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TezukaSensei

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  1. The 1970s The 1970s is the period when anime really exploded, mecha included. At this point it's time to briefly mention an elephant in the room. Throughout the 1970s Korean animation started becoming prevalent. The problem is for a long time Korean animation mostly consisted of knockoffs of Japanese anime titles. This happened because Japanese animation was banned in Korea, and Korea also didn't acknowledge Japanese copyright. In light of this environment, Korean animators produced these knockoffs to meet their country's demand. Korean animation would not start producing original content for well over 20 years, (towards the end of the 1990s.) This thread will not be covering any of these knockoff titles. In the early days of the 1960s, anime on television was in black and white, but in 1972 the first mecha series produced in colour hit the Japanese airwaves: Astroganger. Astroganger still didn't have the pilot in the robot, in fact this robot was sentient. Unfortunately this series still remains largely untranslated and unlicensed in the west to this day. Also in 1972, legendary mecha artist Go Nagai debuted his first mecha anime: Mazinger Z. Go Nagai would make many contributions to the mecha genre, starting with Mazinger Z, which debuted the concept of the pilot controlling the robot from within. This was accomplished by the protagonist piloting an aircraft that could dock on top of Mazinger's head, resulting in the pilot being in the head. Mazinger Z was first released in the west english dubbed as Tranzor Z. Since then it has been fully licensed and released in the west under its original title in subtitled form as well. Mazinger Z was also the first real mecha franchise spawning many sequel series, remakes, and ovas over the years. In 1973, iconic mecha animation studio Sunrise would release its very first mecha series: Zero Tester Behind the scenes Zero Tester featured many crew members that would go on to produce Gundam, but we'll talk more about that later. Unfortunately, Zero Tester remains untranslated and unlicensed in the west. Also in 1973, another big franchise debuted, from the creator of Tetsujin 28: Babel II Like Tetsujin, Babel II kept the hero outside of the robot. Unfortunately, the original 1973 Babel II series remains largely untranslated and unlicensed in the west. However, of the subsequent titles in the Babel II franchise have been licensed and released in the west. In 1974, Go Nagai debuted another iconic franchise: Getter Robo. While we can trace the concept of combining robots back to the Astro Boy story the Snow Leopard, it was Getter Robo that truly brought the concept into the main stream. This was the first time a series centred on this concept, with three transforming robots that could combine to form one larger one. Although subsequent titles in the Getter Robo franchise have been licensed in the west, the original series has not. Fortunately, it has been fully english fansubbed. In 1975, the mecha genre was brought a little more realism in design with the debut of future Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino's very first mecha series Brave Raideen, (still unlicensed in the west; fansubbing is now in progress), though the genre still hadn't fully shed it's 1960s scifi asthetic. Raideen has never been licensed for a western release. It is currently in the process of being fansubbed. Also in 1975, legendary anime studio Tatsunoku debuted on of their earliest mecha franchises in Time Bokan. Time Bokan was primarily a comedy series. A handful of episodes were english dubbed for the west long ago, but the bulk of the series remains unlicensed and untranslated. In 1976, Daikuu Maryuu Gaiking debuted, introducing the concepts of having a mobile carrier for the piloted robots, as well as featuring real world locations outside Japan. The same year Gowapper 5 Godam, the first mecha series with a female lead character was released, (unlicensed and untranslated), and another key mecha franchise, known as the Super Robot Romance Trilogy began with the first entry: Super Electromagnetic Robo Combattler V. (The other two that would also air by the end of the 1970s were Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V and Fighting King Daimos. ) It was this trilogy that brought a significant paradigm shift to the mecha genre, bringing it from formulaic monster of the week/toy advertising shows to more genuine fleshed out narratives with much more realistic mecha designs. This trilogy has been fully fansubbed, and very recently it has finally been licensed to be released in the west in the near future. In 1977, Yoshiyuki Tomino impacted the mecha genre once again with Invincible Super Man Zanbot 3. This series sought to cover very heavy topics from within the mecha genre that few truly explored at this point such as the reason for child pilots, and the real effects of collateral damage from giant robot fights. Tomino pulled no punches with Zambot 3. Its protagonists were not admired, but hated from the very beginning of the series by those they would be sworn to protect. This was the darkest mecha title up to this point, with no happy fairy tale ending. It was Zambot 3 that earned Tomino the nickname, "Kill 'Em All Tomino", which would be carried on and affirmed in his work with Gundam. Zambot 3 has never been licensed for the west, but is fully fansubbed. That same year, an oddity in the mecha genre, Kyouryuu Daisensou Aizenborg, was released. This series had the distinction of combining live action tokusatsu footage with anime. Tokusatsu is a live action genre of Japanese TV aimed at children featuring giant robots and monsters very