Mecha Action & Shonen Battles Fuse in Exciting New Anime More Fans Should Be on the Lookout For


  • Indie anime
    ‘s return as full TV production showcases industry still welcomes experimental works.
  • Official trailer proves production is on schedule, highlighting unique shonen-meets-mecha twist in fights.
  • TriF Studio and Sae Okamoto’s passion project stands out as an indie gem in an era dominated by popular franchises.

TriF Studio’s Mecha-Ude has returned as a full-fledged TV production, and despite its simple appearance, still ought to be lauded as another original anime that will add breadth to the industry. With anime production dominated by large studios and franchises, it is surprising to see a new show realize its potential following its 2018 ONA.

Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms unveiled its official trailer earlier, showing that production is on schedule. The anime first came onto the scene in 2018 with a Kickstarter-funded animation but did not garner much interest past that.

Its return is proof that there is still room in the industry for experimental and less visible works. Mecha-Ude is expected to premiere later this year in October.


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Mecha-Ude Resurrects The Indie Spirit

ONA and anime created and directed by Sae Okamoto.

TriF Studio’s upcoming original anime follows plot beats similar to many classic shonen anime: a teenager, Hikaru, finds himself coming into possession of a powerful artifact – a Mecha-Ude – albeit one that has lost its memories, forcing the pair to team up against other malicious parties armed with their own “Mechanical Arms”. Mecha-Ude‘s twist uniquely combines both shonen and mecha sensibilities, with the exposed fighters having to contend with each other’s awkwardly placed extra robot appendages. This could provide for some visually unique fights in the future, since most anime satisfy themselves with just four limbs when designing battles.

Interestingly, the trailer reveals a simple art style. While this may dismay some viewers, it also hearkens back to the anime’s origins as a passion project brought to life via Kickstarter funding. Both TriF Studio and Sae Okamoto have smaller resumes, with Mecha-Ude being their largest project in either incarnation. Rather than feeling like a big-budget anime, this show feels more like an indie project that got the opportunity to receive a TV slot. This makes it stand out all the more in an industry dominated by popularity rather than experimentation, with large studios making faithful adaptations of popular IPs.

New Anime Shows Creative Energy Exists On The Margins

Scenery shot of Mecha-Ude, showing the distant figures of Hikaru and Alma standing on a hilly section of a Japanese City, with the sun setting in the distance between several high rises.

The mid-2010s saw a fad where Kickstarter was used to fund a variety of anime, and while it did lead to some success stories, like the Little Witch Academia movie by Trigger that later led to a full series, its popularity petered out. TriF’s work is important in this regard, as it may be a chance for a young studio to continue adding depth and innovation in a risk-averse industry. While the decade of wild, experimental OVAs, and even the Kickstarter fad, is long over, Mecha-Ude’s resurrection may be a chance to prove that indie projects can still thrive today.