[Hollywood to Anime] Like Bumblebee? Watch These Anime!

Despite the Bayformers franchise being utter garbage, Bumblebee, which thankfully isn’t directed by Michael Bay, demonstrates how excellent the franchise can be with great writing and including John Cena (could you see him?). This prequel which takes place in the 1980s is an excellent callback to the original animated series that made Transformers an icon to that respective decade. While it is easy to recommend some of Transformers’ anime series from Headmasters to Superlink, we thought we would recommend some non-Transformers anime for viewers who enjoyed Bumblebee.

Liked Bumblebee? Watch Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 13, 2018 – July 18, 2018

Based on the light novel series by Shoji Gatoh, this fourth installment to the anime series continues Mithril’s mission to protect Kaname Chidori, a high school girl who is the target of many interested parties due to her hidden abilities that could change the course of the future. Assigned to protect Chidori is Sousuke Sagara, a teenage soldier who is very good at his job but knows nothing of being a normal teenager.

Major Similarities Between Bumblebee and Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory

1. Mechs, Teens, and Conspiracies

While it is expressed very differently in Bumblebee, at the very heart of Full Metal Panic are teenagers mixed up with giant robots and various conspiracies with private units staging a war, and a school girl is at the heart of everything. You can say Mithril represent the Autobots, while Amaglam represents the Decepticons. While we all know that the robots in Transformers are sentient aliens, the robots you see in Full Metal Panic are your typical mechs you see in anime, and of course, a teenager such as Sousuke is more than capable of using them.

2. Comedy

Another unique quality that these two franchises share is the comedy expressed through their main characters. With Bumblebee, it’s how he is very slow to react to the commands of Charlie and how he is trying to fit into Earth’s culture. How Sousuke is expressed as comic relief is very similar to Bumblebee as he is trying to fit into high school to the point that if he were in an American school, he’d be in juvie by now (especially in a society where they suspend you for pop tart shaped guns).

Liked Bumblebee? Watch Macross Delta

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 3, 2016 – September 25, 2016

In this latest edition to one of mech’s hottest franchises, we have Delta. Mixing mechs with singing, the forces of the UN Space Force must face forces of the planet Windermere, who use a virus to attack innocent civilians. The only ones capable of suppressing the virus is Walkure, a commando idol unit who use their singing talents to calm the symptoms. Backing up the Walkure unit is the Delta Squadron whose latest recruit, Hayato, has a connection as to why they Windermerians are waging war.

Major Similarities Between Bumblebee and Macross Delta

1. Transforming Mechs

When it comes to Macross, it is the true OG to transforming mechs. As a matter of fact, one of the original Valkyrie toys was used as the model to Skyfire (though later renamed Jetfire), one of the Autobots in Transformers (though he was not featured in the Bumblebee movie). Delta still continues that tradition by having mechs that can be a jet (retrofitted for space combat), a humanized robot, or ger-walk mode, a hybrid of the two.

2. Father Issues

Just like how Charlie, the main character of Bumblebee, deals with the passing of her father, Hayato also has to come to terms with what happened with his. As both approach their respective climaxes, they also have to come to learn to deal with the trauma of the loss of their fathers and move on.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, we would like to make some honorable mentions to Gundam AGE, Gurren Lagan, GaoGaiGear, and Evangelion. In general, we recommend anything with mechs, teenagers, and conspiracies. If you’re interested in watching some of the Japanese exclusive Transformers series such as Headmasters, Victory, Choujin Masterforce, Beast Wars II, Micron, and Superlink, feel free to check those out as well.

Full-Metal-Panic-225x350 [Hollywood to Anime] Like Bumblebee? Watch These Anime!


Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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