similar to Godzilla. Aizenborg has never been licensed for release in the west, but is fully fansubbed. At this point, we need to briefly cover an odd occurrence in the world of Tokusatsu that, (believe it or not), sent ripples throughout the entire mecha genre--both anime and live action. Super Sentai, known by its western adaptation Power Rangers began its life in 1975. Unlike its more modern entries that became Power Rangers, there were no robots, (Zords), in the early seasons. In 1978 Japan premiered their very own Spider-Man tokusatsu series--yes, that Spider-Man. In this Japanese series, they decided to have Spider-Man pilot a giant robot--for the entire series. This strange marriage of Marvel comics and mecha actually became a hit, and from that point forward piloting giant robots would become a staple of tokusatsu and super sentai. Over the years properties would frequently cross over between these worlds, with tokusatsu shows being adapted into anime, and anime being adapted into tokusatsu,. This phenomenon is almost exclusive to the mecha genre. In 1978, Uchuu Majin Daikengou introduced the mechanic of a (retractable) face plate on the giant robot. Daikengou could open it to reveal fangs and spit fire. Future Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino released his next project: Muteki Koujin Daitarn 3, although it was not the success that Zanbot 3 was. Daikengou and Daitarn 3 have never been licensed for release in the west, but are both fully fansubbed. In 1979, Yoshiyuki Tomino released the first series in the long franchise he is best known for: the original Mobile Suit Gundam. There are already plenty of resources on this site to learn more about Gundam, so we won't go into a lot of detail here. However, there is one important thing to note about its beginnings: the original series was not a success. It was actually cancelled, and its producers were forced to conclude the series early. It wasn't until a culmination of Bandai's Gundam model kits, reruns, and the 1980s movie trilogy adaptation of Mobile Suit Gundam that the franchise gained it's popularity and embarked on becoming the juggernaut it is today. By the end of the 1970s production of anime was in full force and the ground work for the mecha genre was complete. As we approached the 1980s, mecha was about to enter a golden age with new technologies leading to an explosion of content.... The other Mecha titles of the 1970s: Blocker Gundan IV Machine Blaster Groizer X Magne Robo Ga-Keen UFO Warrior Dai Apolon Gasshin Sentai Mechander Robo Planetary Robo Danguard Ace Superhuman Combat Team Baratack Ultra-Transforming Magic Robot Ginguiser Future Robo Daltanias Toushi Gordian 1970s Resource Material:
  2. Mecha is a genre of anime that is as old as the art form itself. As Mechabay moves onward and outward beyond Gundam, it is important to have a clear picture of the history of the genre itself. This can be difficult because so much of the library of mecha anime remains unlicensed in the western world. Thanks to the diligent work of fansub groups and, much more recently, western anime distributors digging deep into the genre's backlog, we are finally getting to enjoy the titles we have missed out on for so long. We've come a long way, but there is still a lot of work left to do. In an effort to help guide Mechabay towards adding more titles to its databases, as well as giving the mechabay community a guidline to work from, this thread will be a series of posts from myself chronicling the long history of mecha. Because there is so much to cover, I will not be able to spend a lot of time on any specific title or cover each and every title in existence. For reference, I already have a complete chronological list of every mecha anime title ever made, organized by year of release, which you can find here: https://mechaanime.fandom.com/wiki/The_Megalist Lastly, I can't promise how often I will be able to add posts to this thread, but hopefully I will get it finished sooner rather than later. The 1960s_________________________________ To discuss the origins of mecha, we first must discuss the origins of anime. All of this goes back to one artist: Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka was known as "the god of manga", one of the most prolific manga artists of his time. In the early days of Japanese animation, Japan primarily distributed existing animation from other countries. This lead Tezuka to become a big fan of another legendary artist, this time from the west: Walt Disney. When the powers that be in Japanese entertainment decided they wanted to start producing their own animation, it was Osamu Tezuka they turned to. Even before he started working on anime, his influences were made clear in a manga he wrote in the 1940s called Metropolis. The manga features a species of giant rats that Tezuka calls, "Mikimaus waltdisneus" which bear a striking resemblance to a certain famous cartoon mouse. Tezuka's love of Disney's work inspired him to start the common trait of large eyes associated with anime. In 1963, Tezuka's first anime series,THE first anime series, Tetsuwan Atom, (known as Astro Boy in the west), begain airing on Japanese television. This would also be the very first anime series to be brought to the west. In terms of mecha, that began with Astro Boy as well. While Astro Boy was primarily about sentient robots and not so much the big piloted kind, there was one particular story of significance: The Snow Leopard. In this story Astro combines with a large group of other robots to form a giant robot to battle the story's antagonist. Tezuka created this story in the original manga, and adapted it into the anime series in the 1960s. The one other noteworthy anime from the 1960s was Mitsuteru Yokoyama's Tetsujin #28, known in the west as Gigantor. This series also made its way to the west. While Tezuka first pioneered these basic concepts, Tetsujin #28 would mark the first full fledged giant robot mecha series. However, the title robot Tetsujin was not piloted from within like most of the mecha that would come after it. Instead, the hero operated Tetsujin via remote control. There's not many titles to talk about since mecha, and the anime art form were in their infancy. However, things would start to pickup in the 1970s.... 1960s Reference Material: (Note: official youtube channel of the American distributor for 1960s Astro Boy) Mitsuteru Yokoyama 1934 - 2004 Osamu Tezuka 1928 - 1981
  3. Ronin 009 Biography Full name: Ronin 009 Faction: None Rank: Unknown Age: Unknown Sex: Male Height: 5' 10" Weight: 235 lbs Eyes: Unknown Hair: Unknown Skin: Unknown Handiness: ambidextrous Personality Ronin - (noun) a wandering samurai who had no lord or master. Though he has no master, he remains bound by the concepts of honour, and the philosophy of Bushido. He fights the good fight, protects the weak, but extinguishes the unrighteous and dishonourable. Strengths and weaknesses Strong knowledge of mobile suit mechanics agility and expert martial arts background good marksmanship. Not very good at conversations or relationships Even though he's a good shot, his skills with firearms are limited, (can't use any big guns like a chain gun or a shotgun. A rifle is as big as it gets.) As a ronin, he doesn't automatically follow orders in a military sense. While not outright insubordinate, his honour and personal quest come first. Appearance He almost always appears in a full body suit, which is both for combat and piloting mobile suits. It is adorned with various cybernetic components, although these do not provide physical augmentation. They serve as means of interacting with his computer systems and mobile suit(s), as well as data collection. History Much of Ronin 009's history remains unknown. What is known is only by reputation and, in a manner of speaking, legend. He wanders colonized space seeking to harness the secrets of psycho gundam technology, while at the same time righting wrongs and protecting the innocent along the way. Why is he interested in psycho gundam technology? He believes it is the key to truly becoming one with the mobile suit. Records of encounters with Ronin 009 are sketchy at best, save for his most recent sighting. A small splinter cell of Zeon radicals had seized control of a remoter civilian colony that was part of an expansion project in the farthest outer regions of AEUG colonized space. Zeon proper had long since disavowed any connection to this splinter cell, which referred to themselves as the NZRZ--The Neo Zaku Revolution of Zeon. The NZRZ believed they represented the true ideals of Zeon Zum Deikun, who they almost seemed to worship as a god. The colony they rooted themselves in was ill-equiped to defend themselves from any military threat whatsoever, let alone Zeon radicals. Not long after the NZRZ had seized control of the colony, a pitch black cargo ship identified in docking logs as the UchuKamiDen was found docked at the colony. It's precise arrival time is unclear. The ship had few identifying marks, Besides the ships name, the word "Shiki" was also found on its exterior. Based on this, it is now believed that Ronin 009 has some connection to a very old clan known as The Order of the Shiki. Very little is known about this clan, they exist in record only as the stuff of legend. To this day their very existence is a hotly debated subject. Approximately 48 hours after the UchuKamiDen first appeared in logs, a loud commotion could be heard coming from the NZRZ base. The few colonists that nervously investigated the matter arrived at the base to find a pair of NZRZ soldiers lying dead in front of the base's main entrance. The Zaku mobile suits that stood just outside the base had been left with their severed heads laying at their feet, with sparks flying from the exposed circuitry in their necks. As the images of the scene were soaked in by the colonists, the NZRZ's leader appeared in the entrance running from somewhere inside whilst screaming in fear. As he stopped in the entry way, noticing the colonists, there was a brief pause followed by a sword piercing his chest from behind. In that moment Ronin 009 had appeared behind him. Ronin retrieved his sword, and the NZRZ leader's dead body fell to the ground. At first the colonists were afraid of Ronin, but he sheathed his sword and motioned to them with open hands. Reportedly he told them, "Be at peace, your colony is now free from this tyranny." By the following morning, the UchuKamiDen was gone from the colony's dock. The NZRZ base remained completely untouched by the colonists, for they remained too afraid to enter. Some time later an investigation by a Federation security team reportedly found security footage from the NZRZ base that captured the entire encounter between Ronin 009 and the NZRZ, but Federation command has sealed nearly all data from this investigation, locking it behind the highest security clearance. What we know of this incident today comes almost exclusively from the colonists that witnessed it. ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* Who is Ronin 009? Why are so many records of his past sealed as top secret and/or redacted by the Federation? Perhaps the next person to cross paths with him will finally learn the answers..... Possessions His trusty sword Ankogiri metal staff long range configurable sidearm. His pitch black cargo ship UchuKamiDen, which serves as his mobile suit hangar/workshop. Kills N/A Role plays TBA Coliseum battles N/A
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