Japanese Politicians Announce Plan to Build Gundams

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Japanese Politicians Announce Plan to Build Gundams

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Someday the Japanese military might actually field giant robots.

Japan loves Gundam; we all know this. Some of us have even written entire articles about it. In fact, Japan loves Gundam so much, a major political party has announced that it is considering an actual, real-life Gundam development program for its military.

Speaking on a political talk show broadcast on web site NicoNico Douga, members of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party including key figures like party VP Tadamori Oshima and former general secretary Bunmei Ibuki said that the LDP was "seriously considering" a project to turn Yoshiyuki Tomino's giant fighting robots into a reality. They did not say that there were plans to find the perfectly emotionally-damaged teenager to fly the thing, but it was probably implied.

It bears noting that the Japanese LDP is not some fringe political party, either. The center-right LDP controlled the Japanese parliament almost continuously until its defeat in the 2009 elections. At that point, it began to splinter, but still remains a potent political force. Some might see this as a cynical ploy to appeal to right-wing otaku to bolster the LDP base instead of any real plan to field giant fighting robots, and in all fairness that some probably has a point.

Reactions online in Japan have been mixed. "Why not start by making some robots which can clean up after a nuclear accident, morons," wrote one commentator in reference to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Another criticized the impracticality of fielding billion-dollar machines that could be taken down with some tripwire, Battle of Hoth-style. "Gundams would be useless in a real war. If their intent is anything more than to curry favour with otaku they should start looking at what would be." Others were more optimistic. "People ridiculing this are the same people who would have been ridiculing the car a century ago!" exclaimed one. And yet another simply had qualms with the LDP's choice of giant robot. "Why Gundam all of a sudden now? You start with Zaku, Zaku!"

The Gundam franchise began in 1979 with Yoshiyuki Tomino's groundbreaking anime Mobile Suit Gundam, a sci-fi war story that followed a young engineer caught in the middle of a struggle between Earth and its space colonies. It paved the way for the militaristic "real robot" genre (as opposed to magical "super robots") including 1982's Macross (better known as Robotech in the west), and has since become one of the most popular anime franchises of all time. Even if it can get a bit formulaic. And despite what Western fans will tell you, Gundam Wing totally isn't the best one.

I'd just like to say that I totally called this back when Japan was making its life-size Gundam statue. Right, a "statue." Sure, Japan. Sure.

We're onto you.

Source: ITMedia (Japanese), via Sankaku Complex (LINK NSFW)

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I hope this will start a cold war between Japan and America, but instead of building nukes, we build giant robots.

ChaplainOrion:
I hope this will start a cold war between Japan and America, but instead of building nukes, we build giant robots.

I know right? Space race to get a giant mech! /awwwyeah

I'm guessing this is a ploy for votes. In real life, there is no time a human-shaped robot would be more practical than traditional military craft in a wartime situation. Basic understanding of efficiency and mechanics can show why... Would be neat, but horrifically impractical from a pragmatic viewpoint, sorry for gundam fans who'd like to see real ones =/

Packing my bags, Moving to Japan!

Good thing they are making Gundams and not EVAs though, we don't want a bunch of emotional disturbed kids piloting giant "Mechs" which might also be their mother to fight of an intergallactic race of superbeings which have links to Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

But yeah THIS is what science is for, screw particle physics give us the goddamn robots!

I cannot see this ending well...at all.

Shakura Jolithion:
I'm guessing this is a ploy for votes. In real life, there is no time a human-shaped robot would be more practical than traditional military craft in a wartime situation. Basic understanding of efficiency and mechanics can show why... Would be neat, but horrifically impractical from a pragmatic viewpoint, sorry for gundam fans who'd like to see real ones =/

But...modern tanks cant...go up...giant...stairs...

yeah nevermind modern tanks still win.

The only place I can think a bipedal weapons platform MIGHT have an advantage would be in marshlands as it would be easier to get their legs through the muck instead of a whole tank just sinking

Shakura Jolithion:
In real life, there is no time a human-shaped robot would be more practical than traditional military craft in a wartime situation.

This is why we need dinosaur shaped mechs.

I mean come on? Who doesn't love robot dinosaurs?

I volunteer as a test pilot!!!

Draconalis:

Shakura Jolithion:
In real life, there is no time a human-shaped robot would be more practical than traditional military craft in a wartime situation.

