Anime and mecha go hand in hand, with some being Titanic vehicles of destruction while others are just fascinating machines that defy logic. Most people see mecha as products of hard science-fiction. They're not possible with today's science, sure, but they are engineering feats that are possible given better technology. For those anime that decide to kick logic to the curb and do the impossible, mecha can be a great vehicle to imaginative storytelling and unbelievable fantasies.
What we will be focusing on here are those mecha that defy logic. To be truly incredible—as defined as "impossible to believe" or "extraordinary"—a mecha has to go beyond what is normally seen in most mecha anime. It needs to do something truly beyond belief. The following anime mecha meet the definition of incredible, only to just go one step further beyond.
10. Ideon - Space Runaway Ideon
Yoshiyuki Tomino is more famous for creating Mobile Suit Gundam, which remains one of the more realistic depictions of giant robots. However, his often forgotten follow-up series, Space Runaway Ideon, features one of the most Titanic weapons in the history of anime: the Ideon.
Sure, the Ideon may not seem like much at first. Even in the series, it is depicted as actually weaker than most other weapons. That is until the characters uncover some of its more secret abilities, such as the Blackhole Cannon, a firearm that literally shoots black holes out from it. The Ideon Gun fires a fanning spread of energy that obliterates everything in its path. Or perhaps there's the Ideon Sword, an adjustable laser sword that cuts literally any substance. How long can it go? Infinitely.
But all that pales to when the Ideon literally fires lasers from every piece of their body, resulting in a destructive force that makes the Ideon seem almost Godlike in comparison to everything else. And considering how the series ends with the death of the universe itself, it's clear that Tomino sought out to make the most incredible anime mecha of all time.
9. Mashin - Magic Knight Rayearth
Three young girls are transported from the real world into a world of dreams and must pilot three Rune Gods known as Mashin in order to save the universe.
Magic Knight Rayearth is often referred to as a fantasy anime. Even a magical girl anime. But it also boasts one of the most incredible trio of anime mecha this side of the rising sun. The Mashin are tanks of magical power, fueled not by gears or mechanisms, but rather through the pure power of dreams and will.
As the Mashin are manifestations of magic itself, as the girls become more adept with magic, the Mashin only grow more powerful. This culminates with one of the pilots, Hikaru, becoming a literal God of the Universe. This then leads to her literally recreating the universe to better suit the paradise she had in mind. And since the Mashin's powers are tied to their pilots, that's... a lot.
8. Devil Gundam
Gundam is often regarded to as a realistic mecha anime series grounded in reality. Well, when the creatures made Mobile Fighter G Gundam, they clearly tossed any semblance of realism out the window. The series features tons of ridiculous mecha designed after ethnic stereotypes, but, of all the mecha, the most incredible one of all is the Devil Gundam.
The main antagonist of the series, the Devil Gundam is a colossal multi-tiered machine with tons of robots inside of itself. It releases quasi-organic microscopic organisms called DG Cells which corrupt and possesses organisms to bend to its malignant will. Apparently, this Devil Gundam is a sentient machine that requires the soul of a living person to function. Oh, and it can apparently grow into space colonies like a giant tree, almost. It essentially is like Skynet crossed with a zombie plague. It's the worst sort of nightmare imaginable.
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7. Canti - FLCL
No sane person can explain any of the plot points of FLCL to another human being without sounding like a paranoid schizophrenic. This incredible mecha anime features an incredible anime mecha, but it would be foolish to explain how it functions or how it came into being.
Canti is a strange television-headed mecha that springs out of the inter-dimensional portal in protagonist Naoto's forehead... Yeah, it's that kind of series. Essentially, it is a sentient machine designed to capture a Space Pirate's essence. While powerful, it's probably the weakest mecha on this list. But it is incredible due to how bizarre it is. After all, Canti at first resembles an overgrown brain tumor more than a mecha.
6. Escaflowne - The Vision of Escaflowne
Steampunk giant anime mecha. That ought to be enough reason to justify this mecha's place on the list, but bare it a little more thought, because this thing is truly the stuff of imagination. The Guymelef are suits of armor used throughout the world of Gaea as weapons of war, but the most powerful of all is the Escaflowne.
The Escaflowne, also known as the Dragon Armor, is a mecha designed by an ancient civilization. It took a century and a half to create. It's a sentient machine that accepts pilots only after they spill their blood into the core of the machine; and even then, that's no guarantee the Escaflowne will actually operate. Oh, and it can transform into a flying dragon, too! Because, you know, a sword-wielding steampunk mecha wasn't cool enough.
