Describing an anime as a "mecha title" means something different in today's anime scene. You see, in many of the classic mecha series we covered last week, you could very clearly divide an anime's genre, whether it was inspired by Mobile Suit Gundam and had realistic robots that (for the most part) used large-scale versions of regular weapons and needed maintenance, and crazy super-robot series like GoLion and Mazinger with superhero-like combat and over-the-top, apocalyptic threats.
And then came Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1995 combining elements of both, also giving us a hefty dose of personal drama and savage, almost bestial mecha combat. Since then, in some form or another, many series have been inspired by Evangelion, and it's created a new breed of mecha series that straddles the line without going too far in either direction, while continuing to focus on strong character development and storyline like so many before them. We round out our two-week mecha theme by checking out those series inspired by Evangelion and much more in this week's Fanart Friday!
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Do you know how much Ruri fanart I had to go through to find something I wanted to post here? She's hardly the best part of Martian Successor Nadesico, I mean, everybody [expletive deleted] forgets about Daigoji Gai and it's so [expletive deleted] criminal that they [spoiler deleted] after only two [expletive deleted] episodes and--
Full Metal Panic! is one series that handles polar opposites well--while its first season was a well-handled balance of comedy, action and drama, the second series was all comedy and its third season was an intense political thriller with lots of Armored Core-style mecha battles.
I am not at all ashamed to admit that I am a huge Masami Obari fan... even if a lot of his stuff is shameless and goofy, like Gravion here. Thankfully, you can check out his (pretty darn fun) Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector here on CR!
Love it or hate it, I think it's safe to say that Code Geass is more or less a Gundam series, just not in name. No really, think about it: it has all the hallmarks of a Gundam series like politics, intrigue, betrayal, a masked character, and giant robots. Character designs by CLAMP and Takahiro Kimura are just the icing on the cake.
by 柳 仁吉
Man, RahXephon was a weird series. It was so directly inspired by Evangelion's wackiness, and yet it had its own brand of strange, almost supernatural mecha-and-metaphysical atmosphere that's very hard to easily describe. Check it out if you can!
The Vision of Escaflowne is one series (and movie retelling) that did everything right to me. It was well-written, beautifully-animated, and had one hell of a great soundtrack.
I was honestly kind of losing interest in anime and considering just going manga-only--until Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann came around. It's the anti-Eva, an infectiously positive and inspiring juggernaut of a series.
You know what Gundam 00 did? In the last few episodes of the first season, it punched me in the emotions. It hurt me. In fact, it hurt me so much that I haven't gotten around to actually finishing the series. I should do that at some point.
While I prefer Macross Plus, the tradition was carried on well with Macross Frontier, especially that horrible tradition that says that nobody is safe until you see "THE END" on the screen.
Y'know what doesn't get enough love? Dai-Guard. It's not just a mecha series, it's a workplace/salaryman comedy where these poor schlubs not only have to worry about the evil aliens trying to eat their faces, but city politics and the military trying to horn in on their action.
Yes, Star Driver does have a lot in common with Gurren-Lagann. Just so you know, this is not a bad thing at all. As a fan of unconventional mecha designs, creative action and solid character development, the series is a real winner.
Evangelion 1.11 was so similar to the series that I thought this "Rebuild" was just repackaging. Evangelion 2.22 proved me dead wrong, especially this horrifying scene.
And on the subject of horrifying scenes, I'm just gonna leave this here and see who gets the joke.
Eesh, that last one was pretty terrifying. So that wraps up our two-week mecha extravaganza--for those of you who noticed that there was a distinct lack of Gundam, let me just say that I have a Gundam-centric Fanart Friday planned for a future installment.
In preparation for Final Fantasy XIII-2's release on the 31st (and my subsequent marathon as I live off the game for a week so I can review it), we start another two-week theme focusing on JRPGs and their myriad memorable characters! What titles do you look forward to seeing fanart of next week?