[[caption-width-right:280:The three Dragonar]]

->''CHASER! Dead heat!''

The year is 2087, and mankind has started expanding into outer space, founding colonies on the Moon and advancing dramatically in technology and generally improving the living conditions for everyone. However, a dark shadow is cast over this future, as the Moon colonies, under the leadership of Marshall [[SpaceBattleshipYamato Iskandar]] Guiltorre, declare themselves independent under the collective name of Giganos Empire.

After years of excalating tensions, brought on by the ever-growing discrimination against Earthlings on the Moon colonies, and by the construction of Giganos' Mass Driver, war finally breaks out, with Giganos Empire in an overwhelming advantage thanks to its technological superiority and the use of anthropomorphic HumongousMecha called Metal Armors. A few months in the conflict, already 70% of Earth is under Giganos' dictatorship, and the Earth Federation is getting desperate...

Fortunately for the Federation, three new-model Metal Armors codenamed Dragonar are captured by an Allied fleet during transportation. Unfortunately, the Giganos forces immediately start pursuit, with the order of taking them back at all costs... and in the whole mess, the Dragonar end up being [[FallingIntoTheCockpit boarded and piloted by three teenagers from the neutral colony of Arcadia]], which Giganos attacked to take back their prototypes.

Of course, much mayhem ensues, and Kain, Tapp and Light find themselves forcibly enlisted into Federation army because [[EmpathicWeapon their mechs' AIs will only allow them to pilot it]], fighting an almost hopeless war against extremely bleak odds as they try to keep Giganos Empire from reclaiming the Dragonar.

If that sounded similar to ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' to you, you're quite right - this 1987-1988 series is, in fact, very similar to Creator/YoshiyukiTomino 's masterpiece. However, ''Metal Armor Dragonar'' is much LighterAndSofter than the series it parallels, not only keeping death to a minimum, but also engaging in refreshing comedic episodes which manage not to detract anything from the action and the development. People who liked ''Gundam'''s bleak setting might be somewhat put off by this, but ''Metal Armor Dragonar'' presents itself as a worthy alternative.

Has a character sheet now.

!!This series contains examples of:

