When we think of anime robots, we tend to think of big hitters like Gurren Lagann and Mazinger Z. You know, firing rocket punches and throwing literal galaxies. But ‘bots can be absolutely adorable, too — and we don’t just mean the Chobits kind.
Here are three robotic anime stars who have no business being as adorable as they are. Some of them are also pretty powerful… but don’t let that scare you.
Drill Boy, Brave Police J-Decker
Sunrise’s yuusha series gave us the epic GaoGaiGar: The King of Braves and Brave of the Sun Fighbird. (The latter of those, by the way, is the source of the “Is this a pigeon?” meme.) Also in the mix was Brave Police J-Decker, a series full of anime robots who were surprisingly human, even by yuusha series standards.
Among these braves was Drill Boy, a soccer-loving mecha who could turn into a jet. He was also the last of the team to be completed, relegating him to the baby brother role. We’re not entirely sure how a big robot like this ended up so adorable. But considering this show also has a dump truck robot in a will-they-won’t-they relationship with a human journalist, we’re just going to leave it be.
He’s your clever cat friend from the future, and he’s here to distract you from your homework! Fujiko F. Fujio’s legendary children’s manga has thrived for decades, launching a pair of heart-rending CG movies. (There’s even a slang term — doranaki —for when you cry because Doraemon hits you in the emotions.) He’s not the mightiest of the anime robots, but he’s more powerful than he looks.
As adorable as Doraemon is, he’s also absolutely loaded with technology that kids should not have access to. A dream controller? A virus to make fads literally go viral? Probably not something to give to a bored child.
Haro, Mobile Suit Gundam
This adorable anime robot is potentially one of the mightiest characters in the entire Gundam series — it transcends timelines! Originally seen as a gadget heavily modded by original protagonist Amuro Ray, Haro has become something of a mascot for the Gundam series as a whole.
So what can Haro do? That depends. Some are very basic and effectively serve as roly-poly PCs. Others have AI and seem nearly human, while others still can actually pilot Gundams. And then there’s Haro-man of Mobile Suit Gundam-san: a literal human man who supports his wife and son back on Earth by pretending to be Haro. It’s a tough job, but little Kazuo is counting on him.
These anime robots may not look as fearsome as their brethren. But between them, they still pack a punch.