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Title Info

  • alias: King of Braves: Gaogaigar
  • seen: 1-10 of 49
  • type: TV
  • grade: flawed
  • source: asian
  • form: sub
  • Series state: Don't intend to watch more.
  • genre: mecha
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Sun Apr 1 19:00:12 EST 2001
  • mod: none

Hm, this one is sort of easy to describe. It's the most pathologically obsessive juvenlile `mecha' show i've ever seen. If you love huge mecha with all sorts of weapons, gadgets and transforms you'll love this...for everyone else it is a unique form of tedium.


The story really begins when a mecha lion plummets from the heavens in front of a young couple in a mini-bus. While this thing is 20+ meters at the shoulder all they notice is that it is proferring a baby in its mouth. Naturally they adopt the child and the lion zooms off into the the sky. Nothing special there, happens all the time.

Anyway, cut forward 8 years. And allow me some interpretation because it's not entirely clear what's really happening. However the important part is that earth is under attack from hostile alien monsters who have a huge undersea base. They have the ability to infect humans with a alien alloy turning them into machine creatures. These creatures can then merge with other machinery and morph into monstrous mecha with awesome destructive powers. These mecha also tend to be shaped, and act on, the obsessions of the human who was chosen as the basis. Likewise each of the four `monster lords' seem to have different tastes in who they pick and how they appear. One likes flying things, one water craft and so forth. All in all a limitless number of super-powered mecha with exotic powers and appearance ready to stomp Tokyo flat.

And our only defense is the obligatory secret super-science organization, who also have an undersea base. They've got a wider variety of characters and even wider variety of mecha and gadgets. However at the heart of it all is Kai, a guy who has been re-born as a cyborg and is at the heart of Gaogaigar, their most powerful weapon. As the story progresses two AI mecha join the team. In addition the child's powers awaken and while all their secrets (or plot devices) are unknown it allows him to detect the monsters and is the only way to retrieve the human from the alloy. He, and especially his school friends, also have a tendency to be endangered by the latest mecha beast. I also forgot to mention that his `lion' also seems to be at the heart of the human super-science and gaogaigar itself.


Sounds all right? Well, it's actually not too bad. The villains have quite a lot of personality and style and are very alien in their appearance and behaviour. Meanwhile the hero's all have simple but strong personalities that you do start to recognise and appreciate. The kid's innocent young female schoolmate, the computer operator who shed's a tear every time it looks like Kai's in danger, the mad scientist and dramatic boss. There's a lot of them, they're very familiar but it's a welcome touch. There's even some unique one's, like the unkempt, dandruff spraying, `hacker' type who's just a little too honest to truth.

Meanwhile the true role of the kid is interesting. While his power is not at the heart of the action it promises interesting revelations about what is actually going on. Likewise the element of `forgiving' the merged humans, which incidentally cures them of their obsessions, is a nice touch. His powers are also useful when the script writers need to `fudge' things a little. But even better is that he does have a personality and interacts in an interesting way with the rest of the cast. He's the voice of `normality'...despite actually being the most exotic member of the cast.

But here's the real problem. The reason the personalities are strong is because there's precious little time to do anything with them. Likewise stories are simplistic affairs. The reason being to allow time for one massive mecha combat, generally involving working out how to defeat the enemies `power' and then blowing them away. This is made worse by the agressive and excessive over-use of transformation and attack sequences. Heck, even things like giving orders have their own excessively long sequences. Any one who's not a total and complete mecha fetishist is going to get really sick of watching 5-8 minutes of repeated animation, no matter how `impressive' it is. An effect magnified if you watch several episodes in a row.

The design work is also, intentionally, screwy. Each transform and mecha seems to be designed to be a toy or other piece of merchandise. And while they're complex the `logic' is at the toy level. The transformation sequences are completely and offensively illogical. While many `transforming' robots push the boundaries of belief this one is safely on the other side. I could provide examples, but it's not worth the effort. Effectively they've focused on `how' these things can be connected into mecha, with the maximum visual effect, without considering any logic or design. This seems to be more evidence that the intended audience is quite young.

That said the animation and production is quite decent. There's some impressively huge mecha action with high production values. This being especially true during the repeated sequences. Characters are fairly cartoony, with their appearance strongly matched to their personality, but they look fine and move pretty well. There's some decent amounts of money behind this. There's also strong evidence of computer assistance but it is used for additional flash and serves well in this role. The voices are fine, and the music is loud and simplistic. Being an asian region DVD the translation was well below average, although thankfully the show didn't seem to require much complexity.

Other Reviews

  • Lord Carnage review If anyone could see hope in this it would be carnage...but the review is solidly negative. He calls it modern, horribly styled and dumbed down so much that not even kids should have it inflicted on them. The review is a fun read, you can almost hear carnage's shock as the anime began (2/5).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:18 WST 2009