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First Church of Mecha

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"These fools worship Transformers!"
Astrotrain, The Transformers, "The God Gambit"

Humongous Mecha are awesome, in a very literal sense. They typically have more armor than a battleship, possess enough firepower to lay waste to cities, and tower over the battlefield like gods of war. When this awe leads to worship, you end up with the First Church of Mecha, in which these war machines are hailed as gods, or even praised as a deity in a full-blown religion. In some settings, these giant fighting robots may actually be gods.

May involve a Cargo Cult or God Guise.

This trope often overlaps with Merchandise-Driven, specifically when an author who wants to write fantasy lore ends up with a sponsor who wants to sell toy robots.

Compare Machine Worship, Deus Est Machina, Thank the Maker, Robot Religion (where the worshipers are mechanical). Just to assuage any confusion, the city in Saudi Arabia is spelled M-E-C-C-A, and, due to its cultural significance to Muslims, it is actually illegal to establish churches there.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Evas of Neon Genesis Evangelion are said at points to be a substitute for God, whatever that actually means. The explanation is that Angels possess God's Fruit of Life and so wield vast power, while humans possess God's Fruit of Knowledge and so have intelligence and sentience. EVAs can potentially possess both, as Angel/human hybrids that possess a human soul and an S2 engine.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Rossiu's home village worships an old Gunmen, though the village elder knows it's nothing more than a simple mecha (and even pilots it to protect the village from another Gunmen that stumbles onto the village) and uses it to justify his population control Lottery of Doom.
    • Chouginga Gurren Lagann, the penultimate mecha of the series, was explicitly described as "one who matches the Gods," as having power tantamount to a sub-Universe all its own, and is capable of near-divine manipulation of space-time. It also looks like a drill angel.
    • There are people who list their religious views as "Gurren Lagann" (Or Kaminalogy).
  • RahXephon was referred to this at some points.
  • Not sure of the other versions, but at least one of the The Vision of Escaflowne manga versions called the Escaflowne a god.
  • GoLion is thought of as one, even if not so in western equivalent Voltron.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, there's Moon-Moon, an isolated forgotten colony that drifted off into uncharted space, and its inhabitants with time regressed into a social, cultural and technological level along the lines of Mayincatec. Among other weird things, they worshipped a rusty old construction mobile suit as a god.
  • The "White Doll" from ∀ Gundam is sort of worshiped as one. Granted, this was before they knew it was a mobile suit, and not just a statue. Not to mention its powers that ''literally'' rival those of a god...
  • Setsuna F. Seiei of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 views Gundams with almost religious reverence because when he was very young, his life was saved by a Gundam. Naturally, the Gundam he eventually pilots is so powerful, it's not even a Gundam anymore but essentially a Super Robot. In the accompanying novel, it is explained that master-villain Ribbons allowed Setsuna to live because the little child saw the Gundam 0 -and Ribbons himself- as a God and it pleased his megalomaniac tendencies. Afterwards, Ribbons hacks Veda to allow young Setsuna to become a Gundam Meister. Which horribly bite back at the finale.
  • The titular mecha from Space Runaway Ideon is referred to as a legendary giant god by the Buff Clan. Considering the Ideon's planet-destroying capabilities, it's a fitting title.
  • In Gravion, Sandman calls his Humongous Mecha "a new deity for the modern age". As if that wasn't enough, its name is God Gravion. However, it's replaced by Sol Gravion, and Sandman's God Sigma Gravion becomes a sort of Sixth Ranger.
  • The Ma-Shin, aka "Rune Gods" of Magic Knight Rayearth. It's unclear if they're actually worshiped, but they do occupy shrines and they're a part of Cephiro's mythology (even if few people know the entire myth).
  • Played with in Gasaraki. The TA/Fake mechas are ugly, purely mechanical looking and sounding, and while they're excellent weapons they're also get clogged by sand and are useless in certain situations, so they're as far from the Awesome Humongous Mecha as you can get. The Kugai on the other hand are referred to as Gods (or Demons, depending on who you ask), and compared to the TAs they're incredibly smooth, much more powerful, and scary.
  • Tenchi Muyo! GXP (Episode 24+ spoilers): The Zinv-lookalike "Idol" mecha Seina gets thrown into was worshipped as the guardian diety of a small village — and Seina was the Chosen One to awaken it.
  • GaoGaiGar is known as the God of Destruction when it's Genesic GaoGaiGar
  • In K.O Century Beast each village that has a guardian statue which in fact houses a robot dubbed Jinns.
  • In Destiny of the Shrine Maiden, the Humongous Mecha are actually gods of Japanese Mythology. One of them is piloted by a nun.
  • The Big O goes so far as to call giant robots Megadei, literally “mighty gods.” Then of course there's their boot up sequence: Cast in the name of God, ye not guilty. Played with in that they're thought of as gods in a Japanese cultural context — because their emergence in the world is inexplicable, and being a physical manifestation of a force of nature — but the boot up sequence is a direct reference to the Christian Gospels.note  The name is also a pun, referring both to the gospel sequence of casting stones and to the nature of the Big O's creation, being metal formed into a mold.
  • Mazinger Z, when it was first introduced, was claimed by Professor Kabuto to be a machine that could be God or Devil. When Mazin Kaiser appeared, at least in the anime, the same man proclaimed that Kaiser surpassed God and Devil. Heck, even its Super Robot Wars theme song proudly proclaims "Is it a God? Or a Devil?" (Kami ka? Akuma ka?)
  • Raideen was the protector deity of Lost Continent of Mu. It was foretold when the Age of Demons began, Reideen would awake and would battle them to protect the world. Needless to say, it happened.
  • ''Tetsujin 28-go'' is actually mistaken for a god in one episode of the 1980 remake.
  • In Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, Kugel's mecha finds its way to a primitive Earth, where it is worshipped by a fleetful of locals.
  • In Battle Angel Alita, there is a cult of Space Buddhists who believe that even androids can achive enlightenment. It was actually centered around the empty cyborg body of Don Fua who turns to have indeed developed god-like powers.

