in comments to this post:
Giant robot series/shows/movies/whatever with female lead (i.e., clearly non-supporting) heroines who PILOT THEIR OWN FUCKING ROBOTS.
Name them. You have no restrictions on genre or media type, this is not an anime-only list, bbs, the female character just has to be a main character and there have to be actual giant robots ('Mechs count, BTech fans on my flist!), or else it doesn't count.
I want a fucking number.
ETA: Making this public. Link it around, kids. Let's see what we kick up.
ETA 2:Original entry @ DW.Entry @ LJ. I really recommend everyone keep track of both posts, too! A lot of suggestions people are making on one post have already been hashed out on the other!
ETA 3 - The List: (bear in mind I am writing Yuletide so updates to the post might be sporadic, keep an eye on comments)
RIDEBACK TOP O NERAE! 2: DIEBUSTER VOLTRON SIMOUN IDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA SORA WO KAKERU SHOUJO TOP O NERAE!/GUNBUSTER BOKURANO TALES OF THE BLACK WIDOW COMPANY (Battletech scenario book) MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH PATLABOR HOSHI NO KOE/VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR SOUTHERN CROSS
I admit to creating this list with an axe to grind. I griped at das_dingsi the other day about how I wanted more fucking actual female main characters in giant robot series, because it sure as hell felt like there weren't many of them, and then I got the idea: well, why not find out how many there actually are, so I can have concrete numbers to throw around instead of feeling disgruntled and lonely and ignored by my favorite story genre?
That's what I was trying to do. It is kind of readily apparent (to me, anyway) that this was not entirely clear to the people who were coming in to the post blind. (and that's okay. You're coming blind! I wanted you to! I did ask people to link this everyfuckingwhere. It's my fault for not making myself clear beforehand; I should've waited until I had the time to articulate all the reasoning behind this list.)
So, to clarify what I mean by "main" character: To me, and this is the definition I am pretty sure is supposed to be the standard, a "main" character is either the headlining lead - the one called "the hero of the story" in the press material surrounding the series, the one the art clearly indicates is The Hero, the immediately apparent driving force of the series, the viewpoint character - or part of an ensemble where there is no clear main and/or "viewpoint" character and each character gets development equally (by which I mean, we spend an equal amount of time looking through their point of view on the story, not that they get equally developed via their interaction with the "viewpoint" character, as is the case in, say, SAKURA WARS). I wanted the "viewpoint" characters, I guess, is what I was trying to say.
Anything less comes off, to me, as a "major" character, but a "major" character is still supporting the "main" character, if less obviously so than the actual "supporting" characters.
That said, I feel like not counting series with "major" roles for female robot pilots does those series a disservice and dismisses the role those characters play in providing models for fangirls of what they can be in stories. So I'm expanding the original list into two lists: Viewpoint Protagonist, for those series where the female character gets to tell the story herself, and Major Protagonist, for anything else. In the case of video games where you can "choose" the protagonist, I'm still unsure, but I do want to count them, so for now I'm slotting them under Major Protagonist until I can figure out a clearer division for the medium.
(I am tentatively considering making a third list for "Ensemble" shows, with multiple female robot pilots, but I'm not sure there's a good reason for it, since most of the shows with female pilot leads tend to end up having female supporting-cast members who pilot giant robots, too.)
I'm not counting series where the heroes use person-sized Armor Suits to fight in, because while there's often significant overlap between Armor Suit stories and Giant Robot stories, it's too complicated an overlap to articulate easily and I'd need more time than I can devote to this list at present to make it worth the discussion that would provoke. Having an Armor Suit that eventually hooks up with a Giant Robot doesn't count either. I am also not counting Major Antagonists, so no, Haman Khan and Soma Peries are not applicable to this list as they come into the franchise on Zeon/PLA's side. I am also not counting stories where the giant robots are incidental or peripheral to the majority of the story: it has to be a significantly substantial part of the plot and plot setup that the character in question has a giant robot and can use it from the start, or else it's inapplicable.
(A hypothetical set of examples, to clarify: suddenly discovering ten episodes in that she has a giant robot does not count if the lead boys have had their giant robots and been using them for the preceding ten episodes, but if she's introduced in episode two and has a giant robot of her own by the end of episode two then it does count.)
For further clarification, since this is also providing some confusion: when I use the term "Giant Robot" I am referring to any robots - transforming vehicles, whatever - that then require pilots. I realize the line between an Armor Suit like, say, the powered armor in STARSHIP TROOPERS and something like, say, the Cyclone/Armo-Cycle from ROBOTECH/GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA is a pretty damn thin one, but the characters treat it like a transforming robot rather than powered armor, and that's the distinction I'm looking for here. Real Robots and Super Robots both count as "Giant Robots" for the purposes of this discussion, okay? Don't let that stop you.
That's the criteria I'm trying to use to make the lists, and, with those criteria in mind, these are the lists.
Viewpoint Protagonists: (Keep in mind that this list is only for all canons where the lead character is female, and that this is no guarantee the series is either feminist or that it's well-written/well-animated or that it has multiple female characters besides the viewpoint protagonist or that it has multiple female characters that don't die, or any other problematic elements that might arise.) RIDEBACK TOP O NERAE! 2: DIEBUSTER SIMOUN IDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA SORA WO KAKERU SHOUJO TOP O NERAE!/GUNBUSTER TALES OF THE BLACK WIDOW COMPANY (Battletech scenario book) MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH PATLABOR HOSHI NO KOE/VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR SOUTHERN CROSS SOUKOU NO STRAIN DANCOUGA NOVA SKY GIRLS
Major Protagonists: (Keep in mind that this list, in addition to being at risk of the same potential problems as the preceding list, also includes canons that are glorified dating sims and where the major protagonist in question may be a love interest of the actual main character and all the attendant tropes that might imply; these stories are not necessarily or consistently told from the viewpoint of the women in the story.) PSALMS OF PLANETS EUREKA SEVEN VOLTRON BOKURANO ONE MUST FALL: 2097 GAD GUARD CODE GEASS: LELOUCH OF THE REBELLION NEON GENESIS EVANGELION XENOGEARS SHINKAN GATTAI GODANNAR!! BETTERMAN SOUSEI NO AQUARION SUPER ROBOT WARS SAKURA WARS MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 0080: WAR IN THE POCKET MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: 08TH MS TEAM EXOSQUAD SEI JUSHI BISMARK/SABER RIDER AND THE STAR SHERIFFS SUPER DIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS SUPER DIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS II MACROSS 7 MACROSS FRONTIER GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA (ROBOTECH) (BATTLETECH) KENRAN BUTOH SAI THE MARS DAYBREAK