BLOG Memorable Cinematic Mecha

Blogger Steven Ellis celebrates the stomping robot suits of sci-fi

With Pacific Rim less than a month from release, it looks like we’re about to get all the massive mecha suit action we’ve ever wanted. Mecha suits – large fighting robots controlled by a pilot – have been a part of sci-fi since the time of HG Wells when the Martian war machines stalked the green fields of Victorian England.

Big robot suits have been a stalwart of Japan’s anime since Mazinger Z back in 1972 and the concept of mecha was quickly embraced by Europe and the US with the import of shows such as Robotech and Gundam with their giant fighting machines in the mid-1980s.

From live action TV shows such as the Power Rangers with their multi-part giant robots, classic books such as Heinlein’s Starship Troopers through to table top games like Warhammer 40,000, with its huge Titans, the concept of the mecha suit has become common place in western sci-fi. From man-sized weapons systems to giant hulking machines stomping across battlefields, the idea of getting inside a mecha suit and walking it into a fight has been a popular and prevalent one, but in western made live-action films the suits have always been a little on the small side.

Pacific Rim promises to change all that. Its robots look to be quite large indeed. But before Guillermo Del Toro’s film arrives we’re here to remember some of the finest live-action mecha suits from recent years and to prove that size isn’t everything…