What a time to be alive! With anime and manga available right as they’re released in Japan, we rarely have to wait for a new title. The trouble has been older titles. Fortunately, between streaming and home video services, people have been picking up the slack. And now more than ever, we can immerse ourselves in the classics of decades past. It’s especially great news for fans of mecha anime!
In fact, here are three must-see titles you can get your hands on as we speak. And there are plenty more… what are some vintage titles you’re planning on looking up?
GaoGaiGar: The King of Braves
The capstone of Sunrise’s yuusha franchise, GaoGaiGar is one of the true greats of mecha anime. It exceeded its own potential as a show made for selling Transformers one-offs. With voice actor Nobuyuki Hiyama in the lead as the heroic cyborg Guy Shishio, GaoGaiGar taught fans everywhere that bravery can turn a 1% chance into an assured victory.
Its amazing mechanical designs, epic battles, and surprise mid-series twist make it a must-see series. Plus, 2023 marks the show’s 25th anniversary! Now is a great time to pick up the Blu-ray and immerse yourself in the high-octane mecha hit.
Aim for the Top! Gunbuster
One of the masterworks of anime legend Hideaki Anno, Gunbuster is a mecha anime mainstay. The six-episode OVA follows the story of Noriko, a robot pilot candidate with big dreams. Mainly, those dreams entail piloting robots alongside her beloved Oneesama, the beautiful Kazumi. But she has a much bigger destiny to fulfill, as the stoic Coach Ohta recognizes. Before the series is out, Noriko and Kazumi will be leading the charge against alien invaders in the title robot.
As the full title suggests, this series takes a lot of inspiration from both Top Gun and Aim for the Ace!… but it’s much more than the sum of its parts. Gunbuster is a story of love, friendship, and courage. And its final episode is a legendary tearjerker. Fortunately, we can now enjoy this series on Blu-ray, with its first-ever English dub!
Beast King GoLion
If you’ve never heard of GoLion, then you’ve probably at least heard of Voltron. Even people who don’t know mecha anime know this one. Season 1 of the original 1984 series was localized from the aforementioned anime, set in the (then-)distant year of 1999. When five explorers return to Earth after a space mission, they discover World War III has gone down in their absence, and are then embroiled in an interplanetary battle. Fortunately for them, the princess of Altea intervenes. Through her help, our heroes become the new pilots of the five pieces of the ancient robot GoLion.
If you’ve never seen the original and are ready to dig into it yourself, you can start watching right now on Crunchyroll!
Want more mecha anime? Try out these series with a fantasy twist.