Japo is an anime fanboy that loves everything about Japan. He specializes in writing "Top 10" to rank the best of the best.
What Is Mecha Anime?
Mecha anime is a genre of Japanese cartoons that focuses on robots. Mecha anime tends to be epic, with large-scale battles between robots. That being said, the tone can vary—ranging from comedic to dramatic, and everything in between. Some mecha anime features robots that are almost like superheroes (this sub-genre is known as the "super robot") and some feature robots that are piloted by, and therefore of secondary importance to, humans (a sub-genre known as a "real robot").
The Top 10 Best Mecha Anime You Need to See!
Everyone should check out this countdown, even if you aren't a big fan of mecha. I would consider some of these masterpieces that deserve a place in the top 100 anime ever created.
This is my opinion, so feel free to disagree with me. If you have any shows I should add, please leave a comment and I will check them out!
10. Full Metal Panic
Number 10 is good old Full Metal Panic. Newer anime fans aren't aware of this excellent series because it aired so long ago. This is a shame because I do consider it a must-see for every mecha anime fan. The battles are just amazing—without any unnecessary props like lightsabers or beam weapons. The plot is funny, sad, and twisted all at once, which I really like.
The characters of Full Metal Panic are impressive. And I mean really, they have great chemistry together. The animation is nothing special, but this is an old anime so don't expect too much. The music is pretty good and memorable. Some songs are still stuck in my head!
PS: After you watched the main series, jump into Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. it's not a mecha anime, but it's one of the best comedy anime I did ever see, it's comedy gold, and you will love it if you liked the main series and characters.
9. Eureka Seven (The Original Series)
I saw a recommendation in the comments section for Eureka Seven, so naturally I watched the entire anime in four days. I was amazed that even with 50 episodes, I never felt like it was dragging along. I couldn't stop myself from jumping episode to episode, but I wish I did finish after the first series. Don't miss this anime just because it's a little old and the protagonist is a 14-year-old kid. It's not a perfect anime, and it has its shortcomings, but they are overshadowed by the great plot and amusing characters. Don't get put off by it having 50 episodes because when you are watching, time will fly by!
I'm really happy that someone recommended Eureka Seven to me since I probably would have skipped this series in favor of something newer. But after watching some Eureka Seven AMVs, I knew I should give it a try, and it was worth the time. Now I pass on the recommendation to you!
Eureka Seven AO
That being said, the sequel, Eureka Seven AO, is terrible. It's supposed to be a continuation of this franchise, but I like to think it doesn't have anything to do with the main series (or that it didn't exist and was never made). You would think that once they decided to make a sequel to anime like Eureka Seven, they would make sure it's on par in terms of quality . . . but I had a hard time finishing it.
To wrap it up, watch the original Eureka Seven series, but don't bother with the sequel because you won't be missing anything.
8. Suisei no Gargantia
I liked the setup of Suisei no Gargantia (let's call it Gargantia), even though it didn't deliver on everything that I had hoped. That being said, I still liked it enough to put it on this list. I think the show would have been better if it were spread out over 24 episodes instead of only 13.
The second half is the weakest part of the anime—dropping it from "masterpiece" to "sufficient." The producers tried to make it too dark, too fast, without proper build-up. In the end, they missed a real world-building opportunity. I wouldn't even mind if they had spent a few episodes on Chamber flying around the earth and looking at cool stuff.
The plot really isn't the strongest point of this anime because if you are expecting that it will be Ledo vs. aliens then you will end up being disappointed. What we get instead is tin-can vs. tin-can. The premise definitely had much more potential than this. It was one of my favorite scenarios where humans leave the earth and engage in a galactic battle with monsters.
I wonder if the anime would be much more interesting if Ledo never got transported far away from this conflict and if it all took place in space.
I still recommend that you watch it. It's not 10/10, but it's pretty short, and it has some good mecha battles and robots that obliterate space pirates. What more could you want?
7. Gurren Lagann
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, or just Gurren Lagann, is a must in any top 10 mecha anime list. If you summarized this anime in one word, it would be "galactic"! During its time, it was definitely one of the most talked-about, watched, and highly-rated mecha anime out there.
