It’s time for a new anime season, which is bad news for me as I’m still not done with the previous one. One new show I started watching is Captain Earth, an elegant mecha anime by Bones, the studio that created Eureka Seven, Fullmetal Alchemist and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Like series about sports and magical girls, giant robot shows are a fundamental part of Japanese animation, and have been with us for more than 40 years. The “first” giant robot anime (the first one to feature a boy piloting it, anyway) was the Go Nagai classic Mazinger Z from 1972. It was followed by the legendary Mobile Suit Gundam in 1979, the first show in which the human characters were more important than the robots, and enemy mecha were piloted by humans with actual dreams and goals who screamed when they died, making the characters frequently question what they were fighting for. Macross (1982) and Patlabor (1989) added to the vision of how piloted giant robots might change our lives, but things really got interesting with Evangelion (1995), the first “Freudian anime” featuring characters with complex psychological issues. The new Captain Earth anime is great so far, with excellent mecha and character design, and I’ll certainly keep watching.