Anime Vice News

Almost Otaku: Who's the Biggest Mecha of Them All?

Physically AND figuratively.

 The giant on whose shoulders so many others have stood.
 The giant on whose shoulders so many others have stood.

Frieza: Upon the Mecha genre, what is the biggest mecha anime? What has had the biggest influence and impact upon the genre? Personally, the first one that comes to mind would be Gundam. I feel that it is the originator of mecha. Why? Well, let's say that perhaps if Gundam wasn't popular, probably mecha wouldn't be popular as a whole. Was there a mecha before Gundam that had an impact to the genre like Gundam did?

I imagine that GUNDAM’s the biggest mecha, as well.  Again, it’s that old debate about who did it first versus who did it most memorably. GIGANTOR, TRANZOR Z (and even some possible roots in Heinlein’s STARSHIP TROOPERS) may precede, but they’re not the same kind of mecha empire we’re talking about here. GUNDAM might not be a the favorite mecha of a lot of you lunatics, but facts are facst and the series has been running for decades, almost continuously, with who-knows-how-many spin-offs and gaidens and alternate reality stories. Actually, I think the true decider of it being the biggest mecha is the fact there’s actually a restaurant in Japan that’ll serve you 1:1 scale fried GUNDAM.   

That trumps pretty much anything else, no?

 The true biggest mecha of them all.
 The true biggest mecha of them all.

You know, the funny is that I got a question a few weeks back who manga’s answer to Superman is and, while the fun answer might be Goku, through another lens, it might actually be GUNDAM. The conclusion I’ve reached from watching all these shows is that mecha is mor-or-less the equivalent of superheroes in Japan. The boy's power fantasy genre that’s been well-explored, deconstructed and reconstructed, referenced and homaged. I’ll leave it up to somebody else - - somebody more academic than I - -  to determine what the significance is of the man being super-powered vis a vis the giant suit being super-powered, though.

Then again, you could also look at this question as asking which mecha is the physically biggest of all time. After watching the conclusion of GURREN LAGANN, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a giant robo bigger than universe-dwarfing Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.  

 Pffft… and you think Evas were impressive for being as big as skyscrapers.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS! &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon  here &     here .

lilmikeegeeon Sept. 27, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.
I thought Gunbuster was the biggest in size. I haven't seen gurren Lagann. It is universe-size? damn!
 
and as I understand from my japanses relatives, nothing beats Gundam. Not even star wars.
JJOR64on Sept. 27, 2010 at 12:15 a.m.
I don't know a whole lot about mecha stuff, but Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the biggest one I've seen.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Sept. 27, 2010 at 12:22 a.m.
You forgot Big O. It's in the name. I'm not sure if Evas count since they are more organic. They are wearing armor that just makes them look robotic.
 
Most mechs are only cool for anime. They would never be very practical in real life. A bipedal machine would be horribly unbalanced.
 
That's why I like the Knightmare Frames from Code Geass. If mechs were ever made in the real world, this is how I think they would look. The cockpit is attached to the back and it can eject if needed. The Landspinners on them move them forward by wheels and how they are positioned would increase stability.
 
" That's not a galaxy. It's a Gurren Lagann!! "
sotyfan16on Sept. 27, 2010 at 12:26 a.m.

Nothing beats referring to mech more then Gundam. You ask just about anyone what comes to mind at the word 'mech' and they will say 'Gundam'. Gundam has been around for about 30 years, right? It's no wonder as its architecture has become a staple in anime. There have been plenty of mech shows but nothing compares. I have to agree with Tom in saying that TTGL is the biggest mech in consideration of size let alone capabilities. 

Don't know if you have already been asked this Tom but I have a personal question for you to take on here. Everyone has the anime/manga they like but they also have a dream show that puts together everything they love. What is your dream anime?

SamJazon Sept. 27, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
 
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? The BIGGEST one?
 
Oh man, you are gonna LOVE Lagann-hen.
reinon Sept. 27, 2010 at 3:37 a.m.
Elder god demonbane i think has the size advantage over TTGL, i mean he was destroying universes by bumping into them.
Don't really have time to write a report (Besides, it's Cfat's genre of expertise)  But yes, Gundam comes to mind when you say most important mecha franchise.
cfatalison Sept. 27, 2010 at 4:34 a.m.
@rein said:
" Elder god demonbane i think has the size advantage over TTGL, i mean he was destroying universes by bumping into them. Don't really have time to write a report (Besides, it's Cfat's genre of expertise)  But yes, Gundam comes to mind when you say most important mecha franchise. "
oy it's a lovecraft, mecha action, loli dating game, of course it is my genre of expertise, lol
Kuma_From_Argentinaon Sept. 27, 2010 at 5:38 a.m.
@lilmikeegee: Gurren Lagann at its biggest uses galaxies as Kienzan 
 
