Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Five Favourite Mecha Shows that does not have "Gundam" or "Macross" in their titles!

Hi everyone! I have given some thoughts on how to improve my blog and instead of doing reviews for current shows, why don't I give some recommendations for completed series? As you can tell from the title, I will be talking about one of my favourite sub genre which is the Mecha genre or some will call it "Robot Anime"

Don't get me wrong from the title. Gundam and Macross actually make many changes to the Mecha genre but it will be too easy to name any of the Gundam and Macross series in this list as there is a whole chunk of them.

So I present you five of my favourite Mecha shows in no particular order and this is not an official list but these are the shows I will watch it again and again. Also these shows are shows that I finished watching it so don't expected me to watch every mecha shows that come out now or then. (I will get a burnout if that happened)

Gunbuster: or it's actual title-Toppu o Nerru is a 6 episode OVA series created by Hideki Anno. Before Hideki went all coco puffs on Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gunbuster is a story of two young girls who inspired to become space pilots to battle the oncoming aliens race simply known as Space Monsters.

Noriko is the naive and hard working girl who looked upon the talented and beautiful senior Kasumi however both girls faced different trials like Noriko trying her best to become a pilot despite lacking of talents and Kasumi who is in love with their instructor, Ohta and the fear of losing him due to Ohta's terminal illness.

Gunbuster doesn't even make an appearance until episode 5 when Noriko took upon herself to pilot it after an attack by the Space Monsters. This show also deal with the Space Time Dilation as the Space Monsters are hiding far in the galaxy, the crew travel further away from Earth which results in a difference of time displacement. For the crew, it was only 6 months in space but 10 years has passed on Earth.

Noriko and Kasumi finally accepted the responsibility of protecting Earth despite Ohta's passing and Noriko losing the people she care about back on Earth. They travelled into the heart of the universe to destroy all the Space Monsters after 12000 years has passed on Earth.

For the girls, it was only a few hours after the final battle and they wondered if the Earth survived or does anyone remember them. When they finally approached Earth, the two girls saw something unbelievable that it had remained one of the best memorable scenes in Anime history.

Overall, this is one of the shows I recommend despite a slow start and Gunbuster doesn't appeared until later. But the finale was worth watching for this 6 episode OVA.

Shin Getta Robo-The Last Days of Earth: I love Getta Robo since it was the pioneer for creating the combiner robots for similar shows. Even Transformers was influenced to have combiner robots like Devastor in their shows so you have to thank Getta Robo for that.

Shin Getta Robo was actually a previous idea created by Getta Robo creators-Nagai Go and Ishikawa Ken for the 4th Super Robot Wars game for Playstation 1 however not much lore was given to Shin Getta although it did make an appearance in Getta Robo GO manga but not in animated form.

When it was announced that Shin Getta Robo is getting a 13 episode OVA series, I can't wait for it to come. What came was both shocking and confusion after watching it. As a young teen, I didn't really understand some of the changes like Lead Pilot, Ryoma is voiced by Ishikawa Hideo and not Kamiya Akira (Who is one of my favourite voice actor of all time) and why there is a focus on newcomers Go, Kei and Gai in the second half of the series?

Now as an adult and re watching again, it actually make sense for the changes. Ryoma in the manga is completely different from Ryoma in the original 1974 anime. Manga Ryoma is a hardcore and almost deranged psychopath that he is the perfect candidate for Getta Robo which feed on instinct and rage.

Furthermore, the OVA already started off with Ryoma being framed for murder of Getta's creator, Dr Saotome and when he was released to kill a revived Saotome later in the episode, his first words to Saotome was to send him back to hell. (Ryoma is totally crazy in that scene but it was awesome)

What came was a great series that make Shin Getta one of the most crazed robots with over the top action and an epic story from start to finish. I won't spoil the ending but Shin Getta has become such a fan favourite that it remind a staple character in every Super Robot Wars game after that.

Shin Mazinger Impact! Z Chapter: If Getta Robo was the pioneer who started the combining robots then Mazinger is the one who started the Super Robot Genre. After close to 40 years, Mazinger's main core story still remind the same unlike Getta Robo.

However Shin Mazinger actually rebooted the lore of Mazinger and give it a more epic back story on why Mazinger is the father of all Super Robots. With Akabane Kenji replacing Ishimaru Hiroya as the voice of Kabuto Kouji after nearly 40 years, Mazinger started off pretty weird with a single night for Mazinger's debut battle to last for nearly the first 8 episodes!

