Promo video courtesy of Tronulax from Anime New Modality. Zeta/Mk II got mixed up but the video’s awesome. -EO
As part of ExecutiveOtaku’s contract with THAT I am obligated to provide some commentary on the Sai Mecha Tournament. Granted it’s a really small tournament and maybe one day it will grow into something more, but obligations are obligations. Please note I am in no way trying to influence how you vote but rather want to start a game within a game. Now that the Sweet Sixteen have made it passed their first round it’s time to make things a little more fun by introducing the science of bracketology to this tournament. For those of you who don’t know bracketology is the science of predicting winners of not only individual matches but the entire tournament, in this case, one Cinderella, the Elite Eight, the Final Four, then the Top Two, and lastly the winner who takes it all.
If you are one of those people who boycotted Disney and were not into folk tales, read the wiki entry. The short of it though is that the Cinderella Mecha is the most unlikely winner in the whole tournament. The Cinderella Mecha is supposed to surprise people, make dramatic upsets, and go as far as it can despite the odds. For this tournament Gao Gai Gar is the clear Cinderella in a tournament with heavy weights from the Evangelion, Macross, Gundam, and Code Geass conferences, despite being the odd mech out Gao Gai Gar is a great mecha that has the fire power to level most of the competition and cause major upsets for the old mecha powers.
With this post I am hoping to generate more votes and to encourage everyone to submit their brackets for the sake of bragging rights and to get a feel of how close you are to the pulse of the fandom. Also as voting continues I will make more posts to cover Sai Mecha. Lastly, just to keep this interesting the winning bracketologist(s) who correctly predicts the Elite Eight, Final Four, Top Two, and the Winner gets to write one post on this site after the conclusion of Sai Mecha. Of course, you will have to stay anime related, and SFW only.
The crudely drawn bracket as it stands now. Click for full, readable size. -EO
EVA 01 vs. Gunbuster
Judging by the blowouts that Gunbuster and EVA 01 had against both of their real robot opponents it reaffirms my suspicion that the winner will not be chosen for utility, destructive potential, or fine aesthetics. When the great three for one deal VF-25 with a huge number of armor pack options loses to a machine that requires the death of your mother with shit battery life it is clear that the best mecha will not win. Rather pilots and series popularity make the difference and the same will hold true here. On the face of it Gunbuster should have the edge over EVA 01, but let’s not forget most of the voters hate their mothers and with Mother’s Day around the corner there is a good chance that voters will stick it to mom and give EVA 01 the victory. However this matchup will be a very good bell weather to see if some rather lovely ladies will have the edge over a scrawny sorry excuse of a boy. If Gunbuster can pull off the upset it will be because voters remember love for someone else rather than their proxy.
Winner: EVA 01
Tachikoma vs. Giant Robo
The Tachikoma won their last match very convincingly while long time Mecha Powerhouse the Great Gaint Robo struggled to put away an inferior machine whose only saving grace was the pilot angle. I saw that match up and I suspect that the Giant Robo win had less to do with Championship Metal than it had to do with The Code Geass Gurren voters spending a little too much time…admiring the view with some physical theatrics of their own and lost track of the shot clock leading to an unnecessary turn over that resulted in the gut punching last second Gary Neal-esqe shot that got them into overtime. As expected the Code Geass Gurren folded as the voters could not last five more minutes. On the face of it Giant Robo should not lose to the smaller Tachikoma, but given the Giant Robo struggle to defeat Gurren I believe that cuteness, and an occasional pilot will win out over Giant Robo. Let’s not forget that the Tachikoma have already handily defeated another big Super Robot, Mazinkaiser. All signs to point to another blow out where the more agile Tachikoma will take out the larger Giant Robo.
