Robot anime for people who don’t like Robot anime

Robots are a huge part of anime, in fact there are even anime series that have robots as their main and sole focus. And if you have friends or family that watch anime, you probably know at least one person that robot anime is the only anime they will watch. Now, just because they can’t live without the boom of laser cannons, the thud of giant robot feet stomping through a devastated city, or the metallic glint of robot armor, doesn’t mean that you feel the same way. So, what do you do when your friend will only watch robot anime and you really would rather not? Luck for you the genre of robot anime is so extensive there are robot anime out there that are even great for people that are not fans of robot anime!

Angelic Layer main character and her robot.
Misaki and her robot!

To start us off is Angelic Layer! This anime is about a middle school girl (Misaki Suzuhara) who moved from the countryside to live in the big city with her aunt. Just moments after she stepped off the train she comes face to face with an epic battle between two robots. The battle was on a giant screen on a building across the street and the robots were actually toy sized.

Main character of Angelic Layer in a pod chair.
Misaki at a tournament

What she saw was Angelic Layer a very popular toy that featured completely customizable little robots that you can control with your mind for tournament battles . What I like most about this anime is that it doesn’t just focus on the battle scenes (which can be pretty epic) or the technical details of the robots (though, it can get kind of technical at times) but rather the complex relationship between Misaki and her estranged mother.

Full cast of Angelic Layer anime
The cast of Angelic Layer!
Astroboy over looking a futuristic city
Astroboy protecting his city from evil robots

If your friend likes classic rocket age robots than they are going to love Astroboy and you’ll like it too. This is one of the first internationally popular anime and it’s more than just a sci-fi series. The original Astroboy was first seen on TVs in 1963 and has been remade with varying levels of success many times.

Classic Astroboy face
Classic Astroboy!

The one that I’m most familiar with is the Astroboy that was aired in the early 2000’s. What makes this series so appealing is the main character’s cute and inquisitive nature and the loving relationship between Astroboy and the scientist that is trying to raise him (Professor Ochanomizu). There’s also a much more complex relationship between Astroboy and the villain/mad scientist (Dr. Tenma) that created Astroboy. For the robot fans, there are plenty of giant robots running a muck and lots of sci-fi adventures to be had too.

Astroboy anime villain
Robot running a muck, from Astroboy
Escaflowne giant robot
Giant robot from Escaflowne

Vision of Escaflowne is an anime for the people that need that piloted giant robot fix and the people stuck watching anime with them. This anime is at the heart of it an isekai before isekais were trendy, or even well known. It’s about a girl (Hitomi Kanzaki) that accidentally travels to another world where dragons, magic, and giant robots are the norm. She ends up getting tangled up with the prince of the dragon nation (Van Fanel) while he was on his first dragon hunt to prove that he’s a real warrior.

Prince Van from Escaflowne anime
Van

Unfortunately Van’s country gets destroyed by the bad guys and so he flees with Hitomi to a neighboring country where things get even more complicated. Not surprising to any isekai fans, it ends up that Hitomi actually has a bunch of magical power and she works to take down the bad guys with the dragon prince and the very charming knight.

Main Character of Escaflowne anime
Hitomi from Escaflowne

So, maybe you can’t understand the gear grinding splendor, the chest cannon laser blasting awesomeness, the max power appeal of robot anime, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t watch anime with your robot loving friend.

Do you have a favorite robot anime that isn’t just a robot anime? Leave a comment below!

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8 Comments

    1. I haven’t watched those 2 yet, but I’ve heard some really good things about Robotics: Notes. It’s definitely on my to-watch list. I’ll have to look up Steins;Gate. I think I saw it listed on Crunchyroll a few weeks ago. Thanks for the recommendations!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! Astroboy is like the Grandpa of the robot anime. After watching the full series from the early 2000s, I watched a few episodes of the original from the 1960s, and it’s so retro but just as fun to watch as the more modern version.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sure thing. I’ve only seen clips of the old-school series. That would be something to watch to see the history of anime. If I can watch the original Kimba the White Lion series, then I have no excuse to check out the original Astroy Boy series or even the 80s remake while I’m at it as far as Osamu Tezuka’s works are concerned.

        Liked by 1 person

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