As a kid I fell in love with a certain cartoon and I just cannot think of the cartoon's or robot's names. It must not have been on very long. It had to be early 80's.

I remember the robot having a controller... A pilot who would sit within the head of the robot and control it from there. I remember the pilot was a black haired guy who wore a red suit and helmet.

The robot had a distinct look with vertical spike like things going up from the side of its head... one on each side. A similar look to Optimus Prime's head.

I recall one episode where the pilot had been injured and was struggling to fight his pain, get to the robot and stop an enemy.


The description seems to fit Tetsuya Tsurugi, pilot of the Great Mazinger. The series was aired around 1975, and I remember a couple of episodes with a wounded or shell-shocked Tetsuya interfacing with the Mazinger pod.

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This is the robot:

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  • No. The pilot of this Robot had longer black hair...about shoulder length. The series aired sometime in the early to mid 80's. – MoneyMike777 Aug 21 '18 at 16:29
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    Hm. The only longer-haired, red-suited mecha pilot I remember is Duke Fleed (Actarus), pilot of Grendizer. But that's 1977 at the most. You could run a Youtube search for 'anime mecha' and see whether it jogs any memory. – LSerni Aug 21 '18 at 16:51
  • A Youtube search for "anime mecha" is probably going to take ages, just saying :) – Jenayah Aug 21 '18 at 19:32
  • This is racking my brain. The guy did look similar to voltron commander keith, but piloted a robot by himself. A young guy...man, I can't think of what it was. He would take on other robots – MoneyMike777 Aug 21 '18 at 20:06

Was that maybe Tōshō Daimos (1978-79)?

enter image description here

Here you have the transformations scene

The pilot was sitting in the head, the robot has very Optimus-Prime look (it does even transform from a truck) and the "Struggling against the pain" was a must-have part of every episode.

The usual opponents were giant robots created by angel-like alien race that has landed on Earth, somewhere deep in the ocean.


Another option is Robotech: Macross. The primary character, Rick Hunter, is black-haired and sometimes wore a red/white or an orange flight suit:

Rick Hunter next to Veritech Fighter

The mecha in the series convert between planes, Valkyrie (wings, but with legs) and Battloid mode (looks like a robot). When in Battloid mode, two lasers point vertically alongside the "head". This screencap is from an early episode, where moments later we see the head tilt back and the two cockpit seats rise vertically up to allow Rick to get out.

Rick meets Minmei's Apartment building


I had the same problem. I could picture the cartoon, the robot, and the controller. I think you’re thinking of Tranzor Z. Got me right in the feels when I saw the intro again.


The description makes me think of Space Emperor God Sigma (the part about the head similar to Optimus Prime), but I don't remember if it was driven from inside his head.


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