Do give it a watch.
My comment: I dropped out of the mecha scene–and anime in general–when they stopped hand-painting on cells and moved to all computer animation. Every series has a pastel, pristine sameness to its aesthetic that to me is the visual equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.
However, I was there for the height of mecha anime, and even then I noted a few quirks–which, again, mecha has in common with most Japanese animation–that struck me as inherently limiting its appeal.
- Most anime–and Eastern storytelling traditions in general–have never seen fit to incorporate three act structure to the same extent as in the West. Your typical anime series eschews a short-to-moderate buildup of rising action followed by a protracted period of escalating conflict culminating in a cathartic climax capped off with a nice wrap-up. Instead you get an extended intro that meanders across several episodes–the sort of mini story arc normally reserved for TV pilots in the US–which gives way to more episodic, threat-of-the-week plots before rushing into a finale that rarely if ever ties up loose ends. Honestly, you’re lucky to get anything resembling closure.
- Two words: tonal dissonance. Probably owing to fundamental differences in the conventions of Eastern and Western humor, a lot of anime series–especially mecha series—whipsaw between goofball antics and maudlin moments of existential angst. Picture the typical Alan Alda-written and directed episode of M*A*S*H.
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