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Post Reply Something I noticed in most mecha anime
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Posted 8/28/17 , edited 8/29/17
Usually, whenever I watch a mecha anime, the main-protagonist mecha is mostly either a super prototype or ace custom, the one mecha that possesses more strength, speed, durability, and firepower than the mass-produced models, despite the former being a test-bed for mass-produced models, and the latter just being customized from said mass-produced models. Rare exceptions to this include Super Dimension Fortress Macross and Armored Trooper VOTOMS, but other than that, the main-protagonist often gets a prototype or custom unit that could massacre entire waves of mass-produced units alone.

But due to my frequent exposure to team-objective first-person shooters, I've come to realize that military combat is often a team-based affair. Soldiers are often put together in centralized units dedicated less to kills and more to securing objectives. But because most mecha series I've watched from beginning to end, as well as others I haven't watched yet, mostly feature a super prototype or ace custom that could slaughter dozens of mass-produced models on their own, that they take away from the experience of watching what are otherwise war dramas.

So how can I see mecha series the same way I would team-objective first-person shooters, if there is almost always a prototype or custom unit that could kill dozens of mass-produced models on their own, without any backup?
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17
hmm... whats your opinion on gurren lagann because there is plenty of the machine Simon has
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17

demonheart990 wrote:

hmm... whats your opinion on gurren lagann because there is plenty of the machine Simon has


Oh, to me, it's among the most epic mecha series I've ever watched all the way to the end. But yeah, custom units and prototypes being more powerful than the mass-produced mecha would also essentially describe the Gurren, ever since Kamina hijacked it and customized it to his own liking, before merging it with Simon's Lagann to form Gurren Lagann. Plus, the Gurren Lagann mecha is also a a prototype unit for the Grapearl units throughout the second half of the series, and like most other fictional prototypes, it's the former that ends up transcending the latter.

Although, when you said "plenty of the machine Simon has", are you talking about the Lagann as a prototype unit itself, and not just for the Grapearls from the second half of the series?
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17

Commander_PonyShep wrote:


demonheart990 wrote:

hmm... whats your opinion on gurren lagann because there is plenty of the machine Simon has


Oh, to me, it's among the most epic mecha series I've ever watched all the way to the end. But yeah, custom units and prototypes being more powerful than the mass-produced mecha would also essentially describe the Gurren, ever since Kamina hijacked it and customized it to his own liking, before merging it with Simon's Lagann to form Gurren Lagann. Plus, the Gurren Lagann mecha is also a a prototype unit for the Grapearl units throughout the second half of the series, and like most other fictional prototypes, it's the former that ends up transcending the latter.

Although, when you said "plenty of the machine Simon has", are you talking about the Lagann as a prototype unit itself, and not just for the Grapearls from the second half of the series?


i said that because the king dude has one and at the end of the movie you see like 10 of them
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17

demonheart990 wrote:


Commander_PonyShep wrote:


demonheart990 wrote:

hmm... whats your opinion on gurren lagann because there is plenty of the machine Simon has


Oh, to me, it's among the most epic mecha series I've ever watched all the way to the end. But yeah, custom units and prototypes being more powerful than the mass-produced mecha would also essentially describe the Gurren, ever since Kamina hijacked it and customized it to his own liking, before merging it with Simon's Lagann to form Gurren Lagann. Plus, the Gurren Lagann mecha is also a a prototype unit for the Grapearl units throughout the second half of the series, and like most other fictional prototypes, it's the former that ends up transcending the latter.

Although, when you said "plenty of the machine Simon has", are you talking about the Lagann as a prototype unit itself, and not just for the Grapearls from the second half of the series?


i said that because the king dude has one and at the end of the movie you see like 10 of them


"King", as in Lord Genome, right? Lazengann was a prototype for all of the other Lagann mecha?

And which movie? The first one or the second one?
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/30/17

Commander_PonyShep wrote:

Usually, whenever I watch a mecha anime, the main-protagonist mecha is mostly either a super prototype or ace custom, the one mecha that possesses more strength, speed, durability, and firepower than the mass-produced models, despite the former being a test-bed for mass-produced models, and the latter just being customized from said mass-produced models. Rare exceptions to this include Super Dimension Fortress Macross and Armored Trooper VOTOMS, but other than that, the main-protagonist often gets a prototype or custom unit that could massacre entire waves of mass-produced units alone.

