Anime Underground

The 20 Best Anime Mecha Pilots of All Time 

Anna Lindwasser
Updated December 21, 2018 3.3k votes 701 voters 7.4k views 20 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite mecha pilots from the world of anime.

Mecha - giant humanoid robots piloted by actual human beings - are perhaps the most "anime" things out there, next to tsunderes and teenagers running down the street with bread in their mouth. Mecha anime is a beloved genre, and there's a whole lot more to it than just awesome fights. Actually, what makes a mecha show truly great is the pilots.

For this list, "best" doesn't necessarily mean "most skilled." While some of these characters possess incredible battle prowess, others are here because of their character development, or what they add to the story. Think "best character who happens to pilot a giant robot" not "person you'd hire for the job if you personally ran a fleet of mecha."

With that in mind, who are the best mecha pilots in anime? Many of them come from Gundam - from classic characters like Char Aznable to newer additions like Mikazuki Augus. Others appear outside in shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Code Geass, Soukyuu No Fafner, and more. Do you see your favorite?

Heero Yuy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 20 Best Anime Mecha Pilots of All Time
Photo:  Sunrise

Heero Yuy is a mecha pilot who believes that the only way to succeed as a pilot is to shut off his emotions during battle. This causes others to see him as bizarrely hard-hearted in ways that don't befit his young age, while others see him as extraordinarily capable in battle. 

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Char Aznable is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 20 Best Anime Mecha Pilots of All Time
Photo:  Sunrise

Char Aznable is one of the most beloved characters in the entire Gundam franchise. He is a skilled Gundam pilot, a master tactician, and a capable and respected leader. 

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Mikazuki Augus - Iron Blooded Orphans
Mikazuki Augus - Iron Bl... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 20 Best Anime Mecha Pilots of All Time
Photo:  Sunrise

Mikazuki Augus is an unfailingly loyal pilot who will do anything to make his best friend Orga Itsuka's dreams of a better future come true. He can be ruthless in his pursuits, which leads some people to mistakenly assume that he enjoys causing pain - rather, he is single-mindedly focused on his goals as a result of a childhood spent as a ground soldier.

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Asuka Langley Soryu is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 20 Best Anime Mecha Pilots of All Time
Photo:  Gainax

Out of all of the Evangelion pilots, Asuka is undoubtedly the most skilled. Besides her obvious prowess, she's also one of the more complex characters - her brash and rude behavior serves to push others away and thus keep herself safe from emotional injury.

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