The mecha genre of anime has been around for many many years. From the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise to Neon Genesis Evangelion and beyond, the mecha genre has brought us many memories from many spectacular shows over the years and still for the many years to come. I’m here to bring you all what I feel are the best 10 anime of the mecha genre that I have watched to this point in my anime watching lifetime!
Keep in mind this list is strictly my opinion and we most likely will have different viewpoints on the rankings and whether some anime should be left out or put in the list. This is all in good fun and it’s important the anime community as a whole come to respect each other’s opinions!
#10 – Kuromukuro (クロムクロ)
Studio: P.A. Works
Aired: Spring & Summer 2016
Kuromukuro, the series that was heavily overshadowed by the likes of Re:Zero and My Hero Academia in the Spring of 2016 when it aired. May I mention Netflix did not help its case either as many viewers had trouble finding the episode week after week and for those who did manage to watch it on a weekly basis were forced to rely on fan subtitles. Simply put Kuromukuro didn’t get the shine and popularity it deserved whatsoever. A samurai from the Sengoku period finds himself in the 21st century where he’s forced to find what the heck is going on in this period of time. Why has everything changed, where is he exactly, and especially… where is the girl he was given the task of protecting with his life? With a solid blend of action, a unique setting, and the overarching mystery surrounding this samurai & his origins, Kuromukuro has a good amount of plot and character elements the viewer can work with. A samurai piloting a robot sounds pretty sweet… right?
#9 – Aldnoah Zero (アルドノア・ゼロ)
Episodes: 2 Seasons, 12 Each
Studios: A-1 Pictures, TROYCA
Aired: Summer 2014 (S1), Winter 2015 (S2)
Aldnoah Zero is the series that has many mecha fans divided. It’s very obvious a lot of time, effort, and money was poured into this series just from various aspects such as the animation, visuals, and music & those are what I would say are the strongest parts of Aldnoah Zero itself actually. On the other hand, it debatably has the most generic, boring, and annoying main character in anime. Some would even say the same statement for the side characters as well. If the viewer can get past this fact, then you have a solid series in what does throw some twists and turns at you & like mentioned, the production value is totally there.
More on Aldnoah Zero’s premise
The discovery of a hypergate on the Moon once allowed the human race to teleport to Mars. Those who chose to settle there unearthed a technology far more advanced than that of their home planet, which they named “Aldnoah.” This discovery led to the founding of the Vers Empire of Mars and a declaration of war against the “Terrans,” those who stayed behind on Earth. However, a battle on the moon—later called “Heaven’s Fall”—caused the hypergate to explode, destroying the moon and leading the two planets to establish an uneasy ceasefire.
Their peace was a fragile one, however. Fifteen years later, high school student Inaho Kaizuka witnesses the plotted assassination of the Vers Empire’s Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia, who had come to Earth in hopes of repairing the relationship between the empire and its homeland. The ceasefire is shattered, and the Martians declare war on the Terrans once again. In the face of this insurmountable enemy, Inaho and his friends must now fight against the Vers Empire to settle the war once and for all.
#8 – Heavy Object (ヘヴィーオブジェクト)
Studios: J.C. Staff, SANZIGEN
Source: Light Novel
Aired: Fall & Winter 2015/2016
Heavy Object is a blast. Literally. The series is literally a war anime where you see the main cast travel from battlefield to battlefield taking on each new challenge thrown at them and implementing new strategies one after another. Havia and Qwenthur make a great duo both with their hilarious antics and their tactics used in the many battles throughout the show. In the time where the series takes place, these battles are fought with “Objects” which are unique, spherical tanks that rule the lands and really make for intense and thrilling action sequences. If you want very likable characters, unique mechs, and exceptional action with great production quality all around this one is definitely for you!
#7 – Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン)
Studios: Gainax, Tatsunoko Production
Aired: Fall & Winter 1995/1996
Without Neon Genesis Evangelion we wouldn’t have a lot of the mecha shows we have today. Evangelion introduced a side to the mecha genre that barely anybody had viewed before in anime as Mobile Suit Gundam ruled over the genre in the years prior. The show deals more so with the mental states of the main cast as they are teens who have the fate of humanity on their shoulders. It also deals with many other themes such as religion, individuality, consciousness, and many more. With three remake films out as of now and the fourth & final film coming in the future, there are two ways you could technically watch Evangelion. It’s definitely a series that every anime fan should experience at some point as many anime have taken influence from it, not just from the mecha genre.
#6 – Knights of Sidonia (シドニアの騎士)
Episodes: 2 Seasons, 12 Each
Studio: Polygon Pictures
Aired: Spring 2014 (S1), Spring 2015 (S2)
Netflix’s first original anime, Knights of Sidonia, based off the hit manga from Tsutomu Nihei is nothing short of a sci-fi wonderland. Taking place in the year 3394, a thousand years after mankind flees Earth after its destruction from a race of aliens called the “Gauna,” humanity has resorted to space and even there the threat remains. The series follows the main spaceship, the Sidonia, and the many people aboard it as they try to live somewhat normal lives similar to that on Earth. We follow Nagate Tanikaze, who ends up making his way up from the underground layer of the Sidonia after being contained down in the depths since birth. Thanks to the pilot simulator left by his grandfather, Tanikaze is extremely talented after practicing for many many years. Tanikaze becomes the lead pilot for the main force on the Sidonia who are tasked with protecting humanity and to somehow extinguish the Guana while learning what this alien race exactly is and what their goals & ambitions truly are. With an expansive & intriguing setting, a unique animation style, the alien race shrouded in mystery, thrilling battles, and much more… Sidonia without a doubt has a ton to offer.
