Many Real Robot
works exhibit elements of the Super Robot
genre they came from, but some works are a true blending of the two genres. Usually, this is either when harder science fiction is applied to a Super Robot
work, or when a work contains two distinct sets of Humongous Mecha
that are different visually, and thematically from one another.
The two flavors this comes in are:
First, we have Real Super Robot. Essentially, a Super Robot
show (where robots are rare and treated exclusively as superheroes and supervillains) that contains little to none of the mystification or magic (or quasi-magic) surrounding the Super Robot genre. It fills in the plot holes about, say, how the robot is repaired, where it goes when it's not used, and either explains or mostly discards the robot's sentience, a key part of the Super Robot
genre. Often, Type 1 shows place the robot under the command of a military or paramilitary organization, and are deployed along with other, more conventional weapons. And often, these "Real-Super" Robots follow the laws of physics much better than their more fantastical counterparts, showing a weight in their movements that better fits their size and scale.
The other is the Hybrid Robot World. The show's universe contains mass-produced robots
that may or may not be Ace Customs
or Super Prototypes
, but in addition, it contains one or more robots with a different origin entirely. These seem as though they could be Super Robots
in another show. Empathic Weapons
are a huge tip that a Real Robot
show is actually this.
NOTE: Simply having Super Prototypes
or Ace Customs
that can go far above and beyond the capabilities of the average robot does not make a work a Hybrid Robot World. The robots must be markedly different in origin and design from the normal robots. And when an otherwise Real Robot
work displays the escalation of weapon power to ridiculous Super Robot
levels, that is not this trope. That is a Lensman Arms Race
- Neon Genesis Evangelion - Real-Super Robot. Super in that the robots are capable of unrealistic feats and respond to the pilots' emotions, but there are hard and fast reasons for these phenomena. The show never lets you forget how completely gigantic the Evas and Angels are, and the Evas are deployed and maintained by the paramilitary organization NERV under the jurisdiction of United Nations bureaucrats. They are "real-world" weapons platforms created to do the duty of a classic Super Robot.
- Eureka Seven - Hybrid Robot World. The LFOs are machines through and through, but the two Nirvash robots alone seem to be alive and respond to the pilots' emotions. This is because, far from being Super Prototypes, they are sentient aliens wrapped in metal upon which the LFO's were based.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - Hybrid Robot World. The Grapearls are humanoid, can fly, and are capable of impressive firepower, but they are powered by mundane fuel sources, while the Ganmen are Empathic Weapons powered by their Hot-Blooded pilots' Spiral Energy.
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross - Hybrid Robot World. While nearly all of the robots, even the Ace Custom Zentradi powered armor and Valkyries, are treated as mobile weapons platforms, with the pilot's skill accounting for most of their battle prowess, the titular Macross, built, not by humans, but by a mysterious alien race, often shows a mind of its own. Also, with its MASSIVE humanoid form and its two Finishing Moves, the Main Guns and the shield-powered Destroid punch, it comes across as a larger-than-life (in more ways than one) figure in an otherwise more classical Space Opera.
- Pacific Rim - Real-Super Robot. The Jaegers seem to be owned and operated by an international military organization involving America, Japan, Australia, China, and Russia, and they are regularly seen being repaired and maintained in the trailer alone. Yet, at the same time, the synopsis states that the fact that the main characters are able to pilot Gipsy Danger and use it effectively is noteworthy, and the robot itself seems to be treated like a hero. The movie poster itself makes it clear: Gipsy Danger is the real star here.