(Mecha March) Five Mech Shows for Beginners

Hello everyone! It’s Mecha March and that means I talk about mecha anime more than I usually do. (Which is a lot if you know me.) I think that mecha anime is something that modern anime fans seem to have a problem getting into. In response to that, here is a list of series that I think would be a great introduction to anyone who wants to at least try the genre out. That’s it, let’s jump into the list.

Full Metal Panic!

Starting off, I think of this anime as not only an anime for beginning Mecha fans but beginning anime fans as well. It has everything that will see in modern anime in it. High school shenanigans, girls with different colored hair and special powers, gun fights, hand to hand combat, mecha combat, small amounts of political intrigue, and so many other things. The best part about it is that Full Metal Panic makes all of these things completely feasible and understandable with loveable characters.

I love this series so much and I hope we get another sequel series eventually. Invisible Victory was not enough.

Code Geass

Code Geass is like Full Metal Panic, but a big step up in a lot of ways. For one, the politics aspect is played up a lot more because the plot is about a conquered nation fighting for their independence. The show is also a lot more focused on charismatic leaders forming battle strategies against other charismatic leaders who are forming their own strategies.

That might sound boring, but Code Geass always finds a way to make everything entertaining with “oh, what does this character have up their sleeve to counter their opponent’s strategy” combat that is completely awesome to watch. I think the first season, R1, is better then season two, R2, but both are worth watching. The show’s large cast is great and decently developed, which isn’t what I can say about a lot of other anime.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Unlike those other series that are trying to use scientific mumbo jumbo for their robots to have super abilities, Gurren Lagann doesn’t care about any of that. Oh yeah, nobody cares about strategy either. This is a super robot anime and all you need is manliness and fighting spirit to solve all your problems. Not beating your opponent? Use more gar. Need to have your robot transform or upgrade? You need more gar. Need more drills and gar? Up your gar.

This show gets to the point where we have giant robots throwing galaxies around. The ridiculousness isn’t the only selling point though. The main cast of the show has a lot of heart to them and the show’s themes about overcoming limits set by yourself and others is incredibly relatable. I can’t recommend this one enough, because this show is what I consider Studio Gainax’s last master piece.

Vision of Escaflowne

I might be pushing the limit by mentioning a series from the mid 90’s because some people think it’s old for some reason, but I love Escaflowne and I think people should watch it. Especially with the redone Escaflowne releases that make the show look gorgeous. It is an isekai shoujo series that has a good story line, awesome mech fights, a very useful female protagonist, good romance, tons of fantasy spectacle, and so many more things. It’s so strange and wonderful how all-encompassing this show is genre wise and yet it makes all of it click together so well. Escaflowne is good.

Gundam OO/Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

I am cheating a little bit here with having two series in one section, but these are the Gundam series that I recommend to people that want at least a taste of the Gundam franchise. These are the two most recent additions to the franchise and each one of them is gorgeous visually and animation wise. 2D mechs are amazing. Not to mention that each of them goes over a lot of Gundam tropes in their own particular ways that makes them feel fresh and in good taste for the modern anime audience. I mean, both of these are a part of their own universe so there is no extra baggage that you need to worry about. Just jump into them. Give one or both of these series a spin and see if you like it. The world could always use more Gundam fans!

Please try some of these out and join me on the dark side of the anime corner, kind of. Mecha anime is a lot of fun. If you are an experienced mecha fan, what shows would you recommend to a beginner? Did I miss something that you think people who should be initiated would like? Go ahead and list them in the comments below.

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  1. Full Metal Panic was the first mecha anime I really enjoyed and one of the earlier anime I watched as an adult viewer when starting to branch out and look for new titles. I absolutely fell in love with it. Still not the biggest mecha anime fan but there are definitely some great titles. Gundam 00 was also really great, though I’d probably prefer Gundam Seed, though that’s likely because it was the Gundam series that finally got me to watch all the way through and made me want to try a few more titles in the franchise.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. FMP really is something special for me too for a lot of family reasons that I wrote about in a post a year ago or so. So I’m glad it’s connected with you and other people as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved Full Metal Panic and Gurren Lagann and have Code Geass on my to watch list (I know I need to watch it). I have been curious about the Gundam series and was happy to see recommendations on there. Thanks for the suggestions and great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m rather fond of Gundam Wing. Another one I liked was Big O. Both were on Adult Swim in the early 2000s. Escaflowne was really good.

    Anime is never outdated. It only ages like fine wine. Like saying you don’t want to watch Citizen Kane or Casablanca because they are “old”.

    I note that you didn’t include Evangelion for beginners. Wise choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good list! I’ve often said that Escaflowne is a great introductory anime in general, because besides being a damn good series in and of itself, it blends so many genres that even if your n00b friend doesn’t get into the mechas, if they have any future as an anime fan at all then there’s a good chance they’ll find something in it that they do like, whether that’s the fantasy action, the romance, the supernatural stuff, or whatever, and that’ll help you figure out what to recommend to them next.

    Not sure what else I’d really add to your picks. Eureka 7, maybe?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “For one, the politics aspect is played up a lot more because the plot is about a conquered nation fighting for their independence. ”

    Reading the original Dune set my personal bar for realistic politics really, really high. Gotta say that I agree with you on Code Geass. The political environment is one of my favorite aspects of the show!

    That, and CC. And Kallen. But mostly CC.

    I really like CLAMP’s character designs in general, so for a bunch of reasons, I was glad yo included Code Geass!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it was Babylon 5 that set my politics bar for me, so I kind of see you 😁. And yeah, the politics in Code Geass are pretty good.

      C.C. is good, so you have excellent taste 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely Escaflowne and FMP. I still think it’s weird that my first experience with the former was when they played the edited version of that show on Fox Kids back in the day when they had an anime Friday block (Escaflowne shared airtime with Digimon. Let that sink in).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, right? They also had shows on that block like Mon Colle Knights, Flint the Time Detective, and Dinozaurs if you remember those shows. I wished they would’ve kept going with the block when I was a kid since they incorporated Japanese facts, mentioning what’s popular there, and it was the closest thing to Toonami consistently for me since I didn’t have cable when I was a child. They actually released the Fox Kids version on that set, too? Oh, wow.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Definitely Gurren Lagann for the exact reasons you mentioned. It’s focus on style and action as opposed to science mumbo jumbo was what sold me on the series.

    Very good list. I still need to check out FMP and Eacaflowne myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. you basically listed all the mecha shows that i know LOL (and most the shows that have been on my tbw list for quite some time). well, except escaflowne and full metal panic. i love Escaflowne!! even tho i didn’t watch the remake? (even tho i own it, rip, the nostalgia says to only own it, not watch :P)

    i own full metal panic as well but it’s not one i could get into. i think i watched like an episode or two but i just couldn’t handle the perviness/fanservice. so it’s just chilling and collecting dust on my shelf O(-(

    i also started watching iron blooded orphans but never continued it. i didn’t like the blonde girl LOL i’m hoping to pick it up again…one day

    great post!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yes but did they change anything about it? i own it but haven’t rewatched it @_@ so why is it different to the original. if it wasn’t reanimated or recast? is it just the same then?


  9. Well my question is answered lol

    I’ve actually been quite obsessed with the soundtrack of escaflowne (kept whistling it till my mom got annoyed) but never watched it…
    I’m taking notes!

    Liked by 2 people

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