But after that, little info were spread out here and there though out the series about the connection between Mazinger, the Kabuto Family and the Mycenaeans which is an ancient civilization that series villain, Dr Hell reverse-engineered their technology to create his mechanical beasts.

Furthermore, the series also paid tribute to Go Nagai's other series like Violence Jack, Dai Maou Dante and even Energer Z which is a prototype story before Mazinger was created. The battles were fierce and epic which Kouji not just have to battle Dr Hell and his mechanical Beasts but even battle Satan himself. (No, Seriously!) Guess which God did Mazinger was based on? 

The only flaw the show has was the ending which was left hanging as the anime studio that was responsible declared bankrupt as such no sequel was done. However Nagai Go did Shin Mazinger Zero which is another retelling and it has one of the most epic final battles that it is a love letter to fans of Mecha shows in general.

From left to right: Tamaki, Asagi, Izuru, Kei and Ataru

Majestic Prince: If there is one thing that Mecha shows taught us, it was Super Robots shows are colorful, over the top and pilots who are more hot blooded and optimistic. Real Robots shows tend to be more realistic, have darker themes and pilots who sometime throw a fit for no reason.

But here come a little show called Majestic Prince that is technically a Real Robot show but this rag tag team of pilots and crew members are people that I want to get along with! Basically five pilots (Izuru, Asagi, Kei, Tamaki and Ataru) from MJP academy are the worst team to perform in combat and everyone shun them.

However the five pilots codenamed Team Rabbits were given the chance of a lifetime to pilot state of the arts mecha called AHSMB to assist in the evacuation of a military base during an alien invasion. However Izuru saw civilians who were unable to evacuate decided to take the leap to defend them and his teammates follow suit.

Soon the five of them were nicknamed "Majestic Prince" in the media and the team learn to work together with their supporting staffs and discovering the aliens' true motives.

Sounds pretty standard for a mecha show but what make this show enjoyable was the cast of characters with Izuru who is an amateur artist who dream of being a hero, Asagi who get a stomach upset whenever he is nervous, Kei who has a sweet tooth but is horrible in making sweets, Tamaki who goes after any hot looking guy and weapons geek Ataru who can't stop talking about any awesome weapons lying around.

The five of them compliment each other and they don't get upset or emotional like most teens do. Furthermore, their supporting staff which include a sexy lollipop sucking female captain and a busty chief mechanic was always fun to watch.

Although the show started off slowly in the early episodes but once the main plot is revealed, everything is shifted to overdrive and it is non-stop to the end. Furthermore, there is an extra episode that bridge the conclusion of the TV series to the movie which is a continuation from where they left off. If you want a mecha show that doesn't take itself too seriously, I will highly recommended Majestic Prince as a good Real Robot show.

Gravion and Gravion Zwei: If Majestic Prince is a love letter to Real Robots then Gravion is a love letter to Super Robots.

Created by Obari Masami, (The guy who draw his Super Robots like hot sexy humans!) Gravion is the story of Eiji who is searching for his missing elder sister, Ayaka who was last working with the mysterious Mr Sandman. Eiji discovered Sandman has created a task force called Gran Divas to deal with the upcoming alien invasion by the Zeravire who started attacking Earth.

From Far left to right: Leele, Eina, Luna, Mizuki, Eiji and Touka 

Eiji was thrust by Sandman to join Gran Divas and piloted 1/6 of a super robot named Gravion together with Main Core Pilot and slightly dense Touka, Tsundere Luna, Timid Maid Eina, Sexy Lady Mizuki and Quiet Leele.

Every episode played like a typical Super Robot episode with a monster of the week with a better budget. The combined sequence in every episode is also paying tribute to 70s and 80s combined robots shows and a new weapon appearing every episode. (You wonder why there was never a toy on Gravion till this day since it will make a perfect toy for collectors?)

Despite all the silliness and over the top moments, the show also has it's serious and deep moments especially for Eiji's search for his sister and Sandman's true identify and motives. The sequel, Gravion Zwei which continue from the first season also gave some more back stories from the various characters and how the Earth governments aren't going to let Gravion take all the credits.

However unlike Majestic Prince's governments who are run by stubborn men, the Earth government finally respected Gravion and they actually work together in the finale. Overall, a highly underrated Super Robots show (Sure, it has fan service) but a near perfect Super Robot show in my opinion.

That's five of my favourite Mecha shows. Sure, there are other Mecha shows that I recommended but these are the ones that I will watch it over again. If you have a chance, take a look at these shows and if you want me to do a similar topic like this one, leave a comment. Until then, see you in the next post!

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