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Tag Archives: Strike Witches

[I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts on my end. As AC has mentioned, I was slaving away at a thesis, which, when compounded with familial obligations, resulted in very scarce activity in ZG-land.]

I’ve been a fan of Mecha Musumes for as long as I can recall. The very concept of a marriage of the human body with the robotic appendages and bits from familiar units resonate with my personal tastes. One could point to Strike Witches and Infinite Stratos as examples of this artistic genre…should they risk tarnishing the sacred institution.

Ask your average mecha musume partisan who Humikane Shimada is and they’ll tell you he’s the man who gave birth to Strike Witches. While this is true, said partisan will go on to state that Shimada created the Mecha Musume movement. Newer generations of fans will take this at face value, but this claim will undoubtedly set off alarms in the minds of the much more savvy members of the seasoned connoisseurs. The reason, of course, is rather simple: Shimada did not start the genre.

Set the calendars back to the 80’s and you’ll find the origin of Mecha Musume. Enter Akitaka Mika, a mechanical designer known for his work on ZZ and 0083. His fusion of Mobile Suits with girls preceded Shimada by a good 20 years, yet the popular credit for his originality has eluded Mika, a sad reality ultimately lost on the masses.

With these two images in mind, let’s compare them with a Shimada work which many would consider to be Mecha Musume.

Mika, the progenitor of the genre, visually defined what it means to be considered Mecha Musume. His works feature no more than 25% flesh, with the rest being machine. Shimada, conversely, keeps the ratio to be about 50-50. Using Mika The Creator’s work as a standard, Shimada fails the litmus test of Mecha Musume.

In support of the original Mecha Musumes, artists such as zhenlin and kieyza adhere to the basic principle of the robot-to-girl ratio being in favor to the machine.

Yes, there is a HWS variant for the Nu but not the Hi-Nu, but the unit name in the picture itself says Hi-Nu HWS.Hopefully a Gundam Mk. V Sacchin will be able to get her own route.

Despite violating the spirit of Mecha Musumes, I do accredit Shimada with making the anthropomorphism of military hardware a mainstream practice. To consider his work to be Mecha Musumes, however, is an affront to all of the groundwork that Mika has built up. A simple trip to Pixiv or Danbooru reveals a myriad of works which are either more in line with Mika or Shimada, depending on the artist. With such a nuanced, yet important distinction between the two schools of Mecha Musumes, the only proper course is for the Shimada-ites to cease labeling their works as Mecha Musumes and become their own genre.

-Zeonic Glory