Honor vs. Pride
I remember a few years ago reading that Japan had developed the world's first pilot controlled robot and thought to myself, "Of course they would." Giant robots and mech suits are as large a part of Japanese culture as giant guns and freedom are to America's. Which is why I shouldn't be surprised at the fact that not only has an American team actually built their own twin pilot controlled mech with huge guns, but they've challenged the Japanese built Kurata to a duel one year from now.
Let that take a moment to sink it. One year from now, Japan and America will battle it out in two pilot controlled mech suits for bragging rights in the world's first giant robot fight ever!
On June 30th, the American based MegaBots Inc. posted this challenge to their YouTube page:
Yesterday, Japan based Suidobashi Heavy Industries answered the challenge with their video posted on their own YouTube channel:
Years from now when World War 4 is being fought with thousands of giant mech suits, I'd like to think historians will look back at this defining moment in history.
However, unlike the Japan/USA Women's World Cup finale, things may not be in America's favor. Call me biased if you will, but Japan is going to completely obliterate their U.S. competitors. Have you any idea exactly how much Japanese anime and video games has influenced the creators of the Kurata? MegaBots Inc. might have added in big guns, but if the Japanese get their wish and melee combat joins the terms of the battle, then it's pretty much game over.
Think I'm being biased? Here are five great anime series that will definitely show you how passionate the Japanese are for mech battles:
1. Gurren Lagaan
Set is a post apocalyptic future where pockets of the human population are forced to live underground. Simon and Kamina are two young men who set out to save the human race from the cruelty of the Beastmen. With stylish visuals, absolutely insane mech battles, a slick soundtrack, and one of the most memorable twists I've ever seen in an anime, everyone needs to give Gurren Lagann a binge viewing.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Fifteen years after the human race has been invaded by alien entities knows as 'Angels', Neon Genesis Evangelion takes everything you thought you knew about mech anime genre and turns it inside out, literally. Shinji is a teenage boy who gets recruited by the organization 'NERV' to pilot his very own Evangelion and help combat the Angels. However, you'll quickly find that this story is not as simple as it seems. Evangelion is definitely not for the squeamish and is one hell of a ride!
3. Code Geass
If you only have the time to watch one series from this list, let Code Geass be that series. Don't let the art style put you off either. From beginning to end, Code Geass will make you cheer, laugh, scream and cry as you follow Lelouche on his quest to liberate Japan from the evil empire of Britannia. I can't recommend this series enough, especially if you're a fan of political shows where intellect will always win. Add in some kickass mech battles and you've got yourself my personal favorite anime series ever!
4. Mobile Suit Gundam 00
No doubt EVERYONE has heard of the Gundam series by now. Gundam has become synonymous with mech battles over the years and continues to be one of the most successful Japanese properties out there. That said, with numerous incarnations of the show, it can be a little intimidating trying to figure out which one to watch first. Well fret no longer dear reader, because Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is not only a fantastic Gundam series, but also incredibly friendly for newcomers!
5. The Vision of Escaflowne
Hitomi was just a regular teenage girl until she spots a boy named 'Van' fighting a dragon on her high school track. Yeah, you heard that correctly. When she gets taken away to the planet of Gaea, she gets caught in the middle of a war that she may have the power to end once and for all. Add interplanetary travel, angels, mech battles, magic and political drama together and you've got yourself the core elements for The Vision of Escaflowne.
Needless to say, whoever does end up losing, we all win. Being able to tell our grandkids that were saw the world's first mech suit fight will definitely be a story to tell, even if the actual fight itself ends up being anticlimactic. Hey, at least we're on our way to prepare for a full on Kaiju attack.