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B-07 Hall Of Fame: Top Thirty Best Real Robots[3]

March 19, 2010

“Urhh… AHHH! I won’t die here! Not here!”


Now we come to the final ten in the B-07 Real Robot Hall of Fame. You’d notice that most of my favourites in the first 20 are based off design attributes that even a handful of newcomers to the Real Robot genre might find attractive. This final ten will introduce some designs that even long-time fans of all Real Robots might find… to put it kindly, weird.

ENTRY #21: [SARG] SARG 1-5

Pictures: 1

Video: Somewhere from 4:00 onwards until 7:00+

Point to Prove: The SARG is one very coolsome variable fighter from the little-known animation Argento Soma, as a weapon designed to destroy the Angel-esque alien life-forms that plague humanity. Its physical design has a passing resemblance to the main Vital Guarder from Infinite Ryvius; artificial muscle and all. The one thing that, in my books, allows it to stand on the same ground as Macross VFs as a good design is rather ironic as the SARG does not make any attempt to hide the fact that it is a robot; it appears both in the shape of a plane, yet in that form you can unmistakably see what are extensions for arms and legs which gives it a very bulky feel compared to just about any variable mechs you’ll ever find in a show. Of course, they’re not what they actually seem to be, but the main point is, usage of the SARGs are the equivalent of how you’d use a tank or jet fighter; no fancy beams, flying fists or ray guns.

It helps that the SARGs are very well-animated; while appearing alien-like at  first and with no hard science explanations to back them up (since the main focus of the show isn’t the SARGs) they suffer damage, have ammunition problems and maneuver very much like Real Robots. I wonder what would it take to bring a classic like them into a Super Robot Taisen…

ENTRY #22: [Variable Destroid] VB-6 Konig Monster

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Video

Point To Prove: The Konig Monster first appeared in the Macross Digital Mission VF-X game as a heavy-fire support unit capable of taking the hardest punch the enemy could throw at it, and then returning the punch with interest included. I always thought the design was epic ever since it entered action, but we get a chance to see it in its full animated glory in Macross Frontier, where it gets some of the highest kill scores in combat just by firing its weapons a few times and takes hits like a brick armed with anti-tank armor and an energy barrier (literally, in Macross Frontier’s case).

It might not have much in the way of design compared to other examples, but this is still high on the score; the Valkyries of Macross might be sleek and oh-so-cool, but you want work done, the Konig Monster is your mech.

ENTRY #23: [Mobile Suit] MSJ-06II-AC Tieren Anti-Aircraft Cannon Type

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Video:

Point To Prove: Those of you who watched Gundam 00 will remember a rather useless unit called the Tieren, born in the right place at the wrong time. It was armored like a fortress, but unfortunately for them, it did jack shit against GN-based weaponry.

The AA Cannon Type is a anti-air variant of the standard Tieren. If you though the Tieren was chunky enough, the Cannon Type adds in even more “unwieldiness” to the design; four anti-aircraft cannons and anti-air missile launchers give the AA Cannon Type plenty of bang for its buck; while never demonstrated in-series or anywhere else, it should be evident from its armaments that the variable MSes of the other power blocs in 00 are what it eats for breakfast.

ENTRY #24: [STRategic Armored INfantry] Gloire STR.A.IN. “The Gloire”

Pictures: 1

Video: Watch as the Gloire mercilessly slaughters the best and brightest of the pilot academy!

Video 2: The entire episode: A fairer fight between commander unit and ace custom hax job!

Point To Prove: This one is a bit of an exception, but all I can say is: sufficiently advanced science can seem like magic.

The Gloire is a powerful STR.A.IN. in the Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry anime (Soukou no Strain, for the dub-hating) and its appearance is set right at the very first episode, its role being screwing around with the main character’s life for the rest of eternity.

Ok, I kid about the eternity part. But aside from having a very good pilot, the Gloire is a commander-use STR.A.IN., which grants it increased power and speed. The design itself looks spiffy and reflective of its “command” nature with all the adornments and sharp spikes of intimidation. It’s attacks are brutal; all STR.A.IN.s are melee-oriented by nature, but that sharp tail means that the Gloire can cut into a whooping five different units at any given time and attacking it from the back is a guaranteed epic fail. And you should have noticed by now (unless you’re blind) that the Gloire looks a hell lot like a mech introduced earlier; much earlier, in fact: the Black Selena. Gawd dang we need a Robot Spirits of this!

ENTRY # 25: [Labor] Type J-9 Griffon

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Video:

Point To Prove: Despite being described as one of the best real-robot animes out there, I have not yet laid eyes on any Patlabor shows yet. However, its designs have caught my eye, and one of them that I think deserves special mention is the Griffon.

I don’t know much about the Griffon’s history in-series, but its design clearly speaks of what technology went into its creation, as shown by the video where you see it toying with the Ingrams. To add to that it has a face that would silence people with a glare and the bonuses given by underwater movement and flight capabilities would make the Griffon an excellent choice for a limited-production unit for use in special operations.

Also, it is just me, or does it look like Super Robot Taisen Alpha’s Astranagant… alot?

ENTRY #26: [Mobile Suit] ZGMF-X12D Astray Out Frame D

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Video:

Point To Prove: The Astray Out Frame D is a mobile suit built for civilian use in the SEED Destiny Astray manga, a continuation of the SEED Astray series. Built to be adaptable to any environment for its owner, the Frame D has seen as many variations as there are a few different types of equipment on the SEEDverse, but what got to me the most was the Frame D equipped with a backpack unit for the machine that housed a home unit.

Yes, a romantic’s dream home unit. Complete with toilet, hotel-level bath and a working kitchen, doggone it! A caravan from the future! WITH LEGS! Mysterious Moe Loli Maid From Mars not included. Certainly not the most powerful pack, but definitely the most interesting.

The Frame D is inferior to other mobile suits of its time due to its poor armor; it dodges better than it takes hits if it has too, but most of the time the Frame D does not enter active fighting of its own violation, what with being crewed by a freelancing reporter and his bodyguard and all. Nonetheless, it has proven quite capable of one-on-one combat with custom units and refurbished stolen prototypes, and it is this same attribute that has allowed the Frame D to remain in active service for so long.

ENTRY 27#: [Mobile Suit] MSN-04 Nightingale

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Video:

Point To Prove: The Nightingale appears in a novelized version of Char’s Counterattack as Char’s personal unit. Dwarfing even the Sazabi, the Nightingale is said to represent Char’s ideals, and while I  can’t see how the representation goes, it certainly has the firepower to enforce those ideals.

Most of the Nightingale’s weapons are identical to the Sazabi, with one difference; they’re all powered up. A menacing look, an enormous body, bristling with weapons and unholy fast, the Nightingale is an instant winner for the top 30 designs and it could probably grind them all underfoot, too. Heck, even smashing into that thing because of a faulty thruster would probably prove to be fatal.

ENTRY #28: [Machina] Apparition

Picture: 1, 2, 3

Video:

Point To Prove: Calling Linebarrel of Iron a real-robot show is pushing the envelope quite a bit, since all of the custom Machina have the inherent ability to regenerate parts of their frame if destroyed in battle and Linebarrel itself is nothing short of hax when you stick Kouichi in it. Nevertheless, the link is still there (just right below Eureka 7) and I’m here to introduce one very awesome-looking Machina to you: Apparition, the Machina piloted by Kouichi’s back-from-the-dead friend, Yajima.

The Apparition circumvents several rules about a mech designed for good guys; it has one large “eye” and several smaller ones, along with a smooth, ornament-less head/shoulder design and overall a rather sneaky look (though even in-series close to none of the good-guy Machina ever fulfill those three rules either). Despite that (or perhaps because of that) the Apparition has become one of my favourite designs in Linebarrel Of Iron. You can see just from its design that stealth and speed are essential parts of its combat successes and Yajima knows it too; the only other character to match him in the “Hit the Least Times Throughout the Series” highscore is Doumyouji. Deliciously epic.

ENTRY #29: [Tactical Surface Fighter] YF-23 Black Widow II [PAV-2] “Grey Ghost”

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Video:

Point to Prove: Once again, another very much asskicking design from Muv-Luv: Total Eclipse. The YF-23 is based on the real-world YF-23 “Grey Ghost”, so once can assume that their history is similar; due to a more efficient alternative being the F-22 and some troubles with its mechanical details, both units the “Spider” (somehow, it’s named that in lieu of “Black Widow II” being used for the YF-23’s real name) and “Grey Ghost” are not given the green light for production. The units in Total Eclipse get the better end of the stick though; unlike in the real world where people continue to debate on which place was the better-performing product, in Muv-Luv it’s heavily implied, if not outright made clear, that the YF-23 was the ultimate machine of its time, axed only by US doctrine shift and funding issues.

Unlike the F-22, the “Grey Ghost“, as a TSF, has both stealth and enhanced close-combat capabilities, making it superior to the Raptor, in a way. It also has a head unit that is distinctly recognizable as being based off humanoid styles (albeit possibly with four eyes) as compared to the delta-shaped F-22 head unit.

ENTRY #30: [GESALT] VTX-000 Mironga

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Video:

Point To Prove: Those who’ve watched the Super Robot Taisen OG OVA will know about the Bartoll, A.I.-controlled units working on a system known as the Global Expanded Stamp-out Tactics work ALTogether; it allows them to share the same combat information as each other, allowing for near-flawless team maneuvers and combat moves.

The Mironga is the prototype of those damned Bartoll, and despite being a GESALT unit, it actually has a pilot block for normal pilots. Its weapons are fairly basic; a slug-firing rifle, missiles, and a beam sword. The Mironga’s appeal lies not in its firepower, but in its rather evil looks; a featureless head design with four camera units that would put a Zaku to shame, spindly arms and legs and a conspicuous lack of armor of any kind reflects its speedy nature, and arms with 2 joints each! Being evil with style!

And those were the last ten units for the B-07 Hall Of Fame: Top Thirty Best Real Robots. I hoped you managed to find a new design to love or found an oldie you once saw but never got the name for. If you think some of the mechs in the mentioned 30 could do with some booting out so you can slot your own favourite Real Robot in, don’t hesitate to comment on it.

And just in case anyone’s interested, here’s a full roster picture. 🙂

Work on the VF-25S is proceeding well enough, and it should be ready WITH the Super Pack by the end of next week, latest. 

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