VF-1 Valkyrie vs. EVA 02
Sticking with the results of the VF-25 vs EVA 01 this looks to be another case where passion will win out over combat efficiency, two for one, versatility, and cleaner lines. While the VF-1 has performed a lot better in fights and has been combat tested in a major war, I think this match ends in an EVA 02 victory. Regardless of EVA 02 getting trounced numerous times I think perennial Saimoe Star Asuka will put the EVA 02 on her back and lead them to victory. Regardless of Asuka’s short comings in combat ability, and off the court issues, there is no arguing that the EVA 02 nation will show up and that gives Asuka an unmatched edge when it comes to being clutch. The only reason why EVA 02 had trouble with the Unicorn Kshatriya was the newness factor, but again first love wins the day and I think that EVA 02 will win this match handily. Despite how much I like the VF-1 for being the better mecha, I cannot bet against Asuka. In fact I think that EVA 02 will be the winningest mecha in the Earth Side.
Winner: EVA 02
Gao Gai Gar vs. Sinanju
If Gao Gai Gar can get past this match they stand a very good chance of causing a lot of trouble for other teams. Sinanju is allegedly piloted by the Great Lolicon Char so Gao Gai Gar will have to put everything on the table to make it out of this one. It may be a new mech but this might still be the same old Char. However Char has had consistency issues throughout his life and it will all depend which Char shows up; the Char that nailed an underage Lala or the Char that started an ill-fated political career. If the pedo-Char shows up Sinanju has a very good chance to stave off Gao Gai Gar for the win. Lastly Sinanju enjoys the support of numerous Zekes who should be showing up to vote even if there will only be one name on that ballot.
Big O vs. Zaku II
While Big-O was a trailblazer that opened up North America the Zaku II is an old power house that has enjoyed many ups and many downs. The Zekes will forever be a plague on society everything hinges on which Zaku II shows up for the match if Big-O wants to pull an upset. If the Green Zaku II or god forbid the CE Zaku II shows up Big-O might very well be able to blow out the Zaku II. However if the Red Zaku II shows up it could go either way, but if the red CE Zaku II shows up Big-O has little to no chance to pull off an upset. [It is the UC MS-06 Zaku II, but ALL HAIL LUNAMARIA anyway! -EO]
Winner: Zaku II
Zeta Gundam vs Escaflowne
This will be an interesting match as both mecha fight similarly though Escaflowne has the edge in a close fight not to mention the power of precognition to even things out against super new-type Kamille. Zeta Gundam has long been accused of being a knock off, a late answer to the mecha style found in the Macross Conference while Escaflowne does draw from the experience of their founder Kawamori. When choosing between the copy and the specialized model go with the specialized model. The 80s were a great time but Kamille wasn’t really contributing to it given how many women he let die. That is not a winning formula that will net you the championship. While it is great that Zeta Gundam has made it to the Sweet Sixteen I do not think that they will make to the Elite Eight. In the end Van is a King and Kamille a vegetable.
YF-19 Excalibur vs. Scopedog
While I do not project many Macross Conference mecha to make the Elite Eight, I think that YF-19 has the best chance to make it. This is a Real Robot Match up and when this happens it usually boils down to combat effectiveness. The YF-19 is a sleek nuanced engine of destruction while the Scopedog despite being iconic does not have much going for it against the YF-19. Scopedog is slower ground based, and despite having the same versatility doesn’t have the edge in payload. During an extended vote I do not see Scopedog pulling out of this one and getting the upset against the Excalibur.
Gurren Lagann vs. Arbalest
EVA 02 is the heavily favored mecha to come out of the Earth Side but I expect a similarly lopsided outcome Colony Side. Of all the mecha that have participated only Gurren Lagann has managed to dominate the competition. Due to recency bias I expect Gurren Lagann to make it out of this one. Arbalest might have a chance if the voters fall for the Arbalest cheer squad which is three strong while the Gurren Lagann squad has really only one eye catcher. In the battle of Spiral Power vs. Lambda Driver you have to row row your way to the Gurren Lagann side. Arbalest has had a great run but I think Gurren Lagann is going to come out of the Colonies.
Winner: Gurren Lagann
EVA 01 vs. Tachikoma
EVA 02 vs. Sinanju
Zaku II vs. Escaflowne
YF-19 vs. Gurren Lagann
EVA 01 vs. EVA 02
Zaku II vs. Gurren Lagan
Gurren Lagan vs. EVA 02