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– by Brendan Hughes

If you’ve been watching anime for any extended period of time, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a mecha anime — anime with giant robots such as Gundam, Macross, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. In fact, even if you haven’t really ventured into the world of anime, there’s a good chance you probably have some pre-established stereotypes in your head about a lot of it consisting of mecha anime.

With their new film, Promare, Studio TRIGGER has dipped it firmly in the mecha genre The main plot of Promare revolves around keeping a race of mutant pyromaniacs, Burnish, in check by the Burning Rescue Fire Department and their mech suits tailored to extinguishing the Burnish flames. Studio TRIGGER has used the mecha genre to their advantage in their earlier series such as SSSS.Gridman and Darling in the Franxx, gaining much fanfare from the anime community. 

With their experience in the mecha genre going back to Imaishi’s Gurren Lagann days, I asked a question regarding the genre what they attribute to its success in popularity.

RELATED – Promare: The Odd Inspiration For The Hyper-Stylized Studio TRIGGER Flick (LRM Exclusive)

Promare director Hiroyuki Imaishi’s answer was surprising:

“That’s actually a misconception. Here in Japan the genre is considered old and passé. It actually is more supported in overseas markets where viewers are more interested in the mecha genre.”

For a country that has robot fighting restaurants and a giant statue of a Unicorn Gundam in Japan, this surprised me. The mecha genre still seems to be represented in each season of anime as well so this statement really threw me for a loop.  This changed how I looked at the industry as a whole, realizing that one of the most produced genres is actually not that popular as a whole. That being said, new mecha series are reaching more audiences by splicing many different genres together.

Mr. Imaishi then further explained that one of the reasons Promare is different than many other new releases is that it embraces the mecha genre.” To this statement viewers who watch the film next week will be pleased by the mech designs, put together by Shigeto Koyama and Tomotaka Kubo, especially towards the end of the film.

Are you surprised by the mech genre being more popular in areas other than Japan? Let us know in the comments down below!

Promare hits theaters on September 17 in dub form and September 19 in sub form as part of Fathom Events!

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SOURCE: LRM Online