Frieza: Upon the Mecha genre, what is the biggest mecha anime? What has had the biggest influence and impact upon the genre? Personally, the first one that comes to mind would be Gundam. I feel that it is the originator of mecha. Why? Well, let's say that perhaps if Gundam wasn't popular, probably mecha wouldn't be popular as a whole. Was there a mecha before Gundam that had an impact to the genre like Gundam did?
I imagine that GUNDAM’s the biggest mecha, as well. Again, it’s that old debate about who did it first versus who did it most memorably. GIGANTOR, TRANZOR Z (and even some possible roots in Heinlein’s STARSHIP TROOPERS) may precede, but they’re not the same kind of mecha empire we’re talking about here. GUNDAM might not be a the favorite mecha of a lot of you lunatics, but facts are facst and the series has been running for decades, almost continuously, with who-knows-how-many spin-offs and gaidens and alternate reality stories. Actually, I think the true decider of it being the biggest mecha is the fact there’s actually a restaurant in Japan that’ll serve you 1:1 scale fried GUNDAM.
That trumps pretty much anything else, no?
You know, the funny is that I got a question a few weeks back who manga’s answer to Superman is and, while the fun answer might be Goku, through another lens, it might actually be GUNDAM. The conclusion I’ve reached from watching all these shows is that mecha is mor-or-less the equivalent of superheroes in Japan. The boy's power fantasy genre that’s been well-explored, deconstructed and reconstructed, referenced and homaged. I’ll leave it up to somebody else - - somebody more academic than I - - to determine what the significance is of the man being super-powered vis a vis the giant suit being super-powered, though.
Then again, you could also look at this question as asking which mecha is the physically biggest of all time. After watching the conclusion of GURREN LAGANN, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a giant robo bigger than universe-dwarfing Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
Pffft… and you think Evas were impressive for being as big as skyscrapers.