Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Harry Ord Again

I talked recently about Harry Ord, and how he's the best Gundam character. The post involved a video in which he talked about his wrath in rather exaggerated fashion.

Is he the kind of character who can back up his threats?

Oh yes.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Danguard Ace Has the Best Opening Song...

...possibly ever.

(In case the embed doesn't work, here's a link to a different video.)

Just by itself, that doesn't say too much to a non-Japanese speaker, but here's a translation of the lyrics I found on the Internet.

Dan-da-dan-da-dan Dan-da-dan-da-dan
We love you
Yes, we do
The universe is big
No, papa's voice is big
No, my dreams are big
The sun is red
No, your face is red
And so is mine
Aim for the star of hope
Go Sateraiza [Satellizer], full speed ahead
Go Go DANGAADOH AYSU [Danguard Ace]
and I'll be there at your side.

In case you can't tell, I love the absurdity of the rather non sequitur statements (no, papa's voice is big[ger than the UNIVERSE]).

-Signing off.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weird Anime Character Find (#2)

(Had a kind of miserable day, because my kid brother's six-week old kitten unexpectedly took ill and died after we'd had her for a week. I was looking her in the face trying to comfort her when she passed away, at one in the morning. She was a sweet kitten.

It can be hard when stupid things like this happen; sometimes all you can really do when it does is make sure a pet is as comfortable as you can make it, and make sure it realizes it's loved.

Incidentally, that's part of why I think fish make terrible pets and you shouldn't keep them as "pets."*)

This one isn't quite as weird as the last weird anime character design I put up; then again, that guy is hard to top, because he's just about a perfect storm of weirdness. This one is King Darius from the original Gaiking anime.

It's not just the relatively normal-looking mouth on his forehead that makes this guy weird; it's the fact that he's got a mustache in the same place someone else would put it, but without a mouth (or any other facial or cranial features) beneath it.

*Coping can involve cracking jokes; for me, it's more than half the process.

-Signing off.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to 2011

This is brilliant.

There's a pretty fair chance you've seen this somewhere; here's the version where you can tell what's going on.

This may be the best store promotion I've ever heard of.

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

RAAAIIII... DEEEEEN! (and lots of rambling)

In terms of its appearance and other general characteristics, one of my favorite of the first generation of super robots is Raideen.

You know how a lot of anime robots teleport their pilots on board? Raideen seems to be the originator of the idea.

Also note that Raideen is a sapient robot, and periodically shouts portions of his name like some kind of huge Pokémon. (Although his "RAI" usually sounds more like "ROOOOOOY!")

It's interesting to note that one of the directors who worked on Raideen was Yoshiyuki Tomino, who would later work on Mobile Suit Gundam. (The other director would go on to create the yo-yo robot, Combattler V.) I think that in the scene I posted above, you can see a bit of his influence; the direction is very sharp. (Note that, while I'm not a fan of the Gundam metaseries in general, I admire Tomino's craft. Just because I don't necessarily like the stories he tells doesn't mean I can't like his storytelling skills.)

Compared to some of the other super robot series of its rough time period, Raideen was a pretty inventive and weird series. Most super robot series heavily imitated either Mazinger Z or Getter Robo at the time; some imitated both at once; and it should be noted that the Getter Robo anime was more like the Mazinger Z anime than like the Getter Robo manga. Raideen dared to be a little more different.

I can't follow everything from Raideen I've seen, but one thing I've figured out is that this statue thing was the main villain in the first part of the series, and was probably an object the later villains were sealed up in.

What makes this a bit odd and amusing is that, near as I can tell, the statue never talks. It just expresses its displeasure by setting its minions on fire. (One of said minions, Sharkin, would later serve Tomino as the inspiration for one of the most popular Gundam characters, Char Aznable.)

Like most early super robot series, Raideen and his pilot, Akira, were often accompanied by a sidekick robot. Theirs was named... Actually, I don't know what its name is. But I can tell you that it appears to run on a steam engine salvaged from an old locomotive and has a very bright color scheme.

Has this guy ever been a gag unit in a Super Robot Wars game? And if not, why not?

I ask because this robot is somehow incredibly awesome.

Another thing in older super robot series that frequently appeared was a more genuine support vehicle or robot. Raideen's was the Bluegar.

I don't know why it's named that, because it's neither blue nor a gar, but it's pretty cool-it's not every day you see a spaceship/plane that looks like a horseshoe crab.

Many old anime series featured fleets of airborne mook enemies. This series' mook enemy is... this tentacled thingy.

They're rather amusing.

While most old super robot series would stick with monsters/robots of the week as enemies, accompanied by airships and sometimes fighter swarms, at least one episode of Raideen threw in these buzzsaw things.

They'd have been pretty stupid to use at all, except that there was a monster/robot thing that held Raideen down so they could hit him.

The monster itself wasn't that interesting, but while Raideen wrestled with it, there was a nice bit of illustration and animation as he tried to pry it away from himself with his sword arm.

It's a smidgen hard to tell, but Raideen's little sword is going slightly between the monster's teeth (it's not cutting into its head because it's too tough). Something about that just strikes me as a great touch.

The villains later in the series were some ugly guys. That big spiky guy is kind of amusing, but the dude dressed like a pirate is just about perfect. (By which I mean "hilarious.")

Their leader was an enormous guy whose mouth didn't bother moving remotely in time with his speech.

My absolute favorite thing, though, is this monster/robot of the week: A flying elephant with a ninja sticking out of its forehead.

You might wonder what the heck is up with this. I kinda do too, but I love it.

The craziest part is that it started as two guys, and it looked like they were going to fight to the death as a test or something; the ninja threw some giant yellow throwing stars and bisected the elephant right down its centerline; and then the two merged as if it was the most logical thing in the world.

And that apparently gave the new monster the power to do this:

Split in half to attack Raideen by trying to squish him between the halves.

Don't you think it'd work better to have some spikes or something?

Anyway, the plot of this episode involves Akira, who is a descendant of the imaginary continent of Mu, trying to retrieve his mother, whom he believes is in a boat that's been cruising around. (It turns out she got switched with an explosive android double or something. OR SOMETHING.) The fight's pretty rough on Raideen, so he's reduced to following around Elephant Head's Ninja and trying to take the boat back while muttering about his mother like a crazy zombie.

This brilliant tactic gets him a bunch of throwing stars embedded in his chest for his trouble.

The monster drops the boat when Raideen manages to cut its arm off, and when Raideen tries to catch the boat, it explodes. This makes Akira pretty crazy, and the monster tries to capitalize on it with its split-in-half attack. But crazy super robot pilots are the most dangerous kind...

...and the attack doesn't work this time.

So the the monster tries again, this time with spikes. (See?)

Unfortunately for the monster, this time Raideen dodges.


-Signing off, because I'm rambling quite a bit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Harry Ord, Best Gundam Character Ever*

This guy cracks me right up.

I mean, wow, that's awesome.

*I'm well aware that saying someone is the best character from something ever when I have relatively little familiarity with the source material is pretty silly, even stupid; I don't care. Harry Ord is awesome to the point where I'll probably eventually post every clip of him I find, and that's that.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Gundam Super Robots

Fans of the Gundam metaseries will tell you that the Gundam is a development away from the super robot; that they are far more realistic and only have their roots in super robots, and have clearly moved away from that. Sure, G Gundam took things in a different direction for one short series, but that's the only exception, right? (Other than the upcoming Gundam AGE, which many Gundam fans have decried despite it not having come out yet.)


Having perused the Gundam Wiki over at Wikia, I can tell you that the idea that Gundam-series giant robots aren't "super robots" is pure honky. And to prove it, here's a list of ten Gundams from various non-G Gundam series (as a list that included G Gundam would have somewhere between five and ten G Gundam robots on it) which are clearly super robot material.

(An additional note that qualifies these robots as "super" robots, more so than their qualifying by my broad super robot definition: In most of the series inspired by Gundam, so-called "real robot" series, most giant robots are mass-produced. These robots? All more or less one of a kind; at any rate, they're not considered practical for mass production. Super robots are usually unique entities, and these are generally more like that than not.)

10. RX-178 Gundam Mk-II and FXA-05D G-Defenser.

What qualifies the less-well-armored than its predecessor Gundam Mk-II with its support unit, the G-Defenser, as a super robot? They combine into the Super Gundam.

Sure, it's mostly just a name, but building a specialized upgrade thing to add on to an older machine? That's pure super robot material there.

9. F91 Gundam Formula 91.

So what qualifies this smaller, less-heavy (and rather goofily named) Gundam as a super robot? Aside from its weapon system, which is a pseudo-laser that can be tweaked by its pilot to affect different targets differently and the computer that interfaces with the human brain (neither of which are exclusively the ground of super robots, admittedly), an unexpected byproduct of the F91's cooling system causes sensor-fooling afterimages of the F91 to appear.

Read that again and let it sink in a bit.

That's like saying that a minor modification to your radiator might unexpectedly keep a radar gun from telling the police you're speeding.

Granted, the cooling system operated by leaving behind little chunks of armor, but that's not going to create a nice, neat afterimage unless magic's involved somewhere.

8. MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam.

The Zeta Gundam is capable of transforming into an air/spacecraft called the Waverider, and in this form was able to defeat a huge, heavily armored robot by ramming it, despite not really being designed as a ramming weapon (it was a reentry vehicle). If that's not bad enough, the Zeta Gundam also is equipped with a device called a bio sensor, which is similar to the device in the above F91, but comes with the added bonus of making the Zeta Gundam stronger when you get mad.

7. MSZ-010 ZZ Gundam.

Of course, this being Gundam, there's a successor to the Zeta, the Double Zeta or ZZ Gundam. It's mostly pretty similar (although apparently it's lost the ability to make atmospheric reentry and perhaps ramming wouldn't be as effective in this case), but is also armed with the High Mega Cannon, "one of the most powerful weapon mounted on a mobile suit ever," in its forehead. (Keep in mind that Gundam-series mecha can usually level multiple city blocks in very short order.) And of course, it retains the bio sensor.

8. RX-93 v (Nu) Gundam.

The Nu Gundam is physically controlled by the pilot's psychic interface with it, making it one of the most responsive Gundams ever built. It also carries a fleet of flying gun-missiles psychically controlled by its pilot. This fleet of flying gun-missiles can also make a protective shield to block beam attacks by the enemy. Finally, it's said that the Nu Gundam could have held off the entire opposing army (not the enemy in a battle, the enemy in the war) more or less by itself, thanks to its pilot's experience.

'Nuff said.

7. OZ-13MS Gundam Epyon.

Like a number of robots from its series, the Epyon is made of Gundanium, a material so durable that, when other robots made of it were destroyed, said robots were later rebuilt from the same materials in the same shape and given the same names, and by people who hadn't worked on the original robots. The Epyon also had a variation of the ZERO System, which is some kind of supercomputer that makes you virtually invincible in battle thanks to its tactical prowess unless it drives you crazy instead. Both of these things are classic super robot material, but they're not what make me declare the Epyon a super robot.

No, the fact that the Epyon has a lightsaber beam saber that can vary in intensity and length, which is almost its only weapon and which is hooked into its primary power plant is what makes me declare the Epyon a super robot.

If you need to ask why that makes it a super robot... haven't been reading this blog since I last found an excuse to embed this video.

6. XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero.

Aside from having the worst unit designation number ever, the Wing Zero is a robot in similar vein to the Epyon, made of the same nearly indestructible stuff and with the same ZERO System computer (which takes its name from the robot, I guess?). It also can transform in similar fashion to the Zeta and ZZ Gundams, and is equipped with the Twin Buster Rifle, a weapon at least comparable in power to the ZZ Gundam's super-powerful forehead gun, if not moreso-reportedly, it can destroy objects several miles across at maximum output.

5. RX-0 Unicorn Gundam.

The Unicorn Gundam is mostly not especially crazy, but it has a super mode called Destroy Mode. This form not only grants it enhanced combat abilities, but lets it hijack enemy psychic-controlled weaponry. It's a very super robot.

4. ELS Gundams.

There has been only one confirmed instance of extraterrestrial life in any of the Gundam series, and these, the ELS (hilariously, pronounced "else"), are it. They're some kind of outer space machine virus thing that can possess human beings and giant robots. And when they have, apparently they confer regeneration on their hosts.

3. GNT-0000 00 Qan(T).

That said, this Gundam, whose name, now that I'm looking at it, offends me a lot more than Wing Zero's unit designation number, was said to probably be able to defeat a thousand or more ELS. With its flying remote-controlled swords. However, that would have taken a week or more, so the pilot instead opted to use its control system to telepathically communicate with the aliens. Really. Also, it could apparently teleport across interstellar distances, and it could probably do other stuff that I can't be bothered to look up at the moment. (Actually, I almost missed the teleportation bit.)

