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Droyer
Oct 9, 2012



wielder posted:

I am not dismissing that as a valid approach to the analysis of mecha. In fact, it's certainly intellectually stimulating to ask that question and propose a series of possible answers for why giant robots are so appealing to a number of people from around the world. That's a fair subject of study and I admire those who can come up with nuanced theories. From my point of view, however, most mecha creators might not have been truly aware of all the implications and wrinkles that such an analysis will ultimately provide.

To further add to this, it is possible to enjoy things on multiple levels. I enjoy robots as, among other things, representations of human potential, as metaphors for nuclear bombs, as representations of their pilots (depending on the work in question of course). However I also like it when giant robots punch each other and metal goes flying and buildings are destroyed because it's loving awesome and cool and YEAH!!! To say that one of these levels is "why robots exist in art" is the same as saying one of them is more valid than the others, which strikes me as snobbish.

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boom boom boom
Jun 28, 2012

by Shine


I bet one of the reasons for the nudity in Gunbuster is to make the viewer used to tits in the show, so when Noriko tears her shirt at the end you can focus on how badass that is, instead of just going, "ooh, boob!"

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I'm gonna rewatch Imagawa's Tetsujin-28 once I catch up with all the simulwatches.

Droyer
Oct 9, 2012



GorfZaplen posted:

I'm gonna rewatch Imagawa's Tetsujin-28 once I catch up with all the simulwatches.

I still haven't seen that. I should

wielder
Feb 16, 2008

"You had best not do that, Avatar!"

Schwarzwald posted:

The scene your thinking of showed Noriko's pubic hair.

That's it.

Post-WWII Japanese law/morality used to classify such depictions as obscene at the time the series was produced. Just mentioning it for the sake of trivia.

Droyer posted:

To further add to this, it is possible to enjoy things on multiple levels. I enjoy robots as, among other things, representations of human potential, as metaphors for nuclear bombs, as representations of their pilots (depending on the work in question of course). However I also like it when giant robots punch each other and metal goes flying and buildings are destroyed because it's loving awesome and cool and YEAH!!! To say that one of these levels is "why robots exist in art" is the same as saying one of them is more valid than the others, which strikes me as snobbish.

I'm right with you there. We can freely enjoy seeing giant robots go break things on a purely visceral level and also remain capable of going beyond that point. It's the individual viewer's prerogative. That's one of the reasons why I don't personally attempt to be truly "mindless" (or, for that matter, "heartless" ) when experiencing any given work of entertainment of a certain length and density of content, regardless of whatever its arguable value as "art" happens to be in the long run. There are always multiple ways to look at all these things.

Droyer posted:

I still haven't seen that. I should

I should finish that myself. I remember liking the first few episodes a lot and having to stop for unrelated reasons. Slow, but not lacking compelling elements.

Imagawa has such a strong creative voice in all his robot shows that it's a pity his efforts are rarely commercially succesful.

wielder fucked around with this message at 04:54 on Sep 22, 2015

TNG
Jan 4, 2001

by Lowtax


Oh man, finally a place where we can talk about the collective works of Ryosuke Takahashi--he's made more than VOTOMs you know. However, I think the man peaked in mid 80s and hasn't really been a force of creativity and really interesting projects since then. Works like Blue Gender and FLAG have their good points, but they don't ever really reach the heights that his 80s stuff did. FLAG also has some very poor computer generated imagery holding it back, which makes sense since it seems like Takahashi has been the only one working on and supporting it since its inception. A bit of a passion project.

I both love and hate the man's work as a whole. VOTOMs is of course a classic, of just anime in general not just mecha, but Dougram, Galient, and Layzner all have fantastic visual aesthetics and story telling. He pretty much succeeded in putting the Japanese robot show into the muck and mire. Tomino founded it, but Takahashi really took this nascent "real robot" subgenre to its next level. The Scope Dog is a mass produced garbage can, and the show really has you buying into these being objects of war. It's not so much a super hero, that would be piloting them, but a manufactured piece of hardware whose armor isn't quite up to the task of taking the rockets and mid sized cannon rounds the VTs are tossing around. Fans of Geass will certainly be able to recognize where the Knightmare Frames got their mobility aesthetics from as well. Just brilliant stuff for the 1980s.