This is why we need dinosaur shaped mechs.

I mean come on? Who doesn't love robot dinosaurs?

Give me a Mad Cat or a REX anyday :D

Woah, woah! There are some serious fact-checking issues in this article!

Gundamn Wing is clearly the best one.

Also you definitely were not kidding about the NSFW nature of that website. I didn't even have to look for it.

It's things like this that make you appreciate just what a technologically advanced generation this is.

As much as I love giant robots, I have to agree with that one guy who said they should be building robots to help clean up after a nuclear disaster. It's not that I think a mech would be impractical (I do) but I'd rather the nations of the world build machines to better our lives, not to destroy them.

The only chance do I see a Gundam size mech being useful at all is for outerspace like using it as a workforce for building something in space (Space colony?) since I agree that destroying a leg will be its achille heel.
If they do go ahead building one then I guess there will be no more Gundam series in the future since we will be living in a live action version of it!!

Yes... Code Geass is one step closer to happening in real life.

We just need the psychic powers then we are set.

It may be hilariously impractical in this day and age, but MAN would it ever be cool to see giant robots kicking ass on the battlefield.

I don't think legs will be the big weak spot of a humanoid mech, it'll be armor. These mechs are huge, covering all that area with decent armor would weight WAAAAAAAY too much to keep the thing mobile so you'd be stuck with armored car levels of armor, can't even slope it properly (armor angled more than 45 from the path of the projectile deflects some of the force outright and is more effective). A frigging Browning M2 would rip through that. The whole point of a tank is to withstand MG fire so it can move through areas that would be kill zones for infantry. Gundams are on the level of Nazi supertanks (P-1000, for example) of impracticality, there's only so much weight that your engine can move and the more weight that is the more likely it'll break down.

Modern tanks are built extra flat so they can take cover more easily, hiding the more vulnerable (relatively speaking, turrets have like 50% thicker armor) body of your tank behind a hill and only having the turret poke out makes it much harder to spot and kill. Making your system stand vertically is the exact opposite of that.

Also the biggest threat to tanks are urban combat (where infantry can move unseen into the weak areas of a tank and deliver an AT rocket at close range, on an open battlefield the short range of those things and inability to deal with modern MBT front armor makes them significantly less effective) and air strikes (especially helicopters). None of these benefit from a bipedal mech either.

If you want a legged tank then build something like a crab with many legs that can be replaced on the field and stays close to the ground. Plus if it can stay mobile with a few legs destroyed it's more durable than a tank when it comes to hits to the movement system, a tank has only two treads and if one breaks the mobility is heavily impacted. If a HEAT or AP hit to a leg could only destroy that leg and have no real impact on the main body you'd have highly increased durability to side attacks.

Xain-Russell:
As much as I love giant robots, I have to agree with that one guy who said they should be building robots to help clean up after a nuclear disaster. It's not that I think a mech would be impractical (I do) but I'd rather the nations of the world build machines to better our lives, not to destroy them.

That's easier said than done because radiation damages circuits and corrupts memory. Imagine a constant EMP going off. NASA uses really old hardware with huge wires and transistors that require a lot of energy to flip because of the radiation in space.

Finally, something resembling the future is gonna happen!!

FelixG:

Shakura Jolithion:
I'm guessing this is a ploy for votes. In real life, there is no time a human-shaped robot would be more practical than traditional military craft in a wartime situation. Basic understanding of efficiency and mechanics can show why... Would be neat, but horrifically impractical from a pragmatic viewpoint, sorry for gundam fans who'd like to see real ones =/

But...modern tanks cant...go up...giant...stairs...

yeah nevermind modern tanks still win.

The only place I can think a bipedal weapons platform MIGHT have an advantage would be in marshlands as it would be easier to get their legs through the muck instead of a whole tank just sinking

Actually, a bipedal mech would have an even worse time than a vehicle on marshy terrain. Because all of their weight is on two relatively small points (the feet) They would sink and get stuck faster than a wheeled or tracked vehicle.

It would be even worse for urban warfare (which mechs are supposed to be good at...) because most city streets aren't solid. Rather they're crisscrossed with access tunnels, sewer lines and all sorts of utility pipes. At the very least, a four story mech tromping through downtown would crush and disable all of the utilities there, if not smash right through and get it's leg stuck in the subway system.

