Popular Japanese Anime and Manga Robots

Japanese anime and manga take pride in the many robots and super-robots that have long dominated television shows, comic book series, and toys. Since they were first introduced in the early 50s, robots have inspired many more creations whose extraordinary strength and powers leave us in awe. They continuously evolve along with the latest technology.

Here are some of the classic Japanese robots that we never get tired of.

Astro Boy (鉄腕アトム Tetsuwan Atomu, “Mighty Atom,” lit. “Iron Arm Atom”) – Astro Boy was introduced to the Japanese public as a manga series in 1952 and became a television program in 1963. Its creator Osamu Tezuka is considered to be the god of Manga in Japan. The standard plot of the Astro Boy series follows the adventures of the popular robot and how he tackles his adversaries with super robotic prowess.

Astro Boy poster | bunnicula

Daimos  (闘将ダイモス Tōshō Daimosu, Brave Leader Daimos) – Produced by Nihon Sunrise,  Daimos is derived from one of the two moons of Mars, Deimos. Daimos’ creation is yet again credited to Saburo Yatsude. Daimos made its first debut in the U.S. as part of Mattel’s Shogun Warrior Line of imported robots.

Danguard Ace (惑星ロボ ダンガードA(エース) Wakusei Robo Dangādo Ēsu) – The Planet Robo Danguard Ace anime series was created by Leiji Matsumoto with Dan Kobayashi. It gained  loyal followers when it aired on the Showtime network in the 80s and even appeared in Marvel Comics’ Shogun Warriors series.

Danguard Ace robot toy | JOE WU

Tetsujin 28-gō (鉄人28号 Tetsujin Nijūhachi-gō, Iron Man #28, Gigantor) – It initially started as manga written and illustrated by Mitsuteru Yokoyama and adapted into an anime series in 1963. It is considered the first Japanese series to feature a giant robot. The robot is popularly known as Gigantor in the U.S.

Voltes V  Chōdenji Machine Voltes V (超電磁マシーン ボルテスV Chōdenji Mashīn Borutesu Faibu, Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes Five) –  Created by Saburo Yatsude (a pseudonym for a committee of TOEI Company).  Voltes V was one of the pioneers of the Super Robot genre—one of the first robots to use a sword to finish an attack.

Voltes V toy | Joe Crawford

RX-78 Gundam – Introduced in 1979 by Yoshiyuki Tomino’s and Sunrise’s anime in the series Mobile Suit Gundam. Its success brought on the popular Gundam franchise with multiple sequels and spinoffs.

Want to learn more about Japanese anime and manga? Check out our Anime and Manga Summer Program at KCP! Enrollment open until April 20.