I feel like he hit the wall with Gasaraki. An absolutely beautifully animated, voiced, and scored show, it had a a lot going for it. But it was very much operating in a post Evangelion world, and the way certain elements of that show work very much come from the Eva mold full force. For good or for ill. There's also another thing that always got me about the show and that's its politics. One of Takahashi's points of interest are the political intrigues he puts into the show. But in the successful ones, the political musings tend to take on philosophical and a speculative science fiction bent. Interesting stuff reflective in our times, but not something really dumb if you try to apply it 1:1. Gasaraki works a bit differently in that it's operating on a post Gulf War 1 pre 9/11 geopolitical spectrum, with Japan at the forefront of the weapons and technologies development department. There's a dull plot about grain price manipulation, but it all comes off as a very "JAPAN WOULD NEVER START A WAR" FM3 type of deal in the end. I found the Noh dancing and Japanese culture stuff far more interesting. But then again, you wouldn't really have a Takahashi show without the politics.

One of the things that I find myself having trouble reconciling is robot fetishization with my own sentiments towards the military industrial complex and militarism in general. Takahashi kind of walks the tightrope, since in VOTOMS the VTs are pieces of garbage and the individual pilots and their stories and tactics are the important part. Gasaraki's TAs on the other hand are these gulf war type superweapons that Americans thought they had after the conflict, but before Afghanistan and Iraq II, whose precision and power blow anything else out of the water. It's something that bothers me a bit about Oshii's work as well, the feeling that this well animated robot battle that we're watching is meant to be seen as "neat".

I really respect and admire the man's work, since I think he has also tried to raise the intellectual bar on the genre for quite a while now, it's just that I watch his work and feel a little uncomfortable sometimes. He himself has stated that he hates robots, also like Tomino, but who knows if the corporate modelling and merchandise departments have bugs up his rear end too. He is doing VOTOMS spin off works a lot lately, so who even knows. You'll survive this Mr Takahashi, survive and move on to the next battlefield, alone.

TNG fucked around with this message at 06:00 on Sep 22, 2015

Smoking Crow
Feb 13, 2012

*laughs at u*


Is Raideen fully subbed yet or has no one picked it up after the guy quit because he hated Tomino

TNG
Jan 4, 2001

by Lowtax


No idea, but any of you dudes seen REIDEEN THE SUPERIOR!?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feH1hQoNFe4

Ah, the 90s, when everything was 5 pretty boys of differing backgrounds, hobbies, dispositions, and jobs.

Srice
Sep 11, 2011



Smoking Crow posted:

Is Raideen fully subbed yet or has no one picked it up after the guy quit because he hated Tomino

Not even just Tomino, but because they hated a specific episode so it took 2 years for that episode to get subbed, and then releases completely stopped after that, which was about 2 years ago.

That is one hell of a burnout.

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


drat. What happened in that episodes?

Raxivace
Sep 9, 2014



Does the Getter Robo manga ever pick up? I read both the original and G, and neither one seemed particularly compelling to me, and even a little wordy at times.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



Go is where poo poo gets weird and then there's only 2 or 3 books left.

Droyer
Oct 9, 2012



Raxivace posted:

Does the Getter Robo manga ever pick up? I read both the original and G, and neither one seemed particularly compelling to me, and even a little wordy at times.

Yeah, go is where it really takes off. If you really disliked both the original and G though I can't recommend the later ones in good conscience.

Raxivace
Sep 9, 2014



Alright then, I'll give Go a shot.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



Zodar
May 20, 2007



The more 70s robot manga you read, the more you realize how ahead of the curve Ishikawa was. The first two Getter series follow Mazinger Z's monster-of-the-week schtick, but they're just... ferocious enough to make Nagai's work seem tame. All the characters are bold, dramatic archetypes, the pace never lets up, the tone veers wildly from horror to awe to comedy. Mazinger Z fades into something lukewarm and repetitive as it goes on; Getter shifts into higher, more bizarre gears whenever things start to get samey.

And then you have Go -- and later, Shin -- which is where Ishikawa came into his own as a draftsman and a storyteller. Go is a goddamn feat in the (admittedly limited) field of mecha manga, alongside YAS's Origin Gundam. There's really nothing else like it.


Ishikawa was a very prolific mangaka, but very little of his work was ever translated into English. I hope that changes in the coming years.

Raxivace
Sep 9, 2014



I dunno man, Nagai could be a little weird too.

Raxivace fucked around with this message at 05:32 on May 24, 2016

Yes_Cantaloupe
Feb 28, 2005


Zodar posted:

The more 70s robot manga you read, the more you realize how ahead of the curve Ishikawa was. The first two Getter series follow Mazinger Z's monster-of-the-week schtick, but they're just... ferocious enough to make Nagai's work seem tame. All the characters are bold, dramatic archetypes, the pace never lets up, the tone veers wildly from horror to awe to comedy. Mazinger Z fades into something lukewarm and repetitive as it goes on; Getter shifts into higher, more bizarre gears whenever things start to get samey.