If you ever questioned whether you should watch it, the answer is an emphatic "yes"! I'd recommend to any anime lover who likes grand action sequences, an epic soundtrack, and a good story with unique animation.
With all the gags and drilling, I thought that it looked too silly and wanted to skip on it. Also, It's not a short series, but once you get to know the characters and setting, you will become deeply invested in the story.
So, in the end, if you want something that will leave you craving more, then give this a try. The ending includes an epic mecha battle that is to die for. Maybe you will even become a real man when you take on the teaching of Kamina!
PS: You will cry a few times.
6. Gundam Seed
From the first moment, I really loved the story of Gundam Seed. Usually, the story isn't the strongest point of a mecha anime, but Gundam Seed does it right.
The animation and art is another strong point of this series; the characters look great—especially Lacus. The mecha are unique and even the battleships are gorgeous. The Gundam I like the most is the X102 Duel Gundam, but I know most people probably loved the Strike Freedom.
The OP and ED of this show are just super awesome and convey the mood and emotions perfectly. I still watch them from time to time on YouTube.
The characters are a pretty big reason as to why I liked the story so much. They all have a genuine personality, and it seems like the production company put a lot of thought into crafting them. I think my favorite character would be Lacus because of her beautiful singing.
The first season of Gundam Seed is definitely better than the second, but it's still a good watch and worth your time.
This anime is actually not my first choice, but it is what introduced me to the mecha genre at a young age. I know it has flaws, but it will always be 10/10 for me.
5. Macross Frontier
Along with Gundam, Macross is probably the second most well-known mecha franchise out there. Macross Delta wasn't as good as Frontier, but it is likely you have seen this or at least heard about it. What I fancy the most about Macross Frontier is the mecha designs, animation, and the epic space music battles.
Delta kind of ruined my motivation to check out the rest, but if you think there is another Macross that is worth checking out, please leave a comment with your recommendation, I would love to check it out.
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Evangelion is one of the most popular anime ever. I love this anime because no anime after has managed to make me feel the same. I feel like I can relate to Shinji, I love Asuka, and the super EVA battles are amazing. The whole concept of the anime is heavily influenced by Judeo-Christianity—with plenty of references and symbolism.
This anime was the first I've seen. I remember being shocked when I saw the Tokyo-3 skyscrapers moving underground when the angel's attack. If there is one reason why some people don't like Evangelion, it would be because of Shinji Ikari. But for me, it's the opposite. Evangelion is exceptional thanks to Shinji. He is one of the most believable and genuinely sympathetic characters ever designed. People often complain that he is annoying, but for me, he is projecting a believable and genuine reaction to what is happening to him.
The design of the Angels is another wonderfully unique part of this series. They are different than any antagonist I've seen before. If you have never seen Evangelion, be sure to start with the series and then go on to the movies for the best experience.
PS: I still don't get the ending.
3. Gundam 00
The first season was fabulous, and I had high hopes for the second season. I'm pleased they didn't drop the ball as I feared. I liked almost all the character in Gundam 00. Even the new characters from the second season weren't too bad. But if there is one thing I hated it would be Louise and Saji, since I still don't get why they were even in the anime in the first place. I think the story would be much better if they didn't bother with the subplot of those two characters, but oh well.
The character that left me with the best first impression was Lockon. I'm glad he had a lot of time on screen, since I would trade him for Setsuna any time. The romance wasn't half-bad either, though it's not something that drew me in.
The ending was pretty well-done. If you haven't watched the movie, I would suggest that you don't bother (if you want to remember the series with a good ending).
The animation is everything you would expect from a Gundam anime, and the mecha battles are both enjoyable and entertaining to watch. I especially enjoyed the Gundam Exia battles. The soundtrack throughout is pretty average and sadly nothing that I will remember, but the OP and ED themes are excellent.
If this had only one season, I would not put it on number three spot. But with the second season, it became one of the most memorable Gundams.
2. Code Geass
It's not often that you can say a sequel is even better than the original, or that and the series ending delivered on everything you wanted, and more. But that is exactly what Code Geass did. I don't think many people haven't heard of this series or the ending, but if you haven't, go watch it before it's spoiled! It's worth it, and there is nothing better than watching an anime like this without spoilers.