Another exception is Aldnoah.Zero, where the MC actually declines to use a more advanced model when given the opportunity.


I expect common reason for the one-off model is to provide a reason why the often inexperienced rookie doesn't get killed off early in the series.

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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/30/17
Gundam is pretty much the poster-child for this trope, and I'll admit that I've come to find it tiresome. It's one of the reasons 08th MS Team is (by far) my favorite Gundam series.

I agree with TheAncientOne, it's almost certainly done for the sake of the protagonist not being immediately slaughtered for entering a battlefield without any training. A sci-fi power fantasy in the same vein as the protagonist finding a magic sword that makes them incredibly fast/strong and the only one able to defeat the evil villain.

Doesn't keep it from being tiresome though.
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17

iriomote wrote:

Gundam is pretty much the poster-child for this trope, and I'll admit that I've come to find it tiresome. It's one of the reasons 08th MS Team is (by far) my favorite Gundam series.

I agree with TheAncientOne, it's almost certainly done for the sake of the protagonist not being immediately slaughtered for entering a battlefield without any training. A sci-fi power fantasy in the same vein as the protagonist finding a magic sword that makes them incredibly fast/strong and the only one able to defeat the evil villain.

Doesn't keep it from being tiresome though.


Except I watched tons of Youtube videos of online multiplayer first-person shooters, and found out that those games played at their best with team-objectives. In a real-life military, soldiers work at their best in groups, working together to capture or defend centralized objectives, and not just kill their enemies alone. And, first-person shooters would end up reflecting that kind of combat, despite them having respawn mechanics.

With the prototype and custom units, the opposite seems to also be true. They seem to work at their absolute best alone as opposed to in groups like mass-produced models, to the point that whatever realism is supposed to apply to those mecha series ironically rarely applies to them, anyway. Again, we have exceptions like Macross and VOTOMS, but other than that, it's almost always the prototypes and custom units that seem to kick the most ass out of the mass-produced models.

In fact, every time I compare prototypes and custom units with mass-produced units, and it's essentially like comparing a solo super robot like Mazinger Z with a combining super robot like Getter Robo, Combattler V, or GoLion/Voltron. The former is bound to work at its best alone, like the prototypes and custom units, while the latter would work at their best in groups, similar to the mass-produced models.
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17
Well you've hit the work of fiction versus reality bump. What you said is generally true in real-robot features. Bringing up a Super-Robot title like gurenn lagann or star driver for comparison doesnt make sense because they are their own sub genre. Storywriting wise the authors needed a way to connect you to the main character(s), identifying them with a special or custom unit is typical and an easy way to do it. A way I kind of can relate this to real life is that, even our military tests things before production. Just in most notably the Gundam series, these prototypes are thrown out into the front liens out of necessity (of and in the story if nothing else). In reality if we needed too, we would and could do the same, but we don't We test aircraft, tanks, ships, and rifles for sometimes years before productions, then a bit after that so that initial production can serve more than just one or to units. Now, sometimes not. The F35 is only combat capabily deployed to one USMC unit in Japan, the remaining units in the states are test units, although the air force may have activated a unit this year, I cannot recall at this time. But I do know that 2018 is the earliest other US units with be combat capable, and even then that is only a couple units now. So in that since its similar to how some mecha series are played off. And also, remmber teammates are important at all levels, but more so on the infantry level in games, as you get into equipment (tanks, planes) it becomes more of a force combined arms outlook and operates differently. These mecha in anime may look like people but their role is that of tanks, artillery and strike aircraft so you have to look at them from that angle.

Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team is a good gundam series were everyone is on equal footing.
Aldnoad.Zero is a good real-robot series as well, were the 'good' guys have all the under powered mechs and the 'enemies' use advanced tech.
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17
I have always thought of it like this. In regards to the performance of mecha.

super-prototype= formula one, team racing type car, concept car. All the best parts. Every new innovation. most expensive materials used in construction. Best/different fuel. Proof of concept.

mass manufactured=standard car. churned out in the thousands. not the best materials used in construction but the cheapest that will do the job. Power capped or dialed down so they are not a danger to the driver or other drivers but easy enough to learn to use.

