Interest Stacks

A Newcomer's Guide to the Mecha Genre

Apr 07 2022, 1:33 PM | Updated Jan 30, 6:49 AM
Interested in the genre? Despite what people might say, mecha is a rich character focused genre with a variety of incredibly unique stories to tell. Here's a collection of shows with short, straight-to-the-point descriptions about each. Note that some of these were translated by fans, and aren't available officially/legally. A good amount of these are available on various streaming services, tho as for all well you might have to sail the high seas a bit. Disregard my personal scores, as its subjective at end of the day and you might like it. Also please don't dismiss some of these just because they're really old, they pretty much all hold up well even today. Check each out, and see what strikes your fancy. Any shows I personally haven't watch I got info on from fellow mecha friends of mine:
Argento Soma
TV, 2000, 25 eps Me:- Author:8
My personal "underrated gem". Your mileage might vary with this series, but the main character has one of my fave char designs and generally the series hosts a rather unique story and vibe to it. You can consider it similar in structure to Eva with the main protag wanting revenge on a sentient, alien mech that he's forced to also work with to stop aliens.
Casshern Sins
TV, 2008, 24 eps Me:- Author:8
An incredibly melancholic and bittersweet show that is quite unique in having both an action scene nearly every ep, but also heavily talks about philosophy and various facets of life. Follow Casshern, the one who started the apocalypse, as both him and the audience question who or what he truly is supposed to be.
Chou Denji Robo Combattler V
TV, 1976, 54 eps Me:- Author:-
The first of the Robot Romance Tetralogy consisting of this, Voltes, Daimos, and Daltanious. They are all considered solid, old super robot shows.

Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch
TV, 2006, 25 eps Me:- Author:8
Very similar to Gundam in its themes. Follow the anti-hero protag Lelouch as he leads a revolution against a corrupt leadership. While I personally disliked the 2nd season, I would still rec trying it as most people seem to love it.
Darling in the FranXX
TV, 2018, 24 eps Me:- Author:-
While I think Franxx is only "ok", I'm still putting it here due to its popularity. I'd really just rec the manga as it takes a bad anime, and turns it into a decent enough series.

Densetsu Kyojin Ideon

Space Runaway Ideon

Densetsu Kyojin Ideon
TV, 1980, 39 eps Me:- Author:8
The first show to explore the idea of a "sentient mecha". A lovecraftian horror story as our protags tries to survive against the Buff Clan, while also not succumbing to the power of the horrific metal monster they can barely control.
Full Metal Panic!
TV, 2002, 24 eps Me:- Author:8
A series that balances both romcom and military mecha action very well. The series tends to get more serious and leans towards the military/mecha angle as time goes on, but there's still plenty of hilarious comedy and sweet fluff here. You'll need to read the FMP Sigma manga to get the final part of the story since the anime adaption covers only 4/5 of the story at the moment.
Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince
TV, 2013, 24 eps Me:- Author:8
While mostly a standard mecha show, it has among the best cgi mecha animation I've seen despite being nearly a decade old. Would recommend for those who love well animated mecha action.
Gun x Sword
TV, 2005, 26 eps Me:- Author:6
An entirely revenge focused show, where one man and his mech will do anything to kill the man who killed his wife. Has a rather unique villain as well.

Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor: On Television

Patlabor: The Mobile Police - The TV Series

Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor: On Television
TV, 1989, 47 eps Me:- Author:8
A SoL and comedy focusing on the antics and crime fighting of the Patlabor police unit misfits. Has a female MC, and is probs the most "realistic" you can get with mecha.

Kidou Senkan Nadesico

Martian Successor Nadesico

Kidou Senkan Nadesico
TV, 1996, 26 eps Me:- Author:-
A 90s classic that is equally parody and a serious mecha show. Very enjoyable and fun cast of chars.
Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven
TV, 2005, 50 eps Me:- Author:9
Beautifully animated coming of age story with exceptional romance. Hosts a rather unique world and story. Also idc what anyone says, check out the sequel AO. It's a good show.
TV, 1982, 36 eps Me:- Author:-
A classic series that still gets entries to date. Mecha meets idols in this romance series that also deals with mechs fighting aliens.
Magic Knight Rayearth
TV, 1994, 20 eps Me:- Author:7
Magical girl meets mecha in this shoujo classic. This is a pretty fun series, and if you're curious about other mag girl x mecha shows I'd rec either Granbelm or Mai-Hime.
Mazinger Z
TV, 1972, 92 eps Me:- Author:8
The progenitor of the "super robot" genre. Still holds up surprisingly well today despite being roughly 50 years old. There's also "Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen" if you want a modern version of the classic.

Kidou Senshi Gundam

Mobile Suit Gundam

Kidou Senshi Gundam
TV, 1979, 43 eps Me:- Author:9
An all time classic. Started the "real robot" genre. One of the first anime to really show the effects of war with other humans. Was incredibly ahead of its time with its depiction of morally grey characters, and commentary on the horrors of war.

