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TheCoach
Mar 11, 2014

SMASH


Arcsquad12 posted:

Since I'm still stuck on this topic I've tried to come up with a list of European and North American series that could be considered Mecha or at least adjacent. Some are technically still Japanese but their western association wins out. In no particular order:

Straight up Mecha:
Transformers is the obvious and most popular one by far.
Pacific Rim
Battletech/Mechwarrior/Mech Assault
1920+ with Scythe and Iron Harvest
Sym Bionic Titan
Megas XLR
The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot
Voltron
Robotech (because gently caress Harmony Gold)
Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander
Titanfall
Robot Jocks
GenLOCK
Brigador
Real Steel

Mecha Adjacent:
Star Wars walkers
Warhammer 40K walkers and titans, or straight Mecha with the Tau suits.
Warmahordes Warjacks
Robocop ED209s
Starship Troopers Roughnecks treats the Marauder suits more like mecha than power armour
Starcraft Goliaths
Halo Mantis units
Gears of War 4 and 5 DB Constructors
Killzone Mawlers
District 9 Prawn battle suit
Avatar bowie knife mechs.

The big thing I've noticed is that most of these properties are games rather than television or films and that speaks to the greater differences in how certain types of media are financed between Japan and other countries. It must be hell to try and make a mecha series without proper backing because of the demands of the Hollywood blockbuster system demanding ludicrous returns to be considered successful. Because mecha is so reliant on visual design to stand out, the way the system works in North America makes the costs balloon out of control. They can get away with it in the gaming industry more often because that industry is a mess of corruption and sunk cost fallacy among AAA publishers and shareholders so money isn't as much of an issue. Still, like Hollywood, it only takes one flop to kill a franchise and in gaming it also consistently kills studios.

Meanwhile in Japan if you have a dedicated enough fan base even something like Fafner can survive.

There was this RTS game that while heavily flawed had a decent mech building mechanic that allowed for a wide variety of big stompy mechs

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Marx Headroom
May 10, 2007

AT LAST! A show with nonono commercials!



Fallen Rib

Oh poo poo I forgot about Van-Pires

quote:

Four ordinary teens were accidentally caught in the path of a falling meteor. The meteor transformed them into heroic robotic guardians to protect the night from the evil forces of Tracula (a reference to "Dracula") and the rest of the Van-Pires. Each Motor-Vater has the ability to fly and they also share the same weaknesses as their enemies; like the Van-Pires, the Motor-Vaters require gas to sustain themselves and must avoid the sun at all costs. To transform, each hero gets into the driver's seat of his or her Carfin (a portmanteau of "car" and "coffin") and shouts, "Mission Ignition!"

Glimpse
Jun 5, 2011



Been watching Macross Delta and I'm surprised how much I'm loving it, considering how I bounced off of 7 when I checked it out like a decade ago. I'll have to give Fire Bomber another chance after (after a DYRL+ palate cleanser). I'm up to ep 21 so I expect to let down soon, but it's been fun so far.

It is weird though how Delta and Frontier are like "Private military corporations are good, actually". Governments are incompetent at best, if not downright sinister, and it's again up to the private sector to save the day. Maybe Macross has always had kinda hosed up politics, what with the "being anti-war is stupid, stupid" of the original series.

Tae
Oct 24, 2010

Hello? Can you hear me? ...Perhaps if I shout? AAAAAAAAAH!


The original macross also had 99% of mankind wiped out

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Being anti war when there's giant aliens trying to exterminate your race is pretty loving dumb.

Tribladeofchaos
Jul 2, 2008

IT'S SHOWTIME!



It's fine to be a pacifist but not a horrible piece of poo poo "pacifist" like Kaifun. Also if they're giant aliens it's generally a pretty dumb idea anyway.

Pootybutt
Apr 5, 2011



Glimpse posted:

Been watching Macross Delta and I'm surprised how much I'm loving it, considering how I bounced off of 7 when I checked it out like a decade ago. I'll have to give Fire Bomber another chance after (after a DYRL+ palate cleanser). I'm up to ep 21 so I expect to let down soon, but it's been fun so far.