The characters are the best thing about this anime, as they are all developed and interesting. There are a lot of them, but even some mirror characters get a proper backstory. I enjoyed the vi Britannia family, Lelouch, and CC the most.
Although the story started with the protagonist on a mission of avenging his mother and creating a peaceful world, it turned into a world domination plot with a lot of twists and turns. You will constantly be wondering what will happen next.
The animation and art are not the best, but they get the job done. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is freaking cool and I still listen to it sometimes. The mecha battles are fun to watch, and Lancelot's design is so detailed and good looking that I bought a model of it.
Another season is in the making and I'm scared that they will ruin it. The first series had the best ending I've ever seen, so we'll need to wait and see if they ruin it with a second season. Maybe Sunrise, the production company behind the series, is so desperate for money that they need to make a sequel for the one anime that doesn't need one.
1. The Winner: Gundam Unicorn
I think this is my favorite Gundam anime from the universal century timeline so far. I don't think it has any problems to rival Gundam Seed or Zeta Gundam in popularity, since Seed is old and Zeta is even older. I watched this series because my brother recommended it to me, but I did hesitate as it references several of the older Gundams. The soundtrack and animation alone make it worth watching, but the plot, characters, and everything else is great, too.
I did watch other Gundam anime, like both seasons of Build Fighters and Blooded Orphans, but to me, this is the best Gundam in recent years . . . maybe even ever. I'm not a huge Gundam fan, but I did still enjoy this epic OVA series. I recommend it to those who have never seen a Gundam anime because it'll get you hooked on the universe and lore. The strongest point of this show is the animation. I don't remember the last time I saw something that looked this gorgeous, the space battles in full HD are something that I will never forget, and the soundtrack fits this kind of anime.
PS: the biggest drawback of this series was waiting for next OVA, but now you can watch them all at once, so I really can give it 10/10 and full recommendation to watch.
What Will You Watch Next?
I would highly recommend each and every one of these titles, regardless of whether you're into the mecha genre or not. There is more to the genre than just giant robots! I hope that you found your new anime obsession somewhere on this list. After binging, let me know what you think in the comment section below!
- AnimeNextSeason - Anime Like, Best Anime And Anime Sequels Info!
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© 2012 Japo Vapo
Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know!
Meku on September 13, 2020:
Code geass is better than any gundam
Gundam Fan on April 08, 2020:
Why is Gundam Seed on th- I mean a lot of people like it but honestly, ugh..
Jonny Apple Sauce on November 11, 2019:
Dude this list was terrible he put Gundam three times WE DON’T NEED TO SEE THE SAME SERIES PUT THREE TIMES BECAUSE “ ohh one season is better than the other” I was here to see what Mecha series were good not what seasons WORST MECHA LIST I’VE SEEN ( good animes though).
Dary on October 04, 2019:
Reallyy? Where is Mobile Suite Iron Blooded Orphan -_-
Dave on July 28, 2019:
Knights and Magic
Michael on February 21, 2019:
Mechanought on January 03, 2019:
I'm pretty sure Gundam 08th MS Team is considered one of the best Mecha animes ever...
Joseph Joestar on December 09, 2018:
Z Gundam is the best mecha series of all time. People who don't agree are only little kids.
Stricker on December 02, 2018:
Yo, I was wondering if those anime can be watched in 2019, since this is a list of anime you can watch in 2018, am I also allowed to watch them in the years to come or could I get into some sort of trouble from watching them while not being in 2018???????
Bryan on October 27, 2018:
Heavy object is a good anime
Vrabe on October 25, 2018:
Mobile suit Gundam Thunderbolt should be an honorable mention
Ravan on September 18, 2018:
plz everyone watch Darling In The Franxx anime it is the best love anime ever I loved it a lot
Rokie on September 04, 2018:
Do not watch the AMV for Gurren Lagann if you plan on watching the anime. A massive spoiler in it!! Author should have mentioned!
Jj on August 29, 2018:
Gundam OO the best
Basel on July 17, 2018:
Grendizer is top-of-the-line .
Grendizer is the superman of superheroes, The end
Salamanka on June 19, 2018:
No mazinger Z or macross? You kids know nothing.
,,, on June 02, 2018:
Gun X Sword anime was good at least
Mystic_Portal on June 01, 2018:
This article is outdated.
you need to add Darling in the Franxx!!!
