James Boren (jboren@earthlink.net)
Wed, 7 Feb 2001 03:11:17 -0800

>Now, on the question of keeping mecha series "fresh" ... I honestly
>don't think it's a real problem. Look at Gasaraki, probably the best
>giant robot series in recent memory. It acknowledges the past, with
>the VOTOMS style mecha (i believe it was VOTOMS, anyway), which
>mixing in a healthy dose of X-Files style intrigue, and a dollop of
>the always interesting Japanese mysticism, resulting in a fresh and
>unique series that is highly entertaining.
>We've also had Turn A Gundam, which dared to break new ground with a
>longstanding franchise and managed to tell a pertty darned good
>story, too. Brain Powered, despite being panned by virtually
>everyone who watched it (Except me... I bloody love the show) broke
>out of the stylish mecha mold, giving some flat out ugly mechanical
>I forsee some cross genre mecha series in the future, be it the
>mystery and political intruige of Gasaraki mixed with the Steam-punk
>stylings of Turn A, or whatever.
>People are starting to break out of established mecha paradigms and
>exploring new ground. As much as I dislike Eva, it was certainly
>part of this new movement, and we should be in for some _Very_
>interesting stuff in the future.
>Nicholas "Echo|Fox" Paufler

Echo|Fox, you copied my sentiments exactly. The mecha series is doing
fine, thanks in part to those excellent series you mentioned.

Brain Powerd did a lot of new things with mecha. The brains moved
like UFOs, going from a dead stop to zipping away very fast- back to
a dead stop, hovering about. I was initially very disappointed that
the mecha all looked alike, with only very slight color variations,
but I'm now convinced that this was a conscience decision on Tomino's
part. Each brain had it's own personality and emotional state. They
were alive but couldn't function without human pilots. Tomino was
playing around with what is means to be a machine, alive,
intelligent, or an independent entity. Fascinating stuff. Too bad the
series fell down in the eye candy/fan service department.

Turn-A upped the variety of mecha, from huge to small, odd shapes,
strange movements-turn A threw it all together. Most mecha shows
stick with only one mecha concept then just draw a bunch of variants
on that.

Shin Getter Robo is another great recent mecha series that
reinterpreted the super robot genre.


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