Ace custom= custom car. tuned or modified engine, parts upgraded and replaced. Non standard modifications and tricks added.

Now in a race which would someone have the advantage in. Except it isn't a race. These are giant robot tank jets fighting.
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17

Commander_PonyShep wrote:


demonheart990 wrote:

hmm... whats your opinion on gurren lagann because there is plenty of the machine Simon has


Oh, to me, it's among the most epic mecha series I've ever watched all the way to the end. But yeah, custom units and prototypes being more powerful than the mass-produced mecha would also essentially describe the Gurren, ever since Kamina hijacked it and customized it to his own liking, before merging it with Simon's Lagann to form Gurren Lagann. Plus, the Gurren Lagann mecha is also a a prototype unit for the Grapearl units throughout the second half of the series, and like most other fictional prototypes, it's the former that ends up transcending the latter.

Although, when you said "plenty of the machine Simon has", are you talking about the Lagann as a prototype unit itself, and not just for the Grapearls from the second half of the series?



Interestingly, from what we see in flash backs to humanity's first dealings with the anti-spirals, Gurren Lagann appears to be the more or less default unit. This is bolstered by the fact that Lord Genome uses a similar unit.

Lord Genome specifically deviated from the Model when making gunman for beast men since they could not (and were being actively prevented) from using the "spiral" engine and all that fighting series stuff (not to downgrade fighting spirit and it's importance to the show, but that's the best way I can put it).

This also explains why having Simon and Kamina pilot Gurren Lagann works. It's a found old piece of a standard unit (Lagann) and a mash up of beast man units. Beast man units were deviations of the default, so when humans (who have spiral power/DNA/Whatever; again, best way I can think to put it) puts them together, it makes sense that the default unit is the result.


So while it does fit into the trope, it does so in a way that is surprisingly well-explained, if you look into it.
Plus, given how these mechs works, it's still falls largely on pilot skill. The mech (Gurren Lagann specifically) just allows them to reach greater heights; it does not put them there by default.


For such a "turn your brain off and enjoy series," Gurren Lagann had a surprising amount of depth and consistency.
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17

zero356 wrote:


Commander_PonyShep wrote:


demonheart990 wrote:

hmm... whats your opinion on gurren lagann because there is plenty of the machine Simon has


Oh, to me, it's among the most epic mecha series I've ever watched all the way to the end. But yeah, custom units and prototypes being more powerful than the mass-produced mecha would also essentially describe the Gurren, ever since Kamina hijacked it and customized it to his own liking, before merging it with Simon's Lagann to form Gurren Lagann. Plus, the Gurren Lagann mecha is also a a prototype unit for the Grapearl units throughout the second half of the series, and like most other fictional prototypes, it's the former that ends up transcending the latter.

Although, when you said "plenty of the machine Simon has", are you talking about the Lagann as a prototype unit itself, and not just for the Grapearls from the second half of the series?



Interestingly, from what we see in flash backs to humanity's first dealings with the anti-spirals, Gurren Lagann appears to be the more or less default unit. This is bolstered by the fact that Lord Genome uses a similar unit.

Lord Genome specifically deviated from the Model when making gunman for beast men since they could not (and were being actively prevented) from using the "spiral" engine and all that fighting series stuff (not to downgrade fighting spirit and it's importance to the show, but that's the best way I can put it).

This also explains why having Simon and Kamina pilot Gurren Lagann works. It's a found old piece of a standard unit (Lagann) and a mash up of beast man units. Beast man units were deviations of the default, so when humans (who have spiral power/DNA/Whatever; again, best way I can think to put it) puts them together, it makes sense that the default unit is the result.


So while it does fit into the trope, it does so in a way that is surprisingly well-explained, if you look into it.
Plus, given how these mechs works, it's still falls largely on pilot skill. The mech (Gurren Lagann specifically) just allows them to reach greater heights; it does not put them there by default.