#5 – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans (機動戦士ガンダム 鉄血のオルフェンズ)
Episodes: 2 Seasons, 25 Each
Aired: Fall & Winter 2015/2016 (S1), Fall & Winter 2016/2017 (S2)
Iron Blooded Orphans, one of the newer inserts into the ever so growing Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, brought a whole lot of new anime fans into the Gundam universe (me being included). With it being a stand-alone series anyone can watch Iron Blooded Orphans without watching any previous Gundam anime. The show follows a group of young teens who break away from their government on Mars to form their own group which they title Tekkadan. Now you may be wondering what’s really to love about IBO? Well there are so many likable characters that the viewer will want to get behind them through all the trials and tribulations Tekkadan faces throughout their quest of achieving power, fame, wealth, and resources. With a crazy mix of blood pumping action, tragedy, hints of romance, political conflict, many twists & turns… you name it and Iron Blooded Orphans more than likely has it. I would even say anime fans who aren’t really into the mecha genre would enjoy this one.
#4 – Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (翠星のガルガンティア)
Studio: Production I.G.
Aired: Spring 2013
Gargantia overall has to be one of the more refreshing anime I’ve watched in a very long time. The setting is so breathtaking and just the idea of cities on ships instantly hooked me in. Gargantia follows Ledo, who after a crazy battle in space with strange creatures called “Hideauze” gets sucked into a wormhole and ends up crash landing on Earth in his robot, Chamber. As Ledo over time becomes acquainted with the people on the ship (including female lead, Amy) while also trying to learn their language and way of life, the harsh reality is that much like in space the threat of the Hideauze still exists on Earth, the planet many (along with Ledo) thought was abandoned. Gargantia isn’t focused as much on the mechs & battles as the other shows in this list are, but Chamber itself is one of my favorite mechs in anime in terms of its design & the knowledge the robot possesses on Earth, space, and so much more. Gargantia brings a more adventure side of things to the mecha genre and I loved every second of it.
#3 – Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ)
Episodes: 2 Seasons, 25 Each
Aired: Fall-Summer 2006/2007 (S1), Spring-Fall 2008 (S2)
Now do I really have to say much of anything about Code Geass? I would assume most of you reading this article have watched this series and know of the greatness contained in both seasons. The political strategies & mind games, the twists & turns, the battles, the way the series works with its characters, how the ability of Geass is used in certain situations, the tragic & dramatic moments… I could go on and on about all the things Code Geass does so well and if you have somehow NOT watched this anime yet… get on it! What are you waiting for? Season 3 will be here before we all know it! ALL HAIL LELOUCH!
#2 – Eureka Seven (交響詩篇エウレカセブン)
Aired: Spring 2005 – Spring 2006
Eureka Seven is a beautiful coming of age & romance story between two young individuals, Renton and Eureka. Just so happens that the robots in this series ride on surfboards in the air, yes you read that correctly. I’ve never binged a series so quickly as I did with Eureka Seven. Following Renton is truly a treat as you see him leave his boring city to venture out into the world alongside Eureka and other members aboard the Gekkostate. Speaking of the Gekkostate… what a crew they really are. Each individual aboard the ship has something unique to offer to the whole group and other than the obvious main relationship between Renton and Eureka others sprout as well & each pairing is handled very properly. The show does throw many unexpected twists at the viewer later on in the series which leads to some very emotional & dramatic scenes. The soundtrack is one of my favorites of all time and for its time the series is animated pretty exceptionally by the crew at Bones and the other staff members who worked on this original project. Eureka Seven has a wide variety of material and substance to offer every anime fan. Definitely a must watch.
#1 – Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (天元突破グレンラガン)
Aired: Spring-Fall 2007
The series that changed my anime viewing life… the series that finally got me say “Wow, anime is actually really cool!” Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. I’ve never felt the way I felt while watching Gurren Lagann when watching any other series, EVER. This anime literally defies the laws of everything in existence. You want robots hopping on galaxies in mid-battle? You got it. You want a robot that is billions upon billions of LIGHT YEARS tall? You got it. All that and more with a fiery cast of characters who never fail to get you hyped up and out of your seat in every single episode, yes it literally did that for me. It also did manage to almost rip my heart out of its place at certain scenes. Some of my favorite moments, quotes, and characters in anime as a whole come straight from this series. Without it who knows if I’d even still be watching anime today as before Gurren Lagann all I somehow had watched were harems. The anime that has everything for everyone is how I would best describe it. GO BEYOND THE IMPOSSIBLE AND KICK REASON TO THE CURB, THAT’S HOW TEAM GURREN ROLLS!
I hope you all enjoyed the list! Let us know some of your favorite mecha anime that you have watched. We would definitely love to hear from you all and what you think of this list in particular. Thank you all for reading!
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