Me Grimlock give you head start.
Mecha are cool. Some animals are pretty awesome. But what if we combine both?
are, simply put, mecha built in the shape of animals
. They are usually modeled after creatures considered Badass
, especially dinosaurs
, predatory beasts (often big cats
), and birds of prey
There are two subtypes of Animal Mecha
- The first and older type involves otherwise machine-type mecha to be shaped like animals. Mechanical Horse and Spider Tank are particular subtropes.
- The second and newer type involves sentient, alive creatures as Humongous Mecha. Related to Mechanical Lifeforms.
Mecha based on aquatic creatures tend to be prone to If It Swims, It Flies
Compare Spider Tank
, Mechanical Horse
, Robot Dog
Examples of the first type:
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman's Galactor fielded bird mecha as Monsters of the Week.
- Mazinger Z: Many Mechanical Beasts were shaped like animals (insects, crabs, whales, dinosaur-like lizards...), specially in the later seasons where mythological motifs were used.
- Great Mazinger: The Mykene Empire army was split in seven armies, and every mecha belonged to one or other division depending on its shape. Five out of seven divisions followed a animal theme: Mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes and insects.
- UFO Robo Grendizer, there were less animal-alike mechas, but many Saucer Beasts kept the animal theme, resembling reptils, wolves...
- Go Lion / Voltron consists of five lion-based mecha, each forming a single body part.
- Panzer World Galient: The titular Humongous Mecha is a Transforming Mecha. He has two modes: robot... and Falcon Flight Form, what is Exactly What It Says on the Tin (a falcon-shaped mecha).
- Raideen: It belongs to both types. Although its primary shape is human-looking, it can transform into a bird-like mecha. And it is sentient to boot.
- Several Super Sentai series, with Choujuu Sentai Liveman being the first installment to feature Animal Mecha. The most notable, of course is Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, a.k.a. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Aside from that airship that looks like a bird from Himitsu Sentai Goranger.
- Megas XLR parodies the concept, as well as paying homage.
- The Gunmen.
- The Reptar robot from Rugrats.
- Three of the robots from Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh (of the Eldoran franchise) are in the shape of animals: Hou-Oh (bird), Juu-Oh (lion), and Bakuryu-Oh (dragon.)
- The other two Eldoran anime, Ganbarugar and Nekketsu Saikyo Gosaurer, also feature animal mecha.
- Exalted has some examples of animal-shaped Warstriders for use by shapeshifting Lunars in their animal forms, or Lunar Warstriders that change shape along with their pilots.
- Zoids, depending on the continuity.
- Gaiking has several animal/dinosaur-shaped support mecha, in both continuities.
- The Pachydermobile from an article in The Journal of Irreproducible Results: a four-wheel-drive vehicle intended for observing elephants in their native habitat, designed to look like an elephant as much as possible (and smell like one, too).
- One of the eneies in Conduit 2 is a robotic puma/leopard/tiger/large cat.
- Molly's robot lion in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!
- Ausf A Gestell from Einhander is a crazed mecha ape. Interestingly enough, it's one of the enemies that isn't named after an animal in German.
- Some of the Team Rocket mechas from Pokémon such as the Meowth balloon and the Magikarp submarine.
- Gear Head Zoanid mecha — including the Fenris.
- BattleTech and by extension, the Mech Warrior series, occasionally have Animal Mecha. In most cases, it's simply a few design features on the mech being reminiscent of animals, such as the radar suite on the Wolfhound◊ being contained in two ear-like antennas. The Clans have a habit of creating things to glory the clan and, as most are named after animals, this has led to quite a few 'totem' mechs going full-stop with the animal theme. The best known is probably the Mandrill◊ being some robo-monkey thing. Because the series is known for its Real Robot Walking Tanks, designs like the Mandrill are not very popular - in-universe or in the fandom.
- ProtoMechs have been somewhat (in)famous for their explicit resemblance to the creatures of myth they're named after since their introduction. A more recent development are four-legged "quad" ProtoMechs (following the precedent of the setting's occasional Spider Tanks and similar battle armor models), which are if anything modelled even more after animals and legendary beasts. Quads even explicitly require the pilots to be drugged into a more animalistic mindset for training purposes. Once they know how to handle their machines, the drug is technically no longer required in combat...but it's also highly addictive.
- The Golden Condor from The Mysterious Cities of Gold counts, although none of the other futuristic craft resemble animals.
- The robot snake in Viper almost gets as much attention as the sexy Fembot its menacing.
Some examples of the second type: