Created By: NativeJovian on May 28, 2013 Last Edited By: NativeJovian on February 19, 2014
Troped

Mecha

Robotic devices human-sized and up, featuring arms and legs as a prominent component of their design.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
We've currently ton a ton of mecha tropes, but no actual generic mecha page, so here's my attempt to fix that. I'm finding that it's actually rather difficult to define mecha succinctly-but-accurately.


A mecha is a robotic machine, which can vary widely in size, configuration, and purpose; the term covers everything from man-sized Powered Armor to skyscraper-sized (or larger!) Humongous Mecha and all points in between. The only virtually universal aspect of mecha design is the inclusion of limbs. Mecha will have arms and/or legs where other types of machinery would have wheels, treads, wings, or other means of propulsion -- mecha may have these things as well, but they'll have them in addition to their limbs. These limbs may or may not follow a humanoid configuration (two arms and two legs), but they'll typically be used how you'd expect them to; legs primarily for locomotion, and arms for interacting with objects and the surrounding environment. (Mecha have Arm Cannons as often as not, though, so such interaction may be limited to "blowing it to pieces".)

Mecha are usually vehicles, controlled from an onboard cockpit by a single pilot or small crew. Exceptions exist, however, such mecha that is controlled externally (by voice commands, motion capture, or other means), a mecha-style legged Base on Wheels (with an on-board crew of dozens or more) or fully autonomous mecha (which have no need for crew at all). The dividing line between an autonomous mecha and a Robot is somewhat ambiguous, though generally speaking, a robot is human-sized and an autonomous mecha is really huge.

The term "mecha" (which is both singular and plural, like "fish") is originally of Japanese origin, derived from the English word "mechanism", where it refers to machinery and vehicles in general. English-speakers, however, typically use the narrower definition presented here. Both Japan and the West have a long history of mecha in fiction, though they tend to have different styles. The classic Eastern-style mecha is the Humongous Mecha; essentially giant infantry, they're usually humanoid, wield hand-held weapons like a human soldier, and are relatively light on their feet. The typical Western-style mecha, on the other hand, is a Walking Tank; nonhumanoid, with fixed or turreted weapons, and favoring heavy armor over nimbleness.

Mecha is an incredibly broad category, with numerous subdivisions. In general, mecha are grouped into one of two categories: Super Robot, where mecha are treated like Superheroes, or Real Robot, where mecha are treated like advanced military technology. In addition to those general categories, there are a large number of mecha subtropes based on configuration or abilities:

See also: Mecha Tropes, Mecha Show, Mecha Game.
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • May 28, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Do we really need this when we have Mecha Tropes?
  • May 28, 2013
    NativeJovian
    Mecha Tropes is an index. This is a trope. It's a pretty clear Missing Supertrope to Humongous Mecha, Mini Mecha, et al.
  • June 1, 2013
    NativeJovian
  • June 8, 2013
    NativeJovian
    Bump again. Should I assume that the lack of replies means that people think it's fine as-is, or that no one has actually read it?
  • June 8, 2013
    StarSword
    So, this is a supertrope about the vehicle type and common forms rather than an index of everything having to do with them?
  • June 8, 2013
    MetaFour
    Looks pretty good to me.
  • June 8, 2013
    NativeJovian
    ^^ Correct. Mecha Tropes, the index, already exists.
  • June 8, 2013
    StarSword
    Planning to have it exampleless or allow examples?
  • June 9, 2013
    Melkior
    I gather from what you're saying that describing or defining "Mecha" on the Mecha Tropes page isn't appropriate? On the basis of that being so, have a hat.
  • June 9, 2013
    NativeJovian
    ^^I was thinking it'd be like other supertropes: only examples that didn't fit in any of the subtropes would be listed. Mecha has so many subtropes, though, that I can't think of any examples that wouldn't fit in at least one.
  • July 9, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    Welp, this already seems launchworthy.
  • July 9, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ An index is not a trope, unless it's a Super Trope. And as I made the Mecha Tropes page, I can assure you it's just an index.

    So I support this as a trope.
  • July 9, 2013
    DAN004
    I kinda think that we can take the description of this YKTTW, and push it into the Mecha Tropes page.
  • July 9, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Mecha Tropes has more than just what a Mecha is. Leader Forms The Head is not a sub trope of this.

    However, the Mecha Tropes pages would get reorganized based on this trope, making a semi-split between tropes about Mecha machines, and tropes featuring mechas.
  • July 10, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That's unnecessary. Princess Tropes is fine with types of princesses and things related to princesses.
  • July 12, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Look again; Princess Tropes is Soft-split between princesses and tropes relating to princesses.

    The sub tropes of Mecha would be the types of mechas. Then the rest of the index would consist of tropes relating to mechas.

    Example
    • mecha
      • type1
      • type 2
    • trope related to mechas
    • trope related to mechas
  • July 12, 2013
    acrobox
    Mecha Tropes = Princess Tropes

    This = Everythings Better With Princesses even though its not called Everythings More Metallic With Mecha or some other terrible snowclone name
  • July 12, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
  • July 12, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^^ I thought you were proposing a hard split, not a soft split. The latter is fine.

    ^^ That would just make confusion with Instant Awesome Just Add Mecha.
  • July 12, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Wasn't proposing hard or soft. That's why I was stuck with semi. If you want to soft split, that's fine. :)
  • July 12, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ No, that is what "soft split" means. It means keep the stuff on one page, but in separate categories.
  • July 12, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    And I wasn't proposing separate categories.
  • July 12, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    "However, the Mecha Tropes pages would get reorganized based on this trope, making a semi-split between tropes about Mecha machines, and tropes featuring mechas."

    Looking at that again, do you mean the index page Mecha Tropes, or the actual trope pages listed on that index? If it's the latter, then I was just confused.
  • July 13, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    The actual trope pages listed on that index. I was saying that some would become subtropes to Mecha, which would have the effect of giving a semi-split. Instead of everything being alphabetical, roughly half of the index would be a subtrope to Mecha, and the other half would be tropes related to Mechas.
  • July 13, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That's actually not how indexes are supposed to work. They are supposed to be hard alphabetical (can't remember the page, but it's noted on one of the administrivia ones). So no sorting that way would happen. A soft split (kinds of mecha and tropes involving mecha) would make more sense.
  • July 13, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    How Indexing Works shows using subtropes on an index. I have no clue what page suggests we do not sort subtropes into their respective parent tropes. Technically, I don't see an instruction to sort alphabetically, but it doesn't make sense not to sort same-level elements alphabetically.
  • July 13, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Sub pages, but not sub tropes. It's preferred to list them hard alphabetically, as it makes it harder to find a trope on the list when the name isn't where you expect it to be.
  • February 19, 2014
    NativeJovian
    Huh, so, it looks like I sort of forgot about this. Seven months later, anyone have anything else to add, or shall I go ahead and launch it?
  • February 19, 2014
    Lakija
    You are cleared for liftoff.
  • February 19, 2014
    DAN004
    One more hat...

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=d44ezx7hnoz6gd9c7lksolud