The Seraphim Revival may be complete, but if you’re anything like the guy who wrote it, you’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more…giant robots. Well, never fear, ‘cause Dr. Holo’s got you covered.
The titles listed below are movies or anime series that either 1) influenced the writing of the Seraphim Revival trilogy, or 2) were discovered afterward but are still hecka fun for mecha fans.
We enjoyed all these, so we hope you will, too! 😀 (And of course, if you happened upon this page and have no idea what the Seraphim Revival is, we invite you to check it out! The first book in the series, Bane of the Dead, will be only $.99 through 12/30/17, so this is the perfect time!)
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
You can’t be a mecha fan without also being a Gundam fan. It’s the rules. There will be a lot of Gundam on this list. Jacob’s first foray into the world of Gundam came in the Toonami golden age’s airing of Gundam Wing, and we may have squeed a little too loudly when we realized it was finally getting a collector’s edition Blu-Ray release this year. If that so expensive but UGH SO PRETTY collector’s edition makes your wallet scream, there are some Blu-Ray only options, too: Collection 1, Collection 2, and Endless Waltz. The main series and Endless Waltz are also streaming on CrunchyRoll.
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Re:0096
Gundam Wing may be the most pivotal Gundam for us, but Gundam Unicorn is hands-down our favorite. Set early in the Universal Century arc, it includes a lot of fan service references to classic Gundam, but it’s far from a fan service series*. Its plot is solid, and the animation is the most spectacular any Gundam series has ever seen. The series’ Blu-Ray/DVD release is a little wack, though (2 episodes per disc? What is this? 2001?), so if you don’t want to take the physical media plunge, it’s available for streaming on CrunchyRoll.
*I should specify that the fan service refers to mecha and character appearances, not boobs. If you want boob fanservice there’s, like, three seconds of boob in The 08th MS Team.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack
Char’s Counterattack is a Gundam classic – perhaps the Gundam classic – and it got a fantastic Blu-Ray release late last year. It won’t make a whole lot of sense if you’re not familiar with the original Mobile Suit Gundam series (or Unicorn), but it’s still worth it for the awesome mecha/military drama (and if you enjoy watching annoying characters get their just, fiery desserts). >D
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
The 08th MS Team is unique in Gundam for being a small, down-to-earth story of a quartet of Gundam fighters, rather than an epic, sweeping space opera. The shifted focus from space battles opens up room for characters with very human, relatable problems, and the cast is charming in its authenticity. It’s not a must-watch, but it is a good watch for Gundam fans who are looking for something a little different.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam
Jacob scoffs at this entry, but H.P. loves it, so it stays. G Gundam is, admittedly, the black sheep of the Gundam family in that it is…well, terrible (especially in comparison to masterpieces like Char’s Counterattack and Unicorn).
However, it is also a whole lot of fun, if only because of its plethora of questionable choices that somehow earned the approval of a production committee. It’s like the anime equivalent of Miley Cyrus at the 2014 Grammys. A unified world where the governing country is determined by mecha fights every 4 years? Check. Hilariously stereotyped Gundam designs and pilots? Check. A Gundam so evil it’s called the Devil Gundam? Check. Participating in Gundam fights to find one’s missing brother even though that is probably the most inefficient method of finding someone ever? Check. The main character has a dramatic backstory, so at least it shares that with other Gundam series.
In short, it’s a hot mess, but a hilarious mess, too. For a serious Gundam fan, it’s probably the least watchable of all the Gundam series. But for fans of sprawling mecha train wrecks, it’s a blast. It hasn’t gotten a Blu-Ray release (understandably so), but it is available in two collections on DVD and available for streaming on CrunchyRoll.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
There have been approximately 20,000 versions of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and all are entertaining (if you find entertainment in angsty teens, mecha drama, and relationships so twisted they’d make the Greek gods cringe), so take your pick. Classic series? The End of Evangelion movie? The Death and Rebirth movie? These all had a huge influence on the writing of the Seraphim Revival books.
Our preferred versions, though, are the recent Rebuild of Evangelion movies: 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone, 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance, and 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo. This is primarily because they update the low-budget original series with beautiful animation and mecha battles, and then go off the track (and off the rails) in 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, diverging from the plot of the original to deliver something new to fans.
Transformers: The Movie
Gundam Wing may have been the pivotal mecha series for Jacob, but Transformers was the gateway drug. Without this masterpiece of toy-inspired filmmaking, the Seraphim Revival series wouldn’t exist. The 1986 movie traumatized and enthralled Tiny Jacob and even today is a regular replay in House Holo.
Robot Jox holds up better if you watched it as a kid before you had any real taste in movies, or if you just like bad movies. Jacob is the former and H.P. is the latter, which made this movie perfect for us. It’s G Gundam-like in that nations settle their disputes by pitting giant robots against each other, and there is drama! Deception! Hilariously bad stereotypes! But mostly 1980s robots wailing on each other. It’s a fun little watch if you want a laugh involving giant robots.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Jacob discovered Gurren Lagann too late for it to have any influence on the Seraphim Revival, but it’s H.P.’s favorite anime of all time, the anime recommendation that convinced Jacob she was marriage material, and a list of mecha recommendations would be incomplete without it.
This is a ridiculous show where the robots are powered by fighting spirit and manliness, where they combine and sprout new weapons with even less regard for physics than normal anime, and where the scale of battle becomes so extreme by the end that…you know what? It just has to be seen to be believed. However, beneath all its hyperactive action, there’s a story with an unexpected amount of heart, and by the end, it’ll leave you cheering for humanity. (And these days, how often can you say that about anything?)
If you don’t feel like forking out the insane cash for that (admittedly gorgeous) limited edition Blu-Ray box set, there’s a more wallet-friendly DVD edition. It’s also streaming on CrunchyRoll.
The Vision of Escaflowne
Escaflowne didn’t influence the Seraphim Revival as much as the aforementioned series, but it’s worth mentioning because 1) it’s unique for its fantasy setting (as opposed to a futuristic sci-fi setting), and 2) it just got a wholly unexpected Blu-Ray collector’s edition that is actually pretty slick. Outside a few dated technology references, the anime has aged surprisingly well. (It was 20 years old last year.) The story goes a little weak at the end, but the rest of the series makes up for it with dang cool Guymelef (mecha/armor/whatever) battles, a fascinating world, and, let’s face it, Allen because he’s super hot.
Jacob surprised H.P. with this edition for her birthday, and it’s been one of her favorite watches this year.
Pssh. Did you expect us to write a post of mecha recommendations and not include Pacific Rim? 😛
So ends our list of Seraphim Revival watch-alikes! Mecha fans, what would you add?
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