So You Want To/Write a Humongous Mecha Anime

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How-To Guide

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Necessary Tropes[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Humongous Mecha - This one is pretty obvious, although you can use Mini-Mecha instead.
  • Applied Phlebotinum - You need some form of explanation for why they're using giant humanoid robots/golems/biomechs instead of tanks and planes. It can range from "Getter Rays need a human form!" to "They're maaaaagical" and even more 'realistic' explanations such as Gundam's "Humanoid robots can turn around in space without wasting fuel". Careful with making these mecha more specialized - they may slide out of your series' focus.
  • Rule of Cool - Even the most Real Robot show operates on this, because if it were any more real, it'd just be using tanks instead.
  • Big Red Button - No mecha series is complete without one.

Choices, Choices[edit | hide]

Pitfalls[edit | hide]

  • Falling Into the Cockpit can be done correctly, but sometimes it'll just come off as totally lame. It's a borderline Dead Horse Trope. Super Robot shows tend to do this better, since they're absurd to begin with.
  • Follow the Leader - As successful as Evangelion, Gundam, Macross, Getter Robo, etc. were, don't make the mistake of aping elements from them left and right. Originality is a nice thing to have.
  • Lensman Arms Race - If you're doing a staunchly Real Robot setting, don't pull this. This will probably just confuse your fans. In Super Robot, go right ahead... just do it right.
  • Gainax Ending - Goes without saying.
  • Square-Cube Law: A 50-foot tall robot will more than likely crunch! under it's own weight, and normal vehicles can outmaneuver them very easily. How will you get around this?
  • Conspicuous CG: Computer generated animation can be done well, but if done badly it will make the entire project look half-assed.

Potential Subversions[edit | hide]

  • The Kid with the Remote Control - What happens if the remote control... breaks?
  • Power of Friendship/Love/Trust - What if it's not enough?
  • Rule of Cool - What if the ultimate attacks are Awesome but Impractical? What if the heroes can win by being sensible and practical, reigning in their Hot Blood? What if the bad guys are the ones who do things just 'cause they're cool, while the heroes take these life-or-death battles more seriously?
  • All There in the Manual - It can be really cool to have all sorts of fancy gadgets but it might not sit well with some people.
  • Gundamjack / Black Box - what if whoever makes the Super Prototype / advanced technology in question had the foresight to take out a patent on the design, making it worthless for reverse engineering purposes? Sure, it's just silly in war story (why would people on the opposite side of a war would care about patent laws, especially if one side are aliens?), but can be done on smaller scale, like corperations conflict.

Writers' Lounge[edit | hide]

Suggested Themes and Aesops[edit | hide]

Potential Motifs[edit | hide]

Suggested Plots[edit | hide]

Departments[edit | hide]

Set Designer / Location Scout[edit | hide]

Props Department[edit | hide]

Costume Designer[edit | hide]

Casting Director[edit | hide]

Extra Credit[edit | hide]

The Greats[edit | hide]

The Epic Fails[edit | hide]