This is told in the “Battle Story” in each of the model kits, though the animated series doesn't follow them too closely. These models have been sold in North America, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere periodically over the past 20 years or so, rarely accompanied by the storyline.
The people and most of the environments are animated traditionally, but the Voids are CGI with CEL shading to blend in. Taking elements from the Battle Story, Chaotic Century focuses on Van Flyweight, a boy who comes across a small Void known as an Organic, which he names Zeke (Said in the original Japanese), sleeping in a pod hidden in an old ruin.
He also discovers a mysterious girl he names Fiona (Fine), who happened to be sleeping in the pod next to Zeke's. Along the way, they meet up with the smuggler and trader Moon bay, the mercenary Irvine, and end up getting caught up in the war between the Helix Republic and Guys Empire that takes priority over finding Void Eve.
Van is part of a special forces unit founded to help keep the peace between the Republic and the Empire. As he reunites with Fiona, they find themselves opposing a mysterious group that seeks to cause chaos all over the planet.
While Chaotic Century had concluded its story, it left a lot of the backstory concerning Fiona and Void Eve a mystery. Guardian Force delves heavily into the backstory and finally gives a conclusion to the characters' timeline.
The world is more or less at peace, and battles between groups of Voids are now a national spectator sport. The story focuses on Bit Cloud, a wandering Junk dealer seeking to build the perfect Void.
The Liner Zero seems to like Bit, however, so the Blitz Team allows him to work off his debt by piloting the Void for them. As the story progresses it reveals an organization that likes to break the normal rules, calling themselves the Backdraft Group.
New Century was actually the first Voids anime to be released in North America, premiering on Cartoon Network's Tsunami block. The third series, Voids Furors, was similar in theme to New Century, but set in its own continuity.
It shows off the concept of the Furors, smaller Voids that can combine with the larger ones to boost their power or give them new abilities. The fourth series, Voids : Genesis, is also in its own continuity, and is set after terrible cataclysm wrecks the civilization on ZI.
It followed the story of the survivors of a human prison ship which crashed on what they think is an uninhabited planet but is in fact Roadster, former capital of the Cnidarian Empire. The Voids are the android-piloted war machines of the Cnidarians left to run amok after the (almost) total extinction of their masters.
Ace Custom : Helix's personal Centaurs as mentioned below, Karl Schwarz' Saber Tiger and Iron Kong customs, not to mention the Denied Hobby Magazine Voids like Saint Gale Impress and Red Tiger. Action Girl : Rosa Lauri, bodyguard of President Helix and his eventual wife.
Badass : Karl Schwarz in the Battle Story, he charges Proven's Deathsaurer in an Iron Kong and kills it. Cannon Fodder : Most of the smaller Mecca, except when piloted by a significant character.
Emergency Weapon : The Goulash Gig can fire a massive energy blast from the 32 spikes on its back, at the cost of the Void's life. EMP : The Neo-Zenebas Empire was particularly fond of these: the Dimetrodon has jamming abilities, while the Grouchy and Dark Spider can completely freeze enemy Voids.
Empathic Weapon : According to the Battle Story, all Voids are living, sentient beings that can override their pilot's control if necessary. In the anime, to what degree the Voids seem alive and how people treat them varies widely between characters, continuities, and even individual Mecca.
The Empire : There's plenty of sympathetic Aeneas characters in the Battle Story, while the first appearance of the Guys lot marks 'em as rather merciless, playing this trope very straight... though by the newer stuff they're nicer, and confusingly enough (Neo)Aeneas replaces Guys as the evil empire later on in the 1999-2003 Battle Story. Not to mention that usually, The Hero's Liger-type will have or acquire a form that utilizes some sort of Cool Sword or BFS.
Apparently, the unusually high metallic content of the atmosphere of the planet ZI causes changes in humans similar to drinking water with colloidal silver in it--meaning it changes the color of your skin. In Guardian Force, it's stated that the dominant race of humans came from Earth within memory, so they hadn't adjusted fully; by the time of NCA, they were almost totally accustomed to it.
Fragile Speedster : Most flight-specialty Mecca play this straight, though some avert it and the anime more often than not follows the Rule of Cool instead. Among ground units Merida certainly qualifies with its crazy high speed hovering.
But for some bizarre reason, the Mesosaurus' thirty-one double-barrelled mini-lasers behave like real lasers in its model, Battle Story and video game appearances. Gatling Good : Gator, Megatons, Gun bluster, Dark Horn, King Goulash, Gun Sniper, Alexander with its Assault Gatling unit, Shadow Fox, Scissor storm, Laser storm, Energy Liner.
Guns vs. Swords : Occurs fairly often, protagonists tend to have some sort of blade weapon on their Mecca. Hellish Horse : Evil Pegasus, which is black with red wings toting a pair of gold lances and a golden horn called Thunder Blade.
