So, as a gift, I'm going to suggest to him two mecha series that don't suck, that he might not have seen yet....
- Big O-The best way I can describe it is "Batman with Giant Robots". If you're like me, and the Fox-produced Batman:The Animated Series was the very height of animated superhero TV, Big O wins because the main character is Bruce Wayne. The only thing Roger Smith is missing is a cape and cowl. The plot evokes themes that were brought up in movies like Dark City and anime like Serial Experiments Lain. Would you be the same person if you didn't know who you were?
In addition, the robots are fantastic. There's a hefty/major steampunk/classic robot attitude to them. They aren't machines that will move like ninjas-they stomp around and flatten city blocks just by walking. They have weapons that destroy whole districts, and they are as much deity (Megadeus is not just a name...) as tool.
The first two seasons are on DVD in compliation packs. I own both, and I'm glad that I got them. And, everything seems to hint that there is a possible third season, which people are still sending in petitions for. There are tales still left to tell in the Big O universe.
- RahXephon-One of the first, post-Evangelion "angsty" giant robot tales, the series does something that Evangelion doesn't.
And, I don't want to knock the ever-living snot out of Ayato (by about episode 16, I wanted to beat Shinji until even Camile Vidan would say "man, that's just FUCKED". After that, I wanted to beat Hideaki Anno for tormening Shinji until he pissed brain cells in his blood.). I actually liked Ayato and could sympathize with him-thrown from culture shock to culture shock, and he manages to be a decent human being throughout. The plot finished in a way that makes sense from beginning to end, and once you understood all the relationships and the time shift (to understand the plot, you have to understand that one character's has been frozen in time for about 16 or so years), it all make perfect sense.
The movie, which normally would have been nothing more than the studio trying to make more money, can be seen to fill in some holes in the plot that were left...and make some parts of the plot even better. It's easy to get, too-the series in in a boxed set and the movie can still be bought, too.
Or, if you're looking for "world saving giant robot", GaoGaiGar is being released on DVD, and I had fun watching it when it was fansubbed.
I think we'll be short on giant robot shows for the next couple of years-shojo and the American market, which isn't very mecha-friendly, is taking a lot of the money.