Let's face it, there aren't a lot of cool jobs in the world. You know what sounds cool? Mechs. Those giant bipedal machines of destruction. Those ought to be fun right? Well, I've rounded up a few mecha pilots to give their take on the profession. Let's see what they have to say.
Makabe Kazuki: Fafner Pilot
First up I've got Kazuki Makabe from Tatsumiya Island. He's the former pilot of the Fafner Mark Elf and current retiree, though he has his doubts about his retirement:
Being a Fafner pilot was pretty cool at first. I had the power to defend the island and my friends against the Festum (long story there). Anyway, as time went on and more of my friends joined me in my Festum battles, I realized that this job wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
I get to feel the pain that is inflicted on the Fafner as if it's my body. Don't even get me started on what happens when we purposefully eject a limb, that's terrifying.
I've been stabbed, mind-raped, and lord knows what else over the seasons. It was all topped off when I lost my eyesight (I got better, don't ask). After that I went into retirement and started running a cafe on the island.
The Festum are back and I've only got three years left to live though, so somehow I think I'll be roped back into the story.
Ouch, that sucks. Not only was being in the Fafner not all it was cracked up to be, but he also was physically hurt repeatedly and he lost his eyesight!
Bah, that's just one guy, let's see what another has to say.
Tokishima Haruto: Valvrave Pilot
Next up I've got something from Haruto. He's a pilot of the Valvrave and a what you might call a "body-swapping space vampire gundam pilot". I've heard he's something of an odd guy as a result so let's see what he has to say...
Apologies, I couldn't actually get in touch with him. I wonder if something happened to him.
Well, that was flop, sorry. I'll try to keep writing him for his take. Until then, let's move on.
Shirogane Takeru: Tactical Surface Fighter Pilot
Next I've got a Shirogane Takeru for his take on the profession. It took a bit of work to get in touch with him because his address was obfuscated by some kind of causality disruption, but I managed to get a hold of him.
When I first started piloting... was it two years ago? I can barely remember as it feels like a lifetime ago. Anyway, I first started piloting a long time back it was so exciting. It was like playing Valgernon in real life!
Things were very much a game for me until Christmas one year, when the project I was assigned to didn't quite pan out. Things that happened after that were fuzzy, but I eventually found myself in the middle of an identical project some time later. I worked in that project for some time before things started to really go wrong.
At first my experience was enough to get me plenty of respect among my comrades, but when I froze up during an actual battle, I seriously started to lose it. People died around me and I had trouble accepting my reality, so I ran. I ran as far as you possibly can. Even then, the reality of my job caught up with me.
So, I returned to piloting and went on to participate in a number of key operations, operations that resulted in a lot of casualties. I just had to accept the reality that my overwhelming skill was keeping me alive while everyone around me... wasn't.
It's not a pretty job. Honestly, it's a terrible job.
Well, that's unfortunate. So Takeru doesn't really like this piloting business either.
There's still a couple more possibilities though, so let's talk to the next guy.
Apollo: Aquarion/Aquarion EVOL Element
I managed to get in contact with the latest incarnation of Apollo, Amata Sora, so we can hear about his experience with being an Aquarion element.
Hmm, well my experience technically starts twelve thousand years ago when my previous incarnation piloted Aquarion. I don't really remember that much, but as I understand it the events of my previous life were re-enacted by an actor and my mother in a drama titled Skies of Aquaria. Actually, now that I think about it, that's weird. Forget I mentioned that.
I became a Aquarion EVOL element after NEO-DEAVA discovered me after I accidentally won a battle with their mecha. It was a really weird experience.
For the most part I suppose I did well as an element. I really was just in it to keep Mikono safe, but I may have enjoyed piloting it when I wasn't getting beaten up by my violent half (which happened a lot).
Not all that memorable though. The only good thing to really come out of it was not having to wait for Sylvia for another twelve thousand years.
Not all that memorable, but it sounds like he got the girl at least.
Other Romance Protagonists: 0
Watase Aoba: Luxon Pilot
Aoba is the former pilot of the Luxon coupling Valiancer for the Free Fact Alliance in the year 2088. Let's see what this bright young lad has for us.
Well, I suppose that being the Luxon's pilot wasn't the worst job I ever had, but you need to understand that it was a weird experience. One minute I'm studying in class and playing basketball on the court, and the next I'm being chased on a bike through the city by a crazy guy in a mecha!
And then, inexplicably, a girl saves me, I got tossed into a singularity, and then suddenly end up in the middle of a battle inside the Luxon. It's not that it wasn't a dream of mine to pilot a mecha, but I wasn't expecting to suddenly have to pilot one in a battle!
It's a little weird in hindsight that Dio (a pilot from the future) and I basically shared our minds when we coupled in the coupling valiancers. It makes me a little uncomfortable in a way.
Honestly I didn't have time to enjoy being a pilot at all though since I was fixated on finding the girl that saved me, and seemingly was tossed into the time fracture with me.
There was a lot of battling and time travel, but some time later I found myself back where I started. It all happened in a flash.
Well, it sounds like it wasn't terrible, but it also sounds like it wasn't exactly a fun time in the cockpit of Luxon. Actually, did he even get a paycheck? He didn't even mention one.
Argh, well we've got one last hope then.
Orimura Ichika: (IS) Infinite Stratos User
Being a mecha pilot? Hmm, well it's pretty cool I suppose. I've had fun with my classmates as I've been learning to use the suit.
I've got to say though, sometimes I can't understand what's going on. Ever since I got into this school there's been a lot of fighting going on around me. A lot of my friends in school seem to be out to kill me when I accidentally do something like talk to another girl. I just don't understand why things are so complicated these days.
I thought I'd get to be an IS user and that'd be that, but it seems like I'm constantly on the run from this bunch of girls. I just don't get it.
...Yep. You're a lost cause mate.
So between physical and psychological effects, being a mecha pilot seems to be a lose-lose situation for the lot. It doesn't sound like being a mecha pilot is nearly as great as it looks on paper.
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