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The mecha genre is one of the most famous in the anime fandom.
Several mecha anime series that appeared over the last several decades have left a lasting mark in the anime world in some way, whether through the creation of a massive anime franchise or in leaving us with an anime series that resounds with viewers for years to come.
Thus, here are the top 10 mecha series that every anime fan should see.
10. Full Metal Panic!
Full Metal Panic! follows Sousuke Sagara, a 17-year-old special agent assigned to protect Kaname Chidori.
To do so, he’s required to adjust to a normal high school life, leaving him with one of his most difficult missions yet.
Full Metal Panic! and the subsequent series do a good job of capitalizing on the scenario and Sousuke’s lack of common sense in everyday settings.
Despite the heavy comedic tone, however, the series does manage to include intense battles between mecha the further into the series one gets.
9. Code Geass
Code Geass is one of the most highly lauded mecha series to air in the last 10 years, and for good reason.
While it does have a relatively straightforward premise — teen with supernatural abilities and intelligence leads resistance to overtake tyrannical empire — its execution is nearly perfect.
Characters on both sides of the spectrum of good and evil are well-developed, the plot moves at a brisk pace, and rarely, if ever, does it feel as if the show had a wasted moment.
8. The Big O
The Big O wins a lot of points on premise alone.
Imagine if every single person had their memories erased 40 years ago, and people were left with only clues to what could have happened.
One such clue is the Megadueses, or giant robots, found throughout Paradigm City.
Though people have forgotten what they might’ve been doing before, some are already trying to use the robots for nefarious deeds once again, leaving Roger Smith, Norman, Dorothy, and Roger’s robot Big O as the protectors of Paradigm City.
7. Super Dimension Fortress Macross
The Macross franchise has put out some excellent titles over the years, and all thanks to the success of the original series, Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
Although it came out soon after the original Mobile Suit Gundam series ended, Macross differed most notably in its focus on relationships.
Whereas Gundam worked to constantly leave its viewers with a sense of tension from near constant battling, Macross was a much more romantic anime.
Ultimately, which one you like more will depend on what you enjoy most in anime than anything else.
6. Eureka Seven
There are a variety of reasons for people to gravitate towards the mecha genre, often somehow pertaining to two robots beating the stuffing out of each other.
Eureka Seven manages to buck the trend a bit, instead drawing its viewers in through the romance of protagonists Renton and Eureka.
The show spends a large amount of time on many members of the Gekkostate crew ship, making for one of the most organic anime worlds in a long time.
5. Gurren Lagann
Imagine if you could get a former enemy mecha to obey your commands by shoving a giant metal head into it.
Then you’ve got the basic foundation for the human resistance in Gurren Lagann.
Next expand the scope of any imagined space battles you have. Destroying a city? Negligible. Smashing a country to bits? Unimpressive.
Blasting a planet to smithereens? Child’s work. Using a galaxy as a frisbee? Now you’re talking.
Neon Genesis Evangelion might not even exist today if it weren’t for Hideaki Anno’s first directed work, Gunbuster.
It also deserves credit for being one of the few mecha series, even today, to feature a female protagonist.
Despite another very straightforward premise of humans fighting a losing battle against aliens, remains memorable thanks to a well-developed lead character and rapid plot progression.
3. Knights of Sidonia
Knights of Sidonia was something of an anomaly.
Not only was it one of the only anime series to be almost completely 3D CG animated, it looked good.
Good animation alone doesn’t make a series, of course, but Knights of Sidonia offered much more.
A compelling world, story, and characters made this one of the most engaging mecha series to appear in a long while.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
A classic among classics.
It’s hard to say just how many have been awestruck by Hideaki Anno’s metaphysical musings on human happiness and so much more over the years.
What starts as a normal tale of humanity trying to survive the apocalyptic attacks of alien angels becomes something much darker as the series unfolds, giving the viewers a deeper and deeper look into the series’ protagonists.
Throw in a possible deconstruction of the mecha anime genre as a whole and you have one of the most bizarre, yet amazing anime series ever made.
1. Mobile Suit Gundam
The granddaddy of modern mecha, mecha fans the world over have Mobile Suit Gundam to thank for the majority of mecha basics we have today.
Before Gundam, mecha shows primarily consisted of heroes summoning a hero robot to fight for them, rather than having the protagonist be the actual pilot to the robot itself.
The series became so popular over time that is has since spawned one of the largest franchises in anime history.
Of all these mecha shows out there though, which one is the best as you see?