Dan on April 30, 2018:
No Gundam IBO?!?!? thats a really good anime ;-;
Endo on April 14, 2018:
No Ninja Robots or Dual parallel universe ?
Ben on April 11, 2018:
Knights & Magic is number one in my opinion
Tito on March 28, 2018:
Original 80s macros (1st third of robotech) is epic. Frontier is pretty much based in it.
Doc on March 18, 2018:
Code Geass is an average mecha that has bloated reputation, NGE is not even a valid show with good ideas but horrible implementation of them (also, the characters in it are annoying, unsympathetic, and lack any real development).
This list needs Gunbuster, The Big O and Bokurano.
Jaeger on February 09, 2018:
Aldnoah Zero is the best of all
tracered on February 05, 2018:
"Big O" is better than anything on this list" LOL couldn't be more wrong
Robertus on January 24, 2018:
Heroic Age has the most powerful eh.. mecha like entities by a long shot.
CSyn on January 05, 2018:
Big O is better than anything on this list.
gren on January 02, 2018:
knights and magic
Billy on December 30, 2017:
Dude wtf? Macross Plus man. Go watch Macross Plus right now. It's not even about a war, it's a story of two ex best friends that compete in a military test with two mecha. Oh and its got sweet tunes, a crazy AI, and some really good mecha fight scenes.
mew on December 27, 2017:
I feel like I'm the only one who actually loves Gundam Seed? Maybe because it played a part in my childhood. I can understand how people see it as trash though because it can bring us to despise some characters from the start like Flay and Kira, but the character development is pretty good. People also disliked Destiny because...it was probably centered on Athrun at the start. But anyway, WHO WOULD HATE STRIKE FREEDOM? Even until now, you'd find that everywhere! What the fuck though, I don't really like Code Geass. I know it's EXTREMELY popular amongst millenial fans, but the first few episodes were just classic anime comedy. And it didn't have much action at the start. You can punch me because I only watched like 12 episodes and stopped. Maybe I'll continue it in the future. Anyway, you should've added Cross Ange. It was pretty good. Except the ending. Oh, and it includes ecchi and yuri, which is pretty gross but if audiences are able to look over that, then that's fine. Also, you should totally check out Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse! It's based off of a game. It's pretty good, and filled with badass characters. The real main isn't the girl, despite seeing her in the first episodes.
Anyway, thank you for making this post. I've been looking for some really good Mecha anime to watch and you've provided me with a good amount. Thanks!
Kouji kabuto on December 19, 2017:
No Mazinger, Getter Robo, or Zeta Gundam = 0/10
ASHLEY on December 18, 2017:
I just all anime to make is all of fevoret of all anime fans is powerful male lead,romance/harem,and male like knight of magic with like high school dxd, and code geass,, what happen if that all have that i know guys what your like... Hahahahaha Pls i need anime like knight and magic with, code geass male.
Eve on December 04, 2017:
Cloaked warrior on November 23, 2017:
I guess latest anime's are especially awesome as the technology keeps better and better but I'm a little old school and miss ..Voltes 5..Mazinger Z..Daimos..I just wonder how would these mecha episode would look like done in the latest image technology...thank you.:-)
Winzic on October 01, 2017:
What is the mecha anime at the start of the page?
Januar on September 25, 2017:
Knight & Magic !!
Igor on August 20, 2017:
You shouldn't skip the Gundam 00 movie. Despite it's flaws, it continues the themes from the series and brings the Plan to it's conclusion.
Oh, and Seed Destiny is trash.
Mahdi on August 11, 2017:
Hey, i'm looking for a mecha anime, not sure if it was Japanese or American, that aired in the early 90's. All i can remember is the characters running and jumping off a platform, limbs stretched out, in order to get into their robot suits. PLEASE, help me find it.
Isabella on June 24, 2017:
Gurren Lagann is good but overrated, nuff said.
N B Yomi from Dallas, TX on March 27, 2017:
Crap like this is why I'm cynical towards social media anime fans, yet curse my lack of pursuit in anime to watch. Simply because I didn't know about Bassreiter or Asura Cryin' until today. And while they look interesting. They don't look as accessible as SAO, Fairy Tail, or DBZ. Which is how those anime got popular to begin with.
