My partner loved that too and grabbed my arm and just started saying, "VOLTRON! That's like VOLTRON!!!"
I know nothing about Japanimation(never cared for it)and don't know a kaiju from a kaj-a-goo-goo and he told me there were lots of little subtle homages to the genre.
One thing we were wondering was, does the shoe motif mean anything in Japanimation? There were two characters who took a shoe and the camera seemed to really focus on it. Is there any symbolism in Japanese culture?
I have seen Evangelion and I did get the impression a lot of the movie was influenced by it.