Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives, and has a martial arts background.
Let’s face it. Real Robot genre might be labeled as real, but they are only real to an extent. In fact, piloted mecha is very much unfeasible in the battlefield to begin with. When we do rate Real Robot anime according to realism, shows like Full Metal Panic will be up in the rank, Macross will catch up, while the Gundam series isn’t that realistic at all. That brightly colored mecha will be a good target for the worst artillery crew, and the human form of the mobile suits isn’t ideal for high speed. I mean you got drag all over the place.
But who needs realism if you are entertained?
The appeal of the Real Robot genres isn’t how real they are, but on the balance of realism, fantasy, scientific theories and lots and lots of aesthetics. The colorful mobile suits are a plus for the audience.
And if the fans are happy, mecha designers are ready to leave the realm of realism, including the weapon design.
I got to admit that I love mobile suits with weird weapons. They are impractical in real life, but they are fun to watch, and to play with if you own a vast kit collection. And kits with weird weapons look great in the shelf. I showed these kits to my friends who do weapons martial arts. And we could agree that some of them would be dangerous to use. With their help, I compile some examples of Gundam weapons that could hurt the user below.
Do note that these are just few examples. Comment below if I missed anything
Special Mention: Standard Sized Gundam Rifles are Enough to Cause Injuries
My pals are avid shooters, and they knew why a high-powered rifle have buttstocks. Rifles produce recoils when fired, and buttstocks braced against the shoulder could absorb the recoil. Without the buttstock, the recoil might cause the weapon to hit the user, and bleeding nose is just the start. In the case of the Gundams and their weapons, most don’t have stocks, and the long-barreled rifles are handled like pistols. And when scaled to human size, these one-handed weapons are as big as an M-14 assault rifle. Hence, mobile suits firing the rifles are disaster waiting to happen.
Now, the reason why this ended in the special mention, is that we did considered that the mobile suits uses mechanical arms, with enough strength to resist recoils. While the beam rifle might have minimal recoil as it only spews energy projectiles.
Beam rifles may or may not be that hazardous to use.
1. The Gundam Hammer
Try hanging a dumbbell weight on a chain and start swinging it. Scary? You might lose control and the thing will hit you in the head. If that’s the case, imagine scaling your improvised weapon to something supersized. The dumbbell weight will be replaced by a humongous wrecking ball with spikes. Even inside a mobile suit, wielding the darn thing is a terrifying experience. The Gundam Hammer could be likened to a medieval flail, only with longer chain which made it harder to control. Another real life analogous is the meteor hammer, a Chinese kung fu weapon. But one thing is for certain, it will take considerable skills to wield such weapon, as a simple fluke could injure the user.
2. Beam Sabers
I wrote a separate article on how dangerous light sabers are in the Star Wars universe. And the Gundam beam sabers are basically light sabers being scaled to humongous size. The problem with these beam blades is that there are no safe sides, blunt sides or flat of the weapon. Every face is a live cutting edge, with one deadly side facing the user. Hence one wrong move and your mobile suit is now an amputee. Just to give you an idea, try grabbing a blowtorch and swing it like a sword.
3. Gundam Heavyarms Army Knife
I own a small pocket-knife collection, and I always get cut. And I will get more injuries when I have a Gundam Heavyarms folder in my wrist. Me and my pal agree that the flicking blade of the pocket-knife increases the chance of our finger getting cut. In the case of the Heavyarm folder, it never got a knife, it got a machete. It’s freaking huge! Flicking the large, sharp blade must be done with caution. And the problem here is how the blade folds. In normal pocket-knife, the edge is hidden when the blade folds. But somehow, the Heavyarms folder has its dangerous edge exposed when folded.
4. GN Sword
I won’t say much on this one, but the GN Sword is the Heavyarms army knife scaled to monster proportion. And with gigantic blade, the chance of self-mutilation increases. In real life, large mercenary swords are carried without a sheath, but across the shoulder like a halberd. In the case of the GN Sword, it is folded like the Heavyarms knife, and yes with the live edge expose and ready to injure the user. And now that the blade sticks out of your arm, you are also a danger to the others. And watch out when you flick it open.
5. Twin Beam Trident
Again, you could consider a weapon a danger to use when it has a live end pointing at you. Back in the Gundam Wing universe, when Wufei uses his twin beam trident, he rarely fires both heads. I think he knows that a twin headed beam weapon will slice more than enemy mobile suits. I mean try taping two kitchen knives on either end of a broom stick and see what happens when you swing it.
And imagine those knife blades the size of shovels.
6. Any Excess Loads of Missiles and Bombs
The Gundam world, and much of the anime universe is guilty on this one. Yeah, a mecha bristling with bombs and missiles is an amazing sight to behold. But it won’t be too amazing when one blew up and sets off the rest. Gundam Heavyarms, Gundam Leopard, even the Unicorn Gundam in its full armor glory is a walking disaster waiting to happen.
7. The Heat Rod
I mentioned before how easy it is for one to hurt himself with a flexible weapon. The Gundam Hammer is terrifying enough to wield, with the potential for that spiked ball to shatter your cockpit. Now imagine a heated chain with massive segments bouncing back at the user. The Gundam Epyon is a fan of hazardous weapons, from the overpowered beam sword, to the heat rod. One must have enough expertise to use that weapon safely, considering that it could mutilate mobile suits in a swing. And now that we mentioned it, what if that powered whip ended up hitting your mecha’s leg instead?
8. Any Over-sized Weapon
Yes, a Gundam has mechanical arms that could exert a lot of force. It could carry a lot of loads, but I doubt that it could swing something the size of the mecha itself. And even if it does, the enormous weight of the over-sized weapons, be it buster swords or maces could make the unit structurally unstable. It might push itself off-balanced when it attempts a swing, or damage it arms.
Even over-sized ranged weapons is not safe either. Remember what happened to Wing Zero Custom when he attempted to fire his buster rifle with damaged frame?