!'''Necessary Tropes'''
* HumongousMecha - This one is pretty obvious, although you can use MiniMecha instead.
* AppliedPhlebotinum - You need some form of explanation for why they're using giant humanoid robots/golems/biomechs instead of tanks and planes. It can range from "Getter Rays need a human form!" to "They're magical" and even more 'realistic' explanations such as Gundam's "Humanoid robots can turn around in space without wasting fuel". Careful with making these mecha more specialized - they may slide out of your series' focus.
* RuleOfCool - Even most [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] shows operates on this, because if it were any more real, it'd just be using tanks instead.
* BigRedButton - No mecha series is complete without one.

!'''Choices, Choices'''
* First of all, choose the media. Are you working on print, animation, a MechaGame, {{Toku}}?
* [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] or [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]]? - Do remember that Real and Super are adjectives, and not strict delineations of genre; nor are they PowerLevels. Super robots can have numerous weaknesses and drawbacks to usage, and real robots can be extremely powerful (ever hear of nuclear weapons?). They are best defined as settings.
** [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]]: Though MazingerZ is the trope maker, GetterRobo is an example of [[{{Troperiffic}} pure]] [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]], it has a mysterious machine made by a MadScientist that is brightly colored and does ''very'' impractical things. Super robots are defined by the RuleOfCool, typically. And CrazyAwesome.
** [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]]: Franchise/{{Gundam}} is perhaps the archetypal example of the [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] setting, with ArmoredTrooperVotoms [[UpToEleven taking it to]] [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness the max.]] Real Robots settings typically have the mecha as mass-produced weapons of war, and oftentimes they're ignominiously blown away, much like soldiers in war films. See also {{Patlabor}}, an even ''more'' realistic series given that it's in a non-military setting.
** [[TakeAThirdOption Mix N' Match]]: Who said you had to stick to just [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]] or just [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]]? Dorks, that's who. EurekaSeven leaned more towards the Real side, but that didn't stop it from having ImportedAlienPhlebotinum, ThePowerOfLove and some awesome designs. Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion was arguably more Super, but the mecha had power time limits and other drawbacks to them. ''Psycho Armor Govarian'' pitted a lone Super Robot against an army of evil Real Robots, but unfortunately the execution was less than impressive, and it has been all but forgotten. Even GaoGaiGar, a popular {{Reconstruction}} [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]] show had many [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] elements.
* Piloted or Remote Controlled? - Does your main character pilot the mecha (like in MazingerZ, Franchise/{{Gundam}} and most others), or is he or she TheKidWithTheRemoteControl (like in {{Gigantor}}, GiantRobo and TheIronGiant) who controls the mecha from outside? How is the mecha usually piloted or controlled? And can the mecha act independently of its pilot or controller (more common in [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]] series than [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]], by the way) if he or she is incapacitated?
* What do your mecha ''do''? Do they fly? Are they speedy and lithe, [[ImpossiblyGracefulGiant dancing pirouettes around bewildered tanks and infantry]], or are they clunky and landbound like ''TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}}'' or ''Anime/FangOfTheSunDougram''? Are they mostly for space, like ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' and ''JovianChronicles'', or do they fight on planetary surfaces?
* How large and mighty are your mecha? How powerful are they relative to other kinds of prominent fighting vehicles?
* What kinds of technology are used? [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter Just good, old-fashioned slugthrowers and sidewinders]]? FrickinLaserBeams? {{Laser Blade}}s? Cloaking? Funky mind control interfaces? [[OrganicTechnology Techno-organic building combiners]]? {{Magitek}}? SteamPunk?
* What are humanoid mecha ''called''? This is a twofold question. First, what's [[AMechByAnyOtherName the general type name for anthropomorphic war machines]]? Second, what are the names of individual machine types? Here of course is the great dividing line between [[RuleOfCool cool-sounding nonsense]] (Zaku, Gaplant, Dauzehn, Methuss, Gafran, etc) and real words (Heavygun, Rapier, Minuteman, Cicada, etc.)
* If you really wanted to, you could forgo the crew/pilots and have ''sentient'' humungous mecha, such as in ''{{Transformers}}''. It's possible to mix them with pilots, as seen in {{Zoids}} and various SuperSentai series. Maybe the mecha are MechanicalLifeforms with intelligence only equal to that of beasts, and require pilots to fight more effectively. Or maybe they're an alien race who had to transfer their brains (or souls or whatever) into humungous mecha in order to survive a great disaster (maybe the same evil alien race threatening the protagonists?).

