March 31, 2009

Courage comes in small packages

Pete is speculating about whether Taiga would be large enough to pilot a mech. He fears that she is just too little.

I'd like to point out Shiro, Marduke, and Murrenbach from UFO Princess Valkyrie. They're the size of plush toys, but they're valiant warriors, who turn heads when they enter a room containing navy men. (As happened at the wedding reception.)

They're pilots. Small? You bet. But that just means the ship has less dead weight to haul around so it's more lively. You don't need great size to be a pilot. What you need is skill and guts, and those three have that in spades. In person they're not all that formidable (though they can and do use firearms, the great equalizer) but put them in a cockpit and they're terrifying. (Or at least Shiro and Marduke are. We never see Murrenbach do any piloting, though he shows his courage and valor in other ways, especially in the second series.)

So I would venture to suggest that Taiga's size has nothing to do with anything. Put a telephone book on the seat for her to sit on, and then see how she does. Besides, if Yukari can be an astronaut in Rocket Girls, then why can't Taiga be a mech pilot?

UPDATE: While I'm linking to other blogs, congratulations to Hinano and JP Meyer for tying the knot.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 02:21 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 235 words, total size 1 kb.

1 It's a problem in that they have to optimize the control layout for a "normal" person, if they're mass-producing the vehicles, assuming that there's no good reason to focus on shrimps instead. (Rocket Girls comes up with that reason - mass savings. Okay, but if you're in a mecha, is it really that important?)

All depends on how hard your mech is to pilot in the first place. If you can work it with a single joystick, well, anyone can do that. If you've got a bunch of keyboards, okay, phone book booster seat and there you go. But what if you've got a whole honkin' lot of levers and pedals? I don't think Taiga could hop into a Getter Dragon and do anything productive (though if you're talking super robots, they're custom enough that it could be made to work, right?)

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at March 31, 2009 05:02 PM (vGfoR)


Iris could do it with lots of levers and buttons in "Sakura Wars", and she's only 10 years old. But the unit was customized for her; all the koubu were at least partially unique and were customized for their pilots.

There have been shows in which the mecha are mass produced (Vanguards, for example, in Vandread). On the other hand, there have been shows where each mech was assigned to a single pilot (Godannar).

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 31, 2009 07:07 PM (+rSRq)

3 Right. You can make a munchkin-sized cockpit if you really want to; you just have to have the time to do it. So Taiga in the Taiga Custom isn't a problem, but Taiga jumping into "generic found mecha" won't work.

And now my brain is writing FSN/Toradora crossovers. Help...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at March 31, 2009 08:39 PM (vGfoR)

4 Actually, come to think of it, when Shiro was piloting Raine's ship, he had to stand on her knees in order to reach the controls.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 31, 2009 09:09 PM (+rSRq)

5 Well the USAF G studies show that women can have an advantage in fighter aircraft in that since they tend to shortness, they have a shorter distance between their hearts and their brains so they can take higher G loads. Upper body strength still counts but not as much as it used to with "fly by wire". Taiga might need some weight training. Since Taiga has hooked up with the Dragon she might be even better in the cockpit. Prior to that I would judge her as too aggressive and too much of a loner and might ignore the OODA protocols. Fighter warfare is still requires team work. The lone ACE is pretty much a thing of the past though one on one still occurs after first contacts. The Air Force has discovered some interesting things about their F-22. When they first put pilots into it esp. since it was a single seater, they used experienced pilots. Then they put some guys in who had just completed flight training into them. The newbies edged out the experience guys. It seems the F-22 is kind of a flying game machine and kids are better at handling game controllers, and multiple menus on multiple choice LCD screens. A Japanese teenage girl might just be the scariest thing in the air.

Posted by: toadold at April 01, 2009 02:48 AM (zcbXo)

6 Taiga doesn't need a mecha.

Posted by: Toren at April 01, 2009 02:56 AM (PJ4+x)

7 Toadold- your making me envision a dogfight being fought with an active time battle menu system, complete with victory tune and XP award once all the hostiles are splashed. 

Posted by: metaphysician at April 01, 2009 06:39 AM (h4nEy)

8 Metaphysician- I try to follow this stuff on, Defense News Daily, and etc. Considering the use of adapted commercial game engines for the static flight trainers, and cross pollination between commercial and military training and gaming software and equipment, you are very, very, close to the mark IMHO. We are likely to see a blend of manned or girled equipment mixed in with UAVs. Manned stuff still has some edges because of time lags and processing speeds for some jobs.

Posted by: toadold at April 01, 2009 03:25 PM (zcbXo)

9 Toradora is one of my guilty pleasures. Taiga reminds of a girl nicknamed "Razor Lips."

Posted by: toadold at April 02, 2009 08:03 AM (zcbXo)

10 Why the guilt? Toradora is good.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at April 02, 2009 08:13 AM (/ppBw)

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