Monday, November 21, 2005

Giant Robots

Giant robots are really freakin’ cool. So much so that I can’t even put it into words. So I’ll have to make up a new one: spiffy-dynamitacularasticalesque. And even that word doesn’t completely capture the awe and majesty that giant robots inspire, because, well, it’s kind of a silly word. And there is nothing silly about giant robots.
I’ve always wanted my own giant robot, ever since my youth, when I watched Transformers, Robotech, and even the sub-par Gundam Wing. But that’s just the thing. You can take any show or movie, and add giant robots, and it’s at least 84% better (as studies have shown). This is particularly impressive when you realize that ninjas only make fiction 76% better, pirates 24%, and hobbits a mere 2%. Only Kurt Russell has a larger effect, making all fiction 91% better than it would have been without him.
When I was in sixth grade, I read the BattleTech novels, and before that I even had a computer game based on that franchise. I also read the Robotech novels in the fifth grade (long before I saw the television series). Hell, I even watched a really crappy movie called Robot Jox, and, you know what? It was at least eighty-five percent better than it would have been without the giant robots. And let’s not forget the AT-ST’s and AT-AT’s of the venerable Star Wars trilogy. Or their short appearance in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Video games on the subject also capture our imagination, for example, the MechWarrior series (based on the BattleTech universe) and the Armored Core series.
Even today, in the early years of my adulthood, giant robots are still fascinating. I particularly recommend Neon Genesis Evangelion, a superbly written (and above-average animated) anime series. It combines giant robots with Biblical Apocalyptic themes (which have been known to make fiction 43% better, yet still failed to make Left Behind readable at all).

Let me know if I failed to mention any giant robot stuff that’s worth mentioning. I know about Nadesico but I’m not really familiar with it. Terminator and Ghost in the Shell don’t really count because the larger robots play a minor role.

What many people don’t know is the long history of giant robots. In Japan, for example, they have been a regular part of daily life for thousands of years, as this famous Hokusai painting illustrates:

They’ve also been a big part of American history:

But the history goes back even further, as you can see from this primitive cave painting of a Timber Wolf OmniMech (Mad Cat to you Inner Sphere dogs):

Today, giant robots don’t seem like such a big deal. They’ve become as American as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We even elect them to public office!

Now, to get your giant robot noticed, you have to add some extras. Pimp them out, to use the vernacular.

Where do we go from here? Do we make bigger (dare I say gianter?) robots than before? Or do we concentrate instead on regaining the long-lost Jedi powers that humans once had? The sky’s the limit now that all the world’s problems have been solved.

(I make no pretense that any of these pictures are my own. They have been lifted from Fark and Something Awful.)

For more robot-related (some giant, some not) information, look here and here.

Thus ends a post about longed-for childhood dreams.


  1. I lack some expertise in this area, so I'll ask the expert. Can a giant robot be admitted to the bar (so I could hire one as an associate at bargain basement pay), or would I have to use it as a paralegal or some type of other supervised non-attorney?

  2. Mindless Quip:

    I think you could hire a robot as an associate.

    It happens all the time, and obtaining the degree from a liscenced programming facility is a prerequisite to bar admission.

  3. I don't see why a robot couldn't be admitted to the bar. Giant robots, however, rarely fit into court rooms. I'm not sure the ADA would cover that particular disability, and even if it did, I'm not sure that making the courtroom much, much larger would qualify as a reasonable accomodation.

  4. Why not just move the courtroom into the giant robot?

    I have some issues with your figures involving pirates. Pirates make fiction much better than you stated, unless they talk about being pirates or dress like stereotypical pirates. Stereotypical pirates actually make fiction in Hamlet. (unless the pirate is booze related, like Captain Morgan) The best type of pirates are the ones you may not even realize are pirates, like the crew in Firefly/Serenity. Even the cast of Cowboy Bebop could be concidered pirates.

  5. I just saw a cartoon on Adult swim called Gigantor. An old black & white w/a giant robot. Right before that one was a Japanese cartoon with a giant robot. I never noticed them before.
    They are everywhere.