Jeff Jeff on January 01, 2017:
This was a pretty poor list.
Sebrigg on December 14, 2016:
Why does nobody like Gundam Seed? I thought it was an excellent series and I've watched every mecha anime ever released. Not saying it's the BEST, but I mean... It wasn't bad. Seed Destiny was trash, but the first series was great IMO
tim thomason on November 27, 2016:
im sorry this may sound some what dumb.. but i remember watching an anime show based around some what gundum styled robots, but the controler\person inside their chest wore a form of spandex suit and the movements of the wearer were reanimated by the bot itself.. does anyone have an idea of what show this could have been from?
Me on September 25, 2016:
Where is Knight of Sidonia!?
Bob on July 22, 2016:
Shameza Khan on July 10, 2016:
i saw a anime a few years ago. it was about a few people on an island for mecha training. a brother and sister were in charge o the facility. there was also a guy that was asleep for a while in a chamber and suddenly awakens and thinks one of the girls was his friend
i would love to know this anime name.
Green on July 07, 2016:
Pretty strange list... even the Gundam shows you chose are hardly the best within their own franchise. SEED is legitimately awful.
Christos on December 18, 2015:
I love how nobody pointed out that evangelizing isn't a mecha anime. They're biological organisms in armor.
animeluverr on August 27, 2015:
Im soo happy to see this site which give me a new list to watch, coz i need a change of mood.. I miss watching mecha anime..but lil sad bit coz valvrave the liberator is not on your top 10, its on my top 3 favorite mecha anime of all time.,but by the way thanks a lot guys!jana..
GUILHERME AGUIAR on July 22, 2015:
Eureka Seven miss.. Gudan Repeat...
Alexiel on May 29, 2015:
The list ist great.
But say, how about Ninja Robot also known as Ninja Senshi Tobikage, a classic from 1985. Especially Cybertrone/Tobikage (Flying Shadow). The story and characters are fine, not the best, but original. It deserved a second season.
There is a korean anime known as Lazenca, unfortunately I'va watched it once on the TV some years ago, and even today I cannot find anything about it. :)
AghiuTZa on March 13, 2015:
Blue Gender was a great mecha anime too, with a seriously good plot (personally i rate it 10/10, i rarely do that, not because it was original, but because it was really well and smart put together), great characters, great character development, maybe it was too mature for the audience so that's why it's so underrated, you guys should definitely check it out. Everything exceeded my expectations while i watched it:
enjoyment (10/10), drama (10/10), coolness (8/10), romance (9/10 slow development, but great after all), action (9/10), soundtrack (8/10), realism (10/10), side characters (10/10), excitement (10/10)
Noriko Takaya on February 05, 2015:
Robert Welter on February 02, 2015:
Great list. I really love FMP and CG. Thanks for listing 8 more shows to watch.
av on December 12, 2014:
Code geass is 1. Try watching knights of sidonia and Ginga kikotai magestic prince.
lithiun on September 08, 2014:
The only one i can agree with is Code Geass but at number 1. It's far better than any of the gundam series by a long way.
Salvare00 on January 27, 2014:
where is break blade???
Snuj on December 29, 2013:
try watching Valverave the Liberator....it might give these mecha anime series a run for their money...
exia on December 28, 2013:
aquarian, nge, valvrave are also good ones
HIJASDE on December 15, 2013:
And tetsujin 28?
Anonymous on November 22, 2013:
Did you try watching Machine Robo Rescue? Its an old classic but it really is a decent mecha anime for "little" kids. :D
HitenKatsu on September 21, 2013:
Can't put this more bluntly, Gundam Seed is the worst Gundam series of them all and ruined the entire franchise for me. With that said it is a travesty that you left the best Gundam series off the list. 08th MS team is of the most well crafted animes out there.
Rusty on August 29, 2013:
Oh boy, you know it's depressing when Mazinger Z doesn't make a list like this.
Even worse, you called Evangelion the mother of all Mechas. Right, I don't see how it could give birth to Mazinger Z, which came about 25 years earlier.
Krimlan on July 05, 2013:
No Gundam Wing?
Ayu from Sorajima on April 15, 2013:
I am looking for a list of mecha anime to watch and this is just perfect.
I also think Full Metal Panic deserves to be on the list. Nice hub! :)
olo on March 11, 2013:
linebarrels of iron and zoids
Meh on January 30, 2013:
The King of Braves: GaoGaiGar, Getter Robo, Kotetsushin Jeeg, The Five Star Stories or Mazinkaiser isn't here. This list is no bueno.
Just passing by on October 27, 2012:
Errr.. isn't it Voltus (Voltes) V or Mazinger Z was the mother of mecha anime? IMO :-)
But to me, Code Geass is the winner.
Techo on August 21, 2012:
SickeningCries is right, Broken Blade is a hidden gem among mecha anime be sure to give it a watch!
J Antonio Marcelino from Illinois, USA on June 20, 2012:
Thanks for making this hub. I "hit a wall" as to what is the next Mecha Anime I should watch.
buster machine on June 11, 2012:
you forgot gunbuster
SickeningCries on April 29, 2012:
Try watching Broken Blade it has a really great story to it!
Gundamfanboy on April 07, 2012:
You're not serious when put full metal panic, 00 and seed in that list are you? Ok, as long as age is not there...... It's a good thing unicorn is there but I still doubt that it must be the number one..... When the likes of 08th ms team and zeta is out there......
Banagherlinks on April 07, 2012:
Nope I'm a fan of war and sci fi stories but yeah, some part of me is a gundam fan. Ok, I already know that it's 2012 but still, I thought that this list is about the top ten mecha animes of all time right? Now even with an older graphics I can still tell that escaflowne and the gundams that I mentioned earlier has a more decent plot compared to those listed above which makes them practically more famous and appreciated by fans. It's not all about the graphics or animation, it's the STORY, THE PLOT that still matters, if you're looking for a more decent show I recommend zeta gundam: a new translation it has three parts and best of it, it has some reanimated scenes, so yeah, it has a more presentable look. And the best thing about it, you can forget that this shows is intended for kids and barely focuses on the mechs instead. So yeah, a MATURE SERIES.
Japo Vapo (author) from Slovakia on April 06, 2012:
Vision of Escaflowne was pretty good and maybe it was one of the best Mecha Anime "during it's time", but it's year 2012 now.
Japo Vapo (author) from Slovakia on April 06, 2012:
First of all yea it's based on my opinion and it's even written in the first paragraph so it's normal you have a different list of top 10 Mecha Animes and to me it looks like you are just Gundam fan-boy. (nothing wrong with that)
Only Gundam series I didn't watch yet from the ones you listed is Zeta Gundam.
Banagherlinks on April 05, 2012:
You didn't even bother to add to the list the vision of escaflowne which is maybe considered one of the best mecha anime during it's time.
Banagherlinks on April 05, 2012:
CORRECTION gundam 0079 is the true mother of all real mecha anime I can't believe that any of UC series including mobile suit gundam, zeta gundam, stardust memories, 08th ms team and char's counterattack is not here. The fact that unicorn is in the top list, which is practically under UC series. Although I'm a seed fan, seed is millions of miles compared to those what I've mentioned above. ( doubled on 00 ) I guess you didn't even bother watching or you have no idea about it. In short, this list is NOT RELIABLE and based from YOUR OWN POINT OF VIew. Guess you didn't even bother to research. Just do yourself a favor watch this and come again and tell which is the real TOP MECHA ANIME.
Anonymous on January 10, 2012:
Legend of the Galactic Heroes will always be the #1 mecha animu, imo.
Japo Vapo (author) from Slovakia on January 09, 2012:
I didn't forgot, but Martian Successor Nadesico isn't really something special, I would say 5,5/10 average
A Thousand Words on January 08, 2012:
@ Wrong, I haven't watched that one yet. I always pass by it, is it good?
Wrong on January 08, 2012:
You forgot Martian Successor Nadesico
A Thousand Words on January 08, 2012:
:O There's a sequel? You have made me a happy, happy girl.
Japo Vapo (author) from Slovakia on January 08, 2012:
Well Eureka seven was good too, but these are just better :) if it was top 15 it would be there so maybe the sequel of eureka (Eureka Seven Ao) will do better.
A Thousand Words on January 08, 2012:
Great hub! Where's Eureka Seven??