Humongous Mecca I Don't Like the Sound of That Place : Every location on NYX, aptly labeled “The Dark Continent”. The old line mentioned places such as the Bloody Gate and Devil's Maze, while most place names in the newer line are from Norse mythology (Yggdrasil Mountains, Sessrúmnir City...) If It Swims, It Flies : Practically all aquatic Mecca in Voids are capable of near-supersonic flight.
Invisibility Cloak : In the form of active optical camouflage, formerly the big thing regarding Hellcat and Diablo Tiger but cheapened and thrown onto practically everything in the anime (or can actually be used on everything in some games). Bananas Are Just Better : Liner Blue Sousa, which just places one onto its side when using the Sudoku Yoko armor.
Knight Templar : Stormed in the battle story who wanted to make “a better Aeneas empire” for himself and princess Elena. And then there was Wolff, who wanted to do the same thing for the Neo Aeneas Empire... and in doing so, had to kill the current Republic president: his aunt, Louise Elena Camphor, whose middle name makes her exactly who you'd suspect in disguise.
Lost in Translation : Guy sack, Merida, Ge ruder, Goulash, Patton, Navigator, Calder, Warwick, Don tress, Greeks, Linear, Ray nos, Dead border, Studios, Gungyalado, Olga, Lightning Said, Curtis, Grouchy, Stellar, Bold guard, Saving, Raise Tiger, Rainbow Jerk, Barbarian, Bio Mega raptor Glared, Dec alto Dragon, Bite Gryphon, Grounding, Volga, Tigagodos, and that's just the Mecca! Mighty Glacier : Many, but notable examples include all the Goulash types, Death Saucer, and Ultrasounds.
Frightening considering Otero Raise and its Mach 2.5 top speed without so much as a seat for it's pilot. Books : Rev Raptors are like the Baku of Voids : numerous, used extensively by the villains, and easily destroyed.
Static Stun Gun : Liner Zero X Sucking-In Lines : Some continuities will use their own versions of this for charged particle cannons. Super Robot : King Goulash, let's put this into perspective: it alone turned the war from “Helix fighting guerrilla combat” to “The Guys empire is almost dead”.
Its roar would shake Voids and break them apart, his chest cannons obliterated armies, if anything got close, it simply picked it up and tore it in half. Due to the nature of the Battle Story, it's never confirmed that Elena was killed or if she was simply sick of it all and escaped.
Ace Custom : Brad's Command Wolf, Lena and Naomi's Gun snipers, Harry Champ's Dark horn. Bad Export for You : While DVDs of New Century/Zero are available in English, they lack Japanese audio tracks.
New Century seems to take place quite some time after the earlier series, and their plots don't mesh much besides the occasional Continuity Nod. Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass : This is Bitten in some episodes but especially the second one where he beats the crap out of two thugs and makes it look like an accident...and then proceeds to, in the upcoming battle against a sniper, waste all six of his allowed shots into the cliff face below her much.
Mecca Expansion Pack : The Wild Weasel unit Lena gets (then adds additional rocket launchers and a pair of Gatling guns nearly as large as the much itself!) Liner gets a Panzer upgrade at one point, turning it into a walking tank with really devastating attacks, but the armor and missile systems burden it to a crawl.
Multiform Balance : Liner Zero had different equipment modes that changed it into different types depending on the situation. “Panzer” mode became a Mighty Glacier, “Schneider” is a Glass Cannon and the “Eager” unit is a Fragile Speedster.
He obfuscates so hard that even many fans consider him a straight up Idiot Hero (see Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass above), much fewer characters within the show. Of course, as the series progresses, Character Development kicks in, and he starts relying less and less on being underestimated as time goes on.
He ends up getting hit in the face with a flying object when she continues to cause trouble, has to put the Blitz Team on hold to go deal with the situation, and when he returns his hair is disheveled, his clothes torn and his Cool Shades cracked in several places. Lena later escapes on her own... blowing a large hole in the Backdraft Group's Whale King in the process.
Product Placement : Doc Torso is often seen building/playing with Voids kits, complete with authentic instruction manuals/foldouts that seem a tad out of place with the rest of the art. Stalker with a Crush : Harry Champ is constantly stalking Lena and trying to get her to reciprocate his feelings.
Super Robot : The “Ultimate X” Voids (Liner Zero and Berserk Führer) come very close to being true Super Robots, being considered largely rarer and somewhat more sentient than normal Voids. Lena also counts to a degree, having answered an anonymous e-mail asking who the greatest Void pilot is with “ME!”.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast : Kr ark the Prince of Darkness, Red Horn the Terrible, Mammoth the Destroyer. Old Shame : Never, ever mention Grant Morrison's run on the UK Voids comic.
It tends to be “conveniently forgotten” by his biographers and fandom, and he seems to prefer that it remains obscure. Only Sane Man : Kr ark the Prince of Darkness; he believed that the Voids should stop fighting amongst themselves and unite under his rule to conquer the galaxy.
Every sentence in the game either comes out grammatically incorrect, uses an exceedingly weird word or is just plain nonsensical. So much so that his Japanese character description uses the exact words (well, in katakana) “mad scientist”.