5. GaoGaiGar - The King of Braves GaoGaiGar
GaoGaiGar is often overlooked when reflecting on the greatest of all mecha anime out there, but few series are quite as insanely ludicrous as GaoGaiGar.
The primary mecha of the anime is the Galeon, a sentient lion machine from space who arrived on Earth carrying an alien with him. Said alien can fuse only with a human he saved named Guy Shishioh. This fusion, named GaiGar, can then fuse with the lion Galeon, creating...well, yeah, the titular robot.
GaoGaiGar sports two arms full of incredible power; one harnessing the power of destruction, the other protection. When the two opposing forces are melded, it can unleash the Heaven and Hell; a finishing move that can obliterate just about anything. Creation and death, integrated into one force. That's incredibly crazy.
4. Franxx - Darling in the Franxx
To many, the Franxx are not super unique. They were designed to combat an alien race set to attack and destroy the world — blah blah blah. Most of what makes them unusual is stolen by a certain other mecha that will appear later in this list.
What makes the Franxx such incredible anime mecha isn't their origins or even power sets, but their designs. Let's just be frank about Darling in the Franxx. These mecha suits are designed to be as cute as possible. Sleek and cute, they are the final stage in the cute girl-ification of anime. They are typical anime stock appearances, applied to giant killer robots. There's no in-universe, practical reason for this. They just are for fanservice's sake. And, much like Canti's strangeness, this odd quality makes them incredible.
3. Buster Machine 7 - Diebuster
Gunbuster is a very scientifically plausible mecha anime, with a heavy focus on the effects of time dilation on human relationships. Its titular robot, the Gunbuster, just strains the limits of credibility.
But its sequel? Hahaha. No.
Buster Machine 7, also known as DieBuster, is actually the true form of a humanoid cyborg named Nono transformed once her true power is unleashed. Already, this is pretty incredible, but what makes DieBuster even wilder is its size. Buster Machine 7 is a planet-sized mecha that can warm black holes out of reality. It is truly baffling to even begin to explain how insane this machine is, but, yeah, it literally destroys a Space Monster and twists the fabric of reality so much a reality-eating black hole is thrown away. That's nothing short of incredible.
2. Eva Unit-01 - Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion is undeniably one of the most controversial anime of all time. Some argue it is a perfect exploration of teenage isolation and existential philosophy. Others call it pretentious. What most people can agree on, though, is that the titular Evangelions are unbelievably cool. And none more so than Evangelion Unit-01.
This bio-organic monstrosity looks at first like just a reptilian mecha, but these machines clearly have a ton of strange weaknesses. For example, the Umbilical Cable — a power cord that keeps them charged up to full power when active. The machines need to psychically link up to their pilots — sometimes so extensively they absorb their pilots into themselves.
Oh yeah, and sometimes they just lose control and start going on a horrible rampage where they savagely devour their adversaries.
But what makes the Evangelions—in particular, Unit-01—so incredible is its use of the AT Fields; the boundaries between individuals and spirits. It can be used to generate fields, split alien entities in two, blow up aircraft, or divide the boundaries between living creatures until they literally melt into one another.
1. Gurren Lagann - Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Everyone who has ever watched a mecha anime knew this incredible anime mecha would reach the top of this list. Few mecha anime are as ludicrously crazy as this mecha, with its numerous forms and shapes.
The core part of this mecha is the Lagann, piloted by one Simon. The Lagann is a mysterious robot that is fueled by the power of will itself. With its drill, it can combine with any other machine. Walking mecha suit? Fused (Gurren Lagann). Battleship? Fused. The Moon itself? Fused!
Eventually, the Lagann assimilates enough power and mass to take on a space fleet of ships — with all the people inside it fueling the mecha to encompass more and more power. It's powerful enough to throw literal galaxies like freaking shuriken! The final battle results in explosions that dwarf even the mightiest attack in Dragon Ball Z, and those are just the blasts they shrug off!
And that's not even Lagann's final form where it creates a mecha larger than the observable universe, it takes on explosions more powerful than the Big Bang and, eventually, just reshapes reality itself! I cannot even begin to explain to you how ludicrously powerful this incredible anime mecha is, because words themselves fail to explain the unrelenting power of this suit. It's just...take our word for it. Nothing can top this incredible anime mecha.