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Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!

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Well, for once it's not Tokyo getting rampaged.

"There are always giant robots. Always."
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Simply put, this is when a work is not about Mecha, but throws one or more in at some point(s) anyway. Why? Because giant robots are cool, duh!

Note that perhaps no work absolutely needs mecha, but some works still center around them, especially a Super Robot show. This is when you can throw out the mecha and still have most of the work intact. But it wouldn't be as awesome, right?

Other popular condiments for when authors feel a science fiction or adventure plot is in need of fresh flavor are giant monsters, zombies and ninja.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, Sealand asks Japan to making him like a power ranger and Sealand randomly becomes a Super Robot Mecha with a Rocket Punch. He has to call Iceland to get the fist back because The Rocket punch just kept going straight to Iceland and Iceland's head was in the way so it couldn't come back.
  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky has not a trace of Humongous Mecha until about halfway through the movie.
  • In the last episode of Kaiba, three rebels break into the ruler's palace using a giant robot that the Nutty Professor had been saving for the task. It fights off the Mecha-Mooks with a Macross Missile Massacre while the others make their way to the ruler's chamber.
  • The final battle of the School Festival arc in Negima! Magister Negi Magi throws in mecha just for the heck of it. And Gundam references. Plenty of Gundam references.
  • Burst Angel. 'Course, 90% of the the plot is things they thrown in for the hell of it, so it doesn't stand out too much.
  • Guilty Crown is a story that takes place after a major viral outbreak deemed Lost Christmas has ravaged Japan and left it under martial law and foreign occupation. Ten years later, a new Phlebotinum known as the Void Genome has been developed, which allows its user to draw powerful items from people that reflect their personalities. After a terrorist group bent on liberating Japan steals this weapon, it winds up being accidentally bonded to Ordinary High-School Student Ouma Shu. It's a story that tries to show normal teenagers living under constant threat of strife and death. It also features some CG robots that serve mostly to give Shu some enemies to chop up with his weapon without having to kill anyone. Although prominent in the first episode, for most of the show they are mostly absent or in the background.
  • One Piece:
    • Mr. 3 creates one for himself out of candle wax. It's more dangerous than it sounds.
    • After the Time Skip, Franky has a Rule of Funny-based Giant Robot with a barrel-shaped body and tiny, spindly legs.
      • It's later revealed that its initial appearance was just for laughs and that it actually is an awesome machine.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • A few years prior, the same director had Kyosuke Date go a few rounds with giant machines in The SoulTaker.
  • Now and Then, Here and There: The humans from the apocalyptic far-future occasionally use Mini-Mecha. This is less for Rule of Cool than to show their borderline Magi Tech is very different from modern technology.
  • The preclimactic fight of the Soul Eater anime has Lord Death skirt the issue of being confined to Death City by turning the city into a giant fighting mecha.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth. Although the mecha are cool to look at, they don't particularly do anything that the Power Trio couldn't do on their own aside from scaling up the fights (though in Season 2, they did fight another Humongous Mecha by a neighboring science-y nation and any other 'huge only' enemies). Although the mecha aspect helped them stand out amongst other Magical Girl entries and apparently made them eligible to enter Super Robot Wars in their 2019 installment.
  • In the High School comedy I My Me! Strawberry Eggs old lady Lulu has a motorbike that transforms into a humanoid firefighting mecha. There is no valid reason for this other than Rule of Cool.
  • In Naruto, one of Pain's bodies is inexplicably a Cyborg Walking Arsenal, with rocket boots, a Rocket Punch, Macross Missile Massacre deployed from his other arm, and a laser beam from his head. This just seems to be part of his bloodline ability rather than actual technology. He pulls off the same moves using his own body after being resurrected by Kabuto.
  • Red Garden: Dead Girls (OVA), Because being hundreds of years in the future isn't interesting enough, Gonzo decided it was time to add some mecha. Looking back on the TV series beginning episodes, one could never imagine this is how it would all end.
  • Full Metal Panic!:
    • Time: present. Location: Siberia. Scene: a jeep fleeing with two passengers, one of them a victim of illegal Soviet experimentation. As they are nearly safe, a Hind appears and blows away the jeep. The survivor is about to get shot by the Hind's chaingun when suddenly a HUGE knife flies out of the forest and impales the heli. Enter the protagonist in an M 9 E mecha using equipment that shouldn't exist for about 50 years. Seconds later we are treated to a scene of mechas jumping around like ninjas. Note again: this is the present, not the future.
    • This anachronism is actually lampshaded and becomes a major plot point later on.
  • Even though Ghost in the Shell has Spider Tanks, actual mechas are very rare and rather on the small side. The lobby fight in the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is already awesome, but when the mecha appears on the scene, the awesomeness instantly goes critical.
    • Not exactly a mecha, it was just a fairly large suit of Powered Armor.
  • In Buso Renkin, most of the titular objects take the form of weapons. The boss of the Alchemist Army has his take the form of a giant mecha, which amplifies other weapons and abilities that are used by its other pilots.
  • Quite literal in Hanamaru Kindergarten: Tsuchida's puppet show is a fantasy fairytale...up until the handsome prince summons his giant robot, which the children think is awesome.
  • Air Gear has had a couple of these lately, starting with Caesar and Nina's AT Armors. Hell, soon enough even Kaito gets to pilot one
  • In Psychic Squad, one of the characters ESPer powers involves making toys real and fighting with them. Guess what he tends to fight with? (hint: it's a toy model, starts with the letter 'M' and ends with 'echa'). Aside from pure awesomeness factor, there is no justification for this.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Most sorcerers use archaic weapons at most, but Kokichi's power allows him to operate a human-sized robot called Mechamaru as a Remote Body (in fact, most people treat "Mechamaru" as if he was the actual person) and a Humongous Mecha as a pilot.

