Make a contract with me and become a true follower of the mecha Way.
-or- The Declaration of Team Real Robot.
So I’ve set up and have been running Sai Mecha, the Super Dimensional Robot Tournament, for a bit now and we’ve arrived at the Elite Eight portion of the tournament. Up until now I’ve mostly kept my opinions of the contestants to myself since I’m running the tournament. Figured it would be better to appear unbiased in public. However, for this post I’ll be taking off my Sai Mecha organizer hat and posting as my usual fan and blogger self. The stakes are high, only a few votes could make the difference, and you the voter must be fully aware of your options at this crucial juncture in the tournament.
This will not be a warm moment of kindness between enemies.
Simply put, at this phase of the tournament we are faced with a great crisis. The field has narrowed down to worthy and popular contestants. But this is a mecha tournament, a contest for mecha, those vehicles that are the confluence of amazing technical design and sheer awesome. Mecha comes from the root word “mechanical”, but we have some contestants, nay, enemies, in the running that seem to think of the soul of mecha as an afterthought. Some are worse offenders than others. But you must be on your guard for they are a fifth column, their many fanboys are causing them to be…wait for it…the cancer that is killing Sai Mecha! Citizens! Rally beneath the banner of Real Robots! For they are not only real in the sense of realistic but real in that they are true to the soul of mecha!
Match 1 – Evangelion UNIT 01 vs Tachikoma
The Major loves her Tachikoma and you should too. You wouldn’t want to make the Tachikoma sad/the Major angry, now would you?
The choice is obvious here. The Eva Unit 01 is just a skyscraper-tall monument to the Oedipal Complex. As Ghostlightning put it during Round 1: “[if you vote for it]…you want to hump your mother… in front of your dad… who’ll probably get off on it.” It claims to be ‘real’ by having a time limit and such, but really the mecha and the show just did what it wanted later anyway. Rampaging on its own, roaring, enabling Shinji of all people to save the world? Pffff, that’s a plot device not a mecha.
Oh yeah, and the Eva UNIT 01 was the one that knocked out the beautiful, functional VF-25 in the first round. Begin your Two Minutes Hate.
The voices of Sheryl, Alto-hime, and even Ranka cry out for blood and vengeance! Honor their names by voting for the Tachikoma! For one, it’s a realistic mecha design with tons of functionality. And it’s operated by/with a cool cast of ADULTS instead of a whiny-ass, whimpering little…SHINJI! And it’s moe to boot! The Tachikoma’s AI grows over time and the cheery little voices of these deadly killing machines will always bring a smile to your face. HEY MOE FANS! Love your happy, moe shows? Hate how the ‘serious business’ fans, many of them mecha fans, keep criticizing, nay!, PERSECUTING your favorite Eroge/Light Novel Adaptation #46531? Come to Sai Mecha and ruin their day with the power of MECHA MOE!
I rest my case.
Match 2 – VF-1 Valkyrie vs Sinanju
Are you going to vote for Fat Char’s fat mobile suit, or are you going to vote for the classic and revolutionary icon of the mecha genre?
A somewhat more worthy, but equally WRONG, opponent, the Sinanju is like it’s owner: fat. Fatty fat fat. Seriously, this thing needs to join Jimmy Tango’s Fatbusters. As does its owner. Maybe it’s the detestable Zeke life of idle luxury in gilded mansions in preparation for more mass murder colony drops, all while decrying the supposed corruption of the Federation. Vote for the good guys, vote for humanity, vote for the VF-1 Valkyrie! This thing legitimately saved humanity through the brave actions of its pilots. Instead of offering a false and autocratic hope of somehow saving humanity by enslaving it to the Zabis and their perverse Newtype fanaticism. The VF-1 is sleek and more functional than all the designs of Gundam Unicorn COMBINED. You can tell real thought went into it instead of creating a new model every five minutes to sell more toys. And the toys are better anyway!
VF-1 pilots: hang out with idols, work with hot bridge bunnies, get snazzy uniforms, save humanity. Sinanju’s pilot: lives in a shitty hollowed-out asteroid. With a subordinate guy who wants to hump you all day and probably writes bad BL fanfics about it all night.
