garrick lee (kapshiaw@yahoo.com)
Tue, 18 Jan 2000 05:35:50 -0800 (PST)


<snippity snip snap>

> I responded to this recently at a Mailing List for
> Local fans populated by
> teens and college folk

might i ask which mailing list that is, being a
"local" myself? :)

- I was a bit surprised at
> the reactions there. They
> didn't like the military angle or the way it
> developed early on. They
> weren't impressed by the mecha action, even though
> it was some of the best
> I'd seen in years.
>
> Has there been a significant change in the attitudes
> of mecha fandom
> recently that I'm not aware of?

well, not really. it's just a matter of taste. like
it always is. i think you're being a little unfair
here, fed. especially when you try to paint the
picture in terms of age gap and attempt to look down
on the next generation.

>
> I'm 25

22 for me. not much of an age gap. and not much of a
gap (for the most part) in anime background, as we'll
see.

>and had been weaned on much of the anime's
> lore. As a kid I watched
> giant robot shows and Yamato.

as did i. not that i remember much (i kept running
headlong into walls as a kid...!)

>As a teen, I was
> fascinated by Macross and its
> Robotech offshoots.

as did i. misa-hikaru forever! yaaa..uh...nevermind.

>In college, I became a true
> Gundam fan - though not as
> much as many people on this list apparently - since
> it has always been about
> the fascination of the Gundams for me and not the
> actual sci-fi behind it.

as am i. i wouldn't be up to par with the dedicated
gundam fandom, but i do consider myself a fan. i'm
more interested in the story and character dynamics,
but a little mecha fetish doesn't hurt. :)
 
> Anyway, has something happened to the mecha fan? Are
> we a dying breed?

no. we are not dying. it's just a matter of taste.
and i think i represent that. see below.

> Has
> the genre reinvented itself so much that we - the
> Old Guys - are becoming as
> obsolete as the Giant Robot lovers?

uhm, i'm not sure i'd consider myself an old guy.
maybe you are, at 25, but not i! :P

> I just don't dig series like G Gundam or Gundam Wing
> anymore. EVA was
> fascinating for me at the start, but my taste for it
> quickly soured while
> the old series like 0079:OYW still has a place in my
> fondest memories of
> being a mecha fan.

ok, you and me have basically the same backgrounds in
anime (giant robo, yamato, et al.), but i am able to
dig g gundam and g wing (somehow). there's a
difference between us, but i just don't know how to
put it. i am able to find things to like, and maybe
remembering the context of the shows while watching
them helps a lot.

g gundam and g wing were intentionally alternate
universes, meant to explore what gundam hasn't been
(am i wrong?). i'm going to get lynched for saying
this -- but i think too many "true fans" bash these
two shows simply for not acqueiscing to what they want
gundam to be, for not fitting into their own little
conceptions of what gundam should be. is that really,
in any way, giving g gundam and g wing a fair chance?

any other reason for disliking g gundam and g wing is
just a matter of preference and NOT a generation
issue. (new wave music, now THAT's a generation
issue, and new wavers are indeed a dying breed :P)
also, i don't think it's a quality issue either. i,
for one, think that the stories of g and w hold up
nicely in their own little oddball universes.

last chip: the part about your friend returning 0080
and saying it's good but not for him. would it have
made a difference if he simply wasn't a mecha fan? if
yes, why? mecha anime stories are no different,
worse or better than non-mecha stories.

evangelion soured on me, too, however. but it wasn't
because of production or quality (i thought the whole
series was well done and i can understand why it's
considered a landmark in anime). the whole shebang
was just plain overflowing with angst. the dirtiness
and sleaziness of humanity as portrayed in eva was too
much, even for me (and i like gloomy tragic endings).
the stilted philosophying and somewhat pretentious (i
found) religious slambanging didn't help either.
never write a story when you're chronically depressed.

>
> Even in the choices of Top Ten mecha lists among our
> local fans differ. My
> generation looks up to Char's Counterattack mecha as
> the best. We usually
> include UC Gundam, Macross, Dougram and other 80s
> series as our top tens.

i would, as well...but...

>
> The next generation place Rayearth, GWing, FSS in
> their top ten - usually
> the ones with extremely elaborate designs. Among
> these series - I can
> probably only appreciate mecha like the H-arms
> custom, Tallgeese and
> Serpent.

...i wouldn't exclude the next gen top ten mentioned
either.

mecha design opinions are a can of worms, fed. be
careful to separate love of design from love of story.
 a lot of UC fans have a place in their hearts for
0079 "mechs" (term used with reckless abandon). now,
i like 0079 myself (despite not being an oldschool
diehard fan) and want to see more of it DESPITE the
ugly looking robots. the 0079 zeonic designs were
worse than mazinger z beast fighters which were REALLY
ugly -- and, fed, you can't call me a new generation
fan because i was weaned on the same 70's anime as you
were. when i see the 0079 mechs, i am reminded of
what a war-freak anime-hater once said about anime
mechs -- "some of them have got the shittiest looking
designs ever! i'll take a boring real-life tank over
what you call a "mech" anyday!"

ouch. (looking at the zacrello or a zeong, that's a
double ouch for me...)

otoh, while g wing doesn't hold up to 0079 (not that i
like g wing less) in terms of story, the designs hold
an independent allure for me. g wing was a series
where the vanilla mechs (leos and tauruses) looked
better than the gundams.

NOW, all of this is just my opinion. just one guy's
opinion. however, if nothing else, my gibbering shows
that it's NOT in the age, but in preference.

>
> Is it just me? Or do the rest of you feel the same
> way?

well, it might be you. or it could be that i'm
contrarian by nature. :P

-garrick
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