Celebrating new converts

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Okay, not exactly new converts. While checking out new posts I chanced upon Author’s post on Wakaranai’s post (lol the phrase sounds funny). It made me happy that some are open-minded enough to consider watching mecha anime despite anti-mecha sentiment. Whenever I see totally negative comments about mecha anime I feel sad. It is not because the comments are unfounded–I know a lot of shows are shallow. However, it obscures the fact that there are decent–no, great shows out there that deserves to be watched, and not derided because there are unrealistically giant robots in it.

I won’t deny that what attracts me to mecha shows at first are robots and the action–especially the explosions and when the hero gets to pwn the bad guys. But what makes a lasting impression on me are the characters and the story of the show itself. If a mecha show is to be loved and remembered fondly eventually I must be able to care for the characters–and not the mecha. I’m not aspiring to become a walking encyclopedia specializing in the types of mecha with a major in missile technology. Deep inside I know some shows are just there to sell toys–that is why I don’t like Gundam as much as I used to. There is a business logic to releasing a new series every few years (or every year?). It keeps the franchise ‘alive’ for old fans and at the same time get new converts. The end result is that some are just mediocre (G Gundam, Gundam Seed Destiny, anyone?).

In reaction to Washi’s post, The Animanachronism does his own post comparing Macross and Gundam. His point is that it’s unfair to compare the two–and indeed from what I’ve read on resource sites I can no longer remember is that they were indeed created with different purposes in mind. TA (The A… is too long) chooses Gundam over Macross because, to quote:

At its highest moments, however, Gundam – what I’ve seen of it – can be something transcendent.

For me however, I choose Macross. The thing is, Gundam has so many sequels and spin-offs that it poses a disadvantage to Macross. If I were to compare the originals, Macross wins because the original Gundam bored me to death–I have only reached up to 20+ episodes of it. Macross, on the other hand, I have rewatched thrice; of course it helps it has 36 episodes in contrast to Mobile Suit Gundam’s 50 42. Indeed Macross’ take on warfare isn’t consistently seriously depicted as Gundam’s. I would like to elaborate more but unfortunately it deserves another post which if I am not lazy might see the light of day in this blog.

mecha galore
Presenting representatives of the 3 greatest mecha franchises in anime

In conclusion I would have liked to give TA a big pat on the back but then he says something like…

As for Macross, which I’m not an expert on…

And then my heart sinks. Pardon me though for being such a Macross fan. 🙂

Links:

When He Became a Macross Fan

Wakaranai on Macross

Guncross, Madam?

3 responses »

  1. Spot on in your second paragraph. When I find that I ‘came for the mecha, stayed for the story’ I know I’m on a good mecha show. I suppose you’re right that the sheer variety of Gundam(s) available is bewildering and intimidating, whereas with Macross you know where you are (usually somewhere fun).

    In my defence I should perhaps say that while I’m no expert on Macross, I fully intend to become one because I’ve really enjoyed the Macross I’ve seen so far.

    And finally, if you’ll permit me to switch my inner Gundam fanboy on for a moment, there are only 43 episodes in the original Mobile Suit Gundam (or 42 if you don’t count the ‘lost’ one). Or you could just watch the compilation movies. Or read the darker, separate canon novel trilogy that Tomino wrote at the same time.

  2. Pingback: Guncross, Madam? « The Animanachronism

  3. >>And finally, if you’ll permit me to switch my inner Gundam fanboy on for a moment, there are only 43 episodes in the original Mobile Suit Gundam (or 42 if you don’t count the ‘lost’ one)

    Oops, I goofed on that one. Must have been thinking about another Gundam series (I looked at my copy it has 42). lol

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