Office Question: Why Do Mechs Have Hands?



  • Legitimate water cooler talk at Funimation HQ, and now we are taking it to the fans!

    In general: Why do mechs have hands (fingers)?

    Machines built for war, generally have to hold/pick-up weaponry that can be easily disarmed.

    Why not start with sword/gun hands? Why bring fists to a weapon fight?

    This has been some of the funniest discussion I've heard in a minute.

    Please join in on the ridiculousness :) (There's no right or wrong)



  • @JayHairston I think one of the reasons is because it would be easier for mechs to get up if they fall down or easier to move heavy things in the way that humans can't move. Since with weapons for hands already it would be quite hard or impossible to do those things.



  • Because there's something relatable/awesome about seeing a giant robot person doing things that we as people wish we could do, like having awesome shoot outs or katana duels.



  • @JayHairston Mecha have hands because...well, just because.



  • First off, there's no doubt about it. It's cool.

    alt text

    And for whatever reason, people seem to like turning things humanoid in shape. Animals, robots... Smartphones. If you look up anything, there's a humanoid version of it. Perhaps it makes the thing more relateable in a sense, although personally I have always liked more unique designs.

    But anyways, hands are just useful I suppose. They can be used to help as much to hurt. There's plenty of examples in anime of mecha catching falling people or picking them up to save them, can't exactly do that with swords for hands.

    I, personally, wish we had more dragon mecha though.

    alt text



  • Hands are mult-purpose. If they had machine guns at that location, without fingers, it would be difficult to pull out a sword/knife for close combat. Likewise, I seem to remember a rather tragic scene in Evangellion involving a mech choking out another mech. Where's the dramatic emphasis in that scene without hands? Would've just blown its head off and a big part of the story would have been destroyed.



  • How about Mecha Horses or Camels?



  • @pleco_breeder said in Office Question: Why Do Mechs Have Hands?:

    Hands are mult-purpose. If they had machine guns at that location, without fingers, it would be difficult to pull out a sword/knife for close combat. Likewise, I seem to remember a rather tragic scene in Evangellion involving a mech choking out another mech. Where's the dramatic emphasis in that scene without hands? Would've just blown its head off and a big part of the story would have been destroyed.

    Beat me to it.



  • Why do mechs have legs instead of wheels?

    Hands are versatile, this allows them to do multiple things, one of which can be to save a bystander, if your "hands" are swords or guns you'd have a mech with terror in mind. The idea that the mech has no interest in people would terrify everyone.

    This is the idea of a Death Star, one big gun that could be used to destroy you and everyone/thing you hold dear. Its a technological terror meant to keep people in line.

    When you take away the weapons and make it more people friendly it is more "friendly".



  • @Sophie plus no infamous one-minute freeze frame with a part of Ode to Joy playing.



  • Explain to me why someone in Code Geass: Akito the Exiled decided we needed a six armed centaur mech...
    alt text
    and how do I get my hands on one...



  • @Queenira That's a simple answer... We need it for the same reason that you want one



  • We need that mech cause it's awesome.



  • Give me the Mech and leave the phsyco inside it out pls.



  • @emdier said in Office Question: Why Do Mechs Have Hands?:

    If you look up anything, there's a humanoid version of it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBekEB-bMdQ



  • As a few people already mentioned, hands are quite practical as a multi-purpose tool, they can grab onto pretty much anything so it's easy to adapt to particular (combat) needs. And it also seems that a lot of mechs use a human as driver so I guess it would be easier to handle if it has the same features as the user.



  • Haha all great points!

    I think we were focusing on the practicality of it all.
    We understand the tropes & philosophical reasons ( creations in our image )

    Would it change your opinion of needing hands if a mech could quickly shift from a gun arm to a knife arm instantly?



  • @JayHairston said in Office Question: Why Do Mechs Have Hands?:

    Haha all great points!

    I think we were focusing on the practicality of it all.
    We understand the tropes & philosophical reasons ( creations in our image )

    Would it change your opinion of needing hands if a mech could quickly shift from a gun arm to a knife arm instantly?

    alt text

    Who do you think is more friendly, Boba Fett on the left or D'harhan on the right (that is a cannon for a head btw)?

    That is why you have a mech with hands feet and a face.

    "They threw away his head and replaced it with a gun."
    "Hardly a gun—a laser emplacement patterned after the ones on an Alsakan battle cruiser. Liquid cooled, steam-vented, enough punch to penetrate the armor of a lightcruiser. They enhanced his shoulders, arms, legs, and spine with durasteel, to take the weight of the thing. And they added a tail of articulated metal, to brace against recoil."



  • @JayHairston I still don't think it would be very practical. As mentioned with the choking scene above, and several other hand-to-hand combat scenes, a lot of the drama would be lost in such an immediate change. In other instances, can't remember which anime, I've seen hands used as a sort of "elevator" to load into or exit the mech. Hopping on a gun for a ride up may be possible, but from a practicality of design factor, hands make it possible to grasp things not nececssarily weapon related. This allows mechs to be used for things like search or rescue operations which would not be reasonable with only weaponized units.

    Right now, I'm imagining the classic "catching a falling victim" trope with a weaponized mech, and a pilot that is only used to operating a more practical design with hands. Try catching the victim, and hitting a button to grasp. Same button triggers either a gun or sword with some rather graphic results. On that thought, I guess I have to withdraw my comment about loss of drama (maybe even the birth of a new trope), but my functionality argument still stands.



  • I think that the hands would still be useful for general tasks that are not necessarily related to fights, like moving heavy objects and doing other tasks that need some form of dexterity, unless it's some kind of a liquid metal terminator then it can just take the shape of whatever is needed to do the job.



  • Why do mechs have hands?

    So that when you knock down the enemy mech, you can give 'em the double middle finger, Stone Cold style. -_^


Log in to reply