Attack on Titan is like a Mech Show

Yea, you heard me. I said it and I mean every word of it. What are you going to do about it? From a technological level this doesn’t make sense, but Attack on Titan has replacements for this aspect. Replacements that revolve around the last part of this show’s English name and the powers that come from this. Before you ask, this is not just because of the Evangelion references that are made through this show. I mean, what show doesn’t reference Neon Genesis Evangelion these days?  It’s how the story is set up and told that the mecha aspects leak through. I could easily just say and point at this particular anime named Blue Gender and just move on with my life, but not even that is enough. Before I move on, Attack on Titan is a battle shonen kind of series, but please indulged me a little bit throughout the rest of this post.

(A special note: I am going to spoil Attack on Titan up to the end of season three. If you haven’t watched every bit of anime that is available, don’t read this post if you care about being spoiled.)

The Gundam 0079 Similar Set Up

gundam-0079

To me, the beginning of Attack on Titan feels heavily influenced by Gundam. Once again, the technological difference is obvious, but it’s the feeing, the set up, and everything else that feels like the beginning of a Gundam show to me. If you don’t know what that means, it’s when space colony is attacked by the enemy. This is the situation that not only gets our young protagonists more involved with the political situation at hand, they end up with some experimental units to fight their enemy with, and lots of people die.

Now all of this may seem not as obvious in the first season of the show, but that’s when the reveals from season three kick in. We learn that Erin was injected with a serum that will would allow him to transform into a titan by his father before he left the wall of Maria. Now this isn’t just some serum that turns anyone into any sort of titan. Erin transforms into a titan with the power to control other titans. This seemed like the Attack on Titan way of tackling experimental units. All the characters with the steam punk Spiderman gear and the other titans including the aberrant ones which have no personality could be considered the grunt units of a Gundam series.

To throw more Gundam parallels into all of this, let’s talk about Amuro Ray the first Gundam protagonist. His father, Tam Ray, was the person that designed the original Gundam. You know, the ultimate experimental suit that gives the Earth Federation a little bit of an edge to win the war. Attack on Titan doesn’t focus on Eren Yeager as much as Gundam 0079 focuses on Amuro Ray, but their arcs are similar in some ways. Eren had that angry yelling phase for a while, but it still went into the mopey stage of “why am I killing these people” until they figured out they should just do their best. More pressure is put onto these characters compared to other members of their cast because of the special abilities they have that not everyone else has. I could also talk about the politics that are in  AOT and call it flesh Gundam. I suppose there aren’t any Char clones in Attack on Titan, so that might make this comparison a complete failure, but oh well.  The protagonist crews having blonde princesses amongst their ranks who doesn’t shy away from any sort of action rolls.

Similar to Blue Gender

blue gender.jpg

First thing you should do is listen to Blue Gender’s Opening down below.

Notice how awesome it is? The awesome music? The fact that there are mechs destroying the bug like Blue in awesome combat? The level of awesome in the music is up to the individual’s tastes to decide that, but that is very similar in style to Attack on Titan’s opening to me. You know what is also similar? Blue Gender’s mech units on Earth are mostly likely going to be wiped out on the field then actually winning against then. The best that they can do is just survive and even that is questionable because lots of people die in Blue Gender. Yes, there are the semantics of Blue Gender using robots and the Blue being giant insects not giant naked people, but that isn’t as big of a deal here.

The first arc is about humans vs nature or humans vs their opponent of choice. The enemy is clearly either the giant creatures in question. Scout units from humanity sneak into enemy territory to scout out the territory they don’t know about. All in hopes of possibly achieving mission objectives in some way. In Blue Gender, that unknown territory is the entire Earth, because man kind left it to live in space stations in orbit. No Blue in space for now. In Attack on Titan, humanity lives in who knows how big territory surrounded by gigantic walls while the rest of the Earth is titan territory.

Then there turns to the part where the politics happen. The part where the problem turns out to be people. We learn how awful and detached both of their governments are. All of them are high elites that put more importance on themselves then the people themselves. So you know what happens? A civil war is forced by our protagonist crew against the central government. If you watched Attack on Titan, you know that Historia becomes Queen of humanity. Similar kind of thing happens in Blue Gender.

