If you’re new to anime, “mecha” can be confusing. Mecha, a shortened form of the word “mechanical,” is an umbrella term used in English-speaking countries to refer to giant robots or humanoid machines piloted by actual people.
The anime genre featuring these kinds of machines is called mecha anime. Mecha are mechanical objects that appear in science fiction literature and film.
They’re often popular among teenagers who enjoy building their model kits and playing with or collecting related toys.
Still, they have other fans who are drawn to the complexity and detail of mecha designs and mecha’s unique aesthetic style.
They are also featured prominently in many video games such as Titanfall 2 and Armored Core V. this article will be able to answer the question what is mecha anime.
History of Mecha Anime
The history of mecha anime can be traced back to the early days of Japanese animation. These early influences were mostly from American films, which featured elaborately painted backgrounds and characters with simple designs, inspired by the likes of Walt Disney.
In 1963, Tezuka Osamu drew Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy) for Shonen magazine, a manga that featured super robots as part of its story.
This manga would later be adapted into an animated TV series and become influential in developing the super robot genre in Japan.
In 1970, Go Nagai drew Mazinger Z, a manga featuring a giant piloted robot that could fight against other robots and monsters, for Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.
In 1972, this manga was adapted into an animated TV series and became influential in launching the super robot genre in Japan.
The brief Electric Octopopus 1940s featured a powerful, experimental, mechanical squid. The first series in the mecha series was Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s manga of the 1956 Tetsujin 28-go (later played in cartoons in 1963 and released overseas as Gigantor).
The boy’s picture magazine, 1956. In the series, the robot, made as a last resort to win World War II by Japanese soldiers, was controlled remotely by the main character Shotaro Kaneda, a 12-year-old detective and “whiz kid”.with a brief history of mecha anime, the question what is mecha anime should now be easy to answer.
In 1972, Go Nagai, one of Japan’s greatest liars, described the giant robots like Mazinger Z, directly inspired by the previous series.
He envisioned a revolution in building a mechanic that people could control as a car while waiting to cross a busy street.
The concept became “very popular,” making manga and anime a success. Anime critic Fred Patten wrote that almost all the anime episodes of mecha, such as the monster shows of the week, were metaphors for re-enacting World War II, defending Japan and its culture from Western invasion.
By 1977, a number of giant robots had been created, including Brave Raideen and Danguard Ace. The market for high-end robot toys also grew, producing die-cast metal toys such as the Chogokin series in Japan and the U.S. Shogun Warriors, which were popular (and still) popular with children and collectors.
The giant robots became very popular and stagnant, creating an opportunity for innovation, which Yoshiyuki Tomino took over in 1979 with the invention of the Mobile Suit Gundam, a sophisticated “space saga” called “Star Wars of Japan” and produced a kind of real robots, which incorporates authentic, gritty technology.
Tomino did not like formula news lines and the explicit advertising of the best robot games he worked on, and he wanted to create a movie where robots were used as tools.
While the response to Gundam was lukewarm at first, the efforts of dedicated fans have led to success.
It created a huge market for mecha robots and became the industry that gained Bandai ¥42.8 billion in 2004.
A series of real-world robots and other media were later created, such as Full Metal Panic! and the Armored Core video game series.
In 1990, Patlabor was released, a successful animated film directed by Mamoru Oshii, popularly known as mecha and beauty in the West.
The Neon Genesis Evangelion, invented by Hideaki Anno in 1995, profoundly affected the type of robots. It came to the fore when real-life robots were popular on television.
Reconstruction of the classic mecha anime threads, re-calling the “holy” composer/father as a bad person, and the zealous young character as a “loose” introduction.
Thanks to its unique psychological themes, the show was a huge success, and it continued to cause Japanese anime culture to spread widely and rapidly throughout the world.
The anime version of the mecha (as well as the Japanese kaiju films) received Western acclaim with the 2013 film Pacific Rim directed by Guillermo del Toro.
Similarly, the genre was inspired by the 1998 first-person shooter Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, formed by Monolith Productions.
What is mecha anime is a question going through most of our minds when we come across the name mecha anime.
Subgenres of Mecha Anime
You’re likely to have heard the terms real robot and super robot. These are subgenres of mecha anime, and they tend to be quite different from each other.
In super robot anime, the mechs are often presented as giant heroes, and they may have a magical origin or even godlike powers.
Most super robots tend to be invincible and exist only in one unit (or there may be two that are rivals). The lead pilot is usually an older man who is wise and capable.
Some popular examples include Mazinger Z, Gurren Lagann, Gundam Wing, and Neon Genesis Evangelion (although the latter is more complex than your typical super robot series).
Real robot mecha anime focuses on realistic depictions of robots based on science fiction technology.
They often require power sources or fuel to function and can run out during combat; they also don’t have infinite ammunition capacity or endurance.
In general, you’ll find that many real robot mecha anime series take place in space or show spaceships going into battle using combat mecha for ground operations.
Popular real robot series include Full Metal Panic! (a personal favorite), Macross Plus, Armored Trooper VOTOMS, and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.
Getting an in-depth knowledge of mecha anime should enable us to answer that lingering question, what is mecha anime?
Types of Mecha Anime
These mecas are capable of self-awareness, thinking, and sometimes emotion.
The source of emotions varies from aliens, from fictional characters to American and Japanese-animated series, The Transformers (1984), to artificial intelligence, such as the Brave Police J-Decker (1994) robots to magic, such as Da-Garn of Brave Fighter of Legend Da-Garn (1992).
The first series to feature a large-sounded robot, and the first mecha in color, was Astroganger (1972).
These are external mecha. Popular examples are the first mecha anime, Tetsujin 28-go (1966), and Giant Robo (1967).
This refers to mecha-powered exoskeleton instead of experiments such as cars, as in Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (1983), Bubblegum Crisis (1987), and Active Raid (2016); combined with mecha, as in The King of Braves GaoGaiGar (1997); integrate with robots, as in Transformers: Super-God Masterforce (1988); or be mechanically themselves, as in Brave Command Dagwon (1996).
This ubiquitous type includes a mecha that is tested internally like cars. The first series featured by such a mecha was Go Nagai’s Mazinger Z.
In a 2009 interview, Go Nagai said the idea came to mind when he was trapped in traffic jams and wished his car could swing its arms and legs to move over the cars ahead.
Other examples include Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982), and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007).
There is a series that has hit the mecha and is in the emotional phase, usually due to the AI system of pilot assistance and care, as outlined in Blue Comet SPT Layzner (1985) and Gargantia in Verdurous Planet (2013), or because mecha is also a living being, as shown in the Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995). After going through this article, we should be able to answer the question of what is mecha anime.
Mecha anime, or anime about robots, is a genre that you should learn more about if you love all things related to artificial intelligence and humanoid machines.
A mecha is a type of anime robot, with the word itself being abbreviated from the English word “mechanical.”
There are many different types of mecha, but for a machine to be considered one, it needs to have the following qualities:
- Size: The size of mecha varies greatly depending on their purpose and function. Some may be as large as skyscrapers (known as Titans), while others can be as small as humans and even small animals. Their power source determines this, so there’s no limit to how small or large they can become. However, they tend to come in two sizes: massive or small enough for just one pilot (often called a Mobile Suit).
- Shape: Mecha can come in any shape imaginable. Some appear very similar to humans but with robotic parts like wheels instead of feet or mechanical hands replacing human ones; others look like vehicles such as cars or planes; still, others resemble animals like birds and insects. The only limitation here seems to be creativity–and maybe physics too!