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Top 10 Best Anime Mecha Pilots

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Arschel Morell Grab your flight suits and helmets, it’s time to ride with the best of the best. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Mecha Pilots. For this list, we’re browsing a wide catalogue of giant robot shows to select our elite team of pilots. We’re excluding anyone from the Gundam franchise, since they could dominate this list and they have a separate list of their own you should check out. Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Written by Arschel Morell


Top 10 Anime Mecha Pilots

Grab your flight suits and helmets, it’s time to ride with the best of the best. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Mecha Pilots.
For this list, we’re browsing a wide catalogue of giant robot shows to select our elite team of pilots. We’re excluding anyone from the Gundam franchise, since they could dominate this list and they have a separate list of their own you should check out.

#10: Nagate Tanikaze

“Knights of Sidonia” (2014-15)
The ace of Sidonia kicks off our countdown. Nagate possesses several gifts, that he’s had since birth, which enable him to become a natural in the field of piloting Gardes. When the Gauna alien race threatens the safety of the Sidonia, Nagate leaps in to protect the human population and becomes a living legend. As such, he has access to just about any Garde unit he wants to use, from prototypes to custom made, and just rolled off the shelf models. He’s a cutious one, but for the time being, humanity should just be happy it has a talent like him ensuring their survival.

#9: Haruto Tokishima

“Valvrave the Liberator” (2013)
Haruto is a high school student who isn’t a fan of fighting and would rather seek the peaceful route. A personal tragedy leads him to becoming the pilot of the Valvrave and he happens to be pretty good with it despite his peaceful nature. The Valvraves abilities bring out a more violent side to Haruto, making him do some pretty unsightly things along the way. Still, Haruto never lets go of his humanity and pilots the Valvrave for peace. His unwavering optimism even inspires the lost soul of L-elf, who comes to see Haruto as an equal and friend. Sometimes pacifists make the best warriors.

#8: Sousuke Sagara

“Full Metal Panic” (2002-05)
Raised as a child soldier, Sousuke is one of the best cadets the Mithril Organization has in its roster. Hand to hand combat, sniping, explosives, it makes sense that with his wide resume of skills, handling the next generation Arm Slave, Arbalest, would be a no brainer. Sousuke is always in a combative state of mind and, therefore, is intent on analyzing every detail to achieve a mission objective. It also helps that Sousuke’s Arm Slave has an AI component to back him up. It’s just a shame that as good as his is at battle, he kind of sucks as an undercover high school student. Well, nobody’s perfect, right?

#7: Isamu Dyson

“Macross Plus” (1994-95)
The Macross Universe is home to many legendary pilots, from Hikaru Ichigo to Roy Fokker. Our candidate for this list is their way down the line successor, Planet Eden native Isamu Dyson. He loves the thrill of flying and is prone to doing some crazy, if not impressive stunts, to get everyone’s attention. As the pilot of the YF19, Isamu stands as an argument that human instinct will always be essential for piloting aircraft. And seeing what he can do behind the controls of any advanced fighter, there’s no arguing with the results. You couldn’t ask for a better wingman.

#6: Slaine Troyard

“Aldnoah.Zero” (2014-15)
Slaine is one of the biggest underdogs in the war between Earth and Vers Empire of Mars. Though he was a slave for much of his time with Martian Forces, Slaine displays great instincts when piloting the giant robot “Kataphrakts”. There’s more to Slain than just simple point and shoot in combat, there’s also something much darker. Slaine’s true strength comes from manipulation and deception. Often, he plays on the arrogant side of his opponents to lure them into a sense of false victory before finishing them off. This may not work so well with his main rival, Inaho – who was also a contender for this spot - but Slaine’s cunning has earned him plenty of victories, making him the sneakiest entry on this list.

#5: Roger Smith

“The Big O” (1999-2003)
When you need a Negotiator, who you gonna call? Roger Smith is a man of great professional pride and a sense of style we should all be jealous of. However, when negotiations go awry, Roger has back up, very big back up. When he calls for the Big O, Roger becomes the most suave gentlemen to get behind the controls of a giant robot. It may look a little slow and clunky but Roger can make this thing move and kick ass like no ones business. If you ever wondered what Bruce Wayne would be like with a giant robot instead of a bat suit, this is pretty much what you’d get.


#4: Noriko Takaya

“Gunbuster” (1988)

During her initial introduction, Noriko is seen as both clumsy and immature compared to most of her classmates at the academy. In fact, Noriko doesn’t even seem like the kind of person you’d expect to see on this list. However, Noriko is eventually becomes surprisingly good when it comes to improvising in the heat of battle. Once she gets her hands on the newly minted Gunbuster, Noriko’s confidence skyrockets and she becomes a full-blown, alien smashing hurricane on the battlefield. Father killing Aliens everywhere should beware this scantily clad Goddess of Destruction.

#3: Lelouch vi Britannia

“Code Geass” (2006-08)
Sure characters like Suzaku Kururgi or Kallen Kozuki may be the best pilots around, but Lelouch is the total package. Lelouch not only sits in the cockpit, he’s also one of the greatest military minds of his time - treating everything like a game of chess. Using the pieces he’s given, Lelouch carefully devises strategies to assure victory. Place him in the seat of a Knightmare Frame and Lelouch becomes the equivalent of God on a battlefield. With a butt-load of firepower at his disposal, Lelouch can pause his game of war to blast enemies away, then return to strategizing without much time lost. Who even needs Geass when you’ve got the brains and guns to decimate the battlefield.

#2: Asuka Langley Soyru

“Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1995-96)
Shinji Ikari and Rei Ayanami may be the more, ahem, favored and spotlighted pilots at NERV. Asuka, however, eclipses both totally when it comes to piloting an Eva. This half Japanese, half German beauty is loud, obnoxious and downright mean sometimes. When it comes to Eva piloting, she’s pretty confident and is able to back up her claims with skill, precision and the use of several really big guns. Whether it’s taking on an Angel, an army of mass-produced evas or her own demons, Asuka always pushes her skills to the brink. Tread lightly around this fiery redhead.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few Honorable Mentions:


Allen Shchezar

“Escaflowne” (1996)

Guy Shishiou
“GaoGaiGar” (1997-98)

Takuto
“Stardriver” (2010-11)

#1: Simon


“Gurren Lagann” (2007)

As a young boy living underground, Simon never really had much faith in himself. However, upon venturing to the surface of the world with his eccentric aniki, Kamina, Simon was launched into a journey that would change him forever. We see the trails of Simon from the beginning of series to end and see his confidence grow and mature until he is a total bad ass and perfectly capable of piloting his mech with flair. He even goes on to become the head pilot of a galaxy sized Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann for the final battle with the Anti Spiral. From Zero to Universe saving hero, Simon is perhaps the best mecha pilot in anime history.
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