I Remember Lo…er Mecha

Not eligible.

With the Sai Mecha tournament beginning, I thought it might be a good exercise to see if I could actually remember enough names to come up with a decent nomination slate. This blog hasn’t featured mecha in any decent amount since the early days where I had one reader. The tournament itself I find a peculiar idea, there’s clearly a large number of fans who care about the genre, but mecha themselves have ironically become an anachronism.

Now onto the nominations. Earlier I found out I couldn’t nominate such things as The Iron Giant, Megas from Megas XLR, neither Big Guy or Rusty or any of the mecha from Exosquad. Disappointed as I was with 5 of my favorites being disqualified, here’s 12 others:

1. RB-79 Ball

Just put a cannon on that and you have a weapon of minimal destruction

I figured I would just start with the Ball. In the UC universe as I remember it, it was the only mecha the Federation could utilize against Zeon until some kid and his training manual heroics came around. I remember it just being a mere joke, for it’s obvious inspiration from 2001 to the fact it was completely useless against any opponent with real mecha. That was until 08th MS Team‘s Shiro Amada showed off amazing skills in the Ball from the first episode. As the most technologically feasible on this list, it’s also the least powerful.

2, 3 & 4. MS-07 Gouf, RX-79[G] Gundam Ez8 and RX-75 Guntank

So it’s more from 08th MS Team. Needless to say, this is my favorite battle of everything I’ve seen. So I had to include the Gouf piloted by Norris Packard, Shiro Amada’s mass produced Gundam and the Guntank which was Norris’ objective in the mission. Apologies for using dub footage, but that was all I could find with minimal effort on Youtube.

5. Ideon

The most evil object in the universe. No seriously.

This was something I watched about a year ago, but it is vintage Tomino. Ideon is a classic story of 2 races who are so similar to each other that they can’t comprehend coming together for the sake of the universe. The Ideon mecha is powered by a mysterious force that is also wreaking havoc on Earth and the Buff Clan’s Earth. What follows is near constant death of all who try to get close to understanding what that force is. Then, infamously everyone in the universe dies at the end.

6. YF-19

Pretty much what was covered here.

7. GoLion/Voltron

You know something has crossed a cultural threshold when you get quotes like this in a US sports page:

Y’all don’t know what Voltron is?” Maroney said, incredulous and just getting rolling. “Don’t tell me none of y’all watched Voltron? Nobody never watched the cartoon Voltron? They connect! Five of them. (Looking around, laughing) Man, all that stories and reading and things you do, y’all don’t know nothing about Voltron?  Any of y’all got kids? You don’t sit down and watch (Voltron) with your kids…

So mediocre NFL running backs aren’t necessarily the standard for the general population, but I can at least understand where he was coming from. Voltron as it was called in the Western releases was the first series with mecha that I can remember. Sure the editing was 4Kids level, but when everything else animated had a Disney label on it, it was different. I’m probably exaggerating on that.

8. Mecha from Kannazuki no Miko

I’ll be up front here and say I didn’t watch enough of Kannazuki no Miko to even care what the mecha names were. I just happened to come across this as my interest in mecha was fading badly. I guess you could say this represents all of those series out there where mecha is used merely as a device of conflict, a trend that continues to this day.

9. GF13-050NSW Noble Gundam

Non-traditional fanservice for non-traditional fanservice fans

G Gundam is a fairly easy target for ridicule. Mecha with sombreros and another with a giant windmill on its chest pretty much represent lazy stereotypes of their nations of origin. The Noble Gundam was supposed to represent Neo-Sweden, and it’s design could be lifted straight out of mahou shoujo legend. When pilot Allenby Beardsley goes berserker, that hair has functionality I suppose. Maybe I should just move on.

 

10.XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero

At number 10 is the only one from Gundam Wing I think is worth nominating. It’s mind-destroying capabilities made the pacifist Quatre willing to blow up a few colonies here and there as revenge for his father’s death. That episode is actually one of my favorites, and it would be on a list of my favorite individual episodes if anyone wanted me to compile one. On the downside, it’s ridiculously overpowered and has massive plot armor effects as it was constructed with the same materials, yet is indestructible.

11. MRX-009 Psyco Gundam

It's only 3 times the size of the average Gundam

How could I forget this one? It just reminds me of the tragic circumstances of Kamille and Four’s relationship. Anyway, this mecha was ridiculously large because of all the newtype enhancements that needed to be crammed inside. One thing worth noting is oversized suits never do well against heroes in the UC universe (see: Big Zam).

12. Jet Alone

The Jet Alone mecha from Evangelion isn’t much in the grand scheme of the series. It appears in just 1 episode only to showcase how vastly superior NERV is at building piloted EVA units. So what actually makes Jet Alone worth nominating. I like to think that it became sentient because it realized that the world as it was shouldn’t exist.

9 thoughts on “I Remember Lo…er Mecha”

  1. It took me a moment to stop laughing at your mentioning of the Ball to post this comment.

    You picked some surprisingly evil mecha, but first and foremost – props on including Norris Packard’s GOUF. Wish I remembered to put that down. Anyone wants to know what a real Ace is like in UC, they need to look at footage of Norris in action.

    One day I’ll get around to watching Ideon and seeing this super, uber evil mecha in action.

    1. Norris’ Gouf was one that came to mind instantly. He’s truly the ace pilot of ace pilots. As far as Ideon, the first half isn’t so bad as far as evil mecha. It’s just as the series gets to the end, it gets ever more bleak for the crew. The ending of the TV series is a mess, probably because Tomino was told to wrap it up with only a week or two notice. The movies are probably better.

      1. If by better you mean “Kill off literally every form of sentient life in the universe because they are unworthy of life, and then everyone’s souls get naked and are reborn in some acid trippy way”, than yes, it did. 🙂

        Oh, and the 2nd film gave Tomino the chance to show children taking rocket launchers to the face. Remeber how Kycillia died in the first gundam series? Like that but gorier and with infants.

      2. Tomino could definitely have been confused for someone who came off their medication in that. Never would have thought of Jet Alone in that way, but you definitely made me aware of it. And yes, “The Coffin” nickname is simply brilliant in the same way as someone wearing a red shirt in Star Trek was.

  2. Read and recorded your nominations. Thanks for submitting your list!

    You’re actually not the first to nominate the Ball, and I think it’s an underappreciated design. Then again, I’ve always had something for the bit mecha. The Jet Alone was quite a cool choice. I’d forgotten that it even existed but when I saw it I remembered that it made for a really interesting episode of Evangelion.

    1. I didn’t think I would necessarily be the first to nominate the Ball. It’s probably they only one that can functionally be built with current technology without bankrupting a country. Jet Alone also has the very timely topic of nuclear power going for it as well.

    1. I’m glad I was able to write something that was entertaining. I only remembered Jet Alone as I was searching for something else related to this topic. It’s probably the only legit mecha in Evangelion, in my opinion.

      1. Oh definitely. The EVAs are after all cyborgs first and foremost. And Jet Alone has the bonus of a design meant to evoke the bulkier, kaiju styled robots of the 70’s that you might see in the odd Godzilla film. Not sure if I’d count the Ball as a mecha per say, but how can you not love a unit nicknamed “the Coffin”?

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