Best Anime Like Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury

A promising queer love story set amidst a backdrop of war and giant robots, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury is the modern mecha anime you’ve been waiting for. It is the 15th mainline series in one of the longest-running anime franchises in history. Also of note, this is the first Mobile Suit Gundam series to feature a female protagonist.

Related: Mobile Suit Gundam: Most Powerful Mobile Suits, Ranked

The Witch From Mercury tells the story of Suletta Mercury, a young Spacian who has just transferred to a new academy to continue her training as a mobile suit pilot. There, she’ll have a chance encounter with Miorine Rembran, another girl hoping to escape her circumstances.

10 Mobile Suit Gundam

Mobile Suit Gundam

The founding entry of an incredibly influential line of shows, games, and products, Mobile Suit Gundam is the story that started it all. Airing all the way back in 1979, the show introduces an alternate universe where space travel and colonization are a going concern.

All the themes of warfare, the personal cost of fighting for what you believe in, and the devastating toll of advanced weaponry started here with the confrontation between the crew of the White Base and Zeon’s Char Aznable.

9 Birdie Wing Golf Girl’s Story

Birdie Wing Eve rainbow bullet

Birdie Wing has a great deal in common with The Witch from Mercury — just replace giant robots with golf clubs. The show focuses on a pair of golfers whose relationship seems headed for much more than just a friendly rivalry.

Eve is a hotheaded underground competitor who makes her living playing in high-stakes golf matches, while Aoi Amawashi is making her way as one of the most promising female golfers of her generation. After facing each other briefly in a single tournament, they each feel they’ve found the rival they were searching for.

8 Revolutionary Girl Utena

Utena and Anthy together in the grounds of magnificent building

An old-school show that sought to challenge gender conventions, Revolutionary Girl Utena tells the story of Utena Tenjou, a girl set on finding a way to essentially become her own prince. As a youth, she develops exceptional swordsmanship skills, which eventually find her entangled with an odd yet potentially powerful student named Anthy Himemiya.

Related: Best Anime With A Female Protagonist

The series follows a fairly conventional combat protector plotline as Utena engages in a series of duels to defend Anthy, but with a refreshing gender swap for the lead role — especially for the 90s.

7 Knights Of Sidonia

Knights of Sidonia Gauna standing before large rocky outcrop

In the far future, Earth has been destroyed by a race of shapeshifting aliens known as the Gauna, and humanity now survives on a fleet of enormous spacecraft forged from the remains of the dying planet.

The story focuses on one such ship, the Sidonia, and the pilots who defend it using colossal mecha weapons referred to as Gardes. Our hero is Nagate Tanikaze, a Garde pilot who could become the key to overcoming a suddenly-reappearing Gauna threat. Robots versus aliens — what more could you ask for?

6 86 Eighty-Six

86 Eighty-Six

Originally adapted from a light novel series pushes hard on Mobile Suit Gundam’s themes of how mecha combat affects the pilots themselves. In this futuristic world, warfare is largely conducted through supposedly autonomous robots called Juggernauts. However, the robots are secretly piloted by real humans from a persecuted minority class.

While most pilots in this group aren’t even allowed names, the show focuses on an elite squad that has survived enough combat to earn their own names. It’s a dark and gritty action thriller that puts a real face on the young people abused by systems of war.

5 Lycoris Recoil

Banner image for Lycoris Recoil

What if John Wick were a schoolgirl? That’s the question Lycoris Recoil seems to be answering, although it’s unclear if anyone asked. In this alternate world, Japan’s peaceful society is held aloft by a group of young orphan girls trained as elite spies and assassins.

The Lycoris, as their called, operate in total secrecy. With incredible action and some hints at potential girls’ love, it’s a great series for those less interested in giant robots and more in small-arms combat.

4 Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia main trio

While it may seem a total departure from the grittier themes and sci-fi aesthetics of The Witch from Mercury, fans will still find a lot to love in this series. It puts a fish out of water into a new fantastical situation. It touches on themes of expectation and belonging — of finding yourself within a rigid structure.

Viewers hoping for more LGBTQ representation will find both text and subtext within the series. Between the animation, fantastic characters, and delightful coming-of-age story, it offers a refreshing break between giant robot shows.

3 Mobile Fighter G Gundam

God Gundam Preparing To Fight

Another unique and noteworthy entry in the Gundam canon, G Gundam is the show that gave us direct-action mecha piloting before Pacific Rim. It was the first in the Gundam series to operate outside the main “Universal Century” timeline and pivot in a refreshingly different direction.

Related: Best Mecha Anime, Officially Ranked

The story takes place in a world that has replaced war with a Gundam Fight tournament that takes place every four years. The main characters are participants in the tournament each representing different nations. Some of the most unique mechs in the entire franchise come from this series.

2 Darling In The Franxx

Darling in the Franxx Zero Two

An original TV anime, Darling in the Franxx was a breakout hit in 2018. The show put more emphasis on the romantic subplots than many mecha shows tend to do, while still emphasizing the loss of innocence and cost to youth that Mobile Suit Gundam pioneered.

Rather than focus on human wars, Franxx’s mecha pilots are battling enormous creatures called klaxosaurs. With a tight 24 episodes, it’s a digestible experience with a unique art style compared to most mecha shows.

1 Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion

Lelouch showing off his Double Geass

Adding a supernatural element to its giant robot fights, Code Geass is one of the all-time must-watch mecha series. The show focuses on the exiled Britannian prince Lelouch, currently attending Ashford Academy after the murder of his mother, who comes into contact with a mysterious girl known only as C.C.

The girl saves Lelouch’s life and grants him the “Power of Kings,” which grants him the ability to control the will of others. He’ll use this power (along with giant robots) to build a rebellion against Britannia and avenge his mother.

NEXT: Best Video Games For Mecha Fans

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