Tag Archives: mecha

(Dis)Abilities

So I read a complaint that (in part):

ONLY Rygart can pilot [Delphine], [. . .] it’s a bit absurd to have a piece of military hardware be so closely associated with one person, particularly when that person is very untrained and the piece of hardware is better then anything else (IE a super prototype).

For me, these remarks crystalise that thing about the ‘elegant super-real reversal’. The quiet joke in Break Blade is that Rygart’s ride is a super prototype by virtue of being more real-robot than the supers that surround it, just as Rygart is special because he is (to us) more mundane. Rygart and Delphine are both ‘broken’, like that one character/weapon/build queue which never got playtested and like something which doesn’t work.

Sorry if you’d thought that up already. I liked it enough to post it.

Robotic Vomit

When Banagher threw up in the second episode of Unicorn, I thought it was natural. Marida just punched him in the belly, after all.

But that’s ridiculous. The Kshatriya, not Marida, punched the Unicorn, not Banagher, in the belly. He succumbs, I suppose, to the amount of force applied to the cockpit as a whole (and the NT-D’s demands?), rather than to any particular part of his body. And yet part of my mind still thinks these are human-scale bodies or suits of armour.

(Compare that scene in Votoms where Chirico’s wounded in the leg, and his blood, escaping from a bullet-hole, runs down his Scopedog’s leg. Though, re-reading what I just wrote, we could probably do other things with that.)

‘Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Zabi . . .

msi-whodoyouthink

. . . if you think you’re in London?’ (It was almost certainly unintentional, but I’ll take what I can get – and besides, any comedy which has a credit for ‘the Yokel’ deserves some recognition.)

MS IGLOO or, as I like to refer to it, Mobile Suit Gundam: Peenemünde, is a real oddity. Its purpose, as far as I can make out, is to show off the animators’ skill in the production of fully computer-generated mechanical design porn. This makes for storylines which are, judged by normal criteria, probably rather dissatisfying: each episode introduces a weapon, together with a character who operates it, but the weapon is always destroyed and the new character is always killed. However, since the main reason to watch this is the mechanical design porn, the pre-arranged outcomes aren’t really an issue. Indeed, once you know how it’s going to go, you can take a kind of detached interest in the execution.

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In Which I Write an Episode Summary

These days it feels like writing an episode summary is a political act, and writing about old anime is always a slightly charged business, so when the Mighty Benefactor  who is subtitling Dougram took the time to do a first-draft set of subtitles for the first episode of Panzer World Galient, I thought I might as well combine the two activities. Continue reading

‘Drink less, or taste not the Pierian spring’

Mecha Musume SwordfishNo mecha musume Fairey Swordfish exists.
But if one did, she
would be a tea-drinker.

Yes, more about mecha. In fact, the first, more boring, half of the entry that I posted the second half of last weekend. A blog entry like the Haruhi adaption and Huxley’s Eyeless in Gaza, I suppose.

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Those Magnificent Men In Their Fighting Machines

A CHAR is fine too

‘Mecha’, as a genre, is odd: there’s nothing obvious inherent in our humanity which makes us hungry for titans of steel beating seven kinds of coolant out of each other in the same way that, say, people are prone to falling in love and so we hunger for stories about love. Mecha appear to be very much styling - however inextricably bound up with substance style is – in that most of the time you could replace them with some other weapon; you wouldn’t have the same show, but the character conflicts and action sequences could still remain in place. And indeed, it’s not unheard of for mecha to be inserted at the sponsors’ insistence.

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Ecole du Ciel Vol. 1: A GCSE in Gundam?

Characters

I don’t read enough manga. It’s not that I dislike it, it’s that I find it hard to relax with a book, or more specifically with the physical shape of a book, a codex. To ‘come home after a hard day’s reading and relax with a book’ carries a certain contradiction, as I’m sure you can see.

But I try. After all, manga has a number of practical advantages over anime as a form of entertainment: it’s much cheaper, and it’s available in the UK pretty much as soon as it’s available in the US because (glory be!) books don’t have those pesky Region Code thingies. [Wouldn't life be awful if they did?]

Credit is therefore due to Kaoishin-sama for putting me onto Ecole du Ciel. Ecole has what it takes to interest me: obscurity value, curiosity value and hawt Mobile Suit-on-Mobile Suit action value. Plus the manga-ka is Mikimoto Haruhiko, who has an impressive set of character design credits including a number of Macrosses (and the animation direction for Do You Remember Love?) and War in the Pocket. And the first volume arrived in my letterbox recently, so here I am talking about it. Continue reading