!'''Pitfalls'''
* FallingIntoTheCockpit ''can'' be done correctly, but sometimes it'll just come off as totally lame. It's a borderline DeadHorseTrope. [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]] shows tend to do this better, since they're absurd to begin with.
* FollowTheLeader - As successful as Evangelion, Gundam, Macross, Getter Robo, etc. were, don't make the mistake of aping elements from them left and right. Originality is a nice thing to have.
* LensmanArmsRace - If you're doing a staunchly [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] setting, don't pull this. This will probably just confuse your fans. In [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]], go right ahead... just do it ''right''.
* GainaxEnding - Goes without saying.
* SquareCubeLaw: A 50-foot tall robot will more than likely crunch! under it's own weight, and normal vehicles can outmaneuver them very easily. How will you get around this?
* ConspicuousCG: CGI will help you get the most out of your budget and can produce some impressive visual effects, but screw it up and the entire project will look half-assed.

!'''Potential Subversions'''
* TheKidWithTheRemoteControl - What happens if the remote control... breaks?
* PowerOfFriendship/[[PowerOfLove Love]]/[[PowerOfTrust Trust]] - What if it's not enough?
* RuleOfCool - What if the ultimate attacks are AwesomeButImpractical? What if the heroes can win by being sensible and practical, reigning in their HotBlood? What if the bad guys are the ones who do things just 'cause they're cool, while the heroes take these life-or-death battles more seriously?
* AllThereInTheManual - It can be really cool to have all sorts of [[{{TechnologyPorn}} fancy gadgets]] but it might not sit well with [[{{UnpleasableFanbase}} some people.]]
* GrandTheftPrototype / BlackBox - what if whoever makes the SuperPrototype / advanced technology in question had the foresight to take out a patent on the design, making it worthless for reverse engineering purposes? Sure, it's just silly in war story (why would people on the opposite side of a war care about patent laws, especially if one side are aliens?), but can be done on smaller scale, like {{Mega Corp}}s conflict.

!'''Writers' Lounge'''
!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''
* WarIsHell - As seen in Franchise/{{Gundam}} and many of its successors. Be warned, though - anti-war stories are notoriously hard to do [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing without making the fighting look exciting]], and that's even harder when you have inherently awesome giant robots.
* GreenAesop - Having all these seventy-ton death machines stomping around ''can't'' be good for the environment.
* ScrewDestiny - and [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu punch it out]] with your Super Robot! Or...
* YouCantFightFate - even ''with'' your [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]]. ''Sigh.''
* {{Determinator}} - but keep trying anyway! Really, the HumongousMecha can be useful in illustrating whatever quality you want to laud, especially if it runs on {{Aesoptonium}}. Also related - IWillFightSomeMoreForever.
* BecomingTheMask: These characters are often great sources of conflict. There's a reason why Franchise/{{Gundam}} [[CharClone has so many.]]

!!'''Potential Motifs'''
* GambitPileup - Nothing says suspense like loading on a huge convoluted plot to keep the audience guessing.
* ThePowerOfFriendship - A natural fit for CombiningMecha
* SuperMode - Makes it easier [[RuleOfCool and cooler]] to display HeroicWillpower

!!'''Suggested Plots'''
* GrandTheftPrototype - Nothing says excitement/plot developement like stealing the protagonist's/antagonist's SuperPrototype.
* VillainProtagonist: Fear me and my [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom giant robot of doom]]!

