''Daikū Maryū Gaiking'' (''Great Sky Demon Dragon Gaiking''[[note]]official international name: "Dino Mech Gaiking"[[/note]]) was a Super Robot mecha anime series produced by Creator/ToeiAnimation, credited as an original idea by Akio Sugino. However, in reality the original idea was Creator/GoNagai's. [[ExecutiveMeddling Toei deliberately took Nagai out of the credits in order to avoid paying him royalties]]. Because of that, Nagai sued Toei and refused to collaborate with them for many years. The legal battle lasted over a decade. [[WordOfGod Nagai himself confirmed that he was the creator of Gaiking]] at the 2007 Naples Comicon.

It ran from April 1976 through January 1977 and consisted of 44 26-minute episodes. ''Gaiking'' was notable for being one of the few super robot series to take place in real places outside of Japan, and for being the first Super Robot series to have a mobile carrier for the chief robots. In the USA, Gaiking was part of Mattel's popular Shogun Warriors import toy line of the late 1970's and Jim Terry's Force Five anthology series. In 2005, an InNameOnly reimagining titled ''Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu'' was produced.

The original story chronicled the battle between the crew of the semi-transformable carrier Daikū Maryū (called both the Great Space Dragon and Kargosaur in the US version) and the Super Robot Gaiking invented by Dr. Daimonji (Prof. Hightech in the English language version of the show) against an invading race of aliens called the Dark Horror Army in the dub from the planet Zela which is facing destruction by a black hole as their population starts to mutate (the fact that their bearded ruler now wears his face on upside-down is considered only a minor mutation). Notable aspects of the series include the dinosaur-based designs of the Daikū Maryū and its support machines and the use of part of the carrier to form the main robot.

Gaiking was piloted by former up and coming baseball star named Sanshiro Tsuwabuki (Aries Astronopolis in the dub), who was drafted for the job because his latent psychic powers made him the only one capable of doing so. All other similarly empowered candidates were assassinated by alien agents, with Sanshiro himself injured in an attack that ended his sports career. Gaiking is most easily distinguished from other mecha by its skull-shaped golden torso formed from the head of the Daikū Maryū and its golden horns.

The leader of the alien villains was named Prince Darius, and all of their ships and mecha were fish-shaped, which most likely inspired the Darius series of video games. It was also dubbed in Latin-American Spanish as ''El Gladiador'', which aired as part of a showcase called ''El Festival de los Robots''. In this version, Sanshiro Tsuwabaki was called Brando Drummond with the Daiku-Maryu itself called "El Gran Dragon del Espacio".

In 2009, William Winckler, the man behind the infamously cheesy english dub for ''Anime/{{Tekkaman}}'', produced equally cheesy english {{Compilation Movie}}s for Gaiking, along with several other of Toei's older titles. Creator/ShoutFactory [[http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/216952 released all three movies on DVD]] on May 21, 2013. The original, unedited TV version of the anime has also been licensed by Creator/DiscotekMedia for a DVD release.

And in a rather surprising twist over other Super Robots, ''Gaiking'' is getting a CG movie remake. Watch the trailer [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS6E-Nu3xsg here.]]

'''Tropes relating to the 2005 reimagining Legend of Daiku Maryu do not go here; instead they go in Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu.'''

!!Provides Examples Of:

* AbusiveParents: [[spoiler: Fan Lee's adoptive parents, hence why he and his younger brother ran away from them.]]
* AdventurerArchaeologist: Both Gen Sakon and his DisappearedDad.
* AIIsACrapshoot: [[spoiler: King Darius is really a HUGE super computer... that was at first a benevolent AI, but later was corrupted.]]
* AloofBigBrother: Peter is this for everyone. [[spoiler: And for his little brother, Tom.]]
** Arguably, a case of JerkassFacade. See [[spoiler: FailureKnight.]]
* BadassBookworm: Gen Sakon was not only the head mechanic, he also was pretty decent at self-defense.
* BigBrotherMentor: Gen is this to Sanshirou. Arguably, Yamagakake was this to Hachirou.
* BridgeBunnies: Midori and Peter
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Midori and Gen end up like this at different times, and Sanshirou has to rescue them.
* BruceLeeClone: Arguably, Fan Lee. He's even seen making a very badass pose a la Creator/BruceLee in the original series's ED.
* ButtMonkey: Oh, Yamagakake.
* CallingYourAttacks
* CountryMouse: Yamagakake's backstory. He came to the city to get a career in Sumo, a kindly professor took him in, and he joined the crew of Daikyu Maryu [[spoiler: few after his mentor was murdered.]]
* DoggedNiceGuy: Yamagakake, for Midori
* FailureKnight: [[spoiler: Peter]] ''never'' forgave himself for [[spoiler: falling asleep when his dad was drunk, thus not being able to prevent his parents's deaths in an accident.]]
* FinishingMove: '''Face Open!'''
* GameBreakingInjury: Sanshirou used to be a baseball star, until he was given this by some loony. It turns out he just ''happened'' to be the SoleSurvivor out of ''many'' people attacked, so Dr. Daimonji takes him into his crew and as the pilot of Gaiking.
* GentleGiant: Yamagakake. He actually used to be a Sumo wrestler before joining the group due to the death of his mentor.
** Also Bunta.
* HarmfulToMinors: More than one kid gets hurt or in danger here, with Hachirou the TagalongKid being only ''one'' of them. [[spoiler: Fan Lee's kid brother San-Lee (who's fifteen years old ''tops'') is shot to death, and so is a little girl named Lisa who's the daughter of a member of Darius's army. Plus, Peter's pre-teen brother Tom gets used as a hostage.]]
* HumanoidAliens: The Dark Horror Army members. [[spoiler: And Midori]]
* TheProfessor: Prof. Daimonji is a somewhat more action-geared version, as [[TheCaptain he also leads the crew]].
* RocketPunch
* SoleSurvivor: Sanshirou was the only Daiking pilot candidate that wasn't killed off.
* SuperRobot
* TeamDad: Prof. Daimonji.
* ThrownOutTheAirlock: Happens to the wife of [[spoiler: the already mentioned future member of the Dark Horror Army]]