Anime with tall robots that are constantly locked in fights come with a certain type of appeal that’s hard to replicate for other genres. The scale at which battles are fought is huge, and it facilitates excitement not found anywhere else. These anime, however, not only possess the appeal of huge combat, but also that of layered storytelling and nuanced characters with relatable emotional circumstances.
studios such as Gainax, Triggerand Sunrise are responsible for some of the most popular super robot anime known today. Particular attention is paid to the animation of the fights, to the details concerning the robots and to the plot of the stories they are responsible for managing. This resulted in the production of more high-quality shows in the genre, regardless of the studio in charge.
ten Valvrave the Liberator
Set in a future where most of humanity has settled in several outer space colonies, this anime initially tells the story of an intergalactic conflict between two warring nations, namely Dorssia and the United States on the Atlantic coast. However, a third party is involved early in the series, with the Dorsians infiltrating a JIOR school in search of the powerful Valvraves.
Valvraves are large humanoid machines with immense combat abilities. They are the titular mechs of the series and can only be piloted by special humans who have been modified to possess specific alien abilities. The series follows main protagonist Haruto Tokishima – who finds and pilots the first Valvrave – and former Dorsian soldier L-elf in their fight against Dorssia and their many battles in the series.
SSSS.Gridman is an anime that embodies everything a super robot show is meant to be. It features a massive humanoid combat robot that communicates with the protagonist via a computer screen. As the robot, Hyper Agent Gridman, cannot fight in his current form, he usually merges with the protagonist, Yuuta Hibiki, whenever they are ready to fight.
It was inspired by the old Gridman series which ran from 1993 to 1994 and fits its old style perfectly to today’s anime standards. The duo of Yuuta and Gridman constantly fight battles against several different kaiju, with new enemies and allies joining them along the way.
8 eureka seven
Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven is a show that goes beyond robots as it expertly explores several complex themes simultaneously. The series features a protagonist named Renton Thurston, who begins the story embroiled in his own personal struggles. Then, one fateful day, he meets a girl named Eureka with her robot, the Nirvash typeZERO, and this event will drastically change the course of his life.
The robots in this anime are uniquely designed with equally unique and interesting abilities. They are called Light Finding Operations, able to fly through the air like a surfer would over water. Most of them also have vehicle shapes that riders can switch to at will. However, these features are more utility oriented as LFOs are primarily used for battle, with military versions named Kraft Light Fighters.
Kuromukuro is an anime that features peculiar robots primarily engaging in hand-to-hand combat. It features a samurai from Sengoku era Japan who finds himself in the present after his body has been preserved for approximately 450 years. His name is Kennosuke Tokisada, and he is the main pilot of the series’ titular robot, the kuromukuro.
The kuromukuro is expected to be one of the standout robots in the series. He is also a melee fighter, but he uses a sword in combat, an appropriate weapon considering the nature of his pilot. The animation might not be the smoothest, however, it still manages to present thrilling battles without the presence of concentrated energy blasts or over-the-top multiple attacks.
Although its title shares some characteristics with SSSS.Gridman previously mentioned on this list, the events of these two anime have been shown to have no meaningful connection so far. In placeSSSS.Dynazenon features a host of characters working as a team on both the protagonist and antagonist sides. The main antagonists of the series are called Kaiju Eugenicists. They are four in number and have the power to control the kaiju, using them to wreak havoc at will.
The main protagonists are five in number. They’re random individuals from different backgrounds, with four action figure-like components that can be expanded and combined into the colossal robot Dynazenon. In this form, they face various kaiju controlled by Kaiju eugenicists and fight large-scale battles in order to protect their city and its people.
5 Darling in the Franxx
Darling in the Franxx was managed by three studios, namely A-1 Pictures, Trigger and Cloverworks. Its story is set in a future where humans no longer need to reproduce and lack any form of emotional expression. However, they still need protection from monsters known as Klauxosaurs.
In order to fight against the Klauxosaurs, the machines known as the Franxx are employed. They are robots that can only be piloted by two people who must possess healthy emotional responses. The series follows main protagonist Hiro and his new co-pilot Zero Two, as they battle the Klaxosaurs and try to understand each other.
4 Code Geass
One of the most famous series produced by Sunrise Studio, Code Geass is an anime that features more than giant robots and intense battles. It is set in a conquered Japan with an exiled prince from the ruling empire seeking revenge for the death of his mother. His name is Lelouch vi Britannia, and he leads an army of rebels against the empire with his supernatural power and an assortment of mechs at his disposal.
The robots in this series are called Knightmares. They are largely mass-produced and have few or no outstanding features. However, the robots used by the main characters and the main combat forces of the warring parties is a much different story. With units like the Guren, Lancelot, and Shinkirō, this anime hosts some impressive Knightmare executives capable of unique feats carefully developed and introduced as the story progresses.
3 Neon Genesis Evangelion
Critically Acclaimed Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most famous titles in the entire anime community. It was produced by Gainax and remains one of their best works to date. It introduces a young protagonist named Shinji Ikari with his peculiar experiences and interesting development. Moreover, it has an impressive layered story, exploring countless themes and possessing a relatively complex plot.
The main enemies in the series are called Angels, and the robots used to defeat them are known as Evangelion Units. Although they are not completely mechanical, as they are actually “giant humans” covered in robotic parts and they still need to be flown by pilots. These Evangelion units possess immense powers and are the only hope for humanity in the fight against the Angels.
2 Mobile Suit Gundam
The Gundam The franchise is one of the greatest anime franchises of all time. It consists of over fifty different series along with other content outside of the anime industry. Scenarios usually feature large-scale wars and a few heroic characters.
The mechs in the franchise are unsurprisingly called Gundam. They are mostly mass-produced as they are used on all sides participating in massive wars. The protagonists’ Gundams, however, possess unique designs that set them apart from the rest. They are mobile suits with honorable appearances, sometimes possessing remarkable abilities that give them a significant advantage against their enemy factions.
1 gurren lagann
Guren Lagann is a Studio Gainax original mid-2000s anime. The story features an initially unimpressive young digger named Simon living underground with the rest of civilization. However, her mundane life changes after she finds a small robot named Lagaan. Following the attack on his village by a vicious robot, Simon and his new friends Yoko and Kamina, defeat the enemy robot using Lagann and rise to the surface.
The mechs in these series are called Gunmen and can take on a wide variety of appearances. After their literal rise to the surface, the gang make new allies and take control of a new Gunman named Gurren. With Kamina piloting the Gurren and Simon the Lagaan, the duo discover a new form which can be achieved by combining the two gunmen, which they dub the Gurren Lagann. Using this majestic new form, the two embarked on a dangerous adventure, mowing down anyone who stands in their way, using their willpower alone.
AFTER: The Best Gurren Lagann Robots