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File:Grimlock 3339.jpg

Me Grimlock give you head start.

Mecha are cool. Some animals are pretty awesome. But what if we combine both?

Animal Mecha are, simply put, mecha built in the shape of animals. They are usually modeled after creatures considered Badass, especially dinosaurs, predatory beasts (often big cats), and birds of prey.

There are two subtypes of Animal Mecha:

  1. The first and older type involves otherwise machine-type mecha to be shaped like animals. Mechanical Horse and Spider Tank are particular subtropes.
  2. The second and newer type involves sentient, alive creatures as Humongous Mecha. Related to Mechanical Lifeforms.

Mecha based on aquatic creatures tend to be prone to If It Swims, It Flies.

Compare Spider Tank, Mechanical Horse, Robot Dog.

Examples of the first type:

  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman's Galactor fielded bird mecha as Monsters of the Week.
  • Mazinger Z: Many Mechanical Beasts were shaped like animals (insects, crabs, whales...), specially in the later seasons where mythological motifs were used.
    • In the sequel, Great Mazinger, the Mykene Empire army was split in seven armies, and every mecha belonged to one or other division depending on its shape. Five out of seven divisions followed a animal theme: Mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes and insects.
    • In the second sequel, UFO Robo Grendizer, there were less animal-alike mechas, but many Saucer Beasts resembled reptilian creatures.
  • GoLion / Voltron consists of five lion-based mecha, each forming a single body part.
  • Reideen: It belongs to both types. Although its primary shape is human-looking, it can transform into a bird-like mecha. And it is sentient to boot.
  • Several Super Sentai series, with Choujuu Sentai Liveman being the first installment to feature Animal Mecha. The most notable, of course is Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, a.k.a. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Aside from that airship that looks like a bird from Himitsu Sentai Goranger.
  • Megas XLR parodies the concept, as well as paying homage.
  • The Gunmen.
  • The Reptar robot from Rugrats.
  • Stella's Gaia Mobile Suit in Gundam Seed Destiny can transform into a dog-like form for ground combat.
  • Three of the robots from Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh (of the Eldoran franchise) are in the shape of animals: Hou-Oh (bird), Juu-Oh (lion), and Bakuryu-Oh (dragon.)
  • The other two Eldoran anime, Ganbarugar and Nekketsu Saikyo Gosaurer, also feature animal mecha.
  • Exalted has some examples of animal-shaped Warstriders for use by shapeshifting Lunars in their animal forms, or Lunar Warstriders that change shape along with their pilots.
  • Zoids, depending on the continuity.
  • Gaiking has several animal/dinosaur-shaped support mecha, in both continuities.
  • The Pachydermobile from an article in The Journal of Irreproducible Results: a four-wheel-drive vehicle intended for observing elephants in their native habitat, designed to look like an elephant as much as possible (and smell like one, too).
  • One of the eneies in Conduit 2 is a robotic puma/leopard/tiger/large cat.
  • Molly's robot lion in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob
  • Ausf A Gestell from Einhander is a crazed mecha ape. Interestingly enough, it's one of the enemies that isn't named after an animal in German.
  • Gundam: The BuCues from SEED look vaguely like jackals, and the Gafrans from AGE can transform into Dragons.
  • Some of the Team Rocket mechas from Pokémon such as the Meowth balloon and the Magikarp submarine.

Some examples of the second type

  • Depending on the continuity, Zoids.
  • Of course, Super Sentai (which by then was already being adapted into Power Rangers) got into the act too, with Seijuu Sentai Gingaman / Power Rangers Lost Galaxy and Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger / Power Rangers Wild Force being prominent examples.
    • The Guardian Beasts from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, sentient mechanical dinosaurs who combine into God', though they're more famous as the non-sentient Dinozords from Mighty Morphin Power Rangerss first season.
    • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger also has Dinosaur Mecha, the Bakuryuu...except this time, they're all Dinosaurs (well, ok, a few are just prehistoric reptilians, like pterrasaurs and dimetrodons, but close enough), unlike Zyuranger (only the Triceratops and T-Rex are truly Dinosaurs). They're all intelligent, reasoning creatures and treated as characters in their own right, while their American counterparts are more animalistic.
      • What's weird is that rather than mecha, the Bakuryuu are said to be actual descendants of the dinosaurs (on an alternate Earth). Full-body cyborgs, maybe?
  • Dinobots, Predacons (not those), Insecticons, and Terrorcons in Transformers Generation 1, as well as those cassettes of Soundwave's. Grimlock, leader of the Dinobots, is currently pictured above.
    • Beast Wars and Beast Machines. They started off as Mechanical Lifeforms wearing animal skins to shield them from fatal levels of energon, but the robot / animal divide started blurring with the Transmetal upgrades. By Beast Machines, the main cast are all completely techno-organic: they still have a "beast mode" and a more humanoid one, but Optimus points out that the animal / mecha line no longer applies to them.

 Cheetor: So, what are we? Robots or animals?

Optimus Primal: Both and neither.

    • Each continuity tends to have a few characters with animal alt-modes somewhere.
  • Mechagodzilla and Mechani-Kong.
  • GaoGaiGar's lion, Galeon.
    • The last couple episodes of the Post Script Season, GaoGaiGar FINAL, introduced the original Gao-Machines from the Green Planet: two mole-like Drill Tanks, a flying shark and dolphin, and a condor-jet, on which the Earth-built Gao-Machines were based. The sentience of these Genesic Machines was never made clear, however, as they combined with GaiGar immediately after their release.
      • And all together, they evoke the image of a manticore.
  • The Leviathan from Disney's Atlantis the Lost Empire, which resembles a giant mechanical lobster.
  • Clockwork Horrors from Spelljammer are sentient clockwork giant spiders.
  • In Terraria, one of the boss monsters unlocked in "hard mode" is the Destroyer, a giant mechanical worm based on the normal, fleshy giant worm boss, the Eater of Worlds.
  • Hippopressor in Mega Man X Command Mission is basically a tank shaped like a hippopotamus.