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Fight martian zombies in outer space with Voltron?! I would scratch the paint! Travel under the earth's crust to defeat rabid moles with Gekiganger? It would take forever to clean the mud off! Go to the grocery store and get some milk for Eva 01? Where would I park!

People need to stop stereotyping giant robots into roles. Besides being great in a bar fight, Autobots are amazing break dancers. When Escaflowne is not busy chasing floating rocks, he gives a good backrub. And when Tranzor Z was not so old that his hands keep falling off, he use to bake great giant ginger robot cookies. All I know is, if I ever get my hands on a giant robot, I would move to Japan (the country that truly appreciates giant robots) and giant robot dance all over the island.

Yeah, excuse me. . .I gotta 10 ton groove to let loose. . .

*stomp* *stomp* *wiggle *wiggle*

Giant robots... where do I begin? They have been kings of Japanese anime for decades, but as far as real life goes, where the hell are they? I mean, we still use tanks, helicopters, and jeeps on the fields of battle. How are we supposed to advance warfare at this pace? In forty years, computers went from being building-sized to being able to be held in one's hand; why hasn't the technology for creating giant robots sprung up as quickly? Why hasn't someone designed a giant robot? Why hasn't a company built one?

Where are any of our futuristic goodies? Where are our flying cars, our nanobots, our advanced genetic engineering? Hell, what do we have? Junk mail delivered at light speed, "revolutionary" B2B companies, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5.

It's the year 2000. I don't know about you, but I want my future, and I want it now.

The giant robot in Japanese comics first appeared some time around 1943. World War II was beginning to take its toll on Japan as a nation. The rationing was becoming tighter, more and more men were being pressed into service, and bombing raids became a drain on morale to which the average civilian had no response.

It is possible that out of this frustration came the first giant robot cartoons. Examples can be found in magazines and newspapers of the era. A cartoon from a 1943 edition of the magazine Manga depicts an enormous mechanical man, bristling with guns, kicking over buildings with the spiked soles of its feet. The caption read "The science warrior appears in New York."

There's a lot in that caption. It's not just a dream about the divine wind of the gods, or some sort of iron deus ex machina, but an idealized tool of a modern industrialized nation to strike back actively at it's enemies.

It sorta makes sense, you know? The fantasies of the United States in the 1930's produced Superman, a man "more powerful than a locomotive": he was able to overcome gangsters, avert natural disasters, and thwart people who were enemies of The American Way of life. A person who was still able, as an individual, to fight things that were too big for any one regular person. The Great Depression was the backdrop for that sort of fantasy.

The idea of a mechanical guardian, a creation of science who can fight to protect you from a threats you can't control, affect, or even imagine in their entirety, sounds pretty appropriate for the 40's. Which is not to say that Giant Robots don't still kick ass, 'cause they do.

"Crush them now, Giant Robo!"

By the way, check out Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics by Frederik L. Schodt for a great history of manga, as well as the picture of "the science warrior" appearing in New York.

A Finnish big beat band. Their sound circa Superweekend, on some of the more energetic tracks like Dancehall Dominator, could be compared to Bomfunk MC's, but they are musically far more versatile. Central themes in their music are love and relationships, and a cyberpunkish urban lifestyle of mobility and rootlessness.

A few exerpts from the band's bio (located at http://www.giantrobot.fi):

"We grew up, head-scattered, in international airports and international schools, closer to the next airport than the nearest suburb, carry-ons loaded with cassette Walkmans, Japanese battle robots, scale models of Sabena airliners....

"We grew up in peripheries, orbiting global culture, consuming LPs, Swatches, Levi's, Nintendo, digital sports watches, television...

"We orbited the earth, physically, from Departures to Arrivals, watching transmissions in lounges and hotel rooms. We stayed put, physically, orbited the earth culture and watched transmissions on living rooms floors and sofas.

"We have travelled the distance from VJs Pat Sharp and Gary Davis to 7" records fresh out of the recycling plants of Jamaica and warped as all hell..

"Giant Robot is of an indeterminate age, born amoebic and ill-defined, held together, at different stages, by communication through posters and SMS, members scattering and re-attaching, like satellites."

Their discography goes as follows:


A transcript of an interview would be greatly appreciated, since information on this band on the 'net is extremely scarce.

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