[[quoteright:300:[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Eva_Fins_6328.jpg]]]]

Sometimes, a {{Mecha}} designer wants their work to look that much more impressive. The solution? ''Verticality.'' These go way past ShouldersOfDoom in a very specific way, although they aren't necessarily pauldrons. Vertical Mecha Fins are when a mecha has a pair of large fin-like projections from the back or shoulders that are far taller than they are wide, extending far above the head of the mech. They may serve a purpose aside from intimidation, such as being the equivalent of a vehicle roof-rack, but they may very well just be decorative.

Just to reiterate, these are separate from ShouldersOfDoom. Vertical Mecha Fins are characterized by giving the mech a very particular type of upper body silhouette, and do not need to be pauldrons.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', being the former TropeNamer, has this in spades. All of the Eva units in the series, except Unit 00 before being refitted and [[spoiler:the Mass-Production units in ''End of Evangelion'']] have these. They serve a few different purposes, as they work as: knife holders, jump jets, spike cannons, mounting racks for additional batteries and other equipment, an anchoring point for connecting to the rails of the vertical launch tubes, [[spoiler:and, like the rest of their armor, restraints to keep the Evas from acting under their own will or gaining too much power]].
** [[SuperPrototype Provisional Unit-05]] uses them to mount [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantograph_(rail) pantographs]] which replace the umbilical cable while operating underground.
** The actual script doesn't really have a consistent name for these, though the term "shoulder pylons" gets tossed around often as not.
** As if lampshading their purpose as [[spoiler:restraints]], virtually any change in the Evas will first involves the Vertical Mecha Fins exploding. Such changes include [[spoiler:when the Unit 01 gains an S2 organ in the TV series and performing the Third Impact in ''The End of Evangelion''.]] ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' continues with the [[spoiler:second set of arms Unit 03 grows in their place, Unit 02's Beast Mode purging them to eject its limiters, and Unit 01's ascension to godhood once more.]]
*** Interestingly the fins are made much smaller in Rebuild as part of the less exaggerated more human proportioned redesigns, yet the fins store even more stuff in them now. Unit 01's knife is now so big that it barely fits in the fin when folded in half; and, Unit 02 not only has two knives, just as big and in both shoulders now, but also retains its spike cannon from ''End of Eva'', now in both shoulders.
* ''Anime/{{Gunbuster}}'', another series by Gainax, has this too in the eponymous mecha. in this case, they house rocket boosters and storage containers for Buster Shield, Buster Tomahawk and Buster Homerun.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Although the titular HumongousMecha itself had normal shoulder pads, several Mechanical Beasts had VerticalMechaFins. One example is Baras K9, that had long and pointed shoulders were part of his JetPack. Many Warrior Beast from ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' and Vegan Saucers from ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' had VerticalMechaFins. Grendizer itself had hints of this, sporting long, sharp, circular blades sprouting from his shoulders.
* The [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/z/rms-099-red.jpg Rick Dias,]] the [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/z/msn-00100.jpg Hyaku Shiki,]] the [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/z/msk-008.jpg Dijeh,]] the [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/z/rx-178-aeug.jpg Gundam Mark II,]] the [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/z/rms-106.jpg Hizack]] and the [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/z/pmx-001.jpg Palace Athene]] in ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' all have large fins on their backs. In this case, they function as either extra "limbs" for zero-G maneuvering, or thruster mounts.
** And the Rick Dias' successor in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'', the Schuzrum Dias, takes this to [[http://mahq.net/mecha/gundam/zz/rms-099b.jpg ridiculous proportions.]] And in this case, the fins come mounted with cannons in addition to the standard thrusters.
** The ν Gundam (Nu Gundam) has its [[AttackDrone funnels]]. The fact that they're called Fin Funnels only gives bonus points.
** [[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/gundam/v/lm314v21.jpg Victory 2 Gundam]] [[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam says hello]].
* Present on the eponymous mecha of ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon''.
* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'':
** The ''[[http://www.mahq.net/mecha/macross/macross.htm SDF-1 Macross]]'' from ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''. It has fins that turn into a WaveMotionGun. And after a botched take-off attempt, the ship loses the conduits that power the gun; bypassing the missing section involves [[TransformingMecha transforming the ship into humanoid form]].
** Both the Modified and Armored Valkyries feature auxiliary boosters that increase the vertical stature of their battroid modes. In ''Anime/MacrossDoYouRememberLove'', the Modified Valkyrie's right booster has the fuel tank replaced with a "strike cannon" that is even taller (when it's not folded forward).
** The ''Macross Quarter'' and the Macross-class ''Global'' research ship from ''Anime/MacrossFrontier''. In the former's case, the fins serve primarily as nacelles for the centerline engine thrusters, as the vessel's WaveMotionGun is a detachable Gunpod that the TransformingMecha wields in its right hand.
* [=GaiGar=] from ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' has these. It's not clear in-show what they're supposed to be - extra maneuvering thrusters or guide rails for combining, maybe? In addition, [=GaiGar=] seems to have been designed with an EVA sensibility - humanoid and agile - which [=GaoGaiGar=] throws out the window.
** During the [[spoiler:Genesic]] Final Fusion sequence [[spoiler: which, as you may remember, would have been the original,]] the way the fins fall into the arms suggest they were there as something to keep [[spoiler: Protectgao]] locked in. This extends to Stealth Gao/Stealth Gao II as well, logically.
* Verdant in ''Manga/LinebarrelsOfIron'' has massive fin like pods on its back, their purpose? to hold the 20 swords verdant uses in combat, also serve as a physical shield and when they open up they give the blue mecha a very menacing winged appearance.
* Non-mecha example: in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' [[spoiler:[[PsychopathicManchild Wonderweiss's]]]] Resurrecion have something between this and GiantPoofySleeves.
** Taomon's attire from ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' also has Vertical Mecha Fin projections. They are only taller than Taomon if she removes her hat, though.
* SkullKillerJakiou, an earlier series about a berserker cannibal bio-mecha also has these.
* [[Anime/TransformersArmada Armada]] Megatron. [[Anime/TransformersEnergon Energon]] one too. And Star Saber from ''[[Anime/TransformersVictory Victory]]''.
* The Raiden and Shinden mechs in ''Anime/{{Gasaraki}}'' have these; ostensibly they're the battery packs that provide the "Tactical Armors" with power. This hasn't helped [[FollowTheLeader certain accusations]] one bit.
* [[AwesomeButImpractical The Jagd Mirage]] in ''Manga/TheFiveStarStories'' with its WaveMotionGun pack installed. There ''is'' a reason why they are nicknamed ''[[MeaningfulName The Twin Towers]]''. Namely, their barrels are 150 meters long, which boosts an already impressively tall (~50 m) Jagd's height to an obscene 200 meters.
* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' [Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann has giant [[ThisIsADrill drills]] mounted on its shoulders. When it performs a Giga Drill Breaker, they detach and connect together before attaching to the mecha's hand.
* The [[SuperPrototype Guren]] in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' gains a pair of Fins when it is upgraded into the [[MidSeasonUpgrade Guren S.E.I.T.E.N.]]. These Fins are more than decoration: they're actually [[DetachmentCombat slash harkens]]... not that it needs them when it can simply RocketPunch enemies with a WaveMotionGun. Still, Kallen likes to [[CherryTapping humiliate outclassed opponents]] with them, especially while delivering a KirkSummation or ShutUpHannibal
* In ''Manga/ShamanKing'' Asakura Hao has these when using an [[InstantArmor armor-type Over Soul]].
* Earth Engine from ''Anime/CaptainEarth'' has these.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallGT'', Baby Vegeta (who isn't a mecha, but is possessed by the Machine Mutant Baby) gains metallic shoulder fins upon taking on his short-lived Super Baby Vegeta form. They're replaced by regular shoulder pads when he further progresses to Super Baby Vegeta 2.

* The Film/{{Transformers|Film Series}} do this with car windows.
* ''Film/PacificRim'': Striker Eureka has them on its back, and Gipsy Danger has smaller projections that serve a similar purpose.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* [=TimeRobo=] Beta/Time Force Megazord, mode blue from ''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger'' and ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' has very high shoulders, especially on the toy. It should be noted that the shoulders/arms of this formation are ''legs'' in an alternate configuration.

* Toys/{{Bionicle}}: normal Skrall and Mata Nui have these.
* Franchise/{{Transformers}} toys - ''Anime/TransformersArmada'' and ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' Megatron, to name a couple. [[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 G1]] Optimus Prime had smokestacks to give this effect.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Sometimes shows up in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'', especially on mechs like the ''Awesome'', which varies between [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/images/a/a4/XTROM_Awesome.jpg little stubs above the arms]] to [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/images/thumb/d/d1/3050_Awesome.jpg/462px-3050_Awesome.jpg giant metal sheets extending above the mech's cockpit]]. Notably, the Awesome's Vertical Mecha Fins predate Evangelion by over a decade. The Mauler and it's [[ArmoredCoffins death-trap predecessor]], the Daboku, likewise have large metal fins sprouting from their arms. The [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:3025phawk.jpg Phoenix Hawk]] also falls under this trope in the 'from the back' variety, and the [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:Shiro.jpg Shiro]] boasts Vertical Mecha Fins in the form of ''flags''. The 'protrusions from the shoulders' category have representatives such as the [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:3025_Charger1.jpg Charger]], the [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:Griffin.jpg Griffin]], and the [[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:Tiburon-3145.png Tiburon]], all of whom boast added but not substantial vertical height.
* Eldar Wraith units and Titans in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' have wing-like protrusions sprouting from their upper backs that apparently serve as force-field generators. Tau Battlesuits have similar protrusions that hold the thrusters for their jetpacks, adding to their {{Animesque}} feel.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[EliteMook Geth Primes]] in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' have a fairly large set of these, which serve to draw attention to them. [[GiantMook as if you needed any help figuring out which one was the Prime]]. In universe, these fins are apparently radio transmitters. Later games have other geth platforms sporting them, including a single very thick pylon on Legion's back, and the geth rocket-troopers, Primes, and Juggernauts in ''Videogame/MassEffect3'' all featuring them as well.
* It's possible to get this look on your mech in ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' games, by mounting a pair of radar extenders. No real point though, as your sensor range will be boosted far beyond the range of any of your weapons and you'd be better off with at least one back weapon.
** Not quite the real deal, but you can simulate it with Stabilizers in VideoGame/ArmoredCore 4 and For Answer. (However, adding Stabilizers in 4 increased your weight.)
** Some arm units also have these, most notably many of ''Armored Core V'' and ''Verdict Day's'' [[TacticalRockPaperScissors TE-resistant]] arms.
* Weltall from ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' has these, though they point more backwards than upwards.
* Not mecha, but SpacePirate commandoes in in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime 2'' have tall shoulder fins like this.
* Justice, the queen and commander of the Gears from the ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' series has these, which add to her cyborg-like appearance. In fact, her face when her mask plate is gone kinda looks like a berserk EVA unit. Hmm, coincidence.
** Justice's design actually owes more to Anime/TekkamanBlade (particularly where [[WaveMotionGun Gamma Ray]] [[ShoulderCannon is]] [[{{Kiai}} concerned]]), but it's hard to argue that her ShouldersOfDoom don't take some inspiration from the Evas (although toned down when it comes to their height).
* These are present on the [[SuperSoldier Spartans']] [[PoweredArmor MJOLNIR armor]] in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series, and they are used to mount a number of attachments from [[InfiniteFlashlight flashlights]] to [[JumpJetPack boost systems]]. They are generally subtle, though many armor variants [[VideoGame/Halo4 in more]] [[VideoGame/Halo5Guardians recent games]] exaggerate their appearance.
* The Armacham Ordog [=MCA=] from ''VideoGame/ShogoMobileArmorDivision''. Admittedly, its fins are angled back more than is usual for the trope, but they still reach above the head enough to fit.