I do have to admit things like I don’t know how long Attack on Titan is going to be or how it’s going to end while Blue Gender is 26 episodes and ends in what can be called a questionable conclusion. Still, the plots seem incredibly similar in structure. Attack on Titan also has a larger cast and a lot more mysteries that prolongs all the engagements in interesting ways. I really like both shows so please don’t consider any of these a detriment to either of them.

Obvious Evangelion Stuff?

evangelion rebuild films

Yeah, this one had to be mentioned eventually, right? Blah blah blah Attack on Titan blah blah blah Evangelion. There is a very strong connection with the two. Then again, what isn’t attached to Evangelion these days? I mean, this show legitimately referenced Eva Unit One’s berserk mode when Eren turned into a Titan that one point. Titans are medieval Eva units. Our “pilots” don’t turn into titans, it’s a lot more complicated than that. The titan forms around its “pilot” and then the “pilot” and titan are in sync with each other like an Eva would be. The titan combat feels exactly like the Eva battles do, because they are portrayed as cool giant monster fights with creatures towering over cities instead of mech fights. Yes, there is a difference. Maybe I will get into with a post later on.

Then there is the fact that the beginning of this episode could be considered the second impact. The first impact could be considered what put humanity inside of huge walls in the first place. The second episode was when the colossal titan destroyed the wall of Maria pushing back humanities territory back even further. These Titan attacks are apocalyptic events that have the same effect of when the angels came to play in the Eva universe. You know, just the completely fun and happy stuff that everyone loves to talk about.

I suppose I don’t have much to add to this? What do you think about my comparisons? Do they make some sense? Are you interested in checking out more mech shows because of this Did I dig too deeply? Has my mind been infected completely infected by mecha series and that’s all I see now? How surprised would you be if I said that mecha isn’t the largest genre of things that I watched? Leave me a comment on how much you think I lost my mind in the comments below.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice write up. I now feel like watching Blue Gender for a third time. Attack on Titan does feel like a mech show in some ways. You picked good examples to illustrate your point. Since the first episode I got a Mazinger Z vibe were the humans have to protect their home base from giants. The military politics also remind me of Macross.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Oh you mean like with the Zentrati? I didn’t even think of that for some reason.

      I really need to watch mazinger z at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. BiblioNyan says:

    I agree with The Otaku Judge, this was an excellent write-up, and all the comparisons are right on point. I also agree with the military political tactics being very akin to Macross. I remember chatting about how AoT was quite mecha-esque with my cousin…last year? And it’s cool to see that others feel similarly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      You both are in top of things when it comes to Macross and attack on Titan, because I didn’t even think about Macross for some reason. I was all caught up in blue gender and Gundam.

      And I’m happy that you and hopefully others have been thinking about the series like this as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BiblioNyan says:

        Macross is a fave series of mine, so it’s usually the first thing that pops into my mind with serials of this sort haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        I love it as well, but I guess I’m just a bigger Gundam nerd then a Macross nerd if that makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. BiblioNyan says:

        Yup it does. With most of my friends, it’s usually one or the other, so I totally get it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. kimchisama says:

    I like the comparisons so now I can claim that I watch a mecha? haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Oh yes, definitely 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Karandi says:

    Despite the setting change, Attack on Titan does have a very Gundam kind of feel to it. Particularly noted in season 3 where we had a heavy focus on the politics behind the scenes for awhile before getting back to some sort of action. Then again, with the age of the main cast, the dangers being faced, and the war focus, it is kind of inevitable that it would start feeling similar to a lot of other types of shows despite the fairly unique premise of the titans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Ah, that makes sense.

      Like

  5. Irina says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post and it’s even better than I thought. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you! 😁😁

      Like

  6. Krystallina says:

    I skipped ahead since I didn’t want to be spoiled, but even without reading, I’d agree it’s like a mech show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      That’s fair and thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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