In Mobile Suit Gundam, Pacific Rim, and Super Sentai, giant robots wreak havoc across burning landscapes under flashes of lightning and the roar of mechanized battlecries passionately echoing across their battlefields. The concept of such a thing happening in reality seems farfetched and fraught with so many potential problems that it makes the pursuit of such a future seem like it may not really be worth the effort. Enter MegaBots Inc., who puts forth the effort so we don’t have to, to results that, if nothing else, are certainly interesting.
In 2015, the tech company issued a challenge to Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industry to do battle, pitting the giant robots representing each group against each other. Despite the fact that this is clearly insane, they agreed, and so the fight was eventually scheduled and their course was set. Two teams putting actual humans into actual robots to attack each other.
While some who had eagerly anticipated this match-up were expecting to witness the event in a live, real-time viewing, there was a curious silence as time went on. Some guessed that things went badly and thus there wouldn’t be much press for the battle, as had previously been our impression. Eventually, the show’s audience were treated to a very well put-together presentation of the fight, which had apparently happened a while earlier but without a great deal of warning for those who had been excited to watch.
And so, here we have the final product, after years of work, building us up to this moment: MegaBots vs Suidobashi!
Well, it’s certainly a fun idea to pit two giant robots against each other in a real-life competition, the likes of which has never been done on such a scale before. That alone is a novelty that can’t have ever really been replaced. What may damper the mood of it for some is the manner in which this contest was delivered to the masses. In what many have described as a highly scripted, overhyped, WWE wrestling style event where many aspects of the match were apparently determined well in advance.
One might have more to say about the various moments captured within the body of the twenty-six minute video, but that’s only supposing one is comfortable discussing it as if everything happening was as spontaneous and unexpected as portrayed, or that the commentators and various other aspects to the piece are a welcome accompaniment to the battle or an irritating distraction from the brief instances of actual robot-on-robot contact.
What do you say other than, it was a cool idea and it’s a terrifying thought that it might happen again. But then, I guess that’s why I’m not working at MegaBots Inc. For those that are, and for their mech-battle loyalist fans, this may serve as a beacon for an exciting future.
Now, where did I leave my helmet…?