This refers to mecha that are powered exoskeletons rather than piloted as vehicles, such as in Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (1983), Bubblegum Crisis (1987) and Active Raid (2016); merge with the mecha, such as in The King of Braves GaoGaiGar (1997); combine with the robots, such as in Transformers: Super-God Masterforce (1988); or become mechanical themselves, such as in Brave Command Dagwon (1996) and Fire Robo (2016). [3], 1990 saw the release of Patlabor, a breakthrough animated movie directed by Mamoru Oshii that popularized the mecha genre and aesthetic in the West. It's a great entryway to mecha anime. Sousuke is part of a covert military organization, sent on his mission: protect high-school girl Chidori by infiltrating her high school. It has brilliant character writing, unbelievable imagination and one of the greatest opening themes ever created. The 1880 Jules Verne novel La Maison à vapeur (The Steam House) featured a steam-powered, piloted, mechanical elephant. [3] The story turned out to have immense mass appeal, and inspired generations of imitators. While the second season is a downgrade from the first season, it all comes together for a great ending. and the video game series Armored Core. [3] A deconstruction of classic mecha anime tropes, it recast the "saintly" inventor/father as a sinister figure, and the enthusiastic teenage protagonist as a "vacillating" introvert. The series follows a boy named Simon who has yet to realize his destiny. [3] Many real robot series and other media were later created, such as Full Metal Panic! The concept of transforming mecha was pioneered by Japanese mecha designer Shōji Kawamori in the early 1980s, when he created the Diaclone toy line in 1980 and then the Macross anime franchise in 1982. These are mecha that have the ability to be self-aware, think, and sometimes feel emotion. The series consists of several different officers and Labors, sprawling in different timelines. [3] He was inspired to become a manga creator by Osamu Tezuka, and began serializing the manga in Shonen, an iconic boy's magazine, in 1956. The mind games are similar to Death Note, but with mecha action. If you enjoy mecha anime or even just anime in general, you need to watch Evangelion sooner or later. Mecha series cover a wide variety of genres from comedy to drama, though are always fantastical and larger-than-life in nature and feature large-scale battles and/or action sequences. [6], The mecha anime genre (as well as Japanese kaiju films) received a Western homage with the 2013 film Pacific Rim directed by Guillermo del Toro. The Visions of Escaflowne is a fantasy mecha series. A transforming mech can transform between a standard vehicle (such as a fighter plane or transport truck) and a fighting mecha robot. Some of Kawamori's most iconic transforming mecha designs include the VF-1 Valkyrie from the Macross and Robotech franchises, and Optimus Prime (called Convoy in Japan) from the Transformers and Diaclone franchises. The concept later became more popular in the mid-1980s, with Macross: Do You Remember Love? The 1868 Edward S. Ellis novel The Steam Man of the Prairies featured a steam-powered, back piloted, mechanical man. [3], In 1972, Go Nagai, another of Japan's greatest manga creators, defined the super robot genre with Mazinger Z, which was directly inspired by the former series. [3] The real robot genre also tends to feature more complex characters with moral conflicts and personal problems. This anime tries to appeal to every type of anime fan and somehow succeeds. [5] Due to its unusual psychological themes, the show became a massive success,[3] and further caused Japanese anime culture to spread widely and rapidly around the world. The first series that featured a sentient giant robot, also the first mecha anime in color, was Astroganger (1972).[19]. Though the stories of Evangelion, Macross, and Gundam have narrative reasons of establishing why the main characters pilot their respective mechs, there is more of a cultural reason why mecha anime and anime as a whole use teenagers as their heroes.

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