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Monster Mecha Or Skimpy Suit?

When it comes to mecha, how big is TOO big?

I suppose it's the somewhat-recent media attention of Tsukuba University's HAL exoskeleton and Honda's assisted walker that have got me coming back to that age-old question for we red blooded fans: if you could have any robot from the anime and manga history books, which one would you choose? C'mon, admit it—as childish as it sounds the question rattles around in your brain like a marble in a ramune bottle. But when I actually asked a few friends and tried to break it down it wasn't as simple an issue as I thought. Choosing your mechanized mate, it seems, is a very personal matter, like deciding on a new car what color underwear you're going to wear tomorrow. It says a lot about you.

For me, the main issue is size and whether or not bigger equals better. Does size really matter, or is there a point you can say “it's enough that I can tear the roof off that car/cathedral/sports arena/polar ice cap”?

Now I open the question to you: what's your dream mecha size threshold and why? I've diced the field into four categories for your reference below.


Powered Armor (<5m): 

Hard Suit, Battlemover (Bubblegum Crisis); Fuchikoma, Tachikoma (Ghost in the Shell); ATM-09 Scopedog ( Armored Trooper Votoms)
Pros: sleek, quick; easy to put on/power up; intuitive movement interface (natural body movement); with careful operation collateral damage can be minimal
Cons: can be crushed underfoot by anything from a larger mecha class; weapons limited to lower-powered hardware; possibly still vulnerable to conventional arms; for dudes, a swift kick in the nuts will probably still sting


Small (5m-10m): 

Aestivalis ( Nadesico); Orguss (Super Dimensional Century Orguss); AV-98 Ingram ( Patlabor); Walker Machine (Combat Mecha Xabungle)
Pros: relatively quick, maneuverable; strong enough to use a motorcycle as melee weapon (style points); wide choice of weaponry; ability of flight or hovering possible
Cons: still possibly vulnerable to high-powered conventional weaponry; likely loud and unstealthy; compared to powered armor training in operation likely to be more difficult


Medium (10m-25m): 

Mortar Headds ( Five Star Stories); VF-1 Valkyrie ( Super Dimensional Fortress Macross); RX-78-2 Gundam (Mobile Suit Gundam)
Pros: can jump buildings in single leap, kick tanks like soccer balls; options for transformation wide open; can tote battleship-grade weapons
Cons: don't even think about moving around unseen/unheard; learning curve to operate likely steep; chance for collateral damage high; where are you going to park this thing?


Large (25m<): 

Unit 01 (Neon Genesis Evangelion); Megadeus (The Big O); Getter 1 ( Getter Robo); Gunbuster (Aim for the Top! Gunbuster)
Pros: nigh invincible; can carry world-destroying weaponry; able to carry all your friends and family around in one open palm; everybody will take you seriously/nobody will ever laugh at you again
Cons: virtually impossible to hide, even powered down; major collateral damage an inevitability; maintenance costs astronomical; newfound respect from acquaintances may actually be fear of your wrath

reinon Feb. 7, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.
I don't suppose i cold have a power suit with the strength of A large mecha could i?
Kelleth moderator on Feb. 7, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.
@Boddington:  What about Gordian?

