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I saw a few episodes of this anime series between 1986 and 1990, and it was on during children's shows, so it was definitely directed at children rather than adults.

The plot lines I can remember are floating alien space ships over Earth cities, alien robot mech suits fighting with human piloted mechs, human hover style tanks working with the human mechs in combat.

In one episode, a scientist postulates that the enemy ships can be disabled by hitting one very precise spot on the ship with a shot from a tank. For some reason, he goes along on the attack in the back of a tank, but in the middle of the attack he is grabbed from the back of the tank by an alien mech (kidnapped, killed, unsure). The attack goes ahead, the spot is hit and it does nothing.

Another episode involves a group of human piloted mechs that manage to get inside one ship and explore it, while being periodically attacked.

Another plot point is that they discover the alien mechs are not robots but actually remotely piloted, and the remote pilots can feel pain, etc. due to the way they are wired in - the humans elect from then on (for some reason) to only deliver disabling shots.

That's pretty much all I can remember.

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  • The only thing which springs to mind is Astroboy. I saw it when I was young, too. It was pretty much the only thing of its kind on (my) TV at the time. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astro_Boy_(1980_TV_series)
    – BenjaminJB
    Aug 12, 2014 at 16:18
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    Robotech? robotech.com
    – Mike D
    Aug 12, 2014 at 16:36
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    Sounds a bit like the middle chapter of the Robotech series, the Robotech Masters, the one based on the Southern Cross anime. I don't recall the bit about the scientist and targeting one specific spot on the enemy ships though.
    – Dan C
    Aug 12, 2014 at 16:43
  • Came here to say the same as @DanC. OP see if this video reminds of anything. Aug 12, 2014 at 17:13
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    This actually sounds the majority of the animes that came out during that era. Not surprising since a lot of them were ripping off many Tokusatsu series' and mainly Gundam.
    – Suman Roy
    Aug 13, 2014 at 8:59

3 Answers 3

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This sounds almost exactly like an episode of the second-arc of the original Robotech series, the segment that uses footage from Southern Cross.

From Wikipedia:

An impulsive frontal assault ordered by Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard against the Masters' flagship results in the Southern Cross Tactical Armored Space Corps (TASC) hit with heavy losses. Corporal Louie Nichols, one of Dana's troopers, theorizes a potential weakness, and Dana gets approval for a different tactic. Their subsequent attack succeeds in bringing the flagship down to Earth. Meanwhile, Earth scientists study the remains of a Bioroid pilot and discover that the intruders are human, not micronized Zentraedi.

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  • Thanks, that definitely sounds like it - I'm marking you as the right answer because you actually highlighted the episode which matches my recollection, and other episodes in that series match my other recollections (the human force that gets inside of the alien ship etc).
    – Moo
    Jan 29, 2015 at 9:18
  • see also scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/92619/…
    – Otis
    Oct 17, 2015 at 17:50
2

Possibly Robotech. Also reminds me of the video game, Metal Fatigue, but that came out years later and was never a TV series.

1

Sounds like Gundam.

Check these out please:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Suit_Gundam

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundam

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