If you have kept up with my blog so far, then you know that one of my favorite animated television series is the Japanese show Zoids: Chaotic Century. I grew up on this show and – just like many people who grew up with a story and enjoyed it immensely – Chaotic Century is special to me.
But there is more than mere nostalgia in my appreciation for the series. Chaotic Century was the first television show which drove home to me the fact that battle – or fighting of any kind – is not always best accomplished by continual punching.
Prior to viewing Chaotic Century, my only impression of fight scenes was a great deal of motion which, to my childish eyes, seemed to focus a great deal on punching an opponent. I saw no tactics or strategy involved in fight scenes, only continual motion.
So it was that I was rather rudely awakened to the fact that fighting does require a modicum of thought to be effective. While watching episodes of Chaotic Century, I learned that pure muscle and energy could certainly aid someone in a fight, but that there were other factors involved in battle as well. Factors such as maneuverability, speed, and dexterity became more important as I followed the story presented in Zoids: Chaotic Century.
The lesson was perhaps learned a bit too well. To this day I avidly watch fight scenes in movies and television shows, scrutinizing the actors’ choreographed maneuvers in an attempt to follow the fighting to predict how the battle will fall out.
It is for this reason that Chaotic Century has held my interest for the length of time it has. So today I am launching a new type of post called Spotlight! These posts will be quick, simple pieces of writing discussing my opinions on something, usually a character, a scene, or – wait for it – a zoid.
The reason I include zoids in these posts is because there is so little written on WordPress about any series of Zoids that I cannot help wanting to fill the void. Whether or not anyone reads these zoids posts, I will be having fun, so who cares?
All right, everybody ready?
Zoids – The Gojulas
The first zoid on the block is the Gojulas (pronounced go – ju [as in ‘judo’] – lass). Based on a Tyrannosaurus Rex, this zoid can be a holy terror on the battlefield.
In Chaotic Century the Gojulas is used primarily by soldiers of the Helic Republic. The Gojulas has dense armor, which is not easily pierced, and two large cannons set on its back, making it the equivalent of a very tall, solid tank. And do not let the above photo fool you – the cannons may appear flimsy but they can shoot shells that will utterly destroy almost any opposing zoid. Some Gojulases come equipped with two pairs of small laser cannons on their torsos, but I do not believe that the above Gojulas does.
The Gojulas is considered by many zoid pilots (that orange dome on the Gojulas’ head is actually the canopy for the pilot’s cockpit) to be the ultimate combat machine. And the respect they show throughout the series to the Gojulas is well earned. With the cannons on its back, the Gojulas can generally take out almost every antagonist before it can get close enough to do any damage to the Gojulas, making it a nigh impossible target to destroy.
But the Gojulas does have its limitations. First and foremost among these is the heavy armor on the zoid. The armor protects it from serious damage most of the time; simply shooting at a Gojulas until one runs out of ammunition is ill-advised indeed. I have watched them take heavy fire and shrug it off like rain.
However, the heaviness of the Gojulas’ armor means that its maneuverability is severely restricted. If enough opponents can get close enough to the Gojulas, the zoid’s cannons will be useless in protecting it, since they are meant to fire at long range targets and not enemies sitting directly under the Gojulas’ snout. Also, more powerful zoids can easily destroy the Gojulas from a distance.
The laser cannons some Gojulases are equipped with are rather small, and so they would not be terribly effective against a multitude of zoids at close range. And the more nimble the hostile zoid, the more the likelihood of the Gojulas being unable to target it long enough to destroy it, since its bulk lowers its range of movement significantly.
Also, the Gojulas has to keep its balance or it will tip over and land on the ground (that is what occurred in the episode the above photo came from). So the Gojulas has to be positioned on level ground that will not give way beneath its weight. Cocky pilots who try to push the zoid faster than it can go or who are not paying attention to their surroundings can – and have – grounded Gojulases in their conceit.
Despite these drawbacks, the Gojulas is a truly impressive combat zoid. I would be more inclined to use it as a fixed weapon or to plod it toward – and through – enemy ranks than to use it in melee combat. But I suppose that a skilled pilot could wade into a melee in a Gojulas and win the fight. That skilled pilot, however, would very likely not be me!
Well, that is all I have to say today. As they signed off in Chaotic Century, readers, “See you on the battlefield!”
The Mithril Guardian