Anime Vice News

The Secret of Mecha Anime? - - THE VICE PIT

Sam and Tom name drop ROBOT JOX, PACIFIC RIM, EVANGELION, CODE GEASS, BIG O and many more in an in-depth discussion of mecha from both sides of the pond! Do you want that BIG O?

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  • Thanks to Acura_Max and Jinbeifan1 for their most excellent Q's!

    Be sure to submit questions and topics for a future Vice Pit session here. We will answer them!

    Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

    Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow @cravesam

    daulon Oct. 3, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.

    The secret to mecha anime is good characters and good endings.

    That's my comment after having not watched the video yet.

    isawachuckon Oct. 3, 2012 at 3:08 p.m.

    Great video as always guys!

    sotyfan16on Oct. 4, 2012 at 3 a.m.

    I disagree about Code Geass. I like how there were so many genres in the show. The more a series can bring in and use the more enjoyable I find it.

    Did you guys know that the Code Geass manga did not have the Knightmare Frames? They were added for the anime and I'd say it was the best decision they could have made. Code Geass would be nowhere the same or as good (my opinion).

    But mecha series overall have not been what I watch. I love Gundam Wing and G Gundam but don't really care for the others. It is nice that basically all the mech shows are different from each other so each offers a different experience. Eva is interesting with its use of mechs and I love the shit out of Gurren Lagann (in a manly, Kamina way).

    sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 4, 2012 at 9:57 a.m.

    I agree with Sam when he said some anime just throws too much into the pot. When I first started watching anime I thought it was awesome but not it comes off as just scatterbrained.

    I love Code Geass but it does get loopy and crazy and kinda all over the place, but in many ways that's anime for me or at least a certain style of it. Some shows pile on the disparate elements and then start chucking in genres left and right and as if that's not enough, they started throwing crazy plot twists and insanity events left and right. I think the poorly done ones do it in a way that feels like reckless abandon and the good one do it in a way that feels like carefully orchestrated chaos.

    As for Pacific Rim, I'm interested in seeing what they'll do. I believe that the pilot is supposed to be a school age Japanese girl who must pilot a legendary mech for the fate of all mankind, which is just... I mean, this sounds like it's gonna go balls deep into anime insanity territory. I wouldn't be too shocked if the pilots end up having some sort of biological connection to the monsters or even gain superpowers. My only question is whether it's going to be Gundam style with lazer sword, missile barrages or if it's more like Evangelion where the mech-monsters are basically lithe ninjas that are hitting back flips and suplexing monsters. Either one is a win in my book.

    GokaiRedon Oct. 4, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.

    I want The Big O... movie, so bad. It's Noir with Robot's, I love and there's enough vapid actresses out there to play R Dorothy "Hoho!" ;)

    P.S. here's your Gundam Style

    RoninAutomatonon Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:34 p.m.

    Patlabor ... Though it’s police drama, the first two movies kill!!!

    samweller999 staff on Oct. 5, 2012 at 1:41 p.m.

    @RoninAutomaton: F YES.

    @isawachuck: Thanks man! Glad you're enjoying them!

    And to everyone else about the Code Geass thing... I'm glad there are some who agree and can understand others who don't, but to me, you can pass over the fulfillment of a really great "offer" (or "idea" I'm just using improv terminology) by not pursuing everything that "offer" entails. The killer of great improv is too many ideas being thrown out at once, leaving yourself unable to satisfactorily explore ALL of them.

    Think of your favorite anime. Now think of the anime that were clear in their ideas and execution. More often than not, the two sides will cross over. Again, just my opinion.

    No_name_here staff on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.

    @daul said:

    The secret to mecha anime is good characters and good endings.

    That's my comment after having not watched the video yet.

    So what's your comment after watching the video?

    @isawachuck said:

    Great video as always guys!

    Thanks, killer! Keep watching!

    @RoninAutomaton said:

    Patlabor ... Though it’s police drama, the first two movies kill!!!

    Duly noted.

    @GokaiRed said:

    I want The Big O... movie, so bad. It's Noir with Robot's, I love and there's enough vapid actresses out there to play R Dorothy "Hoho!" ;)

    Ay-oh!

    P.S. here's your Gundam Style

    Hah... I knew that had to be out there. I think there's a rule of the internet for that.

    @sotyfan16 said:

    I disagree about Code Geass. I like how there were so many genres in the show. The more a series can bring in and use the more enjoyable I find it.

    Did you guys know that the Code Geass manga did not have the Knightmare Frames? They were added for the anime and I'd say it was the best decision they could have made. Code Geass would be nowhere the same or as good (my opinion).

    @sickVisionz said:

    I agree with Sam when he said some anime just throws too much into the pot. When I first started watching anime I thought it was awesome but not it comes off as just scatterbrained.

    I love Code Geass but it does get loopy and crazy and kinda all over the place, but in many ways that's anime for me or at least a certain style of it. Some shows pile on the disparate elements and then start chucking in genres left and right and as if that's not enough, they started throwing crazy plot twists and insanity events left and right. I think the poorly done ones do it in a way that feels like reckless abandon and the good one do it in a way that feels like carefully orchestrated chaos.

    Sam and I aren't totally in agreement about CODE GEASS. I do think that other series are guilty of taking up too many offers, as he says, but I like the detail of this universe. I think it's bigger problem lays in whether or not it was played tongue and cheek.

    sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:32 p.m.

    @No_name_here: Tongue and cheek is a battle that will likely wage on forever. There is a series I love called We Without Wings that to me is a satire of fanservice anime and fantasy anime but I often feel like I'm the only one who thinks this... but, probably how you feel about Geass, I can't fathom it not being anything other than satire and parody. I could go on forever about it, but anyways, I feel your pain.

    Turambaron Oct. 12, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.
    @No_name_here said:

    Sam and I aren't totally in agreement about CODE GEASS. I do think that other series are guilty of taking up too many offers, as he says, but I like the detail of this universe. I think it's bigger problem lays in whether or not it was played tongue and cheek.

    Well, Code Geass certainly had a talent for the absurd that did not always make it a turn for the better, between table masturbation, mass refugee costume parties, and brainwashing god.  But yes, I agree that Sunrise was very self aware in terms of what they were doing.  
     
    Euphemia's brainwashing was honestly amazing all things considered.  Everyone knew Lelouch's powers were going to go out of control, and it delivered in the most simultaneously amazing and heartwrenching way possible.  But at the same time, there is no doubt in my mind that Sunrise took the Lacus comparisons to heart, and did this just to fuck with everyone.  (Also, Orange-kun ends up being an orange farmer is all the proof you need of complete self-awareness.)
     
    On the bigger topic though, I think one of the key secrets to producing a good mecha show is having a solid idea of who your main character really is: the mecha, or the pilot. 
    cynically_happyon Oct. 12, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.

    That's actually interesting, I've never made the analogy of the American Superhero to the Japanese mech pilot. I guess the relationship between Batman the Animated series and The Big O (giggle) only adds to that analogy.

    Dig Deeper into Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

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