Mecha Fridays: Generation-defining Mecha shows that you can catch up to during the Quarantine

Got some time to spare? Why not watch a mecha show!

The enhanced quarantine period has put the majority of the world on a halt with everyone being advised to try and stay at home as much as possible and only go out if absolutely necessary. Now of course not everyone will have this sort of opportunity as our beloved frontliners, from medical staff, the police, military and even those who are still required to work on essential industries will still have to continue to push forward for the betterment of mankind (and for that we are eternally grateful, THANK YOU!) However, if you are one of those who are doing your part in preventing the further spread of the pandemic by keeping yourself safe and cozy at home, one way to help kill the inevitable boredom would be to try and catch up or watch new shows, and what better way to use this opportunity than to finally tick dip your toes into the wonderful world of mecha by checking out some of these shows that helped defined a generation of fans.

Voltes V
Number of Episodes: 40
Where to Stream: IFlix, HOOQ (subject to availability)

Ah yes, the forever classic and an instant top pick. Voltes V is what made the super robot fandom more visible here in the Philippines with a surefire formula that not only keeps you entertained but will also resonate with the majority of Filipino ideals. A tale of not only fighting evil but also of family and friendship, Voltes V is sure to keep you on your toes with a hulking robot battling giant monsters every episode, all while building up to bigger twists later in the series.

Super Dimension Fortress Macross
Yes, Macross, not Robotech
Number of Episodes: 36
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (subject to region availability)

Watching Macross is always an experience and you’re looking to go straight into the wilder takes of Mecha then this might be the show of your preference. Complete with your usual mecha tropes such as an iconic mecha unit, galaxy battles, a young protagonist and interplanetary disputes, Super Dimension Fortress Macross ups the ante by introducing, or rather incorporating songs into the mix by the form of Idols. For those who are not familiar, a Japanese Idol is somewhat similar to your typical a Pop Star albeit with more specific traits such as their near-personal-ish connection to their fanbase. To summarize Macross would go something along the lines of “You can’t win a battle unless someone is holding a concert while it happens” and while it sounds ridiculous, it definitely also is entertaining.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Number of Episodes: 49 (not including OVAs and Mobies)
Where to Watch: Hulu, Crunchyroll (subject to region availability)

Now I did receive some flak before for citing Wing Gundam over Voltes V as my pick for most iconic mechas in Pinoy TV history, but that and me being a Gundam fanboy aside, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing still helped define a generation by becoming our gateway into the wonderful world of Gundam. Featuring multiple protagonists each with their own view and ideals in a conflict-torn space-age, and with their own unique Gundam Mobile Suit this new trope helped breathe a new life into the Gundam franchise and one that was capitalized on subsequent iterations such as Gundam 00, and Gundam SEED. Now, to be honest, Wing may be weird story-wise, and of course, one can just jump directly into 00 or SEED if they’re looking for something better, but the huh-s and what-the-hecks while watching this show will surely help kill your boredom during your stay at home period.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Number of Episodes: 27
Where to stream: Crunchyroll, Netflix (subject to region availability)

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is an absolute delight both for veterans and newcomers of the Mecha Genre. Complete with all your typical super robot tropes but dialed up to 11, this show comes with ridiculous battles, galaxy-wide conflicts (literally!) and as well as awe-inspiring morals, packing a punch that feels like a love letter to Super Robot anime. In addition to this, the show also comes with your usual Studio Trigger levels of twists and logic that will surely rattle your mind for while the deeper you dive down this series.

̶D̶a̶r̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶F̶r̶a̶n̶x̶x̶ Neon Genesis Evangelion
Number of Episodes: 26
Where to Watch: Netflix

Okay, so I do remember not fully considering Eva as a mecha show, and yes I still stand by that but still I would not deny that it still has giant “robots” fighting giant monsters (you’ll know along the way what I’m talking about). Evangelion has always been very a talked-about show in the deeper circles of the weeab community and one that has really made its mark amongst many Japanese Media Franchises with the show still being relevant and talked about even up until now. In contrast to the previously mentioned entries though, Evangelion will require you to think a bit deeper, and is not something that you just pick up because you felt like it and want to be entertained. Watching this show is similar to undergoing therapy, in a way, as each key character gets thoroughly studied in what their views are, what made them that way, and how their internal and external conflicts are being resolved as the story progresses. In terms of entertainment though, Evangelion still has that kick of robot on monster action, but be prepared as there will be blood and other bodily fluids to be spiled, lots of it, lots and lots of it.

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