And then you have Go -- and later, Shin -- which is where Ishikawa came into his own as a draftsman and a storyteller. Go is a goddamn feat in the (admittedly limited) field of mecha manga, alongside YAS's Origin Gundam. There's really nothing else like it.


Ishikawa was a very prolific mangaka, but very little of his work was ever translated into English. I hope that changes in the coming years.

Whoa, that spread is loving awesome.

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



Raxivace posted:

I dunno man, Nagai could be a little weird too.



this is the best thing i've seen today

Droyer
Oct 9, 2012



Yes_Cantaloupe posted:

Whoa, that spread is loving awesome.

Getter Robo is good. It's also interesting from a historical perspective of mecha, as the titular Getter Robo is both the first transforming and combining robot.

dis astranagant
Dec 14, 2006



Zodar posted:

The more 70s robot manga you read, the more you realize how ahead of the curve Ishikawa was. The first two Getter series follow Mazinger Z's monster-of-the-week schtick, but they're just... ferocious enough to make Nagai's work seem tame. All the characters are bold, dramatic archetypes, the pace never lets up, the tone veers wildly from horror to awe to comedy. Mazinger Z fades into something lukewarm and repetitive as it goes on; Getter shifts into higher, more bizarre gears whenever things start to get samey.

And then you have Go -- and later, Shin -- which is where Ishikawa came into his own as a draftsman and a storyteller. Go is a goddamn feat in the (admittedly limited) field of mecha manga, alongside YAS's Origin Gundam. There's really nothing else like it.


Ishikawa was a very prolific mangaka, but very little of his work was ever translated into English. I hope that changes in the coming years.

The guys that translated the Getter manga have the first few chapters of Kyomu Senki and Majuu Sensen up. It's happening. Slowly.

Butt Frosted Cake
Dec 27, 2010



I watched a bunch of Getter Robo recently I found it pretty enjoyable because even though it was monster of the week stuff it almost never devolves into Getter Robo just punching stuff which I wasn't expecting coming off Gigantor which was basically all the fights were in that. Also is it just me or was Misato's design basically just lifted from the Getter Robo drillman's character design?



this is a night scene but his coat is red

Srice
Sep 11, 2011



Schwarzwald posted:

drat. What happened in that episodes?

I vaguely recall hearing about it and I haven't seen the series since I definitely don't want to pick up something that has stalled for so long, but what I heard was something like the protagonist was (temporarily) rendered blind and didn't tell anyone so dumb decisions were made?

But it also sounds like it resolves itself at the end of the episode so I have no idea why a single episode could cause 4 years of burnout.

Hbomberguy
Jul 4, 2009

[culla=big red]TufFEE did nO THINg W̡RA̸NG[/read]



Schwarzwald posted:

That's explicitly not true, though. There's a seen when Noriko, Kazumi, and Jung are bathing, when some passing soldiers peek in on them through the window from their RX robots.
Okay wow yeah I forgot about that scene.

Droyer posted:

This isn't true though. That's a part of her personality yes, but she is also defined by her relationship to L'alc and her conflicting desires to be a hero and a normal girl.
This conflict is pretty much the heart of the story. It takes Noriko to be a heroic figure, but then asks 'what about her actually made her heroic?' The story is 'about Noriko' because it's exploring what it means to become like her, or at least the distorted ideal she has come to represent.

The answer, paradoxically, is to be as inhuman as possible.

Droyer
Oct 9, 2012



Hbomberguy posted:

This conflict is pretty much the heart of the story. It takes Noriko to be a heroic figure, but then asks 'what about her actually made her heroic?' The story is 'about Noriko' because it's exploring what it means to become like her, or at least the distorted ideal she has come to represent.

The answer, paradoxically, is to be as inhuman as possible.

You're still ignoring Nono's relationship with Lal'c. And how is Nono "as inhuman as possible"? You have a bad habit of making statements and then not backing them up in any way.

TARDISman
Oct 28, 2011






This sells me even more on reading Getter Robo Go.

Droyer
Oct 9, 2012



TARDISman posted:

This sells me even more on reading Getter Robo Go.

It's very good. In fairness though, that's not what he actually says. Also you should read the original and G first.

Smoking Crow
Feb 13, 2012

*laughs at u*


Srice posted:

I vaguely recall hearing about it and I haven't seen the series since I definitely don't want to pick up something that has stalled for so long, but what I heard was something like the protagonist was (temporarily) rendered blind and didn't tell anyone so dumb decisions were made?

But it also sounds like it resolves itself at the end of the episode so I have no idea why a single episode could cause 4 years of burnout.

It's even more hosed up because the director changed from Tomino to the Rose of Versailles guy in the next episode. The plots would be different

Smoking Crow fucked around with this message at 22:28 on Sep 22, 2015

Hbomberguy
Jul 4, 2009

[culla=big red]TufFEE did nO THINg W̡RA̸NG[/read]



Droyer posted:

And how is Nono "as inhuman as possible"? You have a bad habit of making statements and then not backing them up in any way.
To elaborate (semi-spoilers?):

Being human isn't all that great. People can be misled, make mistakes, have incomplete psyches, are inherently never totally rational, and so on. We are only capable of doing good things for a very brief part of our existence. In Diebuster, busters have an expiration date. There's only so much good a single person can do, and those that try to prolong this inevitably end up being implied cannibals, hanger-on losers, etc. The question the show, and in fact a lot of shows, is asking is how it is possible to have a functioning civilisation in the face of our own failures. The starting hypothesis of the show is that we just need to keep changing people out when they get used up, toss them in the trash, and hope things can generally continue as they are. (This is also known as Capitalism.)

I've gone into detail about how robots in shows tend to function as externalisations of our own ideas or strengths. There's an inbuilt criticism to this - the machines are cold, unfeeling, and dangerous. This reflects how our ideals are in a way 'too big', and perhaps ill-fitting and get in the way. How many societies have destroyed themselves in supposed service to a seemingly-good ideal? Even in this century? The danger is in being too rigid that you fail to actually help humanity even if your idea was good, much like how actual machines can't simply get get better at what they're doing by themselves, merely performing commands. Lots of shows explore the gap between ideals and humanity, but the Buster series does it the best. It's a treatise on the struggle of human civilization. With that in mind:

Nono becomes inhuman in the very specific sense that she commits herself completely to a function. In the story, this quirky, upbeat, silly girl just sort of hoping fate deals her a good hand literally disappears, and then mysteriously re-emerges as a machine, performing a literal deus ex machina in the process. She becomes a machine dedicated to justice - and not just in a literal sense. She doesn't actually lose her emotions or self, but learns that there are more important things than one's own existence. She's gained a new perspective that allows her to easily solve the problems she faces. That's what she means when she says 'a true buster machine pilot has a buster machine in their heart.' You have to become closer to an ideal and avoid being Too Human.

This is repeated in Lal'c's arc but from the opposite direction. She's very good at following orders, but her relationships with others aren't great. To a certain extent she's afraid of opening herself up to people because of the pain that can cause. Dix-Neuf is an extension of her here - they're experienced and strong, but cannot achieve their full potential and incapable of recognising a way of doing better. They're literally blind in one eye. Dix-Neuf is also explicitly so old that people have seemingly forgotten his real name, like a game of chinese whispers it's become known entirely by its french pronunciation. He's like real ideals in the postmodern era - old, and too rigid, their actual goal lost in their present manifestation. They don't have the ability to rethink their goals or methods, and thus have a limit to what they can reasonably achieve. When Lal'c realises she wants to help her friend regardless of the danger, Dix-Neuf tears the horn out of his eye. Metaphorically speaking, they have opened themselves up to being hurt, but can see clearly now. Being a machine wasn't enough either. As soon as they do this, Dix-neuf is reborn and can finally be what they were always supposed to be. We are re-introduced, text and all, to the same robot, this time as buster machine #19. Importantly, it becomes a machine with a human face.

The point is you have to be unflinchingly, almost suicidally dedicated to doing what is right in the best possible way, but also constantly in search for what the most right way of doing things even is, for the world to get better. A machine with a human face.

Gyra_Solune
Apr 24, 2014

Kyun kyun
Kyun kyun
Watashi no kare wa louse


i feel like i might need to rewatch diebuster because all of this went way over my head

i'm tempted to say you might be reaching but it's like, all of that does kinda make sense to me

Hbomberguy
Jul 4, 2009

[culla=big red]TufFEE did nO THINg W̡RA̸NG[/read]



The biggest criticism of my approach I can think of is that I'm in some places ignoring plot content in favour of the themes. A character turns out to have been 'special all along', but thematically they always get stronger in response to development as a person and changes in perspective. So you could read that as there being a few special people who are intrinsically better made for heroism, or something similar - but this would ignore that the whole point is power comes the hearts of people, and in Gunbuster it's a fairly ordinary person.

I'm enamoured with the idea that, seemingly from nowhere, a character manifests a new backstory to justify their power. When a careless barmaid decides to throw her entire life behind the protection of humankind, it spontaneously 'turns out' that she was always built for this task.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



You've made me want to rewatch Diebuster at the very least. I didn't like as much as the original, but that was like 8 years ago so maybe I can appreciate it differently now.

