You are tasked with adapting something into a mecha anime that has to be good enough to "save the mecha anime genre". You are allowed to choose any source material (no fanfics here), and any animation studio from any era they were in, as well as any directors, animators, VA's, musicians, living or dead to make this anime. You also have unlimited cash.
So what will you make?
Hard mode: no Gundam anything
One anime alone is never going to save a genre. It might inspire some clones or more original stuff in that genre, but at least a few of those have to be good too if you want to "save" the genre, because otherwise you'll just get people who are fans of whatever big hit show or movie you made and not fans of the genre.
Do you mean something really good or something that would bring interest to the genre?
Because a shallow power fantasy with a wish fulfillment bland self-insert protagonist would be the latter.
But you need to be able to get it to become popular before it ever airs so that people will actually watch it and proceed to praise it unconditionally.
Fuck easy mode, your hard mode is where it's at.
>get all the best artists in the industry together and let them go nuts
>add a Del Toro short because fuck you
Make it happen God, please I beg you.
Twists. Lots of suspense, episode from episode.
Every episode should end with: "HOLY SHIT, WHAT HAPPENS NOW?" Imagine watching Evangelion when it first came out: Imagine how god damn crazy the show was. You'd want to keep watching just to see how it ended.
So, high production values (For the first few episodes, at least, to draw in first-time viewers) and writing, writing, above all. I argue for immense dignity in the story: You don't want viewers to feel embarrassed watching this, which means you'll have to excise a lot of Tomino-isms.
You want an MC which every viewer LONGS to be. He needs to be the most likeable person ever. Then thrust him into the fires of war, have him endure loss and suffering and misery and rage, and it'd all come together.
Some big, cliche-breaking twist must happen within the first four episodes. The love interest cheats on the hero. The hero finds that he's not the chosen one, and only gets the Gundam after he defeats the pilot. But at the same time, you don't want him to be an asshole who's 'smart' or has 'miraculous plans' all the time, because that's grating and usually bullshit.
So, we want a nasty war, a rivalry with teeth in it, dignified characters, an appealing love interest who's *interesting* (Compare Shoko to Saki, to use a terrible example - You want him to pick the exotic girl instead of the 'safe' childhood friend), high stakes, and plot swerves. Above all, you need to preserve verisimilitude. Please don't have annoying side characters or random physical comedy.
I'll throw in a fuckload of misery porn, too, but that's just me.
All you've done is re-create Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan.
It's nothing but continual TWISTS and suspense meant to kite out readers/watchers and blood and gore added to artificially amplify the suspense while technically getting nothing done.
Attack on Titan is insanely popular despite the poor art. That's not a bad comparison. We want the next Evangelion or Madoka, not some strange niche show only a handful of people are going to appreciate.
It'll be Gundam because the name is big. Fuck hard mode. It means people will actually watch it. If I can't get the Gundam license, whatever. It isn't important.
I'd make a show focusing on different people, soldiers for different sides, civilians, etc. and how the war has effected them in different ways. I'd especially like it to deal with the aftermath and consequences of war. It'd probably a different protag each episode but with some recurring characters and stories that link together.
I'm terrible with titles so I'll just called it Mobile Suit Gundam GO! since a short subtitle like that seems marketable.
Here's some example of 13 episode premises.
A happy go lucky boot camp episode done in the style of Gunbuster.
A child solider and Gundam pilot has difficulty adjusting back to civilian life. Probably ends horribly.
The war is shown from the distanced perspective of a politician.
We see a massive battle take place in a city, only to later cut to works trying to rebuild after the war.
We follow a campaign of anti-war protesters and see them get attacked by the police.
A nurse/doctor on the frontlines treats soldiers, including...
an amputee in physical therapy with flash backs to battles they were in.
The war is shown from the distanced perspective of a general.
An engineer explains passionately about how mobile suits work in this setting and about how their latest invented mobile suit will turn the tides of the war. Probably the Gundam.
A decorated war hero returns back to their home town.
A couple who's love bloomed on the battlefield struggles to stay together in civilian life.
The father of a family has gone to war. They worry and wait for him, wondering if he'll come back alive.
Final episode could be characters from previous episodes meeting up at a museum years later at an anniversary of the end of war.
I dunno care about studios or voice actors or whatever. But I'd like some music by Yoko Kanno.
No pure princess advocating for peace
The setup can be simple, with it being about a war between two main factions, both of which have space faring technology. It's execution that really calls people in. What will make this show different is that save for a few breather episodes, it's a nonstop race to the finish line; ever battle leads into another, every victory leads to more hardships.
MC will naturally be someone forced to fight in a new ace mecha, but he won't whine about it and won't hesitate to fight for the people he loves. We only see him "angst" in moments where he confides in his closest friends.
Animated by either Ufotable or BONES on a UBW/Captain Earth budget.