Emperor Getter Robo is in theory limitless, it can keep growing forever
cfatalison Sept. 27, 2010 at 5:41 a.m.
@Kuma_From_Argentina said:
" @lilmikeegee: Gurren Lagann at its biggest uses galaxies as Kienzan  Emperor Getter Robo is in theory limitless, it can keep growing forever "
you never seen STTGL do you?
Kuma_From_Argentinaon Sept. 27, 2010 at 5:51 a.m.
Yep, STTGL can use the Galaxies as shuriken.... 
I only was using the series and not the movie....
Lurkeroon Sept. 27, 2010 at 6:02 a.m.
Gundam has to be the biggest mecha in terms of franchise popularity, but if you're talking by size of the actual robot, then of course Gurren is the biggest. I don't think any mech series after Gurren will top the size of that thing.
 
I'd also agree with FoxxFireArt in saying that the frames from Code Geass are the best representation of what mech designs should aspire to be. Those large bipedal robots are probaly the furthest from being plausible.
YotaruVegetaon Sept. 27, 2010 at 7:19 a.m.
I would put a restriction on judging the biggest Mecha. I would say that it depends on the size the mecha was originally built at. I would not count the crazy planet-sized Gurren: hey, this is just my crazy rule.
 
So I think the SDF-1 is bigger than most forms of the Gurren Lagaan. It's probably the same size as the Gurren when it combined with the battleship.
 
 
  Gunbuster
cfatalison Sept. 27, 2010 at 7:30 a.m.
@Kuma_From_Argentina said:
" Yep, STTGL can use the Galaxies as shuriken.... I only was using the series and not the movie.... "
Granz Zamboa have used Galaxy as Shuriken
 
STTGL makes galaxies look like dots
 
the Limitless emperor was only shown in the manga, where after all that , they arrived at the getter valhalla and somehow fight all of their enemy forever
Kelleth moderator on Sept. 27, 2010 at 11:44 a.m.
@lilmikeegee said:

" I thought Gunbuster was the biggest in size. I haven't seen gurren Lagann. It is universe-size? damn!  and as I understand from my japanses relatives, nothing beats Gundam. Not even star wars. "

No its galaxy sized (ttgl) and milky way sized (sttgl), Demonbane is universe sized
hitsusatsu11on Sept. 27, 2010 at 12:54 p.m.
Demonbane 
The one manga getter emperor
sotyfan16on Sept. 27, 2010 at 7:55 p.m.
@YotaruVegeta:
I don't think that thing is the size of the Moon like the Gurren.
willyverebon Sept. 28, 2010 at 12:20 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: 
If you want a seriously realistic mech watch FLAG.  It has mechas even a bit smaller than CG's Knightmare Frames and much more 'technical' than CG.
Other can be the Patlabor or Gasaraki series from the same author. Well, while it's closer to power armor VOTOMS would also count.
Also we have FMP and their Arm Slaves. They are slightly larger than CG's(7-8 meters) but the ideas behind their mechanism is more realistic if we discount the physics-defiling effects of the Lambda Drives.
cfatalison Sept. 28, 2010 at 12:32 p.m.
@willyvereb said:
" @FoxxFireArt: 
If you want a seriously realistic mech watch FLAG.  It has mechas even a bit smaller than CG's Knightmare Frames and much more 'technical' than CG.
Other can be the Patlabor or Gasaraki series from the same author. Well, while it's closer to power armor VOTOMS would also count. Also we have FMP and their Arm Slaves. They are slightly larger than CG's(7-8 meters) but the ideas behind their mechanism is more realistic if we discount the physics-defiling effects of the Lambda Drives. "
FLAG is one of the more realistic approach to mecha, what is mecha in a war, how is it use, and there's no magic material 
Gasaraki have to be viewed until a point where there's ancient Japanese magical demon mecha
Patlabor have to be only looked at at Ingram 1 and 2, Griffon starts higher than normal, and Ingram Zero and Unit 3 is well superhuman labor,so is that phantom mecha thing
Physic defiling?, you mean Physic raping, the killing it and set it on fire , not necessarily in that order, it explicitly says Psychic willpower/ conductor, FMP sigma pegs them as having a barrier which can be launched at people
willyverebon Sept. 28, 2010 at 12:56 p.m.
@cfatalis: Well, he used Code Geass as comparison. Compared to that, Full Metal Panic is indeed more rational. Especially since we have a somewhat sound explanation to mecha development and later we even get answers to the existence of Whispered.
cfatalison Sept. 28, 2010 at 1:02 p.m.
@willyvereb said:
" @cfatalis: Well, he used Code Geass as comparison. Compared to that, Full Metal Panic is indeed more rational. Especially since we have a somewhat sound explanation to mecha development and later we even get answers to the existence of Whispered. "
well true code geas development is rather dubious
hell even after ganymede
 
WTF is a sakuradite? somekind of super efficient fuel, that tiny thing piloting a super moving robot?

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