So this may seem like a weird question, but bear with me.

Loads and loads of anime are based on manga, and it's a fact that has become well-known in the anime community. However, the mecha genre seems to be a tad different.

I've seen a decent amount of mecha anime in the past. However, one trend that sticks out to me is that a lot of mecha anime are original works, and not based on manga, or light novels.

Here are some examples that I was able to gather by going through the mecha genres on MyAnimeList:

  • Gundam franchise- is technically a multimedia franchise, but started as a TV anime
  • Code Geass - another huge mecha franchise
  • Macross franchise - huge and old mecha franchise
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
  • Darling in the FranXX
  • Eureka Seven
  • Aldnoah.Zero
  • Suisei no Gargantia
  • Kakumeiki Valvrave
  • Cross Ange
  • Hoshi no Koe
  • Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari
  • Tenkuu no Escaflowne
  • Star Driver
  • Kuromukuro
  • Aquarion series
  • Heroic Age - this one's kinda iffy since the giant beings they transform into are organic (kinda like Attack on Titan), but MAL categorizes it as mecha

All of these are original anime, or started as original anime. However, when you look through other genres on MAL, there aren't a lot other genres with this many original works.

So why do mecha anime tend to be original works, more so than other genres? Why aren't there as many mecha manga or light novels?

  • May be because the mecha toys sell well? The aim of many of those mecha series is to sell robot toys
    – Pablo
    Oct 18, 2018 at 23:28
  • I don't have an answer for why there aren't many mecha manga or light novels, but the reason there aren't many original anime in general is money. Anime in general is rarely a profitable venture and are essentially used as an advertisement for the manga volumes (where most profits lie). As @Pablo said, mecha series make a lot of profit on robot toys so the same constraint doesn't apply.
    – merlyn
    Oct 19, 2018 at 7:01
  • @ Pablo and merlyn That's an intereseting perspective. I never thought about the robot toys. I know that there aren't many original anime in general, but if you look at a list of original anime, a LOT of them tend to be mecha. Is the robot toys the reason for that?
    – DeeeFoo
    Oct 19, 2018 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


Well, Gundam in particular is designed to sell the Gundam model kits. Unlike American TV where ratings and selling advertising is the focus, anime generally makes money from selling Blu-rays or toys (or the original manga/light novel). So Gundam anime exists solely so they can push new model kits.

  • 1
    American kid's TV is often like this too. He-man is a classic example. Newer examples is like every superhero cartoon ever.
    – Kai
    Oct 19, 2018 at 15:26

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