* The Terran Thor assault mech from ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' boasts a set of four giant stacks coming off its back - they look useless until you order it to use its Strike Cannon ability - the whole mech hunches forward and the fins turn out to house 250mm cannon. There's also a special addition Thor that adds on several decorative fins.
** The Protoss Colossus, while lacking shoulders, has several fin shaped aerials that could pass as Vertical Mecha Fins
* Zone Raiders in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars: Kane's Wrath'' sport Vertical Mecha Fins ''on their PowerArmor''. [[MundaneUtility They hold rockets]].
* The ''VideoGame/MechWarrior'' series, set in the ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' universe, features VerticalMechaFins on most of the mechs that have them in the boardgame, such as the [[http://wiki.mechlivinglegends.net/images/e/e9/Mauler.jpg Mauler.]] Depending on the mech, vertical arm-mounted fins can be useful for shielding the mech's side torsos from flanking enemies, though they make the arms a larger target.
* ''Videogame/StarSiege'' has the Apocalypse [[AMechByAnyOtherName HERC]] carrying a pair of vertical fins courtesy of its massive missile launcher arrays on either side of the cockpit.
* ''Videogame/{{Warframe}}'''s "Daedalus" cosmetic armor adds a pair of shoulder guards, which vary in size depending on which [[PoweredArmor Warframe]] they are mounted on; on slender frames like Banshee they are relatively small, whereas on the bulky Vauban they extend all the way to the top of the suit's head.
* Broken Lords [[HeroUnit heroes]] in ''Videogame/EndlessLegend'' often have a set of ornate golden "wings" mounted high on their AnimatedArmor's back, reminiscent of winged hussars.
* In ''Videogame/PlanetSide 2'', each faction's PoweredArmor gets their own flavor of vertical kibble with the cosmetic "Composite" armor, with varying degrees of size. The New Conglomerate MAX gets a set large of heat exchangers riding above their shoulders, the Vanu Sovereignty has diagonal "wings", and the Terran Republic have circular ammunition magazines mounted behind their shoulder blades.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Shockwave and Megatron in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' have this going on, as do [[TheStarscream Starscream]] and the rest of the [[Franchise/TransformersGenerationOne G1]] Seekers.
** The original Jetfire and his Classics remake have this as well, owing to his ''Macross'' origins. And if Shockwave counts, then so does the original Ultra Magnus.
** Soundwave in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''.
*** Soundwave's can be justified as transformation kibble, since his arms form his wings in vehicle mode.
** G1 Ultra Magnus has a pair of freaking ''girders'' growing out of his shoulders.
*** The shoulders of ''Transformers: Prime'''s Ultra Magnus are slightly less girder-y... But only slightly.
* The Megas in ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' has a pair of massive Cadillac-fins on either side of the head unit, courtesy of Coop.
* The flashback episode of ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' chronicling Rex joining Providence. Turns out he's got a SuperpoweredEvilSide that turns him into a HumongousMecha with [[AllYourPowersCombined All His]] [[ShapeshifterWeapon Shapeshifter Weapons]] [[AllYourPowersCombined Combined]], including ''two'' [[{{BFG}} Slam Cannons]], [[ShoulderCannon shoulder-mounted]] in Vertical Mecha Fins position.
* Lex Luthor's giant mech in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' (Season 1). In fact, the mech itself looks like a thinly disguised [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Evangelion Unit 02]]. Possibly a ShoutOut, since the series' creator Bruce Timm is a bit of an ''Evangelion'' fan (he's done a few TimmStyle drawings of Evangelion characters).

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In feudal Japan, samurai sometimes wore flags on their back. See [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eboshi_kabuto.JPG The Other Wiki.]] This might also be the original source of inspiration for VerticalMechaFins.
* Also in the 16th and 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the heavy cavalry, known as hussars, wore sets of wings on their backs for ceremonial and/or intimidation purposes. This has lead to them being called winged hussars to distinguish them from later and earlier age hussars which were light cavalry.