The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has gamers everywhere turning into armchair engineers. Link’s gone full artificer in this Breath of the Wild sequel, assembling everything from battle bots to exploding statues. It’s hard to put down your joy-cons… but if you need to, we’ve got some anime for you.
We get the sense that a lot of you are really into building fantasy robots. So may we suggest some anime with otherworldly mecha? They may not be covered in bombs and spikes, but we still think you’ll enjoy them.
Knight’s & Magic
The new Zelda game lets us journey to a version of Hyrule where all our mechanical dreams can come true. And that’s kind of what happens in Knight’s & Magic, too! This isekai series stars a computer programmer and robot nerd who reincarnates into a fantasy world where knights use robots to fight. Now living life as the young genius Ernie, our hero puts his fanboy knowledge into action.
While Link can slap gacha prizes together with magic glue and a battery, Ernie’s builds take a little longer. He has to go to school, for one thing. Then he has to completely reinvent how these mana-powered mecha are built. By the end of things, he’s revolutionizing his magical new world!
Aura Battler Dunbine
In The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Link uses everything at his disposal to make his new creations. In Aura Battler Dunbine, the people of Byston Well get creative, too. But in their case, their mecha are made from actual organic materials: specifically, giant insectoid creatures.
This Yoshiyuki Tomino series is considered by many to be the first true isekai anime. Not only that, but it’s got the same mix of action, drama, and bizarre names you’ve come to expect from him. Combine that with unique robot designs, and you’ve got an enchanting old-school watch.
Castle in the Sky
While not a mecha series be definition, this Studio Ghibli classic does have plenty of machinery in it. And the overall aesthetic matches well with Tears of the Kingdom… and the Legend of Zelda series in general. Ancient civilizations, floating buildings, and overgrown machinery are just a few of the visual traits these two titles share.
Of course, the film does feature an iconic robot. First seen in the Lupin the Third Part II episode “Farewell My Beloved Lupin,” the design became most famous in Castle in the Sky. Now, a life-sized recreation stands guard outside the Ghibli Museum.