Super Robot (スーパーロボット Sūpā Robotto?) is a term used in mecha manga and anime to describe a giant robot or mecha, with an arsenal of fantastic super-powered weapons, are extremely resistant to damage unless the plot calls for it, sometimes transformable or combined from two or more robots and/or vehicles usually piloted by young, daring heroes, and often shrouded by mystical or legendary origins. This is distinct from a Real Robot, which is a mecha portrayed as a relatively common item, used by military organizations in the same manner as tanks or aircraft.

In the Super Robot Wars games there is a division of units between Super Robots, Real Robots and others.

General CaracteristicsEdit

Mostly all Super Robots have:

  • Big, large units (more than 20 meters).
  • Energy fuelled attacks.
  • Great defensive power.
  • Large life and energy.
  • Movement +, mobility -.
  • Poor precision, great damage.

Exceptions: G-Gundam -> Shining and God Gundam for example they are smaler than normal SR and around the same size as your average RR but their attacks are more like SR.

Super Robot ConceptEdit

The idea of a robot controlled by a young hero was first used in 1956 with Iron Man 28 or Tetsujin 28-go (dubbed and released in the US as Gigantor), by manga artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama, which featured a giant robot piloted by remote-control by a young boy named Shotaro Kaneda, who used it to fight against evil. However, the first anime to use the phrase Super Robot and the one that set the standards for the genre was Mazinger Z, created by Go Nagai and making its debut in manga publications and TV in 1972. The main difference between Mazinger Z and previous robots was that the hero, Kouji Kabuto, would pilot the robot from the inside in the same manner as one would drive a car. This anime show was hugely popular and spanned numerous sequels and imitations during the 1970s, and revival shows later during the 80s and 90s.

The Super Robot anime shows are usually named after the title robot (Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, Combattler V, etc), and tend to use a "monster of the week" format in that the villains introduce a single antagonist at the beginning of the episode that the heroes usually defeat by its end. While some have levelled criticisms at the super robot shows for having this format, it must be noted that a vast number of series, both Japanese and abroad, engage in exactly the same plot structure, introducing minor antagonists while slightly developing the main struggle between the chief protagonists and the major villains. In the 70s, with a common episode count around 50 (or often, 52) episodes for many series, more if especially popular, a more minor chief conflict would be resolved at the end of the first 'season', around episode 26, with another developing directly afterwards and leading, in the final episodes of the series, to the ultimate confrontation with the chiefest of antagonists. This remains a trend in anime and, despite what casual critics of super robot shows might claim, is not unique to the super robot genre.

Antagonists tended to come from either outer space or ancient civilizations, with common elements being a monstrous appearance or an entirely strange, occasionally even beautiful, one. Many foes employed robot or cyborg henchmen, whom they often sent against the heroes in their robot. The goals of these antagonists varied, although many were megalomaniacal or outright genocidal in their ambitions.

In the 1980's the Real Robot genre spawned by the Gundam films and the popular Space Battleship Yamato-style space opera films enjoyed a comparatively brief dominance upon trends of the mecha anime in Japan, and new Super Robot shows were less frequent for a time as space opera and militaristic mecha became popular. However, in the 1990's a renaissance in the Super Robot genre occurred, due at least in part to the economic problems of Japan which led many TV stations to rerun numerous series popular in the 70s. Of course this included classic super robot series, which renewed the public's interest in them and spawned rejuvenation of the Yuusha series. All these may have had some influence upon subsequent anime series and OVAs like Giant Robo which combined the basic concept of Super Robot shows with storylines rife with attempts at profundity and occasionally philosophical or political messages.

Many remakes and updates of old Super Robot shows, such as Getter Robo Armageddon, Tetsujin-28, and Mazinkaiser and others were produced, sometimes using complex plots while others remained with simple "Good vs. Evil" stories. Super robot shows were not the only ones to receive this attention however, as so many classic series enjoyed a resurgence in popularity due to the reruns leading to a new generation of fans now directly familiar with the material.

Inevitably, there are some types of mecha that are difficult to classify as either a real robot or a super robot. Some of these include the Aura Battlers from Aura Battler Dunbine or the Evangelion units from Neon Genesis Evangelion, which follow the general motif of real robots, but their origin and abilities are more like the typical super robot. The Mortar Heads from Five Star Stories are unique artifacts, treated like individual works of art by the fictional society present in the story, and their power often borderlines on super robot. However, their intricate engineering and the motif of their weaponry is often scientifically explained by series creator Mamoru Nagano which makes them very real robot-esque in other ways.

Mecha which employ both Super Robot and Real Robot principles are referred to as Hybrid Robots; since the production of Evangelion, this approach has gained some popularity and developed into its own niche, as evidenced by shows such as Brain Powerd, RahXephon, Overman King Gainer and Zegapain. Nevertheless, several pure Super Robot series have been produced in modern times, such as GaoGaiGar, Gravion and Godannar. The 2007 anime Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is notable for featuring 1970s-inspired Super Robot protagonists (Spirals) in conflict with Evangelion-inspired Hybrid Robot antagonists (Anti-Spirals) in the second half of the series.

If examined in depth, the differences between Super Robot and Real Robot series may at times seem purely academic or moot at best. Some critics have voiced the opinion that the only difference between the two is that Real Robot shows are supposedly less exciting and the characters supposedly less heroic; conversely critics of the Super Robot shows have cited unrealistic designs and silly situations. Others have voiced the opinion that the Super Robot is a symbol or embodiment of Righteousness, Justice, Courage, Friendship and Love while Real Robots are merely a weapon or tool; thus the defeat of a main character in Super Robot genre usually has a much more disastrous effect compared to those that occur in the Real Robot genre. The topic remains a lively subject of debate between fans of the two camps.

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Super Robot. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Super Robot Wars Wiki, the text of Wikipedia this page uses is covered by the Creative Commons License.

List of Super Robot shows Edit

List of series from the Super Robot genre from different eras present in the Super Robot Wars series.