-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Sat, 9 Dec 2000 08:46:21 -0800

> Has anyone seen and can recommend:
> Votoms
> Xabungle
> Dougram
> L-Gaim
> SPT Layzner
> Ideon
> Orguss

I've seen them all and I can recommend them all. They are almost without
exception the "classic" mecha series of the 1980s.

Armored Trooper Votoms aired from 1 April 1983 to 23 March 1984 and is one of
the first fully realistic mecha show, with a mature story and mecha that are
very rational.

Walker Machine Xabungle aired from 6 February 1982 to 28 January 1983. It's a
Tomino series that is played primarily for laughs, putting giant robots in
what's essentially a Wild West setting, complete with an Eastwood
Man-With-No-Name sendup. There's even a sendup of Taarna from the Heavy Metal
movie. You want giant robots, this one's got a giant robot as the pilot of a
super-giant robot!

Fang of the Sun Dougram aired from 23 October 1981 to 25 March 1983 and is
arguably the first fully realistic mecha show. You've seen some of the Combat
Armors in the BattleTech game: the BLR-1G BattleMaster is the Soltic HT-128
Bigfoot, the GOL-1H Goliath is the Abitate F44A CrabGunner, the GRF-1N Griffin
is the Soltic H8-RF Roundfacer, the SCP-1N Scorpion is the Abitate F35C
BlizzardGunner, the SHD-2H ShadowHawk is the D-7 Dougram (JAKT Type), the TDR-5S
Thunderbolt is the Hasty F4X Ironfoot, and the WVR-6R Wolverine is the Abitate
T-10C Blockhead.

Heavy Metal L.Gaim aired from 4 February 1984 to 23 February 1985. Think of it
as a prequel to Five Star Stories, except that it was scripted by Tomino and has
the same fairy-like beings he used in Aura Battler Dunbine, only without the
aura powers. It also has kick-@$$ opening and closing songs courtesy of the
incomparable Hiroko "Mio" Kadamoto.

Blue Meteor SPT Layzner aired from 3 October 1985 to 26 June 1986 and thoroughly
spanked Dirty Pair in the ratings, giving the second season of Z Gundam a run
for the money in the bargain. SPT stands for Super Powered Tracer, the name for
the mecha, which are on par with mobile suits in overall design and performance.
Aliens invade Earth just as we're establishing bases on Mars, but one
alien-human hybrid (they'd been abducting us for years while getting ready)
defects to our side, bringing his prototype SPT with him. The aliens clobber us
anyway, leading to an extended guerilla war against the Occupation.

Legendary Giant God Ideon aired from 8 May 1980 to 30 January 1981. Also known
as Space Runaway Ideon, it involves a ship-size giant robot formed from three
lesser transforming machines. It's a Tomino series that takes the Gundam ideas
and inflates them to fill the entire galaxy.

Super Dimensional Century Orguss aired from 3 July 1983 to 8 April 1984 and is
the only show that I can't call a classic. It's got the same staff as Super
Dimensional Fortress Macross, with some of Mikimoto's best character work,
although some of them echo his Macross characters, and a mecha with four modes:
Battloid, Gerwalk, Spud Fighter and Sonic Tank. If you liked Macross, you'll
like this. Terrific opening and closing themes, the upbeat Drifting/Sky
Hurricane and the infectious The Heart Is A Gypsy, both by gaijin Casey Rankin.


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