Otaku USA Magazine
Anime’s Strongest Mecha Pilots Ranked

If we had to estimate how many pilots had stepped into robotic vehicles in the long history of Japanese animation, we’d have to say: a lot, man.

But just who is the strongest mecha pilot in anime history? That was the question put to readers of anime research site Charapedia, who answered thusly:

20. Lelouch
Code Geass

19. Kaworu Nagisa
Neon Genesis Evangelion

18. Banagher Links
Gundam Unicorn

17. Hikaru Ichijyo (Rick Hunter)
Macross (Robotech)

16. Athrun Zala
Gundam Seed

15. Mikazuki Augus
Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

14. Shinji Ikari
Neon Genesis Evangelion

13. Inaho Kaizuka
Aldnoah Zero

12. Chirico Cuvie
Armored Trooper Votoms

11. Simon
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

10. Suzaku Kururugi
Code Geass

9. Heero Yuy
Gundam Wing

8. Guy Shishioh
The King of Braves GaoGaiGar

7. Char Aznable

6. Domon Kasshu
G Gundam

5. Setsuna F. Seiei
Gundam 00

4. Kamille Bidan
Zeta Gundam

3. Master Asia
G Gundam

2. Kira Yamato
Gundam Seed

1. Amuro Ray

No huge surprise: Gundam pilots dominated the list, taking up 11 of the 20 spots. Amuro Ray, the protagonist of the original Gundam series and films, coming out on top is no huge surprise either.

More surprising: the fact 137 people voted for Evangelion’s famously weak Shinji Ikari – though one could argue Shinji grows more as a person (and pilot) than anyone else on the list.

Final note: good to see Macross make the list, but no Roy? He was the best!

OUSAers: who do you like for anime’s strongest mecha pilot?

Source: Charapedia

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.