Evangelion has a reputation for being a notably depressing anime, but there are a number of mecha series that wallow in comparable levels of nihilism.

the wick The genre has been at the forefront of anime storytelling for a long time. The concept of giant robots fighting may seem juvenile on some level, but the mecha genus has historically used this construction to explore unique and challenging ideas.

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Neon Genesis Evangelion It’s a good example of how philosophical and contemplative an anime mecha can be. Neon Genesis Evangelion has the reputation of being a depressing animeBut in reality there are a number of mecha series that wallow in comparable levels of nihilism and sadness.

10 The blue genre pits the mechas against a deadly alien invasion

Genus blue tells a dark story that combines basic elements of the mecha genre with ideas that are common to alien narratives. A futuristic version of Earth is basically left as a wasteland to a rampant and deadly alien threat. Most of humanity has fled to a Second Earth to start over, but Genus blue focuses on two unlikely individuals who are trapped on the alien infested planet. Utility-type mechas are used to survive in anime, but they are hardly the focal point of the series. He’s far more concerned with a bleak outlook on the future of humanity.

9 Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-blooded orphans don’t hide the atrocities of war

There are many contrasting series within the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise that tries to deconstruct wicks in different ways. Iron-blooded orphans is one of the most popular recent Gundam series and benefits from its group of personable and innocent characters who get into their heads with a dangerous war. Iron-blooded orphans does not hide hard topic, with child soldiers who execute lives without thinking twice. There are very few survivors when the dust settles at the end of the series, and Iron-blooded orphans it becomes a very sad meditation on the realities of war.

8 Darling In The FranXX’s Defective Mecha Pilots Can’t Get Out Of The Dark Holes

Darling in the FranXX It starts out in a depressing post-apocalyptic world and immediately pushes a grim atmosphere that hangs over everything. Characters can overcome this sadness, but they are artificially created and are intended solely for the purpose of piloting the Mecha Franxx.

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This structure has the potential for a happy ending, but Darling in the FranXX make some controversial decisions where its flawed characters make big mistakes that hinder the rest of the cast. It’s frustrating to see plans easily destroyed, but it talks about Darling in the FranXX broader message about control.

7 Gunbuster soldiers are disconnected from the rest of life

Gunbuster is an OVA of Gainax production studio, Hideaki Anno, and many people who would work in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Gunbuster echoes many of the same isolating themes that are present in Evangelion. Gunbuster focuses on the training process for the chosen few who are worthy of piloting these mecha and taking on an alien threat. Gunbuster depicts these cute characters turning into cold warriors who need to eliminate distractions in their lives. Gunbuster’s team is a winner, but is completely estranged from his friends and family.

6 Shu and Inori don’t get their happy ending in Guilty Crown

Guilty Crown focuses on Shu, an unfortunate high school student who learns that he is a major player in the resistance against an oppressive tyrant. Shu develops a powerful ability in which he can draw weapons and tools from other individuals, and his slow acceptance of his important role is where Guilty Crown works better. Guilty Crown The tone takes a serious turn once Shu and Inori’s relationship is teased. Guilty Crown it becomes manipulative on this front as Shu and Inori don’t find happiness together and this drama feels fabricated and undeserved, especially for a cathartic ending.

5 RahXephon introduces a purposeless lost mechanical pilot

Anime RahXephon Mecha Awe

In many ways, the mecha series RahXephon feels like a more tame version of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The two series address comparable territory and RahXephon Ayato Kamina depressed and aimless is not that far from Evangelion disgruntled protagonist, Shinji Ikari.

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RahXephon follow Ayato’s commitment to piloting the RahXephon mecha and how doing so will hopefully help give him a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment. Dark ideas follow Ayato everywhere and contemplate how some people may never be able to get over sadness. RahXephon not afraid of being psychologically exhausting, just like Evangelion.

4 Code Geass entertains how even the strongest wills get corrupted

Geass Code is a highly acclaimed anime and part of the reason it connects with audiences is due to protagonist Lelouch Lamperouge’s surprising descent into darkness. Lelouch begins with honorable intentions to avenge the death of his family and help Japan survive the oppressive rule of Britannia with the help of Mecha geass technology. However, Lelouch slowly becomes an even greater threat and becomes obsessed with power. Lelouch’s dark turn and the consequences that flow from it are all very depressing.

3 Valvrave the Liberator’s dark vision of the future doesn’t get brighter

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Valvrave the Liberator is a series of mechas set in a world ruled by war, where the population is divided into three opposing factions. Haruto Tokishima is a high school student who represents the JIOR faction and pilot the valvrave mecha with the aim of eliminating other factions.

Valvrave It begins with a rather pedestrian story, but it does not try to sweeten anything to its characters and ends on a sad note. Many of the characters in Valvrave the Liberator They have only known pain their whole lives and the ending of the anime is not an optimistic balm.

2 Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt explores the cost of war on the human body

Anime Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Daryl Lorenz Purple Glow

Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt is an atmospheric anime that is one of the most depressing entries in the series. Lightning watch those who commit to a cause until they are completely exhausted. Many Gundam series features committed pilots who are willing to make sacrifices, but Lightning has paraplegic pilots who literally lose more of themselves in every battle, just to remain determined on their mission. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see these characters throw away their lives, and it makes a victory even feel like a loss.

1 Gurren Lagann is an exciting adventure that descends into sadness

Gurren Lagann it’s an assault on the senses and highlights the amazing level of quality that Studio TRIGGER consistently brings to your projects. In that sense, Gurren Lagann it’s packed with bright colors and energetic characters, which doesn’t necessarily make it look like a depressing anime series.

However, Kamina and Simon’s mission to find independence and freedom ends on a surprisingly bleak note. There are joyous moments and definitive victories that reward these characters, but the anime’s ending seems unnecessarily moody and is a real disappointment that rethinks Gurren Lagann in an important way.

NEXT: Death and rebirth: all the important plot points summed up in the Evangelion movie

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