He`s a power suit type that can be powered up by another suit and after that a final suit which is his Super Robot form.
Anyway i like the large types the most Super Robots 4ever :)
Mister_Anachroniston Feb. 8, 2010 at 8:34 a.m.
How can you really want anything but power armor? Everything else is completely unmanageable. I can put a hard suit in my closet and use it to power my toaster too.
crusader8463on Feb. 8, 2010 at 8:56 a.m.
I would love to have my own Chobit. Just to clean and cook for me of course. Oh who am i kidding, she would always be naked and be doing things to me that would get me banned if i described them in any detail here.
HeeroYuyon Feb. 8, 2010 at 8:59 a.m.
I think I'd prefer something like an Arm Slave if at all possible. Large enough it can destroy tanks and every other modern weapon with ease, extremely maneuverable, POSSIBLY stealthy depending on the terrain, and it's control system doesn't seem like it'd be too difficult to use. It's in that size category somewhere between just barely being big enough to still be a threat to a Gundam, but not big enough to worry about collateral damage simply by walking.
Otherwise a Landmate equipped with the Daedalus system would be my choice.
 If I could say resources weren't any concern and everything else be darned, I'd go for a Gundam, but in terms of the issues involved in a real world scenario, I think it'd be just barely too big.
Oishi_47on Feb. 8, 2010 at 9:19 a.m.
Something to consider is the cost of whatever is fueling your mech of choice. I would instantly rule out anything involving lasers since the amount of energy it would take to make a laser that could severely injure a soft target would probably power a small city for quite a while, to burn through a tank would take some sort of miniature nuclear fusion. I wonder what the Prius of mechs would be, cause I wouldn't want to invest in something that I later find to be an unmanageably expense and have to trade in for a Ball. If you don't mind me moving into video game territory, I guess I'd have to pick  Shagohod. It's more like a large, quadrupedal tank, but It has nuclear capabilities and has those all-terrain screw-drive wheels.
crusader8463on Feb. 8, 2010 at 9:22 a.m.
Or maybe a Gantz Suit. I would rather have the Chobits just because I'm a lazy pervert, and i would get more use out of her, but it would be nice to have the powers a Gantz suit gives me. Assuming of course that i could get one without needing to go through the whole Gantz fighting for my life thing.
A Guyver Suit would be nice.
But if it had to be a giant mec, i would go with an Escaflown.

Fuck that. If i had to pick a giant mec, i would pick any of the ones found in the greatest videogame of all time.

Dream moderator on Feb. 8, 2010 at 9:29 a.m.

What about Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann big? XD
Kuma_From_Argentinaon Feb. 8, 2010 at 9:32 a.m.

I Would use a Ganmen if a need more maneurabilty, but Mazinkaiser if a need punch...
agila61on Feb. 8, 2010 at 10:23 a.m.
Tachikoma, definitely. Garageable, would clearly be able to handle NE Ohio winter roads (walking if not rolling), plus it can climb buildings and turn invisible.
Boddingtonon Feb. 8, 2010 at 10:24 a.m.
You know, I didn't actually find out what the biggest mecha in anime history is while looking into this topic. Anybody know? Gunbuster tops out at something like 200 meters, or about half as tall as the Empire State Building.
fireflys_locketon Feb. 8, 2010 at 11:13 a.m.

I'd want a Tachikoma. I have no doubt about that. They are cute and fun, yet still powerful. It would be my awsome security system. <3
Kelleth moderator on Feb. 8, 2010 at 12:07 p.m.
XChileon Feb. 8, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.
Ah a favorite subject of mine, there are so many choices Tactical Armour's, Standing/ Vertical Tank, Arm Slaves or Mobile suits. But I would go with a Orbital Frame . ...I mean check out that cockpit
GrandMarshalon Feb. 8, 2010 at 1:05 p.m.
Isnt  Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann bigger than the moon? shouldnt that be on this list? 
Kelleth moderator on Feb. 8, 2010 at 1:16 p.m.
@GrandMarshal: Chou Ginga Gurren Lagann is bigger then the moon in robot form that is.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is so big he can stand on a live sized replica of a galaxy created by the anti-spirals (aka way bigger then a solar system) Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is even bigger (see video i posted above) The are shortly followed by Demonbane (who is said to be even bigger in his game appearance) and the non-canon Getter Emperor who is also slightly bigger then TTGL (the canon one is planet sized). They should be in a class of their own
GrandMarshalon Feb. 8, 2010 at 1:35 p.m.
@Kelleth: I guess all mech are small compaired to one that can through galaxys
Boddingtonon Feb. 8, 2010 at 2:16 p.m.
@XChile: I have a definite sexual feeling looking at that mecha. Geez...I hope that artist was wearing a condom when he designed it. 
So Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann seems to be the reigning champ for size. But bigger than the galaxy--that strikes me as terribly impractical. I'll take a Battlemover or Landmate anyday. 
Not that anything in this article matters anyways if this article has any truth to it as the universe may be just a hologram.
Kelleth moderator on Feb. 8, 2010 at 2:44 p.m.
@Boddington: Actually the one i pointed out was Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann form the second movie not the regular one. but that`s my bad because Demonbane who is actually waaaaaaaay bigger. he`s bigger then a universe. though it hard to get pictures
GodLen staff on Feb. 8, 2010 at 8:39 p.m.
I would like my mecha to be whatever the Super Tengen Toppa gurren Lagann transforms into. 

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