It is weird though how Delta and Frontier are like "Private military corporations are good, actually". Governments are incompetent at best, if not downright sinister, and it's again up to the private sector to save the day. Maybe Macross has always had kinda hosed up politics, what with the "being anti-war is stupid, stupid" of the original series.

Tropes like "the scrappy, disciplined team of heroes break off from the military, breaking command to save the day" are old sci-fi stuff that, in the case of anime, goes all the way back to Yamato. The latter Frontier film has a big unsubtle surface-level spoonful of colonialist critique in the mix, so there's that at least!

God, Wings of Goodbye is dope. I can watch that flick any day of the week.

Anshu
Jan 9, 2019




Pootybutt posted:

Tropes like "the scrappy, disciplined team of heroes break off from the military, breaking command to save the day" are old sci-fi stuff that, in the case of anime, goes all the way back to Yamato. The latter Frontier film has a big unsubtle surface-level spoonful of colonialist critique in the mix, so there's that at least!

God, Wings of Goodbye is dope. I can watch that flick any day of the week.

Which part was that? I must have been too busy hating what they did to Grace to notice.

Also, I agree that Wings of Goodbye is an excellent song.

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


Is Frontier the one where the SDF throws a haymaker at a battleship?

RangerKarl
Oct 7, 2013


it's the one where a tiny macross gets to punch, and a bigger one also gets to punch

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Pootybutt posted:

Tropes like "the scrappy, disciplined team of heroes break off from the military, breaking command to save the day" are old sci-fi stuff that, in the case of anime, goes all the way back to Yamato. The latter Frontier film has a big unsubtle surface-level spoonful of colonialist critique in the mix, so there's that at least!

God, Wings of Goodbye is dope. I can watch that flick any day of the week.

It's still really funny to me that Macross and Gundam had overlapping shows with PMC protagonists in their last mainline entries.

Macross had the main PMC be purely heroic and noble, with the official military being incompetent at best, and sometimes treated as being shadier than the evil space colonialist empire.

Meanwhile, Gundam had the PMC be basically a Yakuza family, complete with cold blooded vengeance murders and joining up with the shadiest faction in the official military's civil war. It's an amusing contrast.

Pootybutt
Apr 5, 2011



Frontier's the one where a macross rides a big chunk of space debris into a planet's atmosphere like a surfboard while the captain screams "INITIATE BIG WEDNESDAY"

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



chiasaur11 posted:

It's still really funny to me that Macross and Gundam had overlapping shows with PMC protagonists in their last mainline entries.

Macross had the main PMC be purely heroic and noble, with the official military being incompetent at best, and sometimes treated as being shadier than the evil space colonialist empire.

Meanwhile, Gundam had the PMC be basically a Yakuza family, complete with cold blooded vengeance murders and joining up with the shadiest faction in the official military's civil war. It's an amusing contrast.

I feel the diffrence is they had diffrent reasons for using the PMC concept.
In macross frontier at least, it seems like they needed alto to be in the military, but they didn't want to deal with all the social issues coming with that so they make their weird lawful good pmc, of course then they treat alto being folded into NUNS as this turning point later in the show

IBO was exploring the "Dark" underside of society or whatever so you get an intensely nepotistic group of mercenaries who're one hop skip away from being a death cult

Arcsquad12
Mar 4, 2013

I Love Satan


Would jet or aircraft anime fall in as sister series to mecha shows? There's already crossover with Macross. I've been meaning to give Yukikaze a spin. Is it recommended?

Kanos
Sep 6, 2006

was there a time when speedwagon didn't get trolled

Gaius Marius posted:

I feel the diffrence is they had diffrent reasons for using the PMC concept.
In macross frontier at least, it seems like they needed alto to be in the military, but they didn't want to deal with all the social issues coming with that so they make their weird lawful good pmc, of course then they treat alto being folded into NUNS as this turning point later in the show

IBO was exploring the "Dark" underside of society or whatever so you get an intensely nepotistic group of mercenaries who're one hop skip away from being a death cult

Delta also goes with the super weird "lawful good PMC" conceit, and it's an entirely different PMC too - apparently super well equipped goody two shoes PMCs are just a setting conceit of Macross now.