    Comic Books 


    Live-Action TV 
  • More than one series in Super Sentai has portrayed their mecha as gods. Naturally, Power Rangers plays this down to the point of non-existence.
    • The Mecha from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger combine into Daizyujinnote , who is implied to be the actual biblical God, since the Greater-Scope Villain is revealed to be Satan. In the backstory of the series, God and Satan fought each other millions of years ago, causing both of them to be weakened. As a result, God split into seven pieces, them being the five Guardian Beasts, Dragon Ceasar and King Brachion. Around the halfway point of the series, all seven of them combine into the Ultimate Daizyujin, restoring God to its actual power.
    • Gosei Sentai Dairanger has the Daijinryuunote , who is a neutral god that is tasked to protect the balance in the universe. When the battle between the Rangers and the Gorma Tribe threatens said balance, Daijinryuu appears on earth to intervene. It will go to great lengths to complete this task, including blowing up a large chunk of Tokyo or hypnotizing many people to leap from the roof of a building. This creature is so powerful and large, that the Humongous Mecha from the Dairangers do not even reach its ankle. Daijinryuu is adapted in Power Rangers as Serpentera, who is merely the Humongous Mecha of Lord Zedd, averting this trope.
    • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger has the literal Gao God, who is the god of all the Power Animals. Gao God first appeared in the guise of a young boy, before revealing himself to the Rangers. He expressed his anger towards humanity for polluting the earth so much and punishes the rangers by taking away their Humongous Mecha. Naturally, the Rangers continue to fight against evil, despite this setback, causing Gao God to be impressed and give the Power Animals back to the Rangers. Interestingly Power Rangers Wild Force adapts this character as Animus, who, despite not explicitly being called God, is still implied to be one.
    • Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger has King-Ohger, the guardian deity of the planet Tikyū, who aided the original heroes in defeating the Bognaarok Empire two thousand years ago. Per Sentai tradition, King-Ohger is comprised of five King Shugods, giant Mechanical Insects who serve as guardian deities of the five kingdoms, as well as five smaller Sub Shugods forming extra body parts. The King Shugods themselves are sapient and capable of deciding who uses their power to transform, as seen when God Kuwagata grants Gira its power after he openly rebels against the corrupt Racules, implying that it agrees that the latter is unfit to be king.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Titans of Warhammer 40,000 are acknowledged as god-machines even outside of the technology-worshipping Adeptus Mechanicus.
    • To complicate the matter, some have literal churches built on them.
    • Some have churches and shrines built for them.
    • In 40k comic "Titan", after the said Titan Invictus falls into a warp rift and emerges in a totally different place, natives of that area worship what remains of the mecha as god.
    • The Ork versions, the Gargants, often are modeled after their gods, Gork and Mork. In at least one case they began building such a machine and then proceeded to have a war over out which one of them it is. (This is the plot, such as it is, of a spinoff side-game called appropriately enough Gorkamorka.)
  • The Dungeons & Dragons setting Eberron has the warforged, a race of living and intelligent war golems. Now that the war is over and they are no longer needed, many of them started to create their own society in the middle of a toxic desert. This includes their very own religion, which revolves around building their own mecha god. And as the entire setting is completely under the Rule of Cool, they will probably be successful.
  • Exalted has Autochthon, the Great Maker, one of the Primordials who created the setting's universe, and the one most focused on craftsmanship, artifice, and generally making stuff. He's also called the Machine-God, and he lives up to the name, with one of his bodies being an entire world of cogs, gears, pistons, wires, steam-filled pipes, and crystalline memory banks.
  • Some of the less-developed worlds of the Periphery in BattleTech are actually quite primitive, down to even the neolithic level, having being descended from lost wanderers or stranded colonists. As a result, they do not have any understanding of the setting's Humongous Mecha. Such is the case of Biendieu, a Comstar Explorer Corps Battlemech mistaken for a local protector god after it kills the hell out of a dinosaur that had been threatening the natives.


