love on these lists, Sanger has some damn cool mechs. And remember: Real Men turn into horses and let their friends ride them!
You should still nominate the already mentioned, because getting candidate status Wfinal 32) is a battle in itself. The more nominations for a unit, the better.
I present the Rivals Slate; ‘mechs that were made to compete with the protagonist mecha without being of the same type.
1. SVMS-01 Union Flag (Gundam 00)
2. OZ-00MS Tallgeese (Gundam Wing)
3. ZGMF-515 CGUE (Gundam SeeD)
4. MS-06S Zaku II Char Custom (Mobile Suit Gundam)
5. Queadlunn-Rau (Macross Frontier)
6. SV-51 Variable Fighter (Macross Zero)
7. LED Mirage (Five Star Stories)
8. Schezerade (Escaflowne)
A couple of nominations in the “near future” category, for machines that give us that sense of verisimilitude.
9. HAVWC (FLAG)
10. Tactical Armour (Gasaraki)
And a last entry, a couple of nominations for the “mookiest of mooks”. Machines built for no other purpose than to blow up en-masse to demonstrate the skill of the protagonist or the superiority of the enemy.
11. OZ-06MS Leo (Gundam Wing)
12. ATM-09-ST Scopedog (VOTOMS)
13. Destroid Tomahawk (actually any Destroid really, but the Tomahawk/Cheyenne series are arguably the most iconic. Super Dimension Fortress Macross)
GWAHAHAHAAHA Great list!
Having said that, oh man CGUE is ugly.
Quaedlunn Rau is win.
LED Dragons are disqualified (did not appear in anime).
Schezerade is the last word on medieval cool. All you Mazinkaisers and Broken Blade Golems take note: the one-sided cape. Alan Schezar has more style than all of you put together.
HAVWC is an excellent choice.
I can’t support the Leo, but the ATs and the Destroids yes indeed. However, it always felt that too many destroids get blown up in Macross than there are pilots to have piloted them. Kamjin and Millya by themselves must’ve wiped out most of them.
Can’t support the Leo? But it’s practically made of nitroglycerin! Just simply shouting “It’s a Gundam” is often enough to set it off.
Also, slight typo on Allen Schezar’s mech, it’s Scheherazade. Always really confusing… the machine is named after the storyteller from 1001 Nights, but Allen’s name is close enough to get you confused about the right spelling.
i was a robot fanatic when i was a child. still remember when i drag my mom to the robot toy corner just to buy me one. haha! ’til now i still collect some robot action figures but now i buy it myself from an import shopping company in Japan called PIJ. here’s their link if you’re a fanatic too! ^_^ http://bit.ly/Combattleralloy
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NZ-666 Kshatriya does have hand held weapons but it was never shown. It had 6 beam Gatling guns. The Sleeves gave one to the Unicorn. And if i remember correctly when they gave him one they said it was intended for the Kshatriya. But sadly NZ-666 got owned.