Glimpse
Jun 5, 2011



Kanos posted:

Delta also goes with the super weird "lawful good PMC" conceit, and it's an entirely different PMC too - apparently super well equipped goody two shoes PMCs are just a setting conceit of Macross now.

Even better, after they lose their base on Ragna, Chaos needs to find a new source of income. They say they have a contract to provide security for the whole sector (with the NUNS government?) but don't expect to be paid, so a mining company comes to their rescue. You know, the notoriously altruistic mining industry, always helping people out.

Now I've got a couple episodes to go, so they could be doing a nuanced story about resource exploitation driving colonialism and rapacious private empires like the Dutch East India Company and hahaha no cool song, robot.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


Anshu posted:

Which part was that? I must have been too busy hating what they did to Grace to notice.

Also, I agree that Wings of Goodbye is an excellent song.

The part where the villains want to kill/enslave the natives on the planet they want to colonize.

RangerKarl
Oct 7, 2013


Arcsquad12 posted:

Would jet or aircraft anime fall in as sister series to mecha shows? There's already crossover with Macross. I've been meaning to give Yukikaze a spin. Is it recommended?

Yes, though it's a bit obtuse? It really is a mood though, and it's not so long you'll lose a lifetime watching all of it.

RangerKarl
Oct 7, 2013


Glimpse posted:

Even better, after they lose their base on Ragna, Chaos needs to find a new source of income. They say they have a contract to provide security for the whole sector (with the NUNS government?) but don't expect to be paid, so a mining company comes to their rescue. You know, the notoriously altruistic mining industry, always helping people out.

Now I've got a couple episodes to go, so they could be doing a nuanced story about resource exploitation driving colonialism and rapacious private empires like the Dutch East India Company and hahaha no cool song, robot.

IIRC Chaos was the space equivalent of Yahoo! too, so LMAO at the thought of Silicon Valley empires.

amigolupus
Aug 25, 2017



Tribladeofchaos posted:

It's fine to be a pacifist but not a horrible piece of poo poo "pacifist" like Kaifun. Also if they're giant aliens it's generally a pretty dumb idea anyway.

It boggles my mind that the storywriters wanted to have an anti-military character who wishes to promote more pacifistic means and they made loving Kaifun. He's such an awful strawman that they might as well not have tried.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



I'm pretty sure Kaifun did exactly what was intended of him in the story.

Shaezerus
Mar 24, 2008

God? Or perhaps a devil?
Show me which you'll choose!


Arcsquad12 posted:

Would jet or aircraft anime fall in as sister series to mecha shows? There's already crossover with Macross.

I've got an Area 88 soundtrack in my robot music directory and I'm too lazy to move it out of there so I'm saying yes.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





chiasaur11 posted:

It's still really funny to me that Macross and Gundam had overlapping shows with PMC protagonists in their last mainline entries.

Macross had the main PMC be purely heroic and noble, with the official military being incompetent at best, and sometimes treated as being shadier than the evil space colonialist empire.

Meanwhile, Gundam had the PMC be basically a Yakuza family, complete with cold blooded vengeance murders and joining up with the shadiest faction in the official military's civil war. It's an amusing contrast.
I figure PMCs read a lot differently in Japan, where "an elite military unit pulls some poo poo and is now in charge or has triggered major political changes" has happened numerous times in recorded history. They also did not occupy Iraq and such. So I can see how PMCs would read like romantic mercenaries with dreams way more readily than the US, which has both intensive "formal military is good heroes" propaganda and relatively recent clear examples of abuse of the concept.


Kanos posted:

I mean, the alternative is "everyone got taken over/eaten/murdered by horrific shapeshifting space monsters", so I guess it counts as a win.
There does seem to be a recurring subtext of "Gee, maybe it's just natural if we all get eaten by horrible monsters" in a lot of anime that makes me wonder if that crops up in Japanese SF a lot and we just haven't gotten a lot of literature translation (as opposed to anime/manga).