!'''Departments'''
!!'''Set Designer''' / '''Location Scout'''
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture - The most common place to set this kind of story. On Earth, but in the ''future''!

!!'''Props Department'''
* RocketPunch - the original, iconic [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]] weapon.
* ThisIsADrill - All the better to [[TengenToppaGurrenLagann pierce the heavens]] with.
* AttackDrone - Funnels, anyone?
* ChestBlaster - [[GreatMazinger BRESTOOO BURRRRN]]
* EyeBeams
* {{BFS}} - or any oversized melee weapon, for that matter.
* {{BFG}} - There is always room for MoreDakka
* BeamSpam
* MacrossMissileMassacre
* MechaMooks - useful for maintaining an [[SlidingScaleOfCynicismVersusIdealism idealistic]] tone. [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman Usually.]]
* WaveMotionGun
* DeflectorShields - Nothing says cool quite like HardLight.
* PlotArmor - Need your mecha to be tossed around some for great action, or to demonstrate how the character is so [[{{OneManArmy}} awesome?]] Look no further. Be VERY careful when used in conjunction with [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]].
* MinovskyPhysics - For Real Robot writers who want/need to inject some applied phlebotinum without loosing [[{{MohsScaleOfScifiHardness}} their sense of realism.]]
* MoreDakka - AttackAttackAttack!
* SelfDestructMechanism - Useful [[{{TakeAThirdOption}} Third Option]] for [[{{FailureIsTheOnlyOption}} hopeless situations.]]
* CoolShip - For helping your Mecha get around.
* RoBeast, MechanicalMonster - So you don't like to use FacelessGoons as {{Mook}}s? This is alternate option, work better in SuperRobotGenre.

!'''Costume Designer'''
* LatexSpaceSuit - A staple of the genre.
* ScarfOfAssKicking - Even on the mecha, if you like.
* CapedMecha
* CoolShades
* SpaceClothes

!!'''Casting Director'''
* If Japanese, getting NobuyukiHiyama somewhere in there would be great. If American, DanGreen as TheObiWan or TheCaptain is a good bet, as [[GaoGaiGar Koutarou Taiga]] demonstrates amply.
* For a LargeHam - Creator/CrispinFreeman is your best bet.

!!'''Stunt Department'''
* MacrossMissileMassacre
* HighSpeedMissileDodge
* {{Roboteching}}
* PointDefenseless
* ATeamFiring
* DeusExMachina
* DeusExNukina - Unless the NuclearWeaponsTaboo is in effect.
* FighterLaunchingSequence
* OldSchoolDogfight - In Mecha form.

!'''Extra Credit'''
* If [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]], pack in some CrazyAwesome. If [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]], do it anyway.
* Nothing says cool/profits like introducing a MidSeasonUpgrade. That's ''double'' the money in model kit merchandise!
* FunWithAcronyms
* Any mecha show can be made exponentially cooler with moar TechnoBabble.

