The first anime entry on this list, Genesis of Aquarion employs a fairly standard plot blueprint: in the distant future, humanity faces extinction at the hands of a powerful alien race known as the Shadow Angels, who besiege the planet using their monstrous Cherubim warriors. Hope for the world lies in three technologically advanced fighter planes called vectors, which can merge together to form a giant robot named Aquarion. (Shoji Kawamori isn't exactly reinventing the wheel here.)
Perhaps playing into stereotypes about anime as a genre, Aquarion is really, really weird and frequently over-the-top; creepy sibling dynamics and gender politics exist side-by-side with big-scale action brought to life with fluid, sterling animation, making for a fun but often wacky slice of mecha-romance. And just like Pacific Rim, Aquarion's pilots merge consciousness - to an extent - when assembling the titular robot, and must work in tandem to fight their enemies as a unified force.