10 Coolest Mecha Anime Battles In Anime, Ranked | ScreenRant

Fans of mecha anime keep coming back to the genre for a number of reasons. Many of anime's all-time classics belong to this storied subgenre, and the characters and narratives featured in some shows stand out as among the best in the industry.

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While well-constructed characters and resonant themes are the parts that drive the appeal of any show, adding giant robots to the mix is a surefire way to make things more exciting overall. If moments of character growth or dramatic tension are broken up by spectacular confrontations between awesome machines, then that only improves the experience.

10 Holland Fights By Himself In The TypeB303 (Eureka Seven)

At the beginning of Eureka Seven, protagonist Renton Thurston idolizes Holland, the leader of an anti-government militia called Gekkostate. However, when Renton joins Gekkostate himself, he and the audience begin to learn that Holland is a complicated character who isn't as heroic as he appears. Traumatized by his past and cratering in his role as a leader, Holland finds himself struggling to let Renton out from under his shadow.

This background makes it all the more exciting when Holland overcomes this struggle in episode 49. Piloting a dangerous, experimental LFO, Holland attacks the antagonist's battleship all by himself while Renton escapes. It's a satisfying conclusion to his character arc that conveys to audiences that Holland, now willing to put everything on the line for Renton, has finally become the leader his comrades expected him to be.

9 Attack On Torrington Base (Gundam Unicorn)

In a scene of pure fanservice in Gundam Unicorn, Neo Zeon remnants stage an armored attack on Federation forces at Torrington base. What would otherwise be a conventional action sequence is elevated by the deployment of dozens of vintage, fan-favorite mobile suits, as well as some characteristically spectacular animation.

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This action scene gave the animators an excuse to have a lot of long inactive mobile suits battle with the added bonus of there being a hefty production budget to keep the visuals looking impressive. The result is an exhilarating fight that established many lesser-known mobile suits, such as the RX-160 Bylarant, as new favorites.

8 YF-19 vs. YF-21 Dogfight (Macross Plus)

Macross Plus is an entry in one of anime's greatest space opera franchises, Macross, which frequently features melodramatic love triangles set against heroic robot action. Macross Plus is a short OVA series that is frequently cited by fans as having perhaps the best animation in the entire franchise.

One of the best examples of the stellar visuals in Macross Plus is a battle between the show's two leading test pilots in the latter half of the series. Each equipped with experimental Variable Fighters, the pilots push their machines to the limit to settle their rivalry. Of particular note here is the spectacular deployment of the "Itano Circus," an animation trope named after the animator Ichiro Itano wherein a blinding flurry of missiles chases a target across the frame.

7 Gunbuster Awakens (Gunbuster/Aim For The Top!)

Despite being the namesake mech of Gunbuster (or Aim for the Top! in Japan), viewers don't actually get to see much of the titular machine until towards the end of this iconic '80s OVA series from Studio Gainax. The story follows Noriko, a seemingly untalented pilot, who's selected to pilot the machine in spite of her apparent lack of skill.

As such, withholding the Gunbuster itself from the audience ends up being the right decision. Noriko faces immense adversity across her character arc, so when she finally has the confidence and skill to pilot the Gunbuster and lay waste to the show's enemy aliens it's a cathartic and empowering moment.

6 NZ-666 Kshatriya vs. RGM-89S Stark Jegan (Gundam Unicorn)

It's a minor action sequence in Gundam Unicorn, but it's remembered as easily one of the most impressive in the series. The Kshatriya is a fearsome, psycho-frame-equipped machine that's capable of dispatching entire mobile suit flights by itself, and it's confronted by a humble Jegan with a nameless pilot.

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The Jegan eventually loses the battle, but that it was able to hold its own against the Kshatriya for so long easily places this machine as one of the strongest grunt suits in Gundam. It's always exciting to see a regular background character get in some hits against a much stronger antagonist, and Unicorn's outstanding animation is sure to impress, with impressive attention given to the effects of the two mobile suits' clashing beam sabers.

5 Gouf Custom vs. Ez8 (Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team)

The OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team is often described as one of the best places to start with Gundam, in part because of its excellent action scenes. In this fight, a modified Gouf blindsides a Federation assault team, easily dispatching a battalion of Guntanks and nearly taking their mobile suit escorts with them. It's interrupted when Shiro Amada engages him in an Ez8.

What follows is a close-quarters slugfest the likes of which is rarely seen in Gundam. The up-close action is a refreshing departure from other fights in the franchise that often see pilots flying around in space while arguing about their ideals, and the animation does a spectacular job of conveying the mechanics and weight of these two colossal machines.

4 Amuro's Nu Gundam vs. Char's Sazabi (Char's Counterattack)

The rivalry between Amuro Ray and Char Aznable, first established in the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime, is surely one of the industry's most iconic. The conflict between these two characters spans decades of Gundam media and sees them going from enemies to allies, to enemies again. Everything comes to a head in Char's Counterattack where the two finally see their decisive confrontation.

It's an incredibly intense battle and one that exposes the fundamental source of the animosity between Amuro and Char. Fans looking to see this fight for themselves will be happy to find Char's Counterattack on Netflix, but be aware that there's some important context in Zeta Gundam that should be known before going in.

3 Unit 02 vs. Mass Production Evas (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

Widely remembered as one of the best fight scenes in Neon Genesis Evangelion, the decisive confrontation between Asuka in Eva Unit 02 and a squadron of mass-produced Eva prototypes is the intense central action sequence in End of Evangelion. The sense of scale and weight to this fight is nothing short of incredible -- terrain crumbles under the combatants' feet, and each hit reads as a devastating impact.

Befitting the tone of End of Evangelion, this fight is also utterly brutal. While audiences were certainly exposed to some grim fight scenes in the original Evangelion anime, this one definitely stands out as the most savage of the bunch.

2 Unit 01 vs. Zeruel (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

The latter half of Neon Genesis Evangelion is far grimmer than its opening episodes, with characters and factions pushed to their physical and psychological breaking points. The Angels keep raising the stakes, so when Zeruel shows up and tears through NERV's defenses in mere minutes, the audience knows that this is no ordinary foe.

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Shinji eventually engages Zeruel in one of the show's most dramatic fight scenes. A berserk Unit 01 attacks Zeruel with shocking brutality, radically subverting the audience's understanding of what the Eva is and what it's capable of. It's this fight that, more than any other, reframes the Eva as an uncontrollable beast rather than a simple tool of combat.

1 Gurren Lagann's Final Battle (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)

Hiroyuki Imaishi's Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a show that never stops upping the stakes. Seemingly obsessed with endless forward progression, Gurren Lagann's battles start out pretty crazy, and only become more over the top as the show progresses. The logical conclusion of this advancement is the outstandingly insane final battle.

Simon and company face down the final antagonist on a literally intergalactic scale, flinging stars and galaxies at their foe in a supersized robot showdown. The sheer audacity of the fight's scale makes it instantly engaging, as it's impossible not to get swept up in the spectacle of it all. It also shows Simon at his most competent, delivering an intense feeling of finality in a narrative that has seen him grow since episode one.

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