    Comic Books 
  • Normally The Avengers don't deal with giant robots, but in the 2021 Avengers - Mech Strike miniseriess, the Avengers aren't enough against Kang's bio-mechanical monsters. So Tony gives everyone a mech, including unsavoury ally Thanos.
  • The X-Men have the Sentinels, which are towering robots meant to hunt mutants.
    • In the debut of the 2021 team, the X-Men use their powers to create a home-made mech the X-Mech to fight an alien giant robot. The team actually intends to keep and upgrade the X-Mech for future encounters.
  • The giant Batman/Superman composite mecha created by one of the many people that go by Toyman. This particular Toyman is a Japanese teenager, so it's at least understandable.
    • A version of this character from the future later appeared in Teen Titans piloting Grendizer.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics, Dawn (by now a giant) goes on a rampage through Tokyo, stomping on vampires and generally causing mayhem. The vampires counterattack with a Humongous Mecha version of Dawn with a Godzilla-esque tail and the two of them battle it out in the middle of the city, with Andrew giving tactics advice from a helicopter overhead.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy: At the height of the insanity during Locher's run, he introduced a Humongous Mecha called TRAZE-R to the strip.
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    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Christopher Ruocchio's The Sun Eater books are about a Touched by Vorlons Dark Messiah who's story world is half Dune and half Book of the New Sun. After much of the previous action in the series being boarding actions on starships or gladiator arena fights, the 3rd book has a planetary Hold the Line action against the vile alien Cielcin. On the ground, are the colossi. These are bipedal, quadrupedal and other multi-legged Giant Robots that have immense plasma artillery for bombarding enemy positions and the colossi also double as shielded, heavily armored large-scale troop transports.
  • You wouldn't expect a mecha in a Dr. Seuss book, would you? But The Butter Battle Book has the Utterly Sputter, one of the many increasingly bizarre weapons created by the Yooks and the Zooks in their Lensman Arms Race.

    Live Action TV 

    Puppet Shows 
  • This trope shows up in, of all places, a Christian kids' film. Buck Denver Asks: Why Do We Call It Christmas? opens with an excited puppet enthusing about the coming festive season, and proclaiming that there will be "much mistletoeing!" Wait... what's mistletoeing? Well, apparently, in the future wars will be fought by giant robots that shoot missiles from their toes. This sets up a Running Gag throughout the rest of the film, in which short segments detailing the story of Christmas and its history as a holiday are interrupted by invading missile-toeing giant robots from the future.

    Roleplay 
  • Destroy the Godmodder invokes this trope repeatedly. The AGs will be going along, trampling the shreds of the godmodder's forces, then suddenly a horde of giant mechs attacks them. Again.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: "Yeah, Bob, I like the sound of this game where you play the solar-powered demigod, but do you think there's any way we could get, I don't know, giant magic suits of power armour into this? Except we can't really call them that, so...warstriders, yeah that's a good name. Warstriders."
  • CthulhuTech: "People beating the crap out of Cthulhu Mythos creatures is becoming a bit too common... What do you guys say we do it with mecha, and make a tabletop RPG out of it?"
  • Dungeons & Dragons: "Hey, guys, I just had this awesome idea. Let's make a huuge golem out of flesh and bones, stat it up, and let necromancers possess it with Magic Jar!"
    • "Yeah, that sounds great. And then we could have, like, the dwarves or somebody build a walking city, and make it fight dragons from the moon..."
    • Even from the first edition, there was one mecha in the game: a wondrous artifact that could be found was the "Apparatus of Kwalish", a crab-like Mini-Mecha that could be used for underwater exploration and resembled an iron barrel until activated.
  • Gear Krieg "All the action and adventure of World War II — with mecha!"
  • Pathfinder: Getting bored with the standard medieval fantasy setting? Just head on over to Numeria, grab some laser guns and chainsaws, and fight a colossal scorpion robot with integrated chain guns in its claws and a plasma beam in its tail.
  • Warhammer 40,000 - because what's a massive, apocalyptic battle with without skyscraper-sized mechs that can level cities with a single shot? The newer editions have been critizised for introducing more and more stompy robots to the game, invoking this trope.
  • Modiphius Entertainment published fantasy RPG game, Unity from Zensara Studios. The main theme is the 4 races of this shattered world struggling to unify against horrors from beyond and new dangers from their altered planet. While mostly standard heroic fantasy, there's a Diesel Punk element in that revolvers and semi-automatic rifles are readily available from the humans and eons ago, humanity somehow leapfrogged into creating Lost Technology A.I. human-sized robots and the giant mecha known as Titan Rigs that standard mecha arsenal like Rocket Punch and Hand Blast weaponry.

