I’m not all that well versed in the Mecha genre. For some reason I haven’t seen many throughout the years, but every single one I have seen, I liked, a lot!!! Please be aware though, that I’m a novice at best and bound to get a few things wrong.

Eureka seven
I will see Eureka Seven…soon…

When explaining the Mecha genre to nontakus (does that word exist? Did I just make it up? Should I apologize?) most of us will immediately go to the default: it’s giant robots piloted by dudes with issues. I may have added that latter part. It’s true though! That would probably lead most people to think that these are essential large-scale wartime stories (which is not far from the truth) with the Mechas being an interesting alternative to spaceships or waterships (which I disagree with). Although this interpretation isn’t entirely inaccurate, I think there’s some room for improvement. Mechas are so much more than vehicles and that’s why I want one for Christmas.

In general plot outline and narrative construct, I’ve always felt the Mecha shows were closest to Magical Girl series. A lone “chosen one” protagonist fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds with the help of a huge power reserved only for them. I just described a hero’s journey, didn’t I…like 90% of all fiction… well it’s more than just that. The similarities go way further.

Mecha shows very often attach a lot of importance to the emotional impact of the events, concentrating on personal journeys rather than entire armies. The flashy fights are more background form internal struggles. Shinji wonderin why his daddy doesn’t love him as the world is burning is just like Serena fretting over what the heck Tuxedo Mask’s problem is, while the world burning…. Basically, in both genres their protagonists come with a lot of baggage as well. Also, they usually have a group of close knit friends and… Wait, this still sounds like pretty much every shonen there ever was. Ok, get this: Mecha shows usually have a transformation sequence! Ha HA Mecha = Magical girl! Glad you agree!

Gurren lagann
 imagine him holding a wand!

Now, I’m not saying the Mecha itself is the Magical Girl, that would be silly. The Mecha is the familiar! You know, Kero, Luna or Kyubey.

In the (like 4) Mecha shows I’ve seen, the pilot has a clear emotional attachment to their Giant Robot. The see it as a protector but also a confident and advisor. There’s something akin to friendship there although obviously, the relationship tends to be a bit one sided. Still, the personal connections made with Mecha tend to be much deeper than those made with the bus you ride to school every morning.

This got me thinking, what exactly are mecha, I terms of their social standing in the grand scheme of things. And this is what I came up with. They’re pets! I mean, think about it. The pilot has a sense of ownership over their mecha and generally, the mechas do what the pilot(s) tell them to, but once in a while, they disobey, and we never know when one will decide to go off. The pilot needs to learn how to properly operate it and all the particular idiosyncrasy of their unit – train it if you will.

Mechas with swords are a hilarious concept to me

These giant robots bring us comfort and a sense of safety but are limited in how much they can truly interact and we’re never sure if they understand anything at all. We could have emotional service mechas with little orange coats that we bring on public transit with us. And in a way we do. If you’ve ever had a tomodachi, you know what I mean.

Now, taking all of this into consideration, a Mecha is the ultimate Christmas gift. It’s all the innocent joy and merriment of a puppy, with the practicality and, for lack of a better word swag, of a brand-new car! (I can only say that in game show host voice).

Long story short – somebody please buy me a mecha. It doesn’t have to be a huge one or anything, I’m pretty small, I can fit into a tiny one. I would like it to have some pink and also transform or glow or something when I activate it. I will give it an adorable name, Power Petunia, and tell it all about my day, each evening.

I’ll make sure to guard against rust and salt damage and take very good care of it, promise. So it’s a deal, right? This is gonna be epic! I can’t wait till Christmas morning!

don’t remember any of it – still love it!

29 thoughts

  1. If I could get any mecha for Christmas, it would Mecha-Godzilla. I would drive that thing in my casual commute to work. It would get there quickly, and no one would mess with me. Especially giant monsters, they would be toast. Of course though, he doesn’t have a cool theme like the OG GUNDAMU himself. I’m sure Santa will make you one eventually hahaha

  2. Irina, wow! Just, wow! I think you broke my brain this time. (The only possible way this post could have been any better is if the title had been:”Mecha My Day!”)

  3. I have been a fan of the mech genre for a long time, and if someone bought me my own mech for Christmas they would be my favorite person on the planet. Think of everything you could do with it!

  4. You have watched too much anime when mecha with swords seem totally unexceptional to you. Mecha pulling off wrestling moves, though, still get me (e.g. Rinne no Lagrange).

    If you haven’t seen it already, make your next mech show Star Driver.

      1. I haven’t seen Code Geass, but from everything I heard it’s a good choice (and more often than not I like Clamp!) Any of those dissappearing from Crunchy because of the Funimation split? If so, pick that one.

  5. You are dead on comparing mecha to magical girl series and also in placing them as pets. With my current personal favorite mecha series being Voltron – where the mecha even looks like a lion and has magical qualities and an acknowledged consciousness of their own the parallels are obvious now that I look at it. Not to mention they have their own special transformation sequence were the five lions form Voltron. Now extending that to the Tomagotchi (of which I have two…) and OWCH. I should get mine little orange coats because they do go on the bus with me quite a bit… and they do serve the purpose of keeping me from attacking other passengers.

    Like magical girls, though, some mecha do tackle deeper issues. Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans, Gargantua of the Verduous Planet, and yes, Voltron as it gets into the later seasons. It’s tempting to pass them off as simple fighting shonen shows and some of them are but others are deeper and richer. I suspect it also has to do with the watcher and how much they think about the deeper aspects of the show.

    It would probably be all for the best if I did not get a mecha for Christmas. I would be too tempted, likely even, to use it to clean up a few things around here…

  6. I don’t really want a mecha because generally people who ‘get’ one end up having to go fight in some angsty war and while that makes for interesting stories it isn’t exactly what I want to get up to.
    That said, it would still be all kinds of cool.

  7. Have I ever mentioned that the mecha genre is my favorite anime genre? 🤔🤔 I’m getting old as I can’t quite remember if I ever mentioned it.
    That said…of course you can get one for Christmas….But do you want one from Macross, Gundam, Evangelion….so many choices. Oh well…I guess I will just pick one, and have it gift wrapped of course. It wouldn’t be a present otherwise 😂😂
    This was a really fun post: it definitely made me smile 😊😊

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