    Video Games 
  • The so called "gods" of the Cuotl from Rise of Legends sure look like mecha. It is unknown whether they are actually aliens, alien robots, or aliens inside robots(which would actually make them mecha).
  • The Reapers from Mass Effect count to a degree. They have nothing but loathing for those beings that worship them, but have no qualms about using their devotion.
    Legion: We do not view the Old Machines as analogues to deities. However, we have gained perspective on why others would imbue them with those qualities.
  • Obsidian by Segasoft had an area literally called the Church of the Machine, which had a giant robot spider (an even-larger version of which played a key role in a previous chapter) as the centerpiece.
  • The Bionis and Mechonis of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 are both mecha-like in appearance, and the Mechonis is a Humongous Mecha, with the emphasis on Humongous. The two titans have/have had civilizations living on and in them, respectively. Both of them are inhabited by a god but only the Mechonis's is actively worshipped - the Machina, the Machine People, are the only ones who are old enough to remember that the titans have souls, and are thus the only ones to remember that Zanza, the Bionis, is destructive, while Meyneth, the Mechonis, is benevolent.
  • Super Robot Wars Z3: Rengoku-hen gives one to Gunleon, including the followers chanting the lyrics of it's Leitmotif.
    "Gun Gun Leon, Gunleon...!"
  • In the lore of the The Elder Scrolls, a leading theory regarding the purpose of the giant golem Numidium built by the ancient Dwemer was that the otherwise atheistic culture constructed it to be their god, or attain godhood through it by using the heart of the sundered god Lorkhan to power it, and that they caused their entire species to vanish instantaneously in the attempt.

    Web Original 
  • Friends at the Table's COUNTER/Weight, Twilight Mirage, and PARTIZAN seasons all take place in the same setting, thousands of years apart, but linked by the presence of powerful sentient mecha called Divines. Each Divine is unique, named and themed after a different virtue or concept such as Valour, Grace, or Imperium, and piloted/paired by a specially selected partner. However, the degree to which Divines are considered divine changes between seasons:
    • In COUNTER/Weight, when Divines were war machines built by the Autonomous Diaspora, they were revered but not technically worshiped, and regarded mostly as examples of extremely advanced technology. Divines here are named for democratic virtues, in line with the principles of the Diaspora.
    • By Twilight Mirage, where Divines were more numerous and designed for peaceful purposes within the Divine Fleet, they were central figures in the Resonant Orbit, a religion that stressed coexistence between humans and sentient machines, but were only considered god-like and not literally gods. Divines here started becoming more abstract than in COUNTER/Weight, both in form and in theme.
    • In PARTIZAN, the Divine Principality and its state religion, Asterism, proclaims Divines (war machines once again) to be truly divine beings, living reflections of the Principality's own virtues. Notably, this coincides with Divines going full-on Deus Est Machina in fact as well as faith; while some Divines had strange powers before this, in PARTIZAN Divines became capable of bestowing those powers on lesser mechs and now possess a kind of Resurrective Immortality. There's also a mysterious entity hanging around called "the True Divine" or "Autonomy Itself" that certain groups consider the capital-G God, and which seemingly also requires a pilot to unleash its full potential.
  • When religious conflict on a planet of anthropomorphic foxes breaks out into open war in the furry story "The Last Aspect", the "orthodox" side decides to build a gigantic, intelligent war machine in vulpine form to both act as a symbol of their faith and directly oppose the "heretics" in combat. The project takes years to complete and its AI spends quite some of that time communicating with its designer and learning about the world...and when the machine finally goes live, it proceeds to curb-stomp both sides, force them to put an end to the fighting, and declare itself the new supreme deity by virtue of being the obvious physical embodiment of the one concept both sides were equally dedicated to despite their notional religious differences — War.

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers:
    • Primus and Unicron are the Gods of Creation and Destruction respectively, with Primus being the progenitor of the Cybertronian race (as well as Cybertron itself in some continuities). They are also both huge transforming robots themselves.
    • The Transformers: In the episode "The God Gambit", - the people of Titan worship a massive statue as a god, but this turns out to be a scam run by the priesthood. When the Autobots and Decepticons arrive on the moon, Astrotrain sets himself up as a more powerful deity. He provides the page quote during this time explicitly lampshading it.
    • At the end of Beast Wars, Waspinator is left behind on Earth, where he gets to become a god to a tribe of protohumans.
    • Brian Clevinger once related in an 8-Bit Theater newspost that he didn't really "get" why religious people got so hung up about that Jesus guy, until he asked himself "What if Jesus is their Optimus Prime?"

Alternative Title(s): Worship A Giant Robot As A God