!!'''The Greats'''
* ''{{Gigantor}}''/''{{Tetsujin 28}}'' - The very first [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]] series (and indeed, the very first HumongousMecha series), featuring a giant robot and TheKidWithTheRemoteControl who uses it to fight evil.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'' and ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' - The TropeMaker for piloted HumongousMecha and in many ways the codifier for the genre. If the original series is too dated, perhaps check out the 2000 remake Mazinkaiser or the 2009 version ShinMazinger.
* ''Anime/GetterRobo'' - The first CombiningMecha, and a very {{Troperiffic}} series that is the exemplar of the more psychotic variety of HotBlooded. Try the Manga or the {{OVA}}s.
* ''UFORoboGrendizer''
* ''{{Zambot 3}}''
* ''{{Daitarn 3}}''
* ''BraveRaideen''
* The Romantic Robot Trilogy of ''CombattlerV'', ''VoltesV'' and ''{{Daimos}}''.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' - An innovator in its time, it helped codify what [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] was.
* ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon'' - Directed by "KillEmAll" Tomino, who lives up to his nickname here, it is about the Ideon, a Super Robot with a rather ''scary'' power source, the Ide. Was one of the inspirations for Evangelion.
* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' - While it wasn't the first TransformingMecha show, its slick designs, catchy music, ThePowerOfLove and other elements helped turn it into successful franchise.
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' - Took Gundam to the next level.
* ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms'' - Votoms is the leader of what defines 'Real Robot'. The mecha are basically glorified humanoid tanks, and their main propulsion most of the time are wheels built into their feet. Instead of a kid, the main character, Chirico, is a hardened elite soldier who knows what he's doing.
* ''{{Dancougar}}'' - A deconstruction of HotBlooded heroes. The heroes have trouble getting along with their superiors and each other, often drop the ball and cause collateral damage, and they can't even successfully combine into the titular robot until halfway through.
* ''{{Transformers}}'' - More than [[TransformingMecha meets the eye]].
* ''Anime/{{Patlabor}}'' - A rare example of mecha used in a civilian rather than a combat setting, if you want to see how that works. Like ''Votoms'', it is on the "very real" end of the spectrum.
* ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' - An early example of original Western [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] series, inspired by Franchise/{{Gundam}}s and set firmly in the MilitaryScienceFiction zone.
* ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' - A great example of how HumongousMecha can be combined with any genre. A Chinese martial arts adventure with giant robots? Awesome!
* ''Anime/GiantRobo'' - Both an old live-action series (with Giant Robo being a guy in a suit) and later an OVA series, which was directed by the same director who did [[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]].
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' - Love it or hate it, Evangelion changed the genre forever. It created a whole new school of more organic mecha design, and subverted so many SuperRobot tropes. It is the Comicbook/{{Watchmen}} of mecha anime.
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'' - The first Gundam series to gain a major fanbase in America, and in both countries, it introduced a new viewer demographic: [[PeripheryDemographic Girls]].
* ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders''
* ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' - While this series [[ItGetsBetter took time to find its footing]], the series became a classic for its badass action, excellent character development, and for having one of the most best handled anime love stories of all time.
* ''Anime/{{RahXephon}}'' - At first glance, it seems to be an Evangelion imitator, but it's actually a SpiritualSuccessor to ''BraveRaideen''. It combines a musical motif with mesoamerican mythology to create a rich, alien atmosphere.
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' - A rare true American example of the [[SuperRobotGenre Super Robot]] genre, made from whole cloth rather than by {{Macekre}}ing an anime. Defined by RuleOfCool, RuleOfFunny and CrazyAwesome.
* ''Anime/TheBigO'' - Batman with Mecha? Alright!
* ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' - Helped make the SuperRobotGenre cool again.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' - in case you don't want your Super Robot to fight one MonsterOfTheWeek after another, you can turn to these for good examples of lighthearted Super Robot adventure series. Gets darker later on, though also more awesome.
* ''{{Combat Mecha Xabungle}}'' - Who says a [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] series can't be a lighthearted adventure? Certainly not this series.
* ''Anime/MacrossPlus''
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket Gundam 0080]]''
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam'' - Notable for playing most [[RealRobotGenre Real Robot]] tropes extremely straight for a Gundam series.
* ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]''
* ''Anime/TurnAGundam''
* ''FafnerInTheAzure'' - Though it starts off fairly slow, it's well-paced afterwards, and uniquely the focus is not entirely on giant robot battles. If Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion is too disturbing for you, this is a more stable and melancholic alternative.
* ''Anime/{{Bokurano}}'' - Good mixture with CosmicHorrorStory.
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'' - Say what you will about its [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny sequel]] (see below), Seed repopularised the ''Gundam'' franchise and brought in a whole new generation of fans to ''Gundam''. It also adapted parts of the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' storyline, while still managing to tell an original story with likeable, sympathetic, and above-all, [[CharacterDevelopment well-developed]] characters.
* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' - The mecha are [[InstantAwesomeJustAddMecha not really central to this one]]. What makes it enjoyable is the character interaction. [[SoYouWantTo/MakeInterestingCharacters Writing interesting characters]] is vital to any good story.
* ''{{Gasaraki}}''
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' - ''Manga/DeathNote'' with mecha? Alright!
* [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]] - This series subverted or outright avoided many Gundam tropes and developed the political aspect a lot.
* ''Anime/GundamBuildFighters'' - This series is a great example of how to take a LighterAndSofter approach to the genre. With [[MythologyGag frequent nods to the franchise]], excellent CharacterDevelopment, a self-aware sense of humor, and badass battles, this installment has been praised by fans as a [[SurprisinglyImprovedSequel surprisingly heartfelt]] [[WinBackTheCrowd return to form]].
* ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'' - Took Macross to a whole new level. Just make sure you don't get your HumongousMecha series in a sticky legal situation with American distributors though. HarmonyGold is notoriously responsible for preventing this series from reaching American shores.
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn Gundam Unicorn]]''
* ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'' - Parodies the genre by thoroughly deconstructing the AscendedFanboy trope.
* ''[[VideoGame/DanballSenki Danball Senki Wars]]'' - A good example of how an anime can retain the dark themes associated with this genre while still being aimed towards kids. It has well delivered political message, good character development, kickass battles and epic OST.

