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Top 5 Mecha Anime You Should Watch

Updated on October 1, 2017
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Avid Anime and Manga Fan. Have been watching Anime for 20+ years and reading Manga just as long. I watch shows and movies from all genre.

What exactly is Mecha Anime?

Anime in itself is basically a shortened form of the phrase Japanese Animation and usually refer to animated movies, tv shows, and shorts drawn in that particular style. Mecha Anime refer to productions where the hero and various other characters pilot or ride giant robots. My first foray into the genre was back in the nineties on Cartoon Networks Toonami. Like most western fans of this type of anime Gundam Wing began my lifelong love affair with mecha. The designs of the machinery were just so amazing for the time, the action-packed pacing and gritty tone of the story and characters of this dystopian, war-torn future kept me utterly absorbed for a half hour every afternoon. Eventually, the series ended and I began to discover many other great mecha anime, some mainstream known and loved by many and others that are yet to be discovered. Today I will share my top five list of Mecha anime you should watch if you haven't already. Small disclaimer, these are completely my own personal opinions and the list is in no particular order they are all worth the watch.


5. Nobunaga The Fool (2014)

24 Episodes

DVD cover art
DVD cover art | Source

Love is Tragedy

Long ago there were two worlds, not one, the Western world and the Eastern world. A once great civilization once ruled these worlds, in peace and harmony. Protecting their kingdom with "Sacred Treasures", giant mechanical armors gifted to only the most elite of warriors. Now this kingdom is all but a fairy tale of children as both planets have been embroiled in wars for hundreds of years. The Oda clan begin to tighten their grip on the eastern world, meanwhile, King Arthur and his knights conquer the west. Here in the world of the west, a girl is born with the gift of heavenly visions of the future, Jeanne Kaguya d'Arc. Labeled a heretic, she finds herself in the company of Leonardo Da Vinci and on a journey to the east to find the "Saviour King" her visions foretold. The King that will bring peace to the worlds. Upon arrival, they encounter the greatest fool of the east Oda Nobunaga and decides he is the man to change fate.

The mecha designs in this one were really well drawn and the pseudo-3D animations they used for the mecha made the action scenes all the more enjoyable. Parts fly and fluids spill as swords clash across this supernatural battlefield, as "Regalia" awaken the wars reach a climatic apex. Enabling these giant war machines with devastatingly destructive elemental based attacks. Every battle was a visual spectacle of duels and destruction as armies clashed for control of the worlds. In particular, the later episodes where Nobunaga becomes the "Destroyer King" and goes up against King Arthur in the final battle. Characters are well-written and fleshed out nicely, you really come to care for most of the major ones during the course of the episodes. Most notably Akechi Mitsuhide, Nobunaga's closest retainer, as he does a number of questionable things during the course of the story in the name of honor. Yet at the end, you still empathize with him and what he stood for, his ideas, his dream. Same with the main protagonist and antagonist, even though they stood for different ideas and ideals. The fun-loving Fool fighting for his dreams, or Arthur fighting for order, you could see yourself being on either side of the battle if born into such a world. I watched it with the Japanese audio and everything was well acted and paced. Music was another department I think they excelled in, every sword clash, every power, every step of a machine were faithfully reproduced like they pulled the sounds from your imagination. This battle heavy love story filled with enough betrayal and bloodshed to keep a Game of Thrones fan happy is definitely worth the watch all the way to the end.

A New take on an Old Tale

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4. Broken Blade/Break Blade (2014)

12 Episodes

Cover art
Cover art | Source

A Wild Ride

Born into a world of magic Rygart has had the misfortune of being one of the few people here that cant use it. Dubbed "un-sorcerer", as their society uses magic for all aspects, most notably piloting the "Golem" war suits into battle. He is treated as an outcast because he doesn't even possess the ability to make light. Somehow during his childhood, he befriends Hodr and Sigyn, the future King and Queen of the Krishna Kingdom in which they live and Zess the younger brother of the War Secretary of the neighboring Athens Commonwealth. Years later as the Commonwealth begins an aggressive advance on the Kingdom an ancient Golem is excavated that no mage is able to pilot with magic. Despite its age, it is technologically superior to anything anyone in their time could build.They also discover that Zess is leading the strike team from the Commonwealth. After discovering that he can pilot this new weapon with the power to turn the tides of the war Rygart must decide which of his friends he must support.

This one made it into the list because of the story, somehow it just felt different from the normal boy meets girl then becomes hero formula was used to. Golem designs were also noteworthy I loved watching these guys go toe to toe with one another. Each was unique enough to stand out and even the grunts looked sharp. Characters were well written and equally acted, you really develop a bond with Rygart on his journey with humor and jokes along the way. The sound was pretty good, everything sounds exactly as it's supposed to. The animation, battles, and characters make this one top notch in anyone's book, folks you need to watch this.

Broken but still sharp

3. Valvrave the Liberator (2013)

24 Episodes

Volume One Box Art
Volume One Box Art | Source

JIORan Offensive

In the 71st year of the True Era, a vast majority of humanity has left earth to settle space. They now live on various planets and most notably a Dyson Sphere around an artificial sun. Humanity is split into three major factions, the Dorrsian Military Pact Foundation, the Atlantic Ring United States, and the Neutral nation of JIOR. During a Dorrsian invasion of JIOR, module 77 containing Sakimori High School on the Dyson sphere, high school student Haruto Tokishima stumbles upon the Valvrave mech after the death of his classmates and uses it to defend their module. After which he discovers that he is now an immortal energy vampire and the truth of the world is very different from what he has been taught to believe. Action and intrigue abound in this psychological thriller as Haruto begins to unravel the secrets of the world.

