There’s a very short scene in Gundam AGE, one which lasted only a couple of seconds, which prompted me to ask an important question:
Why don’t more mecha anime show fight scenes in cockpit view?
The answer was immediate. Mecha anime employs the cockpit view more as a gimmick. It’s just as a device to show how terrifying an enemy mech is as it wastes the hapless pilot looking helplessly at his screen, as well as a budget-saving one (much of the console would take up the viewing area, and it could afford to remain still). This is because it’s generally more exciting to watch mecha combat from a third-person viewpoint. You get to see their maneuvers in full, unrestricted glory.
However, for those few seconds I was absolutely charmed. When Asemu realigned his mech’s bearing to face his reinforcements, I realized how curious I was in wanting to know how a fight scene would enfold entirely in cockpit view. The field of vision is severely limited, but you get to watch the pilot actually work the cockpit for REAL piloting. Charging an enemy mech into melee would be much more exhilarating, every dodge more meaningful.
With cockpit view, one could see how a mech handles in the eyes of its pilot. The difference in performance between a grunt mech and an ace unit would be clearer. Space mecha combat is still shackled by two dimensions–notice how mechs are always upright and facing each other when locking melee weapons? Cockpit view would force the viewer to accept 3D space more readily.
Would I watch an entire anime with it? Probably not. But I sure want to see more of those awesome cockpit shots.