Friday, December 01, 2006

Thanks, Steve

I got the first disk of Hanaukyo Maid Team La Verite, and it pretty much is what I was hoping for and what Steve DeBeste said it was going to be.

So, as a gift, I'm going to suggest to him two mecha series that don't suck, that he might not have seen yet....
  • Big O-The best way I can describe it is "Batman with Giant Robots". If you're like me, and the Fox-produced Batman:The Animated Series was the very height of animated superhero TV, Big O wins because the main character is Bruce Wayne. The only thing Roger Smith is missing is a cape and cowl. The plot evokes themes that were brought up in movies like Dark City and anime like Serial Experiments Lain. Would you be the same person if you didn't know who you were?

    In addition, the robots are fantastic. There's a hefty/major steampunk/classic robot attitude to them. They aren't machines that will move like ninjas-they stomp around and flatten city blocks just by walking. They have weapons that destroy whole districts, and they are as much deity (Megadeus is not just a name...) as tool.

    The first two seasons are on DVD in compliation packs. I own both, and I'm glad that I got them. And, everything seems to hint that there is a possible third season, which people are still sending in petitions for. There are tales still left to tell in the Big O universe.
  • RahXephon-One of the first, post-Evangelion "angsty" giant robot tales, the series does something that Evangelion doesn't.

    It works.

    And, I don't want to knock the ever-living snot out of Ayato (by about episode 16, I wanted to beat Shinji until even Camile Vidan would say "man, that's just FUCKED". After that, I wanted to beat Hideaki Anno for tormening Shinji until he pissed brain cells in his blood.). I actually liked Ayato and could sympathize with him-thrown from culture shock to culture shock, and he manages to be a decent human being throughout. The plot finished in a way that makes sense from beginning to end, and once you understood all the relationships and the time shift (to understand the plot, you have to understand that one character's has been frozen in time for about 16 or so years), it all make perfect sense.

    The movie, which normally would have been nothing more than the studio trying to make more money, can be seen to fill in some holes in the plot that were left...and make some parts of the plot even better. It's easy to get, too-the series in in a boxed set and the movie can still be bought, too.
And, sadly, there isn't a lot more out there if you're not a die-hard giant robot/mecha fan. Maybe the two Patlabor movies (the third is pretty much a Mamoro Oshii pontification on genetic engineering and obsolesence), but there isn't a good/interesting "firm" mecha show in the vein of Armored Troopers VOTOMS or Fang of the Sun Dougram really out there lately.

Or, if you're looking for "world saving giant robot", GaoGaiGar is being released on DVD, and I had fun watching it when it was fansubbed.

I think we'll be short on giant robot shows for the next couple of years-shojo and the American market, which isn't very mecha-friendly, is taking a lot of the money.

6 comments:

Steven Den Beste said...

I'm glad you liked HMTLV. It gets better, and has a surprise ending.

I do appreciate your response, except for one thing: I don't want any advice for mecha series! (Sob)

zakueins said...

Damn. A great idea, shot down in it's prime.

zakueins said...

And, not mad at you Steve. Like a lot of good ideas, I should have checked prior to posting and noticed that you had a list of shows you wern't going to watch-and these two were on it.

Andrew F. said...

The movie, which normally would have been nothing more than the studio trying to make more money, can be seen to fill in some holes in the plot that were left...and make some parts of the plot even better.

This elicited a major "WTF?" from me. I loved watching the RahXephon TV series and can say without hesitation that it's one of my personal top ten anime. Great plot, great characters, great mecha design, great music... ending isn't the best but that's forgivable.

I loathe the movie. [discussion of particulars cut and pasted into a text file named "why the rahxephon movie sucks"--the comment was getting way too long]

Guess it just goes to prove SDB's adage that "the fact that you like something doesn't mean that I will"--even when we're both big fans of the original work which inspired it.

Darrell said...

I have to disagree. RahXephon copied Eva shamelessly, but seemed to copy many of the parts that I disliked the most about it.

Particularly, the plot made no sense. Heck, I can make decent guesses as to exactly what the various conspirators (including Yui) were doing in Eva and why, but the Big Bads in RahXephon seemed to have little point. When the Kihl wannabe says something to the effect of "I've stayed alive for this moment so that I could see the world destroyed", it annoys me. I still have no idea what his mother was trying to do. In the end, what did they accomplish? What was different than if the conspiracy had never been started?

zakueins said...

Honestly, Eva made less sense to me than Rahxpheon. Both stories were of the control of a tool to be used to remake the world-but how it was to be used makes more sense in Rahxpheon (to "retune" or "remake" the world) vs. Evangelion (fusing all humans together to create a single being...).