Anime informed #StarKnight. There's no disputing this. There's a lot to account for, and I've written about many of them previously. You have the Leijiverse, especially its most famous part (Space Battleship Yamato), and of course the best Space Opera out of Japan: Legend of the Galactic Heroes. There's many more, and I've also talked about them previously.
Collectively, these are the shows where the fleet actions and hero ships of #StarKnight come from. Other influences include Dairugger XV (Vehicle Voltron for some of you.), with the bonus of the Super Robot angle, and Tytania. Each of the groups and players in these works have aesthetically and practical distinction that makes audience engagement easy to achieve; the Cosmo Force looks this way, the Free Planets Alliance looks that way, and so on.
It informed Reavers by having the Red Eyes pirates use either stolen ships or very simple original designs, reflecting their outsider status, and then the contrast comes easy by having House Ireton and the Solar Guard have aesthetically pleasing designs as well as superior discipline and coordination in their actions.
While we're not talking in terms of tens of thousands of warships (LoGH), we are talking about small fleet engagements; if you've seen Yamato's 2202 arc, you'll see some of the fleet actions between the Comet Empire and the Earth/Gamillas allied fleets. For hero ships, clearly that's Harlock and Yamato itself. Not that the Gundam guys have been slacking; it just takes time to make quality work, but it pays off when you get stuff like this. (From Origin 6.)
And that? That's a rough approximation of how the relationship between mecha and warships goes, in general; specifics will vary from book to book because each book covers different situations in different locations with different circumstances. (e.g. Macross Frontier's first fleet battle for comparison) Why? Among other things, it's because Super Robots and Real Robots relate differently to the same environment; Kotetsu Shin Jeeg gets into this.
Now combine these influences with the best of the West: Lensman, Star Wars, and others. That's how these influences mix together to create what you're going to see in #StarKnight.
Since some of these are available commercially in the United States, links: