Mecha Tropes

While talking with Skyfall about what I described to be a lack of interest in the Romance/Dating Sim Conversion genre, I was encouraged to discuss some of the cliches and plot/character shortcomings of mecha to try and prove I’m not entirely biased towards the genre.  I came up with a list of about twelve or so and thought, why not write them all down and present them for fun.  So here they are……

Sudden Attack:

Many series begin with a sudden attack on someone or something that sets off a chain of events, getting the series in motion.

Unlikely Hero:

Random kid with no combat training or experience stumbles upon a robot and quickly learns to use it to fight an ace.

Theme Song Power:

When a robot’s theme starts playing in the background it is guaraneteed to win the battle.

My Attacks Are Powered By Passion:

The louder a characters scream, the more effective the attack of the robot he’s piloting.

The Plan To Destroy X (Super Robot Formula 70s-early 90’s):

Each episode a villain comes up with a plan to destroy the heroes robot which is overpowered with a specialized one of his or her own, the plan at first succeeds and the Hero retreats to come up with a solution to counter this ability.  This succeeds and the day is saved until next episode when the cycle begins anew.

It’s ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! (Modern Mecha Trend):

The heroes robot choses it’s pilot as its own, is semi or fully sentient and has overwhelming power given its mood, or is unpilotable at other times.

Forbidden Love:

A hero will have a tragic and sincere relationship with a pilot on the enemy side that can’t be realized due to the war between their factions.  The hero will often end up being forced to kill this person they love.

Ugly On The Outside, Ugly On The Inside And Vice Versa (70-Mid 80’s Super Robot Villain Race Trend): 

People of the same race don’t necessarily look alike.  If they are villainous then their appearance is hideous and uniformly so, but if they have some virtue in them they will appear beautiful and/or more human.  No explanation is given

Mid Series Mecha Upgrade (Real Robot Trend):

About halfway through the series the hero will be given a new more powerful mecha and the one they had previously will either be destroyed or handed down to the next most “main” character.

Loli Mecha Power:

If female, the younger the pilot, the more capable aces they will tend to be.

End Of The Line:

At the end of the series the title mecha usually not being needed anymore will be destroyed or rendered unusable in some form and the hero will have to learn to live without it.

I Do This Because I Said So:

While locked in battle, many villains will suddenly feel the urge to explain to the hero their motivations, which usually end up portraying them as a more sympathetic character.

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1 Response to “Mecha Tropes”


  1. 1 IKnight December 12, 2007 at 9:43 am

    An accurate dissection. I need to watch more mecha . . .


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