!!'''The Epic Fails'''
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny Gundam SEED Destiny]]'': This installment is notorious for its huge hatedom. If anything, it's greatest failure(s) seem to lie in the fact that all too often, personal conflicts between cast and crew would spill over into the story itself. Whether you like this series or not, '''don't let this happen.'''
* ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE Gundam AGE]]'': While having an ambitious plot can help your series stand out, this show proves that ambition can become a wash if you do not have competent writers in your writing staff. Thanks to its rushed and/or poorly-developed plot-lines and characters, ''AGE'' became the worst received (and [[{{Ratings}} rated]]) ''Gundam'' installment yet. Moreover, [[TheScrappy Kio Asuno]] is a prime example of how '''not''' to write a TechnicalPacifist into your story.
* ''MartianSuccessorNadesico: [[TheMovie The Prince of Darkness]]'' shows how not to do a movie sequel. Its problems lie mainly in an overly abrupt shift in tone and characterization and poor pacing throughout. Much of this stems from the fact that it was a planned trilogy cut to one movie, so if you're planning on multiple movies make sure you have a good sense of what plot points are most important, just in case. Aside from that, know why people like your story and characters and don't lose that.
* ''{{Zeorymer}}''. The manga never seems to realize that the DesignatedHero is possibly one of the only instances where the {{Wangst}}-ridden ExtremeDoormat personality is actually more ''likeable'' than his "badass" self. The anime, on the other hand, fails to effectively communicate how the villains' {{Fatal Flaw}}s bring them down, which makes the robot look [[BoringInvincibleHero invincible and boring]].
* ''Animation/AstroPlan'', for being a ripoff of the most shameless order.
* ''CandidateForGoddess [=/=] Manga/PilotCandidate'' shows us why blatantly ripping off other mecha, such as [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Evangelion]], and providing a weak GeckoEnding can be very, '''very''' bad for your show.
* ''SuperDimensionCavalrySouthernCross'' is not really ''spectacularly bad'' so much as uninteresting to the point of being a cure for insomnia. Reportedly, the Japanese reaction to the "Southern Cross" segment of ''{{Robotech}}'' was along the lines of "How the hell did they make Southern Cross ''watchable?''"
* ''SpaceThunderKids'' shows us all why having a plot is important. Battle scenes are all well and good, but they have to be meaningful. Don't just use StuffBlowingUp to [[{{Padding}} pad]] a thin script. Also, {{Plagiarism}} is bad.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'''s animated cartoon was an attempt to take a popular video game and tabletop wargame franchise and bring it to television. Unfortunately, an astounding lack of research and [[ConspicuousCGI clumsily rendered animations]] led to mediocre results at best. Be mindful of your setting and prior fan expectations if you're going to do an AnimatedAdaptation or similar derivative work.
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