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Gaius Marius posted:

I feel the diffrence is they had diffrent reasons for using the PMC concept.
In macross frontier at least, it seems like they needed alto to be in the military, but they didn't want to deal with all the social issues coming with that so they make their weird lawful good pmc, of course then they treat alto being folded into NUNS as this turning point later in the show

IBO was exploring the "Dark" underside of society or whatever so you get an intensely nepotistic group of mercenaries who're one hop skip away from being a death cult

Nepotistic's an odd one to throw at Tekkadan, considering that one of their big things is treating new recruits like family. Most of the command staff is still Third Group, but that's less a rejection of outsiders than it is the starting lineup having picked up experience that's hard to replace. We see that Teiwaz employees like Merribit, the Turbines, and Radice are capable of reaching positions of heavy influence, and new recruits at least have a voice in meetings (Zack mouthing off doesn't ever get him in trouble, and Nadi actually compliments him for it.)

Insular might be closer to what you were aiming for. Tekkadan tends to follow its bad ideas to the end, even when outsiders try to warn them of the consequences.

As for Macross, I don't find it that weird that they have heroic mercs, or even full on PMCs. They're fairly common even in western fiction. What's weird is that they pretty much seem to have squeaky clean PMCs as a default in the last two shows. Normally in fiction, it's a way to make your protagonists more rough-edged while giving them potential enemies who aren't so different (like the hero PMC Maverick being contrasted with the villainous Desperado and World Marshall in Revengeance, or Tekkadan fighting pirate groups). It also lets you have the protagonists get involved in fights they normally wouldn't. Macross having PMCs as generic good guys fighting against enemies that the regular military is also fighting is the weird bit.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Nessus posted:

I figure PMCs read a lot differently in Japan, where "an elite military unit pulls some poo poo and is now in charge or has triggered major political changes" has happened numerous times in recorded history. They also did not occupy Iraq and such. So I can see how PMCs would read like romantic mercenaries with dreams way more readily than the US, which has both intensive "formal military is good heroes" propaganda and relatively recent clear examples of abuse of the concept.
There does seem to be a recurring subtext of "Gee, maybe it's just natural if we all get eaten by horrible monsters" in a lot of anime that makes me wonder if that crops up in Japanese SF a lot and we just haven't gotten a lot of literature translation (as opposed to anime/manga).

I feel like 'capitalism is bad, and capitalism where the violence is explicit rather than just implicit is even worse' is not a hugely more alien concept in Japan than it is in America. Personally, I'd attribute this more to right-wing/right-leaning politics of various varieties being prolific in military sci-fi and leave it at that. Gundam is the main outlier here for being a gigantic milsf toy commercial franchise that was created and shaped by a cranky, eccentric left-wing pacifist.

RangerKarl
Oct 7, 2013


chiasaur11 posted:

.

As for Macross, I don't find it that weird that they have heroic mercs, or even full on PMCs. They're fairly common even in western fiction. What's weird is that they pretty much seem to have squeaky clean PMCs as a default in the last two shows. Normally in fiction, it's a way to make your protagonists more rough-edged while giving them potential enemies who aren't so different (like the hero PMC Maverick being contrasted with the villainous Desperado and World Marshall in Revengeance, or Tekkadan fighting pirate groups). It also lets you have the protagonists get involved in fights they normally wouldn't. Macross having PMCs as generic good guys fighting against enemies that the regular military is also fighting is the weird bit.

My dumb isekai-poisoned brain just parses "PMC" as spec-fic writer shorthand for "futuristic adventurer party" and it makes a bit more sense.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I've been watching Tekkaman Blade and D-Boy is a next level sulky protagonist.


chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Meanwhile, I just finished Patlabor, which has one of the least edgy crews in mech anime.

Well, I finished TV Patlabor. There's still the New Files OVA and XIII, with New Files basically being more episodes, but the main show is done.

I know there's nothing controversial about saying that, on the net, Patlabor is really good. It's funny, the characters feel fleshed out (even Ota), and the usually mundane plots let the extra-crazy ones (like the dinosaur in the sewers) stick out even more.

Some episodes were weaker than others, and the standalone structure meant I didn't feel a need to marathon it, but it's definitely one of my favorites.

