WARNING: A FEW SPOILERS FOR GURREN LAGANN, DANCOUGAR AND EVANGELION WITHIN
I watch a fair few super robot shows. As sub-subgenres go, it’s probably my favorite. This being the case, I probably should have thought about it sooner: Man there are a lot of different kinds of things that fuel these robots. I’m not talking about bullshit pseudo-scientific elements that power the engines, like Getter Rays or Minovsky Particles. No, I’m talking about what really runs these things, what elevates their performance to unheard of levels, what pushes them to evolve. I’m talking about the psychological states of their pilots.
In this post, I examine the psychological states that power the mecha of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Super Beast Machine God Dancougar and Neon Genesis Evangelion. I then illustrate how the choice of mecha fuel contributes to the advancement of the themes of each show. Each of these series is a prime representative of a distinct species of power-to-theme relationship, though the list of such relationship types is by no means exhausted at three.
“But,” you might say, “these are just super robot shows. They’re just a big pile of crazy shit that isn’t meant to be taken all that seriously.” While I grant the genre’s tendency toward the absurd(ly entertaining), I nevertheless believe that analysis of super robot shows is a worthwhile venture. The power fantasy that the robots themselves represent as well as the metaphysical explanations often invoked by the series’ writing invite, I feel, this kind of analysis of the genre.
Suggested Soundtrack for Reading – Dirty Elegance “Dark Psychology”
Continue reading “Fuel of the Gods: Thoughts on What Powers Super Robots”