The other day, I read the blogpost 'Why Mechas?' on Monsters and Manuals (available HERE). The blogger ascribes it to elite pride, like the retention of calvary for so long after they were made redundant.
Yesterday, a new anime series called Obsolete popped up in my YouTube feed HERE. Although the CG art makes for somewhat wooden performances, action scenes are stellar. There are jungle fights, underwater conflicts, and mech ski chases in the Himalayas, with a pounding soundtrack by Skillrex.
|'OBSOLETE - We cannot resist'|
All in all, it was an inspiring new setting for anyone interested in RPGs such as Mekton, Mechwarrior, or Heavy Gear.
The premise is that mysterious aliens called 'Peddlars' have shown up and started selling mech exoskeletons to humans for rockbottom prices. Poor peoples buy them en masse to give their workforces much needed boosts in productivity.
It is this cheap alien sources (more machina ex deus than deus ex machina) that allows for the popularity of mechs, and their ultimate weaponization.
In the 2nd episode, we see a UN peacekeeping tank brigade driving around an African country, supposedly peacekeeping. Two crewmen are discussing geopolitics, one musing on whether the mechs (called 'exoframes') will be used in war, the other laughing it off because, unlike the gas guzzling, multimillion dollar kickback machine tank they are riding, there is no money in it. Within minutes, guerrillas riding agricultural mechs, using RPGs (the other kind) to take out the tank-riding NATO troops.
Over the series we see the escalation of mech warfare, from mercenary companies to Palestinian-inspired kid soldiers and suicide bombers. We also get hints of the nefarious plans behind this sweeping change, when a scientists remarks that the expos are pitted with damage from previous use, and muses how many other planets they have been used to destroy.
All in all, a great sci-fi with social commentary, kick ass action, and tons of sealable ideas for RPGS.
The trailer for Part II is HERE.