Kidou Senshi Gundam 00

Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Kidou Senshi Gundam 00
TV, 2007, 25 eps Me:- Author:9
My personal favorite mecha show, and a perfect intro to Gundam for newcomers. Self contained hosting a fascinating story, excellent characters, wonderful music, and animation that still holds up incredibly well today.
Muv-Luv Alternative
TV, 2021, 12 eps Me:- Author:7
Tbh the anime adaption of this is just "ok", but I put it here cuz the visual novel version of MLA is an all time mecha classic and well worth your time. It has some of the best long term char development and worldbuilding I've seen in media. Just make sure you check out Extra and Unlimited before playing Alternative, since its the finale of the trilogy.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
TV, 1995, 26 eps Me:- Author:9
The one mecha show most people have heard of. While not a deconstruction, it's still an excellent show that takes several pre-established mecha tropes, uses them to its fullest, and still creates a rather unique, well crafted show.
TV, 2002, 26 eps Me:- Author:-
Not an "Evangelion clone", but is most likely a show Eva fans would quite enjoy. Both this and Eva were heavily inspired by Raideen, with Rah leaning more towards it than Eva. Just a generally well praised series that is worth your time.
TV, 2018, 12 eps Me:- Author:6
A modern reboot (and pseudo sequel, but don't worry this is self contained) of an old tokusatsu show. While loosely mecha, it still fits the genre and is a fun show in its own right. Has rather unique antags, and the whole series has a very nice down to earth vibe to it.

Seisenshi Dunbine

Aura Battler Dunbine

Seisenshi Dunbine
TV, 1983, 49 eps Me:- Author:-
One of the first (if not outright first) isekai anime. Is also probably the first "biomecha" show, due to its unique bug mechs. It's yet another great war drama like most of Tomino's shows.
Sentou Mecha Xabungle
TV, 1982, 50 eps Me:- Author:9
An incredibly hilarious and fun adventure, and is probs the best "happy Tomino" show. If you want a good mecha comedy, then this is for you.

Shin Getter Robo

New Getter Robo

Shin Getter Robo
OVA, 2004, 13 eps Me:- Author:-
A modern remake of the first mecha series to incorporate the idea of combining or "Gattai!" While the best parts of Getter are found in the manga and the anime adaptions vary in quality, this adaption sticks out as being very faithful to the original tone, while also being perfect for a newcomer.

Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion The Animation

Bullet Train Transforming Robot Shinkalion The Animation

Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion The Animation
TV, 2018, 76 eps Me:- Author:7
A spiritual successor to the Brave series. While definitely aimed towards kids, its still a surprisingly fun and consistent series in quality.
Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor
TV, 2004, 25 eps Me:- Author:-
The first entry in a long series full of emotional drama and tragedy. Not for the faint of heart.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
TV, 2007, 27 eps Me:- Author:9
The other mecha show everyone has heard of. Def one of the best super robot shows out there, and is just "pure hype the series". Very uplifting and positive, believe in the me that believes in you!
Tetsujin 28-gou (2004)
TV, 2004, 26 eps Me:- Author:-
A modern retelling of what is considered the first mecha show with an actual "big robot". Generally considered an excellent show all around.
Tetsuwan Atom
TV, 1963, 193 eps Me:- Author:-
The very first mecha anime, and one of the very first anime in general. I'll be real there's only half of this dubbed and barely anything subbed, tho I'll still put it here just due to its historical significance
The Big O
TV, 1999, 26 eps Me:- Author:8
Batman meets Cowboy Bebop meets big robot. Discover the secrets behind the city that lost all its memories 40 years ago.
Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster
OVA, 1988, 6 eps Me:- Author:8
A late 80s classic. A somewhat short watch with beautiful animation, and a rare female MC. Would 100% rec for any EVA, Gainax, or Trigger fans.

Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar

King of Braves GaoGaiGar

Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar
TV, 1997, 49 eps Me:- Author:8
The final and generally considered "best" entry of the Brave series. Pure hotblooded super robot action, and is generally a blast. Be sure to check out the GGG Final sequel as it takes everything that makes GGG great, and makes it amazing.


86 Eighty Six

TV, 2021, 11 eps Me:- Author:-
A hallmark of modern mecha. Is rather unique in its use of spider-esque mechs, and has great chars.
Taiyou no Kiba Dagram
TV, 1981, 75 eps Me:- Author:-
An exceptionally well written anime about revolution and war, somewhat similar to the first Gundam. Considerably ahead of its time.
Yuusha Raideen
TV, 1975, 50 eps Me:- Author:-
An extremely influential anime for the genre, and while not quite at the caliber of Mazinger or Getter, it's still important to the history of the genre. Quality of the subs may vary though.

Soukou Kihei Votoms

Armored Trooper Votoms

Soukou Kihei Votoms
TV, 1983, 52 eps Me:- Author:-
A "realistic" mecha show focusing on an abandoned super-soldier having to survive through guerilla tactics. A thoroughly engaging war drama.

Chikyuu Bouei Kigyou Dai-Guard

Dai-Guard: Terrestrial Defense Corp.

Chikyuu Bouei Kigyou Dai-Guard
TV, 1999, 26 eps Me:- Author:-
A workplace comedy somewhat similar to Patlabor. Follow these corporate workers as they desperately try to keep up with regulations and the government messing with their super robot trying to save the world.
Sousei no Aquarion
TV, 2005, 26 eps Me:- Author:-
Mostly a homage to older super robot shows with a good bit of romance. A mostly standard, but fun show.
Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru
TV, 1988, 45 eps Me:- Author:-
A classic mecha isekai mostly aimed towards kids, but is a fun, comfy show in its own right. Subs might be of questionable quality, but its still "watchable".

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo

Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo
TV, 2014, 25 eps Me:- Author:-
An absolute trainwreck of a show so bad, it loops around to being good. Has one of the most raw and cool af female MCs in anime.

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