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Submitted on
October 3, 2011


1 (who?)
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Drinking: bad coffee
OK everyone, I have a request for you. I know my mecha designs are pretty old-school, but what does the modern cutting edge mecha design look like? I'm getting OLD and it is difficult for me to keep up with what is and isn't fresh. What is modern and what do people like? Please help a guy out and post some links. Thanks!!!!


Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far! I would like to reiterate that I am looking for "cutting edge" stuff. I like some of the old designs that have a futuristic feel, such as Landmates from Appleseed, and all the Macross stuff, but I just can't consider a 20+ year old design to be cutting edge. Gundam definitely doesn't qualify.

Keep the links and suggestions coming! Here are some of the suggestions that I find intriguing...

* Linebarrels of Iron. I watched this series and the mechs are very cool. The designs have a freshness to them and the shapes are very interesting.
* The newer Front Mission and Armored Core games. These series always try to add something new with each iteration.
* M3CH, Steel Battalion, and Metal gear. Functional but interesting
* Zone of Enders. This stuff is getting pretty old but it still feels cutting edge to me!
* and the works of :iconnidaram: and :iconvulnepro: have a good fresh vibe too!
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VulnePro Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Just found this (It's been a hella crazy couple of weeks).

Wow, again I can't help be express a humble thanks and honor to be noted as such in this thread and journal posting. I'll send a heads up to :iconnidaram: and :icongenocidalpenguin: (thanks to :iconrob-cavanna:) as well, I'm sure they'd feel the same.

It's funny, I'm getting up there in age myself and really consider myself pretty old school so I never thought what I have been doing was cutting edge. Guess I never really thought too hard on it at all really. I suppose in that sense letting the designs find themselves is leading to places that are true to my intent in the narrative they exist in. Being the narrative is pretty out there I guess cutting edge might follow but I'm not conscientiously shooting for that.

Organic, elegant, ornate, wed with aggressiveness was the mantra and the designs moved, more and more, in that direction. I tend to favor visually appealing form and some playfulness in design. Though I like detail I also like visually uncluttered designs so, again, form tends to rule the day with me. I really need to post something on our site discussing my views in this in greater detail. As with you Dave, I've been fascinated by the notion of mecha since I was a wee lad.

Some "cutting edge" stuff I've dug by other designers? A lot of it has been noted here but I'll add:

Kenji TERAOKA's work on IGPX (the designs in Guilty Crown are in the same vein as well. Different design team though). Whatever one thinks of the shows (kinda up in the air on Guilty Crown) the designs are pretty trippy and distinctly modern in feel.

Takayuki YANASE [link] Though his work on Gundam 00, frankly didn't break any ground in terms of setting Gundam's design cues on fire in wild new directions I do believe his rendering style has a decidedly modern feel to it.

Of course I concur ZOE and Linebarrles of Iron (which in many ways is a ZOE-a-like. Can't say I liked the show one bit though but the designs are pretty cool) are aesthetically adventurous.

I would also agree with Dave that Shirow's work is STILL relevent and still rather cutting edge. The man knew what he was doing, plain and simple.

Also thought some of the designs for Rahxephon by Michiaki SATO & Yoshinori SAYAMA (save the Rahxephon design itself. I also assume Yutaka IZUBUCHI had a hand in some of it seeing as it was his show) were pretty trippy and modernistic in feel.

I know I could add plenty more but these are off the top of my head right now.

Thanks again Dave and

Silverlion Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011
I still don't get the lack of feet thing.
emersontung Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Keith Thompson is a good one. He definitely takes steampunk to a new level with his mechs and vehicles. --> [link]

:iconukitakumuki: one of my favourite artist on dA. His mechs are very influenced by gritty militaristic realism.
Mecha-Zone Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Professional General Artist
that guys stuff is way incredible
emersontung Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
glad you like'em :D
Rekkou Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I'm really looking forward to see your new edge cutter.
Mecha-Zone Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
I have some ideas... but not enough time:(
TheShepster Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I really think that the question is WHAT you define as cutting edge... I personally think that the Marduk Gilgamesh II Officer Destroid ([link] and [link]) as well as the VF-2SS SAP Valkyrie ([link]) from Macross II still are really cuttig edge in design and functionality... Besides of those, I of course also dig the valkyries from Macross Frontier. But I imagine you already knew, knowing that I'm a huge fan of the franchise... ^^

As to what makes a design cutting edge, I think that the form of the mech should totally follow its function. If you need a humanoid steered tank, you will of course design a tank and not some strange kind of beast...
mechacharibdys Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
There's definitely been a push to reinvent Gundam lately with a lot of sleeker, pared-down designs (I'm looking at AGE and 00 here), although imho they've also been pretty damn ugly.
Aerzaal Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Vheck out this guys gallery.

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