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By 1975, Go Nagai had singlehandedly defined almost all of modern mecha's gimmicks: Piloted robotic vehicles, mecha whose command modules could serve as mini-vehicles, vehicles which combine to form a mech, and Mecha which could be "powered up" by add-on parts (Mazinger Z's Jet-Scrander backpack and Grendizer's UFO-like Spazer Booster). The only vital ingredient that Nagai didn't personally add to the mecha recipe was transformation; that honor belongs to 1975's Brave Raideen, which could shape-change into an avian God-Bird mode.
Animerica magazine, "A History of Mecha Anime"

Tropes about Mecha, often called giant robots, even if that term is only occasionally accurate (many of them are human-controlled)

Almost always involves Rule of Cool.

See also Tank Goodness.