Reds
Jun 15, 2015

I sense someone talking about... GUNDAM!


Watched M3: The Dark Metal recently. I don't know exactly how this managed to fly so far under the radar because it was actually pretty good. It had some melodrama at the start and Okada seems to have a habit of making overblown and hammy villains for the most part, but I liked it overall. The CG was pretty good and the Kawamori-designed mecha were quite cool. They way they folded up was really neat.

Hbomberguy
Jul 4, 2009

[culla=big red]TufFEE did nO THINg W̡RA̸NG[/read]



Droyer posted:

To further add to this, it is possible to enjoy things on multiple levels. I enjoy robots as, among other things, representations of human potential, as metaphors for nuclear bombs, as representations of their pilots (depending on the work in question of course). However I also like it when giant robots punch each other and metal goes flying and buildings are destroyed because it's loving awesome and cool and YEAH!!! To say that one of these levels is "why robots exist in art" is the same as saying one of them is more valid than the others, which strikes me as snobbish.
You're really just describing the same 'level' in different forms. Robots being representations of ideas, emotions or whatnot is the reason why they are entertaining. Coolness is just a useful shorthand for this stuff, and people find things cool for a reason!

Generally things are cool because they communicate an idea. I'm just trying to talk about those ideas rather than merely celebrating that they made me think at all. Don't take that as a jab at anyone, I just like trying to contribute. I dunno I seem to have killed this thread for the last couple days so don't stop talking about stuff on my account!

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Is it kinda weird that of the stuff by Ishikawa, Nagai, and Ishinomori that I've read, most of it I've found incredibly mediocre, except for Shin Getter Robo, might just be me having incredibly low tolerances for human violence(especially when it involves civilians), and bleakness though, which is just crawling all over the Manga works from all three authors, it's kinda not all that surprising that most of that tended to get ditched from adaptations of their work for a long time, and when adaptations try to include those themes they often fall apart on at least some level(Devil Lady's anime is pretty much the only example I can think of that pulls it off without coming off as stupid or up it's own rear end on at least some level)

Gyra_Solune
Apr 24, 2014

Kyun kyun
Kyun kyun
Watashi no kare wa louse


Reds posted:

Watched M3: The Dark Metal recently. I don't know exactly how this managed to fly so far under the radar because it was actually pretty good. It had some melodrama at the start and Okada seems to have a habit of making overblown and hammy villains for the most part, but I liked it overall. The CG was pretty good and the Kawamori-designed mecha were quite cool. They way they folded up was really neat.

Yeah, I'm sad so few people watched it, because it was overall good - its faults were more missing elements than things done outright bad. I really liked how the characterization went in the latter half - especially with mr generico main protagonist, and the world as a whole just bearing down on him all 'no actually being all waffly and indecisive KIND OF MAKES YOU A VERY BAD PERSON' and he has to do things unfamiliar to many such protagonists in his vein, such as actually risk something and open himself to being hurt, I feel like it was something of a jab at the vast majority of anime protags nowadays

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



i'd be pretty ok with a robot show that was just robots punching each other for 20 minutes without any intended deeper meanings or boring drama with the stupid human pilots

Sakurazuka
Jan 24, 2004

NANI?



ninjewtsu posted:

i'd be pretty ok with a robot show that was just robots punching each other for 20 minutes without any intended deeper meanings or boring drama with the stupid human pilots

That's what Mazinkaiser SKL is for.

Hbomberguy
Jul 4, 2009

[culla=big red]TufFEE did nO THINg W̡RA̸NG[/read]



ninjewtsu posted:

i'd be pretty ok with a robot show that was just robots punching each other for 20 minutes without any intended deeper meanings or boring drama with the stupid human pilots
Meaning is inescapable, and never deep. You cannot measure the depth of an idea.

The desire to watch giant mechanical humanoids destroy each other and see as little as possible of the 'stupid humans' underneath is not meaningless. You're describing a need to see things simplified. The complications of being human evaporate and in its place is a powerful super-human with hands that do not bleed. Less thinking, more punching - it's a lot easier to concentrate on, isn't it?

This isn't meant as an insult. It's the entire appeal. Mecha shows take abstract, dramatic human concepts and render them simpler and more direct. It's pure storytelling.

Hbomberguy fucked around with this message at 00:30 on Sep 26, 2015

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ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



I mostly just want to watch a well animated fight scene over any kind of plot or writing. I don't know what idea is really being communicated in a contextless fight scene, I think desire for a visual spectacle is a little different from a desire for a well constructed story

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