I just watched the Eagle Prime vs. Kuratas bout and my feelings are a bit mixed. On the one hand the first round was disappointing but the second round was very engaging. The best way to describe the fighting for those about to watch would be as follows. If you’re expecting fast paced action then you may be in for heartache. This is not Gundam and has never been tested before. Therefore, it will take time to fully develop and evolve. The first match was anti-climactic as it ended within seconds but if you’ll remember UFC fights, a number of them ended within seconds as well. The second fight is methodical and locks the fighters in a careful game of tactics. This is more similar to boxing when the fighters are feeling each other out and then get locked together and keep landing body blows but stop moving. Without further ado, let’s get into the fight.
I started watching during the end of the Q&A when the total viewership was over 800,000 and the creators of MegaBots were being interviewed. They mentioned the inferiority of using cannonballs against steel plates, learning how to ship robots, keeping the pilots safe and taking on China. After the interview ended it transitioned into promos about the robots and the title for this competition which was called the “Giant Robot Duel”. The location of the fight was in Japan at a location called the Steelmill. The location definitely had generous planning put into it because it had walls of steel drums, stacks of burned out cars and rusted steel trusses. If you’ve ever seen the commercials for action figures you’ll know what I mean. The commentators for the fight were Mike Goldberg and Saura Naderi and Mari Takahashi interviewed the teams as an announcer. Let’s go to the rules.
The fight consisted of two duels: the first was between Kuratas and Iron Glory (the original MegaBots mech) and the second was the showdown between the Eagle Prime and Kuratas. There weren’t too many rules but to score a win one of the robots would have to be knocked out or disabled or the pilot had to surrender. After this intro it switched to Mari interviewing the MegaBots founders and operators Matt Oehrlein & Gui Cavalcanti and the mind behind Kuratas, Kogoro Kurata on their strategies for the fight. Next up was the stats on Iron Glory (the former mech design) and Kuratas and then we get to the fight!
The Iron Glory stands still while the Kuratas charges with its arm outstretched, a move that people on Twitter have taken to comparing to the manga One Punch Man. The Iron Glory gets a shot off but it does nothing while the Kuratas, utilizing its speed, knocks Iron Glory over with just one punch, scoring the knockout and the first victory. It is over pretty quickly and it may seem anti-climactic but remember, for it to evolve it will need time and patience. Still, this is only the prelude to the real match. Iron Glory was an old model to test the technology but Eagle Prime was specifically designed to fight Kuratas.
Before the fight it was stated by Saura Naderi that Eagle Prime is more coordinated with a software update and if Kuratas gets to close it could get itself in trouble. Eagle Prime also concentrated 60% of its weight in its base, making a knockout similar to Round 1 difficult. After the fight is started Kuratas takes cover behind a wall of barrels, perhaps shielding themselves from projectiles or attempting to strategize. Eagle Prime takes a shot at Kuratas but it has no effect. A second shot knocks some barrels lose and then Eagle Prime begins charging, knocking over some barrels in its way. Kuratas deploys a drone but Eagle Prime uses its hand to knock it down. Unfortunately it was a trap and the drone, lying on top of Eagle Prime’s cockpit, deploys a smokescreen. This does not deter the MegaBots team and as the Kuratas approaches Eagle Prime knocks over some cars. Kuratas is forced to move a bit and then engages the American emblazoned robot, landing constant blows while Eagle Prime starts shooting at Kuratas. The Eagle Prime switches tactics, using its cannon as a battering ram which begins knocking over those shiny red panels on the Kuratas. They become locked in a stalemate and a horn blew, signaling a break stop the stalemate.
The American mood significantly improved after they were able to hold their own. This fight was different because the suspense of what they would do next was intense and left you wondering what would happen. After the break Eagle Prime raises its arms in a defiant gesture as the match begins. Eagle Prime knocks over some barrels and gets its chainsaw ready while Kuratas begins advancing and simultaneously firing from its BB gun. Eagle Prime grabs a nearby steel truss and rotates it with its hand, blocking the rounds from Kuratas. Eagle Prime then grabs one of Kuratas’s arms and uses its chainsaw to tear into Kuratas. At this point I am a bit confused as to what happened.
While locked in combat again the robots back up against a large assemblage of steel trusses and other materials, causing them to be knocked over in a large crash and sending the commentators running. To me, this seems planned and I don’t prefer it. Perhaps the commentators need better seating. This has led to some people saying it was staged and while I remain unsure I would strongly advocate for not doing this in the future. It was not specifically stated how the match ended (which I guess was by Kuratas being disabled) but Eagle Prime won the second round, scoring an important victory. At the end of the match both pilots shake hands and while the MegaBots team took the time to advocate a sports league with rules and weight classes, Kogoro Kurata just expressed how much fun he had. I’ll be looking forward to the rematch, the upcoming Chinese bout and any future contenders who would dare to face off against MegaBots in a future league of fighting robots. Tune into Tome of Trovius next time robot fans and spread the video around so that more people can become part of the new sports league!
As a quick aside I want to coin this phrase “barrel hugger” after Kuratas hid behind the barrels for cover. Spread it around.
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