For such a "turn your brain off and enjoy series," Gurren Lagann had a surprising amount of depth and consistency.


So essentially, it's what you consider the way I described it: The Lagann not only being a prototype for the Grapearls, but also the Gunmen. Right?
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17

Commander_PonyShep wrote:


zero356 wrote:


Commander_PonyShep wrote:


demonheart990 wrote:

hmm... whats your opinion on gurren lagann because there is plenty of the machine Simon has


Oh, to me, it's among the most epic mecha series I've ever watched all the way to the end. But yeah, custom units and prototypes being more powerful than the mass-produced mecha would also essentially describe the Gurren, ever since Kamina hijacked it and customized it to his own liking, before merging it with Simon's Lagann to form Gurren Lagann. Plus, the Gurren Lagann mecha is also a a prototype unit for the Grapearl units throughout the second half of the series, and like most other fictional prototypes, it's the former that ends up transcending the latter.

Although, when you said "plenty of the machine Simon has", are you talking about the Lagann as a prototype unit itself, and not just for the Grapearls from the second half of the series?



Interestingly, from what we see in flash backs to humanity's first dealings with the anti-spirals, Gurren Lagann appears to be the more or less default unit. This is bolstered by the fact that Lord Genome uses a similar unit.

Lord Genome specifically deviated from the Model when making gunman for beast men since they could not (and were being actively prevented) from using the "spiral" engine and all that fighting series stuff (not to downgrade fighting spirit and it's importance to the show, but that's the best way I can put it).

This also explains why having Simon and Kamina pilot Gurren Lagann works. It's a found old piece of a standard unit (Lagann) and a mash up of beast man units. Beast man units were deviations of the default, so when humans (who have spiral power/DNA/Whatever; again, best way I can think to put it) puts them together, it makes sense that the default unit is the result.


So while it does fit into the trope, it does so in a way that is surprisingly well-explained, if you look into it.
Plus, given how these mechs works, it's still falls largely on pilot skill. The mech (Gurren Lagann specifically) just allows them to reach greater heights; it does not put them there by default.


For such a "turn your brain off and enjoy series," Gurren Lagann had a surprising amount of depth and consistency.


So essentially, it's what you consider the way I described it: The Lagann not only being a prototype for the Grapearls, but also the Gunmen. Right?


Yes, but an important distinction is that both were downgrades because they lacked Spiral Tech. Or at least the Grepearls did at first, and even when added, it was still largely pilot based.
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17
I could explain this unrealistic plot devices with the cultural demands of individualism, ego-centrism, and looseness. The emphasis on prototypes and ace-customs represent the individualist desire to be unique and exceptional. The overpowerment of those "unique" mechs, along with the emphasis on individual performance over team performance, represent ego-centrism and the underestimation of the contribution by others. The focus on mass killing over mission objectives, along with the lack of discipline, represent the desire of looseness with its high-arousal activities and lack of structured interaction.
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Posted 8/29/17 , edited 8/29/17
with most mecha, the main mech is often the bestest of the best, however, the main pilot not only have to see themselves as a hero but they must also activate said power, until then you're pretty much going to be no better than anyone else, and in some cases lose more than you win. after all, the pilot tends to be at war with themselves.

as for first person shooters, it's no different. as a solo, you start out as a mere nothing (level zero or one for argument's sake) and you find your first weapon and still a zero because you really have no armor as you go up against something that typically does. as the game progresses you find new/better weapons, armor/better armor, until you get a chance to locate a super rare item that pretty much makes you a "god" within the game. that everyone could be fighting for you to be on their team and constantly want to hook up and play with their team. but, yes, when it comes to first person it's always based upon team up, you don't want to be stuck with that zero player, you want to be stuck with that hero player. unless you're playing solo or campaign where you secretly perfect your skills, armor and weapons to finally being discovered when you play within a group mass up.

first person shooters are new to me, just started playing them and fell in love with them, however I'm a big time mech fan, seen far too many to count, most are similar to Gundam, but, let's face it, Gundam is the god among the mech realm, and everyone wants one on their side or want to copy and perfect sort of thing.
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