If you like Armored Core 6, here are 6 more mecha Animes to watch

Armored The game Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon, which was made by the same company that made Dark Souls and Elden Ring, came out last week to great reviews and sales. Fires of Rubicon is the first game in the Armored Core series to come out in ten years. Not only is it a happy return for the series, but it also gives the giant robot action game genre a wake-up call.

Armored Core 6 is a type of giant robot media called “military sci-fi mecha,” which is a niche. Unlike classic anime like Tetsujin 28 and Giant Robo or more modern anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion or Gurren Lagann, the mech suits that players pilot and customize in Armored Core are not their semi-sentient friends. They are also not driven by the soul of the protagonist’s dead mother or the anti-entropy power of friendship. Instead, Armored Core suits are used much like they would be in real life: as a type of artillery similar to a tank, driven by troops and mercenaries as weapons in an ongoing war for resources and political control.

In honor of the release of Armored Core 6, we’ve put together a list of some of the best military sci-fi mecha anime shows that you can watch online. Gasaraki and Blue Gender are two honorable choices that you can’t stream right now, but you can buy them on home media or VOD.

86 : 23 Episodes

The plot of 86 is the most similar to that of Armored Core 6 out of all the shows on this list. In an alternate future, the story is about a military officer named Major Vladilena “Lena” Milizé. She works for the Republic of San Magnolia, which has been at war with the Empire of Giad for almost a decade. The military of San Magnolia has come up with a way to fight the war without making the people of the country lose hope. They do this by sending out autonomous drone units called “Juggernauts” to fight against Giad’s “Legions.”

But the first episode of the show shows right away that these “autonomous” units are anything but. They are controlled by a caste of minorities in the Republic who are not given names and are forced to fight or die. In Armored Core 6, players take on the part of “C4-621,” a human who has been augmented. Walter sends them to the planet Rubicon 3 to accept mercenary jobs from competing corporations and armies in exchange for their eventual freedom. If you want a gripping, speculative military drama about outcasts fighting for their oppressors before starting a movement to win their own freedom, 86 is the movie for you.

86 is available to stream on Crunchyroll

Armored Trooper Votoms: 52 Episodes

If you want a standard military mecha anime with a lot of action and high stakes, Armored Trooper VOTOMS is the one to watch. The story takes place in an alien galaxy where Gilgamesh and Balarant just ended a hundred-year war with an uneasy truce. Chirico Cuvie, an Armored Trooper pilot fighting for the Gilgamesh Confederation, is accused of stealing state secrets and sent on a mission to steal them. After being left alone and thought to be dead, Chirico goes on a personal mission to clear his name and find out the truth about the operation. He does this while being chased by both the Gilgamesh military and criminals who want to take his reward.

Armored Trooper VOTOMS is a classic of the “real robot” subgenre. It was directed by Ryosuke Takahashi, and the robots were made by Mobile Suit Gundam’s famous mechanical designer Kunio Okawara. Fans of the Armored Core series should definitely check it out.

Armored Trooper VOTOMS is available to stream on HIDIVE.

Metal Skin Panic Madox-01: Episodes 1

Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01 is the place to go if you want a more funny take on military sci-fi robots. The OVA is about an engineering student and part-time car mechanic named Koji Sugimoto. He finds a prototype exoskeleton suit that the military made to fight tanks by mistake. Koji accidentally locks himself in the cockpit of the suit. He then leads the military on a chase across Tokyo while he desperately tries to find a way to get out of the suit.

Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed, Blade Runner: Black Lotus) directed and came up with the idea for Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01. It’s a short mecha anime, but it’s full of explosive action scenes and technically impressive mechanical animation, like the opening sequence, which was animated by a young Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion).


You can’t talk about military sci-fi robot anime without bringing up Mobile Suit Gundam. Yoshiyuki Tomino’s groundbreaking mecha space opera from 1979 is without a doubt one of the most famous anime shows ever made. It spawned a rich world full of memorable characters and a larger franchise of spinoff series that continue to inspire huge crowds of fans today. The original series takes place in a universe where people have been colonizing space with huge space stations for almost a century. The Earth Federation is at war with the Principality of Zeon, an empire of spacefaring colonists who want to break away from their mother planet.

After Amuro Ray, a young mechanic, escaped a battle on his home planet and joined the Earth Federation, he was sent to fight in the war. Amuro has to face the horrors of war while piloting the RX-78 Gundam, an experimental, cutting-edge robot suit. This is because the Earth Federation depends more and more on his fighting skills as a fighter and a leader. If you like the Armored Core series, it’s likely that you’ve also seen Mobile Suit Gundam or another Gundam series. What are you waiting for if you haven’t already?


You’re probably thinking, “Wait, you already told me to watch the first Mobile Suit Gundam anime; what gives?”

Even though I usually don’t suggest more than one book from the same series, this is a special case. Mobile Suit Gundam, which came out in 1979, is one of the most influential mecha anime ever made. However, the OVA sequel Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, which came out in 1996, is one of the best mecha anime I’ve ever seen and is more like the setting and fighting in Armored Core 6. The 08th MS Team is a show that takes place at the same time as the original Mobile Suit Gundam. It follows a group of Gundam pilots from the Earth Federation who are fighting a ground war with Zeon troops in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Aside from the main story, which is about the love between 08th MS Team boss Shiro Amada and Zeon test pilot Aina Sahalin, the 12-episode series has some of the best fight scenes and mechanical animation in the entire franchise. As opposed to the free-floating space battles seen in the original series, this one focuses more on the terrain and tactics of war on Earth. This gives the audience more chances to get inside the protagonists’ heads as they size up their enemies before fighting. If you’ve never seen Mobile Suit Gundam before, this series is a great place to start before diving into Yoshiyuki Tomino’s original epic story.


Most anime fans may have seen the first two feature-length versions of Patlabor, which were both directed by Ghost in the Shell’s Mamoru Oshii and drawn by Production I.G (formerly I.G Tatsunoko). Since neither of those movies is available to watch online, I’m happy to suggest the anime series from 1989 instead.

Patlabor: The Mobile Police takes place in an alternate future 1998 that is not the same as either of the Patlabor OVAs or movies. It follows the adventures of the Second Special Vehicles Division, a group of Japanese police agents who fight crime and look into crimes in and around Tokyo. Their cases range from the most boring police work to the strangest and most exciting ones. They have to use special mechanized exosuits called “Patlabors” that were originally made to help with industry and municipal work. Patlabor is an example of a “real robot” cartoon that likes to show the everyday details of public service. By adding giant robots, the show makes the ordinary into something special.

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