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The Top 10 Series: Mecha (Part III)

September 17, 2009

Yeah – I’ve been slacking lately.  Although in my defense the RSI is being particularly nasty lately……its moved up into my elbow now *sigh*.  However this entry is not about my evil work and its adverse effect on my health – oh no this is about the next two series in my Mecha Top 10!  One I’ve written about before and one I haven’t……..I’ll try to reign myself in slightly as Vin says the 1st entry suffers from tl;dr syndrome 😦  (Tis probably better for my arm that I keep it short anyway :P)

6. Gundam Wing:

For my review of this series go to Short Reviews Part 4)

Yeah, you knew it was coming!  A Gundam series is a must for any Mecha list, it was just a question of which one I was going to pick.  It was a toss up between Zeta Gundam from the main Universal Century timeline, or the self contained After Colony timeline series Mobile Report Gundam Wing, but Wing won out for me because of the massive amount of nostalgia I feel for it, and the fact that it’s a pretty good entry level Gundam series since its self contained.

My earlier review of Gundam Wing is already quite lengthy so I’ll try to keep this quite short overall.  Wing is a Gundam series that deliberately included aspects that would appeal to the female demographic – it’s no surprise really that its my favourite Gundam series (Zeta comes 2nd because I love the amount of angst in that show!).  I think I’ve seen Wing about 6 times and it was the 1st series that I actually went and bought the DVDs for.  Its one of the shows that was my gateway into anime way back when I was 16 – and I’ve been hooked ever since!  I was watching this on TV about the same time as I was watching Escaflowne, another mecha series that managed to blend in elements that would appeal to girls.  As I’ve said before, these two shows were the only mecha I had watched for quite a few years – its only in the last 2-3 years that I’ve really embraced mecha.

In terms of actual mecha, Wing’s designs are some of the best IMO.  Really pretty mecha is on show here, the five main Gundam’s are all immediately identifiable and Deathscythe Hell is still my favourite Gundam suit even though I’ve now seen many more Gundam series.  Of course the suits are over-powered and seem to be on permanent God-mode (Wing Zero in particular) but thats what I want in a Gundam series – realistic it is not 😛  The battles are wonderful and quite varied – plenty of different terrain and a few upgrades to keep thing interesting (although Wing is fairly stingy with its upgrades compared to other more recent Gundam series *cough*OO*cough*).

The characters are so stereotypical and shallow it’s quite hilarious, but they are entertaining and very recognisable – Wing does not do understated, all the characters are flamboyant in their own fashion but really that just adds to the entertainment value!  Of course I do recognise that Gundam Wing is by no means a brilliant series – it’s not even the best Gundam series; but it has something about it and I get the same kind of buzz watching it today as I did 10 years ago.  It’s this reason its in my top 10 – a show that provides 10 years of entertainment is worthy of its position in my top 10 mecha 😀

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion:

So now we’re at the midpoint and its time for an all time classic – Neon Genesis Evangelion.  Often hailed as a must see for any anime fan EVA is a series that once you’ve watched it, you’ll never forget it.  A real turning point for the Mecha genre, I had to include it in my list (although some may be surprised it hasnt been placed higher), EVA is often one of the 1st series anyone will mention when discussing must see anime – its reputation is deserved but EVA does have flaws (looking at you final 2 eps of the TV series!).

EVA is somewhat iconic, its characters and mecha are all pretty much immediately identifiable even by people who haven’t seen the series.  Of course none of the characters are particularly likeable, quite the opposite in fact – all the characters are flawed and have quite severe mental problems – particularly the main protagonist Shinji Ikari; you’d be hard pressed to find a fan who actually liked that emo whimp ¬_¬.  However it’s precisely because the characters are not the norm that I like EVA – it offered something different (and it helps that I’m quite interested in psychology :P).

What EVA excelled at was breaking conventions and setting a new benchmark for all mecha shows that followed it.  The mecha themselves were something new and different and their operation was depicted in painstaking detail – the EVA units are really striking and obviously a lot of thought went into their design.  The action scenes were something else and very varied thanks to the unusual designs of the Angels and the berserker nature of the EVA units – battle was really like brutal knife fights on a giant scale.

Anyway I’m going to stop rambling – its hard to write about Evangelion as its got so many aspects that are bad when taken on their own, but somehow when all put together EVA really works; it’s not perfect but it is regarded as a classic for a reason – and continues to go from strength to strength as a franchise.  The Rebuild of Evangelion movies take the basic plotline of the original series and add stunning modern animation and tweaks to the plot, it remains to be seen how they will compare to the originality of the original.

Well thats another 2 down – I tried to keep it short!  What will be in the top 5!? 😀

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2009 10:25 pm

    OMG hold on a second Gundam Wing is only 6!? O_o what kind of fangirl are you!

    • September 17, 2009 10:27 pm

      There are better series in my top 5 to fangirl over 😀

  2. September 18, 2009 9:25 pm

    I have to admit, I did expect Gundam Wing to be higher, if only because I’ve come to associate the series with you. :p – Your nostalgia is somewhat reminiscent of my own for MS Gundam and SDF Macross, which were both my introduction into the mecha genre, shortly followed by NGE.

    As for NGE, I probably would have placed this higher, but I acknowledge and agree with your stance that the series was far from perfect. Despite this, the character cast were multilayered, each struggling with their own complex circumstances, and I also enjoyed the symbolic and psychoanalytic motifs set forth throughout the series. It’s an undeniable classic that was simply revolutionary when it broadcasted. Although, I agree, the ending was confusing and non-conclusive too. At the very least, the movie ‘The End of Evangelion’ helped to counteract that.

    Awaiting your next entry. However, take your time, I don’t want poor Cara to suffer anymore with her RSI. 😦

    • September 18, 2009 9:41 pm

      Wing was higher originally – I had it at #4, but then thought that was too high…….and I had EVA lower at #8 but then thought that was too low :S
      I dont think any of the series listed stayed in the same position whenever I was drafting this list! 😛

  3. September 21, 2009 1:39 am

    hmmm I wonder what the highest ones will be 🙂

  4. September 21, 2009 1:31 pm

    thats the thing I thought Gundam wing would be one of the highest :S

    But I think I have an idea which the rest will be :p

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