This thing fire more missiles in one salvo than all the funnels that have ever existed, COMBINED. It has a cannon pod that detaches and HAS A SLING for humanoid-form combat. It makes its pilot as big as a race of SPACE GIANTS. It doesn’t need a red paint job to be 3x faster than its enemies. And it has a two-seater version JUST SO YOU CAN GO ON DATES WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND. Finally, songs written by attractive idols about Valkyrie pilots: 1. Songs written by attractive idols about Sinanju pilots: 0. I think the choice is obvious. Ghostlightning also made a much more intellectual argument for it, if that’s your thing.
Match 3 – Zaku II vs Escaflowne
I think by now you’re noticing a pattern. A pattern of awesome. The Zaku II is one of the most real of real robots. It’s solid, functional, adaptable, and has a long service record. While it was unfortunately the tool of the vile Zekes, it has amassed such a reputation that it deserves consideration beyond its heritage. Very few units have shown the sort of longevity that the Zaku II has. It manages to look cool and be effective. From 0079 right through to Operation Stardust the Zaku II was there, in the thick of the fight. Now, I don’t know much about the Escaflowne, but I’m damned sure that such a pretty looking, ornamental design isn’t down in the mud with the Zaku II. The Escaflowne represents all that is outdated, and rightly so, in warfare. Do you want some knight, that turns into a dragon, of all things, ruling over you, forcing you to live a life of SERFDOM and hand over the majority of your crops so he can trade you away to another baron? Help, help, you’re being repressed! Or do you want to stick it to the nobility, take up your mass produced weapon, join your comrades, and seize your destiny with your own two bloody hands?! VOTE ZAKU II!
A vote for the Zaku II is a vote for the unit Asuna trained in, and by extension, a vote for her. Real robots have all the best women anyway (more on this later.)
Match 4 – YF-19 vs Gurren Lagann
It’s so damned sweet that I didn’t even need to get a different image than the voting pic for it.
This, like the fight versus Purple Oedipus, is a key match. Good taste and true mecha spirit will stand or fall on this battlefield. Yeah, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was a fun show. Really fun. But can you take that thing seriously as mecha? And when it’s up against arguably the most beautiful Valkyrie of them all? The Gurren Lagann just keeps growing by throwing more bits and pieces on it like it’s trying to get to 37 pieces of flair or something. This isn’t Chotchkie’s. THIS. IS. SAIMECHA! The YF-19 continues the proud Macross tradition of being both functional, sleek, and badass. It has its Itano Circus of missile tucked away in aerodynamic internal bays, swept forward wings, a Pinpoint Barrier System that it can use for mini-Daedalus Attacks, and has a torso that would make an Armored Core proud. The Gurren Lagann? A pair of oversized sunglasses, a torso that looks like Frylock, and infinite repetitions of the same drill punch. Boooring.
And it has two seats so you can rescue the girl you love. And when you save her she won’t just fade away at the wedding. TOO SOON?
The YF-19 is something you can actually imagine existing. The Gurren Lagann has to bend and break reality just to exist. And it’s still nowhere near as sexy. Why break down reality when you can be master of it?
On Real vs Super Robots
Being of good taste and unquestioned intellect, I’m sure by now that you’re thoroughly convinced to vote for the real robots in this Elite Eight round. But just so you have more rhetorical ammunition to help lead others to the True Path, I’ve saved my most powerful and intellectual point for last. REAL ROBOT SHOWS HAVE BETTER GIRLS. Stripper outfit Yoko? Please. Asuka? Only perverts are interested in her, and we all know what exactly they’re interested in. Report to the bridge of the Macross. Then head to Frontier’s main island for the Sheryl Nome concert with vampiric selfcest holograms. After that, Christina Mackenzie will be pleased to give you a tour of Side 6. Real Robot has Real Women.
Need I say more?
[I really, really loved Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Evangelion. If I made a top 20 anime, they'd be in it, likely both in the top 10. But it's fun to get into the ruthless spirit of Sai Mecha here, outside my capacity as the organizer. Rest assured that I'll continue to remain impartial in the actual running of the tournament, but here, on T.H.A.T., I'm as biased as they come!]
VOTE NOW! Round 3 polls are open until 23:59 EST on14 May (Saturday.)