I'm also glad that Clancy comes back regularly even after leaving, because Takeo Kumagami really doesn't fill her role well. With Clancy and Ota, they were constantly butting heads because they were so similar, despite the fact they'd both argue the point. It helped balance out the fact she was one of the most skilled people in the unit, and made her feel like part of the usual gang of idiots, despite her protests.

Kumagami, meanwhile, is calmer, and actually by the book, unlike Clancy's tendency to look in the index for the bit encouraging high speed mech combat. It means that she doesn't play off Ota as well, even aside from her being less fleshed out in general.

Oh, and Goto is the best, and it's a shame he's never been in a good Super Robot Wars, because him trolling the genre's usual Gendo style masterminds could be very fun.

Argas
Jan 13, 2008
SRW Fanatic






Nessus posted:

I figure PMCs read a lot differently in Japan, where "an elite military unit pulls some poo poo and is now in charge or has triggered major political changes" has happened numerous times in recorded history. They also did not occupy Iraq and such. So I can see how PMCs would read like romantic mercenaries with dreams way more readily than the US, which has both intensive "formal military is good heroes" propaganda and relatively recent clear examples of abuse of the concept.

I wonder if this might be it. There was the hilarious oopsie when it turned out the Metroid devs (or at least the main dev/writer?) had no idea what a bounty hunter was and balked at the idea of Samus working for money.

There's always sort of been an anti-authority streak in Macross. The only reason the Macross crew in the original don't really clash with authority is there's basically none left by the time they make it back to Earth, by which point they basically are the only thing left resembling government and military. There's lots of improvisation and not really by the books despite some efforts to do so.

While Plus does depict the military, it's also a highly irregular environment with loose rules because of the test pilots being dumb daredevils and the only requirement is they get results. Where does the big government/big military get people? The X-9 Ghost (well, Sharon Apple was also a rogue accident, but AI research was part of a bigger thing too). And in the end it's the rogue daredevils that save the day, not proper procedure and stuff.

7 plays with this again. Big gov and military are useless, Basara singing ends up saving the day. But with Max and Milia in charge, they can sometimes be useful because they're both geniuses and know when to not play by the rules.

I find SMS and Chaos splitting off from government things to be rather lacking because while they still do examine and critique authority and poo poo, they're also almost blind to PMC/general corporate bullshit.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I've also been watching Daitarn 3 and it's a wonderfully goofy show. Episode 3's villain is a model otaku who is collecting actual planes and trains and shrinking them, and when he sees Daitarn...

Stairmaster
Jun 8, 2012

nope just me lain


Well of course he's evil he's a pirate

Gripweed
Nov 8, 2018




https://twitter.com/KaijuNewsOutlet/status/1377292077625671688?s=20

Droyer
Oct 9, 2012



Fafner beyond 8 and 9 got subbed:

https://nyaa.si/view/1367198
https://nyaa.si/view/1367199

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND




Great! Now to watch them then wait for Part 4...

God I hate this release schedule so much. It's great at making me forget everything that happened every three episodes.

Pootybutt
Apr 5, 2011



We've already gotten to the princess pulling a berg katze and revealing her bind warper to be GIANT EVIL WOMAN so new Back Arrow is doin right by me

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I wasn't expecting the backstory in Tekkaman Blade to be so genuinely terrifying and hosed up, wow

wielder
Feb 16, 2008

"You had best not do that, Avatar!"

GorfZaplen posted:

I wasn't expecting the backstory in Tekkaman Blade to be so genuinely terrifying and hosed up, wow

I remember even the localized Teknoman version could feel rather grim, despite their best efforts to clean it up for broadcast.

Kanos
Sep 6, 2006

was there a time when speedwagon didn't get trolled

Tekkaman Blade is crushingly grim, and it's also great.

Argas
Jan 13, 2008
SRW Fanatic






My favorite version of Tekkaman Blade is in SRW W.

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Stairmaster
Jun 8, 2012

nope just me lain


i wasn't impressed with the one ep of PR:B I saw because the mech didn't look interesting to me and the cgi looked off. My dad seemed to like it though.

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