Honestly, more practical (and currently being worked on) would be more man-sized power assisted hardsuits. Less Gundam, more Ghost in the Shell or Appleseed.

Sign me up! I'd like to pilot the prototype for the next model:

More OT:

..Okay. This is awesome. But..why aren't we developing stuff like this? We need to start researching technology for Transformers or maybe even a Star Destroyer. Something!

""Why not start by making some robots which can clean up after a nuclear accident, morons," wrote one commentator"

Didn't they make the first reactor scrubber robots in the (thinks back) 1990's?
Certain I read plans around 1996 to employ exactly what the commentator is talking about.
Must surely exist too...

Why don't they build Armored Troopers instead?It's much more feaseble and you can put real soldiers in them, not some whiny Emo boys with the balls still in their stomach cavity.

Any 'weapon' that is built in the like of a HUMAN BODY (which is, by the way, a complete fail in itself) is bound to be, well, a complete fail

Shakura Jolithion:
I'm guessing this is a ploy for votes. In real life, there is no time a human-shaped robot would be more practical than traditional military craft in a wartime situation. Basic understanding of efficiency and mechanics can show why... Would be neat, but horrifically impractical from a pragmatic viewpoint, sorry for gundam fans who'd like to see real ones =/

I watch WAY to much Gundam but what you say is actually IN the series. The "giant robots" in Gundam are developed for space warfare and low-g enviroments only, when they are eventualy landed on Earth they become useless so useless in fact that the whole war stalls untill new models with individually nuclear powered hover craft legs are developed.

Yes, because this will fix Japan's terrible debt problems! :D

So...

We can get a possibility of actual giant robots, but the MechWarrior franchise remains dead in the water?

WTF?

Maybe not the actual Mobile Suit ones, but, Zeon Mobile Armors + space = Japan wins in general. Damn it America, get on this and build a Zaku II Kai!

I don't care how impractical mobile suits would be as a weapon, that would be awesome as hell. But Japan, don't start with Gundams... that would cheapen them. Make a Zaku first and work your way up.

And Gundam Wing is totally NOT the best series, but is one of the middle series. Not great, not bad, just... there.

Time for the West to stock up on harpoons and tow cables.

Mcoffey:
Gundamn Wing is clearly the best one.


Go watch either Zeta Gundam or Gundam Unicorn and get back to me, okay?

If this were to happen I hope they find a better fueling source for Zakus than mini nuclear reactors, and the most practical mobile suit I can think of is either the GM or the Ball.
I say we focus on getting space colonies up first, name one of them "Side 3" and then we start with the mobile suits.

As fun as the idea is, it's not very practical compared to any other weapons or units. So... It'll be kind of useless.

It'll be amusing to see them put all of this money into making giant robots, only to try using them in an actually battle only to have it taken down with some heavy duty wire or something.
While fiction offers a lot of ideas that could potentially benefeit people, giant humanoid robots from a cartoon are probably very low on the list.
We might need to invest in those Space Colonies, though. Preferably, sooner than later.

Now THIS is why I love the Japanese! So crazy yet utterly awesome at the same time. If they start experimenting with growth hormones or genetic mutations, they could create an actual Godzilla... Imagine it... Actual Tokyo being destroyed by an actual Godzilla being fought by an actual giant mecha. Bliss.

I'm not too familiar with japan's current situation and economical health but....

Is this really what Japan needs atm? Have their leaders asserted that they will be involved in a war soon and that for that war they need mechas?

Even thinking of a more realistic mech (dunno if any of you played ring of red on the ps2 which had ww2 era mechas that were kinda believable...In that they were slow and clunky and needed to be supported by infantry to be truly effective and to counter stuff like tripwires, which was an ingame ability. Also in that game they justified the creation of mecha by saying that they did better in hills and mountainous regions then tanks), I just don't see when they would ever be able to use it.

That guy with the idea of mecha to clean up nuclear disasters might be on to something though.

I don't think that this'll be the most efficient form of warfare. A strong enough blow to the upper part would topple it, as would tangling its legs Hoth-style. In addition, it'd be huge and very costly. There'd be a hefty amount of unavoidable collateral damage in urban areas due it its size. The Knightmare Frames from Code Geass would probably fare better, though not by much.

Still, this is really amusing. We should start developing anti-Gundam weaponry!

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