Absurdity In Mecha Anime

A month ago, bianki wrote a post on being a budding mecha fan. One of the points she makes is:

Because, absurdity is all what mecha anime is all about. The story can go as crazy as it wants, but Iā€™m not going to complain. The concept of humanity-in-peril and how we can only be saved by pilot/s in transforming planes and a muscian/s is already something I accepted from the get-go. Doing that makes just sit back and enjoy the ride as opposed to getting something normal and raeg when it turns absurd.

I’ve been thinking about this passage for some time. The inherent absurdity of giant robots allows mecha anime to be filled with more absurd things. If a show takes transforming plane-mecha for granted, it’s not a bit of a stretch to include space vampires or guitar-controlled cockpits. Or the whole my-robot-is-really-my-mother thing. Or Tang.

Being someone who grew up to the absurdity of giant robots, I seem to have developed an accepting demeanor towards matters of the absurd, even outside the realm of mecha anime. Whereas the normal, non-mechacentric anime fan would be turned off by some show’s weirdness, I’d have a mild, bemused reaction at best. In fact, one reason why I continue to watch anime is to see how the medium pushes the envelope toward more and more absurd heights.

This requires further investigation. Perhaps I should watch Kaiba and Mind Game.

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13 Responses to Absurdity In Mecha Anime

  1. Agreed. I think I was ready for anime because I was still watching nothing but cartoons at 10 when I was introduced to the medium.

  2. Canne says:

    I feel the same. There’s no other place where you can find absurdity so conveniently like in anime. Anime is never limited by possibility.

  3. 2DT says:

    Well, Eva cheated a little bit. Those creatures are giant alien cyborgs.

    I don’t “seek out” mecha anime very much, but I would love to know where that screencap comes from just to know what on earth that guy’s talking about. šŸ™‚

  4. @2DT

    Mobile Suit Victory Gundam IIRC, where mobile suits ride inside ginormous rubber tires.

    Absurdity isn’t the same as far-fetched technological fantasy, or is it?

  5. Panther says:

    Kaiba is hardly mecha anime…if even that. It hardly brought absurdity to the fullest either.

    • schneider says:

      I did say that my resistance to mecha absurdity has spilled over into non-mecha shows, and the unique visual style of Masaaki Yuasa is something I’d use to gauge it.

  6. bianki says:

    I think you should watch girly lovecoms instead of Kaiba. Which was what I was talking about at that post.
    Because I was older when I watched anime again, I wanted to see something shows rooted in reality, like shoujo. In time, they became lacking, repetitive and absurdly stupid. I thought, if I’m going to watch something absurd, I might as well go for something flashy like exploding robots. At least my expectations are set.

  7. Pingback: Zeta Gundam in the history of violence « Pontifus

  8. ToastCrust says:

    I think regardless of reason, there’s plenty of merit in watching Kaiba. It’s a great show.

  9. Emperor J says:

    Along these lines, in watching something like Ideon for the first time, I’m willing to accept a main character in Bes Jordan being defeat guys piloting larger machines while on foot simply because it is a mecha anime.

  10. Matt G. says:

    I so much agree with this. Anime is absolutely absurd. Which, in my very honest opinion, is why I love it. I don’t mind the absurd, I just take it as it is and keep on enjoyin’!

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