King of the Braves: GAOGAIGAR
Volume One: Heir to the Throne
Synopsis: The story follows a boy named Mamoru, who was
to his human parents as a baby by a Mech called Galeon (Lion Mecha),
who came from the stars. As an eight year old, he encounters the top
secret Japanese government organization called 3G. 3G was created to
protect humanity from extra terrestrial life forms and employs a cyborg
named Gai Shishio, who is able to merge with the Galeon and transform
it into a robot form. The robot form can merge with other forms (a
bullet train, a drill machine and a fighter craft) to become Gaogaigar,
a super robot. A mysterious alien force (called the Zonders,
collectively) is merging humans with inanimate machines and causing
them to become dangerous weapons that threaten all of humanity. Only
Gai and the Gaogaigar can stop them! Mamoru is able to take the
defeated Human-Zonder and use his amazing powers to restore their
humanity, making him an invaluable asset to 3G.
Comments: This series is part of several Brave
in Japan (the final series from 1997). The Brave line was a
to the Transformers in Japan in the 90s (which means they had the same
designers at Takara basically. The toy concepts never mingled however).
The series seems to be aimed at a kid or teen
audience, as it alternates between really good elements as well as
really dumb ones. We have things like a bad theme song (literally
singing "Gao-Gao-Gao-Gaogaigar!"), stock footage and repetitive story
telling. We also have good elements like cool mech designs, pretty
decent animation and a potentially intriguing back story.
The first three episodes reminded me more of Voltron
then Transformers, to be honest. In each of them, we have the robot
threat, the hero merging up all the way to his super duper mode and
then kicking butt. In each episode, he uses the same technique to kill
the bad guy robot. Fortunately, by episode four they decided to deviate
from the formula slightly. And in episode five, we get Transformers!
(Seriously, they have two fire engine style robots get created that can
transform and ultimately merge together--although the merging didn't
happen in episode five, just in the preview for episode six).
All in all, this is a decent series. It's animation
is not spectacular (compared with Gundam Wing or Escaflowne) but decent
and the writing is decent (just don't expect too much of it). Worth
checking out if you're a TF fan that can't get enough and want to
sample something a little different but not exceptional either.
- Contains the first five episodes of the King of the Braves series.
- The first volume of the eighth series of the Brave series. There are
five more volumes of this series (to-date). There is also a new release
of the first DVD (a green jacketed version) although I am not certain
of what the difference is (likely more features and 5.1 sound).
- English and Japanese soundtracks (Japanese with english sub-titles).
Soundtrack in Dolby 2.0.
- 1:33:1 aspect ratio. (Full screen. Widescreen not available).