    Toys 
  • Ladies and gentlemen, The "Disney Megazord".
  • BIONICLE takes this to the logical extreme in Stars: one robot is 27 million feet tall and the other one is 40,000,000 feet tall and contains the entire Matoran Universe.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • In Babe Ruth: Man-Tank Gladiator the narrator does this to the story of Babe Ruth.
  • The Whateley Universe is arguably one of the settings where despite the best efforts of human and mutant engineers, giant mecha canonically just plain don't work. (Power armor exists, but is much more to human scale.) And yet, during the big Halloween 2006 battle, perpetual school project Tiny Tim gets a personal awesome moment once it's been brought to the surface — not under its own power, mind — by demonstrating that while it may not be able to walk worth a damn, at least some of its guns are quite operational...

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs: In a Power Rangers parody, the water tower becomes a Humongous Mecha.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
  • In Bubble Guppies, a monster truck appears for one episode, Humunga Truck, and at the end it turns out to also be a Transforming Mecha.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • The eponymous character builds plenty of them.
    • When Dexter went to Japan, everybody had a Mecha from the school bullies to the teacher of the class.
  • The Fairly Oddparents: Timmy's Dad made a mecha out of his car to battle his next door neighbor.
  • Family Guy. When Peter bans cripples from his restaurant, they come together to form "Cripple-Tron" (which, ironically, can walk).
    • When Peter becomes the producer of Lois' directorial debut of The King and I, Peter drives Lois so insane that she just gives him the director's seat out of frustration, and he eventually writes the role of Anna into A.N.N.A, Automoton Nuclear Neo-humanoid Android, a (male) sword-welding mecha when the previous actress drops out.
  • G.I. Joe:
  • A show predominantly about supernatural mysteries, Gravity Falls adds mechas to both season finales. The first season sees Enfant Terrible Li'l Gideon piloting a mecha designed in his own likeness, using it to chase down the Pines twins' bus. In the series finale, the Mystery Shack itself is turned into the "Shacktron," augmented with various parts that include a revived T-Rex, a totem pole that's been turned into a tank gun, and the Gideon-bot's right leg.
    Wax Larry King's Head: They made the house into a robot. Fascinating.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • There are Steampunk mecha owned by Hiroshi Sato, in a series about Elemental Powers. They even play a key role in attacks on Republic City.
    • In the Grand Finale, Kuvira invades Republic City using a giant robot with an arm-mounted laser cannon. And it is awesome.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
  • Reboot: In "Nullzilla", Phong just happened to have giant combining robots to fight off a giant rampaging monster made from an amalgam of nulls.
  • Mecha-Streisand, Barbra Streisand's Mecha-Godzilla-esque form, in South Park. She shows up in episode 12 "Mecha-Streisand" before vanishing for years... until episodes "200" and "201" a full 12 years later (1998 to 2010).
  • Steven Universe: "Back to the Barn" has Pearl and Peridot settle who is the best engineer by building, competing in, and finally fighting in two mecha.
  • Teen Titans: In the Teen Titans Go! comic adaptation, the various vehicles used at different times by the cast can combine into a robot. We do not see this every day, and of course their cartoon and mainstream comic counterparts get along just fine without it.
  • In We Are the Strange, the plot seems calm and suspenseful, only to suddenly end with a gigantic mecha battle.

    Real Life 
  • There is a real, life-size Gundam model in Japan. It was finished in July 2009 and pulled down in September. Then it was put up again in July 2010 but with a beam saber. Oh, and it also moves a little bit. Unfortunately, the 2011 earthquake collapsed it. Fortunately it was rebuilt in 2012, and was exhibited at Hong Kong in 2013.
  • According to Ars Technica, a real life showdown between the American Mega Bots Mk.III and a Japanese Kuratas, was scheduled for August 2017.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Everythings Better With Mecha

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