2. SYSTEM ∀-99 (WD-M01) ∀ Gundam.

The Turn A Gundam (no, I don't know how that comes out of that full name, other than the rather cute idea that the symbol is an upside-down A) is apparently a Gundam designed for interstellar wars, something that isn't seen in most Gundam series; it is apparently thousands of years old in its own series, and just needs its proverbial key turned to start up. And it has a huge hollow compartment in its chest because its power generation system is tiny. That's not extremely super robot-like in itself, but the Turn A can also unleash nanotechnology to regenerate itself and its pilot (oh, boy, that sounds fun) or use same to destroy all technology across the span of the solar system.

It's also got an epic 'stache.

Look at that 'stache.

1. CONCEPT-X 6-1-2 Turn X.

Remember how I was talking about the Nu Gundam having remote-controlled flying guns?

The Turn X, in addition to having pretty much all the same goodies as the Turn A and is also much bigger and more powerful, is made of flying guns. It can literally split apart to become a fleet of flying guns to attack things.

It also has an attack that is similar to and named after the signature attack of the Shining Gundam from G Gundam, the Shining Finger (so-called because the hand of the robot glows, and somehow can do more damage when used in melee attacks).

I rest my case.

-Signing off.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Once Again: Best Anime Ship Captain Ever

Having finished the (rather poorly subtitled) Hulu release of Gaiking the other day, I once again must say: Best. Captain. Ever.

Captain Garis isn't just great because he's kind of funny, kind of mysterious, and rather batman; it's because he also manages to come across as a warm and caring person while wearing what ought to be a very impersonal mask. He's probably my favorite character in the series.

-Signing off.

Friday, August 19, 2011

That Other Rom Again

I don't know more than a smattering of information about Machine Robo, the Japanese counterpart to the '80s Challenge of the Gobots (sort of), but I do know that for some reason, most clips I find of it crack me up.

Yes, this is an anime martial arts fight between giant robots. With terrible perspective and proportions.

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getter (Abnormally Large) Tomahawk

Sometimes, when you're a giant robot pilot, you just have to chop some moons in half.

Like so.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Retro Star Wars Junk

I wonder if the music inspired by Star Wars record by Meco Monardo is worth money if you find one in good condition.

Why? Because the other day, my mother did, and apparently got it cheap. (I doubt she'd have bought it otherwise.)

It's fun finding something like this and being able to Google it right away, especially since whenever I do, my mother sighs that she wishes Google was her first impulse too. (It actually isn't my first impulse unless I'm actively sitting at a computer in-between thought processes when something enters my head. So much for being part of the first computer-savvy generation.)

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Best Anime Series Captain Ever (Again)

Captain Garis (of the more recent Gaiking series): Still the best anime ship captain ever.

"You will [be] awarded this glorious trophy!!" indeed.

(The only person who seemed to be interested in the trophy wanted to drink champagne out of it; everybody else was more interested in the other prize, becoming captain for a day. Sorry, guys, none of you could ever be as awesome a captain as Captain Garis.)

-Signing off.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Good Timing, Sir

This video seems to be making the rounds on sites that post this sort of thing, and I thought "well, why not?"

Anybody who can pull off a stunt like that deserves some kind of kudos, although stunts like that are their own reward, I'm sure.

-Signing off.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Finally, The Jeeg Bazooka

At some point in the past (within a couple weeks of exactly three years ago, actually-wait, what?), I did a little article about Kotetsu/Steel Jeeg, one of Go Nagai's later super robot creations, and mentioned the newer sequel series that was based on it.

I tried to describe the newer series version of the Jeeg Bazooka, a weapon that, shall we say, was a bit oversized, but words were inadequate and the original YouTube video I'd found was gone at that point. So recently, I looked again, and decided to grab pictures this time.

So here we have the Jeeg Bazooka getting ready to fire.

See that mostly obscured green and yellow figure back there? That's Jeeg.

Of course, that visual effect is created by foreshortening, right? The gun can't be nearly that proportionately big, can it?

It's still goshdarned huge.

Note additionally that Jeeg isn't very big compared to most super robots, or even most "real robots." He's "only" ten meters (32.5 feet) tall, compared to Mazinger Z's still "puny" eighteen meters (58.5 feet). Most super robots start in the neighborhood of thirty meters (100 feet, give or take).

So that gun's big, but only for Jeeg or by any sane standard. For a super robot, it's tiny.

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Best Anime Series Captain Ever

I think this screenshot speaks for itself.

In case it doesn't, Captain Garis, captain of the Daiku Maryu from Gaiking, is giving his robot pilot noogies.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weird Anime Character Find (#1)

(As in the past, the #1 is if I feel like continuing it. No guarantees.)

From 1991's Getter Robo Go (which is one of those things that supposedly "never happened") comes...

...this... guy, who I can only describe as a weird cross between Arnim Zola and Two-Bad.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Great Face or Greatest Face?

There's an obscure cartoon based on the Playskool Transformers Go-Bots line which can be found on YouTube. I was showing it to my sister for giggles, because it's kind of funny and occasionally surprisingly awesome (for instance, at one point the leader Go-Bot grabbed an oil tanker's anchor and pulled it straight up a mountainside).

And then there's my sister's favorite part: The Strong-Bot face.

He pretty much has this face all the time, except once when he appeared to be mad. (His eyebrows dipped. Except that he doesn't have any eyebrows...)

It's pretty funny if you can stand the audio. (Quote from my sister while watching one episode: "Everything he does is so cute... and destructive!")

-Signing off.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Super Robot Profiles: Gaiking

Gaiking was one of the first generation of super robots.

Its notability derives from two main factors: It's one of the first transforming/combining robots with a transformation that is based on physical reality, and it's terrifying.

Seriously, he just straight up uses that giant mouth in his stomach to bite things and those horns on his head to impale things. When I first realized that, I was pretty amazed that something quite that freaky was part of the old guard. (Granted, it's a slightly tame freaky, since, you know, robot-on-robot bloodless violence, but still.)

It actually got dubbed and put in that old standby of super robot lineups that very few people in the US other than hardcore super robot fans remember, Force Five. (It was also a part of Shogun Warriors, although it didn't appear in the Marvel comic.)

Since I don't hear anything about this dub, I'm going to assume it was pretty forgettable (instead of rampantly bad like the Grendizer dub).

I might not even bring Gaiking up at all, except...

...yeah, it had a popular remake/not truly a sequel. And having watched, oh, six or seven episodes or so of its official Hulu subtitled release, I can verify that it's pretty awesome.

For one, they take many super robot ideas and many "real robot" (i.e. what an English speaker would call a "Japanese mecha" series) ideas and blend them together in seamless and logical fashion. Sure, the robot's a super-awesome gigantic thing powered by its pilot's magic fire-generating abilities, but it also needs to have its forearms replaced after it launches off its rocket punches.

Another thing is that the protagonist, Daiya, is perhaps the best iteration of the overused and often poorly utilized "kid pilot" trope found in this kind of series I've ever seen. Seriously, he's just an awesome kid. He's believably a child, yet he's also surprisingly mature, serious, and tough. And willing to take on giant monsters armed only with a probably homemade harpoon.

The series is 39 episodes, and I'm looking forward to all the ones I haven't watched.

Oh, yeah, and there's apparently going to be a movie?

(A little note on Gaiking: Go Nagai has taken credit for creating Gaiking, but he waited to do so publicly until after the popular recent series. I find this just a bit suspicious, especially since Go Nagai seems to kind of just let people assume he created Getter Robo when he really only gave the actual creator a suggestion to go on. Not to call him on it or anything, it's just a bit peculiar that he'd wait until it was clear the property was viable.)

-Signing off.

Friday, August 5, 2011


They call it the attack/shout that breaks the microphone. (I don't particularly know why; it's probably a memetic thing that has to do with the series.)

Incidentally, he's shooting down a nuclear missile the size of a football stadium.

When it comes to flashy anime/video game attacks, nobody outside of Super Robot Wars does it quite like Tekkaman Blade. (And since he's been in at least one Super Robot Wars game...)

What makes this even funnier is that the other Tekkaman can Voltekker/Voltekka as well, but his is usually less impressive.

And gives him a headache.

And they deal billions of damage in combo attacks.

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Go Go Speed Metal Video

So Chris Sims referred his readers to this music video of the Danny Elfman Batman theme cover by the band Powerglove.

It's a pretty good performance, and I like it quite a bit, but... I couldn't help being more excited by the song I spotted in the "Related Videos" list.

It wasn't their '90s X-Men cover...

...or their MMPR cover... was their Inspector Gadget cover.

THAT is awesome.

(I don't know why I love the Inspector Gadget song so darned much, but I do. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that Inspector Gadget was the show I used to watch on weekdays before I went to school as a grade schooler. It was my favorite thing ever way back then.

Did you know Inspector Gadget used to have a mustache?)

-Signing off.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Timely Subject Matter

Yesterday, my sister and I washed her cat, Shizu, who probably weighs eleven pounds, every ounce of it muscle. She's stronger than our forty-some pound dog, and that's not an exaggeration at all. (In fact, recently she's taken to banging on our sliding door to try to open it, and she seems to have knocked it slightly off its rails. We gave her the nickname "Shizuquakes" because of her proclivity for knocking down just about anything and everything when she climbs and jumps around, although she's gotten more careful and it's a less frequent occurrence in the last year or so.)

It's funny, because Shizu is a gentle, good-natured cat who vacillates between acting like a small dog and being terrified of everything (in mind-bendingly cute ways at times), but when she's cornered, she fights like a demon. Not that she ever tries to hurt us, but she hates having baths or having strange substances (flea medication) put on her. (We read once that cinnamon repels fleas. It turned out to be a crock, but Shizu was still freaking out whenever somebody made toast months later.)

This Close to Home comic (Close to Home is a lot like The Far Side was, but a bit less consistently funny) could only have been more timely for us if it had been yesterday instead of today.

Incidentally, once things reached the drying-off stage, she suddenly had a change in attitude and was suddenly super-happy to be where she was. Naturally.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Super Actually Surprisingly Realistic Robot Profiles: Dai-Guard

Dai-Guard is a 1999 anime about a giant robot and the office workers who operate it. Yes, there is nothing incorrect about that sentence. (I would dare to say that everything is right about that sentence.)

The robot looks like an old-school super robot, and the opening sequence plays it up like one... but it isn't. It isn't even very powerful. It's just a big, heavy, slow-moving piece of metal that happens to look like a robot.

And it's still one of the most batman* giant robots ever. Why? Because even though it's slow, can only run for a few minutes at a time without being recharged, and has armor that at times seems to be made of cardboard (it also lacks air conditioning), it manages to consistently take out giant extradimensional monsters.

Granted, that's probably because its pilot is a surprisingly batman giant robot fanboy who apparently learned how to operate similar vehicles and then worked at the company that owns the robot merely so he could be close to the only giant robot in the world that actually existed. This guy is living the dream.

Except that in the world of Dai-Guard, there are lawsuits, insurance claim forms, and other such troubles, and those are the absolute least favorite things in the universe for the guy.

Wait, there we go. Dai-Guard is the robot anime version of The Incredibles.

I'm not sure there's anything more to say about it after that. (Well, other than that it's a funny series at the same time as it takes the world it's in very seriously. That's pretty awesome.)

*My sister and I use this (batman) as a euphemism in everyday conversation for another word. It has the same number of letters, the same first letter, the same vowels, and the same number of syllables, but most importantly, the same cadence and roughly the same meaning.

-Signing off.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Superheroes Vs. Super Robots

I came to a realization the other day.

I was thinking about the spectrum of fantastic entities that I rambled about a bit in this two-and-a-half-year-old post. I was also recently considering the subject of Grant Morrison's Supergods, which I had seen at Borders while taking advantage of its going-out-of-business clearance. (Didn't buy it.)

Grant Morrison, of course, poses the idea that superheroes are modern-day counterparts to the pantheonic deities of Greek, Viking, and so on mythology.

Super robots are explicitly and openly described in Japanese culture as being gods or godlike, even in the first super robot series, Mazinger Z. (There is considerably less of a taboo on that sort of thing in Eastern culture.)

What is the fundamental cultural difference that causes these two different traditions of godlikeness to be as different as they are (though note that they are also quite similar in numerous ways)?

In Western culture, a small-g god was a powerful human being who was given adulation, and who pretty much did what s/he wanted.

In Eastern culture, a small-g god was/is a powerful not-always-human entity that has its own territory or rules that it protects or follows, and can be asked for protection and aid. (Not that you couldn't ask a Western small-g god for that sort of thing, but it was much more up to their whimsy whether they listened to you.)

Superheroes do what they do because they choose to (most of the time). Super robots do what they're asked to do (most of the time!).


There's not much more to it than that. (Note that a similar difference, sort of, exists between Lovecraftian monster gods and daikaiju.)

-Signing off.