This is definitely one of my more favorite mecha animes. Maybe it's all the comparisons to the Gundam franchises. The gritty and adult themes of the story, the awesome mech design, the music who knows this one blows a lot of the competition out of the water. A story where the heroes are abandoned by even their home country and set off to create their own nation is almost a cliche in the anime world but seems refreshing and intriguing here. The battles are entrancing and every one of the Valvrave units brings something needed and unexpected to the table. Each unit is almost completely unique, not just in color scheme, as each possesses a power or gimmick that is unique to that unit. Then there are the characters, which are well written and voice acted. From the stoic, cool-headed military genius of L-elf, to our protagonist Haruto emotionally burdened, whilst also simultaneously shouldering the weight of his immortality and the lives of everyone onboard their tiny Module 77 nation of New JIOR. On top of all this, he has become an energy vampire surviving off the runes, found to be the memories of others. The action scenes, the music (especially that opening song), the characters, everything comes together in this rollercoaster of Love, Loss, and the irony and depravity of war on the human soul make this one anime that should definitely be on your must-watch list if you haven't seen it already.

Reveal the truth of the World

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2. Arpeggio of Blue Steel(2016)

12 Episodes

2 Movies

First Volume Cover Art
First Volume Cover Art | Source

Fire Super Gravity Cannon

2039 and most of the world's landmass has been lost due to rising sea levels from global warming. Mysteriously a fleet of warships sweep across the oceans and utterly destroy the world's naval powers before imposing a worldwide naval and aerial blockade cutting off travel between nations. These super advanced warships possessing alien technology never before seen on earth came to known as "The Fleet of Fog". As time passed Fleet ships developed humanoid avatars called, "Mental Models", as a means to cultivate creative thinking in battle tactics to combat humans. With this development Mental Models eventually became unique personalities and cognitive thought. Eventually, there was a defector from the Fleet of Fog, Submarine I-401, Mental Model Iona.17 years later, in the year 2056 she accepts Chihaya Gunzo as her captain. With her technology and his tactics, their ragtag crew called "Blue Steel" begin to change the world.

Yes, technically this one isn't a "Mecha" anime because it's not a humanoid robot, but trust me you will be sorely disappointed if you overlook this one. This story of Hope and Triumph in the face of overwhelming odds is something special. Blue Steel is undefeated, but by no means is this record easily earned it was tooth and nail to the end. Every battle had me on the edge of my seat, dying for the next episode. Pondering my hours away on what would happen next, how would they escape this seemingly life-ending situation. With every choice, each decision feeling like it carried the weight of the life of his ship and everyone on board. It all mattered, nothing was just background or supportive or even felt tacked on, it was all substance. The story and characters are well crafted, though I feel a few could have been fleshed out a bit more even though it would not have moved the plot along. Visuals are amazing, especially ship battles, this is where this one really shines. Advanced alien artillery goes shot for shot with devastating effect, the fact the Blue Steel is literally outgunned in every battle really goes that extra mile to add oomph to it all. Trust me they go out of their way just to show you how outgunned the ship is in every fight and it is glorious. My personal favorite is the "Super Gravity Cannon" weapon, this thing is all kinds of awesome as the ships transform it even splits the ocean when they fire it one episode. Music is another place this one shines making a lasting almost emotional effect when paired with the subject matter. This one definitely deserves your watch.

Battlestations

1. Knight's and Magic (2017)

13 Episodes

Cover Art
Cover Art | Source

Dreams Do Come True

Tsubasa Kurata is what one would call a "mecha otaku", basically a person obsessed with anything robots. His model collection has become so extensive to the point he has many unbuilt kits. In fact, on the day he dies in a car accident he just bought a new one! As he dies filled with regret, he is offered a second chance at life by God. He is reborn into a world filled with magic and monsters, where knights use giant robots called "Silhouette Knights" to battle demon beasts and defend kingdoms. Reborn as Ernesti Echevalier, with all his previous otaku experience and love of everything mecha, he begins to explore the endless possibilities of his dreams and thus begins to rewrite the history of his new world.

This one is awesome beyond words and is definitely my favorite anime of 2017. It's almost as if someone animated my dreams, how great this is. If I died and was given a choice I would more than likely chose this kid's life. How great would it be to actually to pilot an actual mecha? Better yet a fully custom built one-off that only you can make? It's still pretty new so I don't wanna spoil the experience for anyone, but man I enjoyed this and will be watching it again for sure. Everything is on point here to every episode felt movie quality in terms of visuals, acting, and sound. 8-bit studio poured their hearts into this one, every mecha is well crafted and animated in a cel-shaded 3D style that almost seems hand drawn and only adds to the storybook fantasy backgrounds. I delighted in Ernesti's every design choice, as his creations only became more and more amazing and over the top every time. To the point, it started to feel like he would come up with a new invention every episode, new weapon for every new battle, new part, new design upgrade, this kid has some enthusiasm that has to be commended for his tireless effort to build the ultimate mecha.


Robots Are A Man's Romance

Which one of these great anime will you watch next first?

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Honorable Mentions

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Gun x Sword

Buddy Complex

Suisei no Gargantia

Heavy Object

Thanks For Reading

Hope you enjoyed this list of five great yet maybe not as well known Mecha Anime that you should watch. Thank you for joining us here at HubPages and if you like the read please click the like or follow buttons as I will be releasing new content periodically. Comments are welcome, you can even leave an idea for an article you would like me to write.

© 2017 Marcus C Collins

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