Like a lot of you, I’ve been a fan of anime for a good while I love to dip into different genres, even if it’s just a toe. Sadly, I’ve hit a bit of a wall. I’ve got an ever-growing back catalog, but every time I look through my MAL plan to watch, nothing appeals to me. I sit down tonight, planning on going through my list of shame, and here I was again, feeling as though none of these shows were appealing. It did, however, get me thinking about genres I’ve neglected, and in particular, mecha anime. So far, I’ve watched Aquarion EVOL, Evangelion, End of Eva, and Rebuilds, Macross DYRL, Mazinkaiser SKL, Patlabor Movies 1 & 2, Gundam compilation movies, 0080, 0083, 08th MS Team (my absolute fav and def in my all-time top 10), and Wing, and Gurren Laggan. I know there’s a a deep, DEEP well of shows, both Super Robot and Real Robot, but I just don’t really know where to go from here. I’ll finish the Gundam shows eventually, but I’m real burnt out on that particular universe at the moment. So what about you, Mecha Masses? What am I missing out on? What’s your favorite mecha show? Age doesn’t bother me, I just want something that get’s me hype like Gurren Laggan or feel some real deep shit like Eva, ya feel.
Gunbuster and Diebuster. 6 Episodes each. Might as well finish up those Gainax mecha shows.
For some reason, I always forget these exist.
Eureka Seven would be my top pick. It’s incredible. Gorgeous and moving, my favorite of the genre.
I know you said you’re burned out on Gundam but I’d still suggest Turn A Gundam because it’s just so different from the usual fare the franchise has to offer. There’s nothing quite like it in the mech genre.
Otherwise maybe Full Metal Panic? I haven’t seen much of it but I know a ton of people swear by it. If you want some more Macross soap opera stuff then try Frontier or Delta. Code Geass is a show I personally can’t stand but it has a very passionate following so maybe it’s worth checking out just to see if it’s your thing or not.
There’s a few “not the usual Gundam” Gundam shows you might want to try.
Turn A Gundam is kind of like a more peaceful/less extreme Gurren Lagann with a Yoko Kanno OST, survivors of the apocalypse who have rebuilt society to the steam age have to deal with the technologically superior people from the Moon who want to resettle Earth.
And finally in a non-Gundam suggestion: Big O, it’s a mix between Batman the Animated Series and Cowboy Bebop with mysteries/jobs which are usually solved by giant robots. It’s not as out there as Eva but it goes some places. A little caveat, I haven’t watched this in ages, so no idea if it holds up.
I’m not super knowledgeable about mecha (I have seen/will watch almost everything Evangelion related so that’s my favorite) so I’m mostly just visiting this thread to skim recommendations.
And also to tell you that your thread title is wonderful.
Thanks! And share your opinion on Geass. Couldn’t make it past episode 3.
Do yourself a favor and watch Zone of the Enders: Idolo
But not because it’s particularly good, because it’s a great way to get context for Zone of the Enders Dolores i, which is partially a giant mech show, and partially a damn good family reconciliation/space runaway story.
And if you want the full story of Kojima’s mech game, I’d recommend this LP:
I see a lot of hype around Build Fighters. I need to go ahead and check it out. I’ve watched the first episode of Big O maybe 4 times and for some reason never get any further. I need to just sit and watch the damn show.
Puns are the purest form of comedy.
This is actually the first one on the list I haven’t heard of. Knew about the game, vaguely. Had no idea there was an anime!
Build Fighters season 1 is extremely great. If you want something that skews more Gurren Lagann then that’s definitely the way to go.
It’s too bad they never made a second season. Some people might try to tell you that they did but you’re better off not listening to them.
I’m four episodes away from finishing G Gundam, at present! It gets a bad rap among some fans, and by all accounts it’s very different from most other shows in the franchise. As a showcase for legendary cult director Yasuhiro Imagawa, it’s not as consistently good as Giant Robo (or even Shin Mazinger honestly.) But when it’s good…
It’s very good.
Anyway G Gundam’s an homage to martial arts films and wuxia pretending to be a Gundam series, unfortunately saddled w/ some poor ethnic stereotyping. That said, the kick-ass insert song is in Cantonese:
I can heartily recommend Build Fighters.
It’s better than it really has any right to be for something that was literally designed to help market toys and the soundtrack is probably only second to SEED in terms of quality of tracks. It is also available to watch for free on their Youtube channel.
With regards to other Gundam series worth watching, I would personally hold off on watching the original series. I know it is generally recommended but it has aged poorly and if you’re not watching the movies you’re talking about over one hundred episodes. The nice thing about Gundam is that you have the core Universal Century story line or lots of little Final Fantasy style spin offs that have their own worlds and histories while borrowing core elements from the main franchise.
