The genre of mecha anime circles around robots. These robots, in the anime universe, are known as mecha, and they are used by humans, or other individuals. Mecha explores complex themes, including wars, ethics related to AI, existential questions, political intrigue, and identity crisis. Naturally, the series within the mecha genre consist of intense plotlines, Interstellar conflicts, and engaging showdowns. For anyone wishing to explore the category, here are five of the best mecha anime series that one could start with. Let’s delve deeper.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Showcasing an alternate future, Code Geass features the Holy Britannian Empire. This empire conquers Japan and renames the country as Area 11. Situated amidst this chaos is Lelouch Lamperouge, who formerly reigned over Britannia as its prince. He mysteriously obtains the power of Geass from C.C. and gains the ability to order anyone.
Moreover, Lelouch’s alter ego, Zero, ventures to lead a resistance group, the Black Knights. This rebel group aims at challenging Britannia’s oppressive and brutal rule. Hence, the narrative becomes one that of revenge, battles, and justice. Power and morality seem to be on edge in this mecha world which knows nothing but conspiracies and conflict!
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion, also known simply as Evangelion or Eva, is set in a dystopian future surrounds Earth, and Angels threaten its very existence. Angels are mysterious beings, who the protagonists must save humanity from! A group of brave teenagers take it upon themselves to cater to this task. Hence, they pilot Evangelions – giant mecha that are used to protect humankind from Angels.
In the process of doing so, NERV recruits Shinji Ikari. His task, again, is to pilot Evangelion Unit-01 and do his best to fight in this war. The series creates a psychological depth that explores themes of existential dread and human relationships. Additionally, its complex narrative makes Neon Genesis Evangelion as one of the best mecha anime series.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
During the Universal Century’s One Year War, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team examines the harsh realities of war and ethical dilemmas that surround war. As such, the series observes the Earth Federation engage in a battle against the Principality of Zeon. From the team, Shiro Amada gets assigned the role to lead the 08th MS Team.
After the war ends, Shiro is stranded in the wilderness along with Aina Sahalin, a Zeon pilot. Together, although from opposite sides of the war, they form an unexpected bond. This bond leads them to question their personal struggles, their loyalty, ethics when it comes to war against humanity, and the boundaries of the battlefield. One of the best Gundam series, the 08th MS Team is easily a top-tier mecha anime.
As with most of the mecha anime, Gurren Lagann follows a different timeline. It is set in a future that witnesses Earth being ruled by Lordgenome. This ruthless Spiral King subjugates humankind and forces them to reside in subterranean villages. Things take a wild turn when a young digger called Simon finds Lagann, which happens to be an antique artifact.
Simon and Kamina use Lagann to escape when their village is under attack. Seeking purpose, they join forces to rebel against Lordgenome, and build up the mighty Gurren Lagann robot using their mechs. Together, they lead the Team Dai-Gurren and strive to overthrow the Spiral King and his beastmen. In the process, they discover the hidden secrets of the Spiral power, but remain undeterred throughout. They exhibit courage and determination. Hence, Gurren Lagann becomes a heroic tale of what the human spirit has the potential to unleash.