Gundam 08th Team is often recommended as an entry point and I’ll second that. It’s quite short and is a much more tightly focused story. Basically it’s Gundam: Vietnam.
Gundam Unicorn is another short series, with a wonderful soundtrack and boasts the most impressive animation of the series. Go for the OVAs rather than the TV series.
If you’re looking for a longer form series to watch then I would probably recommend Gundam SEED. I’ll probably cop some flack for this as it tends to be fairly polarising. It loosely follows some of the plotpoints of the original series, but with what I feel is better pacing, design and music. The lead character is not as strong as the one from the main series, but the villain is excellent and it’s a much easier way to dip you toe into a 50 episode series. Good english dub with the exception of a handful of characters. I would very much recommend skipping the follow up series, SEED Destiny.
Start with those, then depending on how you feel you can dip into either the longer story line or keep sampling from the other series.
Mech shows you should definitely watch
Gurren Lagann is great. It’s wonderful. Watching it when it came out made me feel like a kid again when I used to race home from school to watch Transformers of an afternoon. It can dip a little but nothing hits the kind of peaks that this series reaches. Also only 25 episodes, so nice and short. I could tell you more, but it would ruin the surprise.
Macross Plus is a single movie, so there is very little time investment required. You don’t need to know anything much about previous entries in the franchise, it’s all quite self contained. For all intents and purposes, it is Top Gun in space. One of the best soundtracks of any series ever. Watch this, (the english version is first rate) then if enjoy it you can branch into Macross (the original series, some of which you might remember as Robotech as either a 50 episode series or Do You Remember Love, the movie compilation (which holds up much better than the main series, for similar reasons as I recommended skipping UC Gundam above) Macross 7 (which has more of a rock and roll theme to it, but suffers from dire pacing problems in it’s first half) and Macross Fronter (more of a j-pop thing but offers more modern animation and a smoother entry point) Skip Macross Zero and from what I understand whatever the most recent series released was pretty dire.
Full Metal Panic! is a 25 episode series about a teenage mercenary who is assigned as a bodyguard in the guise of a student to a girl in a local high school. This might sound nonsensical and put you off, but the series strikes an excellent balance between comedy and mech action. There is a follow up series called Full Metal Panic Fumoffu! which is less about the action, more about the comedy which is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. You can watch it by itself, but it benefits greatly from knowing the personalities of the characters you get to know in the first season. Third season exists and the story is apparently going to be finished off in the next couple of years. Again, excellent English voice overs.
Gunbuster is an older set of six OVAs, perhaps three hours altogether about a group of girls who are chosen and trained to go into space to fight back an invading alien force that threatens to wipe out humanity. It’s a lot tamer than that sounds and gives a surprising amount of care to things like time dilation when traveling through space and other rarely touched on hard science fiction. It also has an incredibly poignant ending. There is more unwanted fanservice than I would like, but the quality of the series is such that it’s worth ignoring/overlooking.
Eureka Seven is a bit more esoteric than a lot of the other series I’ve listed here, but also handles a number of deeper themes and an excellent soundtrack. Eureka Seven focuses on a young boy called Renton. In this world vast winds can blow around the world, essentially allowing people and robots to air surf on special surfboards. He falls in with a crew of ship that travels around the world surfing the winds and publishing a counterculture magazine while earning the ire of the government and resulting in multiple clashes. There is a flow and movement to things that is very well done. I’d say it slips a little with the story towards the end, but manages to end strongly despite that and the series has two of the most well done antagonists in any medium I’ve read or watched. It is long at 50 episodes, so your mileage may vary.
I honestly don’t remember that much from it but I remember Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet is the last one I really remember enjoying.
Gundamn Unicorn is a great watch that’s not nearly as intense as some of the series (0079 and Zeta both took me 8 months to watch). It’s 7 roughly hour long episodes that feel more like mini-movies. Top notch music and animation.
Also, Gundam Thunderbolt has been enjoyable so far. Tonally, it’s way different than almost all of the UC series. It’s basically space murder set to jazz with some interesting designs along the way.
Any recommendations for the more gritty “walking battle tanks” flavor of Mecha? I’ve watched most of 08th team and loved it. Doesn’t have to be Gundam, but I’m craving some real gritty, “realistic”, noir shit.
I almost recommended it, it’s sort of like Waterworld but with a handful of mechs.
@NoCoastGaming I haven’t watched it, but Patlabor is apparently more along those lines.
I have watched Flag, which is similar to what you’re asking for and that was a good watch.
I’ll second the Patlabor recommendation.
And if you’re looking for noir then Big O is a must see.
The eight episode OVA that is Patlabor: The Early Days, as well as the first two movies are among my favorite anime.
And The two seasons of GITS: Stand Alone Complex are basically cyber SWAT ft. cyborgs, spider-tanks, wasp-choppers, exo-suits, etc.