* AnAdventurerIsYou: The three Dragonars fulfill different roles, to the point of FighterMageThief.
** D-1, Kaine's Dragonar, is a JackOfAllStats, a cross between Fighter and Thief. It has the best speed among all three, is the only one with a dedicated melee weapon, but has less firepower and range detection. It can be outfitted with a MechaExpansionPack to provide it with more guns at the cost of looking ridiculous and reducing speed, though that got trashed early on.
** D-2, Tapp's Dragonar, is a MightyGlacier, a cross between Fighter and Mage, being slow but with the heaviest firepower and defense.
** D-3, Light's Dragonar, is a SquishyWizard, a cross between Mage and Thief, having very few weapons but having the best navigational systems, range detection and hacking devices.
* AdjectiveNounFred
* AcePilot: Meio Plato, the [[RedBaron "Blue Hawk"]] of Giganos.
* ActionGirl: Min, who starts out as a DarkActionGirl.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:Gor, the DumbMuscle and comic relief of the Stark Squad, gets a surprisingly [[VillainousValor heroic]] and TearJerker death when his time comes. Gon Jem himself will probably evoke sympathy for the viewer at the moment of his death, considering how sincerely he mourned his fallen underlings]].
* AloofBigBrother: Meio
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Min.
* BaldOfEvil and BeardOfEvil: Gon Jem.
* {{BFG}}: The Photon Launchers employed by the [[MidSeasonUpgrade customized]] Dragonars.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Dorchenov]]
* BigEater: Gon Jem and, to a lesser extent, all of his Stark Squad except Jin.
-->Gon: "There's nothing to go with the wine. Go fetch a lamb, Gor!"
* BlackBestFriend: Tapp.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: A bit of this is unavoidable, since a good chuck of the series is untranslated outside of HK subs.
** [[AvertedTrope Averted]] now that the series is fully subbed. Well, [[SturgeonsLaw depending on your subber]].
* TheCameo: [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Ramba Ral]] appears in episode 11 dressed in a blue suit. Approaches on ShoutOut courtesy of ShownTheirWork, since Ral's referred to as the "Blue Giant."
* CanonForeigner - The Falguen Custom, designed for ''VideoGame/AnotherCenturysEpisode 3'', which is a do-everything upgrade to Meio's AceCustom.
* CharClone - Meio Plato... as in, they weren't even trying to disguise it. He's just Char Aznable sprayed over with blue paint.
* CrewOfOne: Metal Armors generally only have one pilot, as per HumongousMecha standards, however, the series at least [[HandWave Handwaves]] it by mentioning that a great deal of each MA's functions are handled by high-powered computer systems.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Ben and Chekhov.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Not a character, but a song. Shiny Boy by Mami Yamase, the second ending theme, is first played in episode 23 when showing the remote Giganos outpost Meio was transferred to.
* EmpathicWeapon: The reason the boys have to join the army and pilot the Dragonars is that after they piloted it for the first time, the onboard AIs only responded to them.
* TheEmpire: Giganos Empire, obviously.
* EnergyWeapons: Surprisingly sparsely used. Aside from [[LaserBlade Laser Blades]] and the later [[WaveMotionGun Photon Cannons]] for the Dragonars, most weaponry in the series is [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter kinetic-based]].
* EngineeredPublicConfession: In the next-to-last episode, [[spoiler:Min pulls one on Dorchenov that results in the villain unknowingly confessing his murder of Marshall Guiltorre to the whole Giganos army.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Jin, the most amoral of the Stark Squad, is visibly disgusted when two Giganos aces take a group of children hostage to lure the Dragonars into a trap.
* {{Expy}}:
** AcePilot Meio Plato is obviously based on [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Char Aznable]], to the point of having a pretty similar RedBaron nickname. However, personality-wise, he actually resembles [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory Anavel Gato]] the most.
*** Technically, Dragonar predates 0083, so Gato's the Expy.
** Linda is a much less frosty Sayla Mass, down right to her being the enemy ace's sister.
** The Dragonars themselves. D-1 is an obvious reference to the original RX-78, with beam sabers, a laser bazooka and a shield. D-2 is for the Guncannon with its shoulder-mounted turret cannons, while D3 is a more humanoid version of the Guntank.
* FiveBadBand: The Stark Squad:
** BigBad - Gon Jem
** TheDragon - Ganan (though this is a bit of a stretch)
** TheBrute - Gor
** EvilGenius - Jin
** DarkActionGirl - Min
* FeetOfClay: The Gilga-Zamune is extremely powerful, but has some glaring weaknesses that keep it from being reliable.
* GrandTheftPrototype: The series starts off with earth forces stealing the Dragonars, but the three teens piloting before anyone else can.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Min, Meio, and Lt. Chekov to an extent]]
** HighHeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Min]]
* HeelRealization: [[spoiler:Marshall Guiltorre begins to have one later in the series, but he doesn't manage to go far with it before he dies.]]
* HeroKiller: Gon Jem.
* HiddenDepths: For a DrillSergeantNasty, Ben is friendly. Understood Tapp's problems with Rose being sick in that he lied to Douglas, understood Linda's problems with her brother Meio, citing the fact he has relatives who kill each other (ie, Relative X is Federation while Relative Y is Giganos), [[RealMenWearPink likes pandas]], and believed [[spoiler:Kaine wouldn't defect to Giganos]], so as much as to sneak into the Giganos Fortress to rescue [[spoiler:Kaine's mother]].
* HotBlooded: Kain
* HumongousMecha: The Gilga-Zamune.
* IdiotHero: Kain
* KnifeNut: Ganan of the QuirkyMinibossSquad.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: The [[MechaExpansionPack Lifter Packs], which allow the Dragonars to fly while in atmosphere and also come equipped with their own missile launchers.
* MoodWhiplash: The two episodes with PunchClockVillain Lt. Chekov. Also the end of episode 13.
** Probably the biggest one is Episode 28. Up till then, the Dragonar team had met challenges they couldn't beat, but time, luck, or skill has gotten them out. This time? They're up against the [[FiveBadBand Stark Squad]], who utterly DECIMATE them. With their commander knocked out, and both Rose and Linda in the hands of Jin (who [[RapeAsDrama is rather clear with his intentions]], the episode ends with the machines totaled, in a ditch, while the town around them is being burned down. Dark. There's a reason the Stark Squad are [[ThatOneBoss noted for their difficulty in Super Robot Wars]].
* RapeAsDrama: Jin had been repeatedly trying to strip Linda, fortunately he never suceeds.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Gon Jem is "The Disgrace of Giganos".
* PowerTrio: obviously, Kain (Id), Tapp (Ego) and Light (Super-Ego).
** TokenTrio: Even their mech's paintjobs match their ethnicities. Kain's is red and white like the Japanese flag with prominent yellow bits, Tapp's is black and Light's is white.
* PunchClockVillain: Lt.Chekov, a Giganos ex-ace sent to guard an abandonned satelite.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Gon Jem and his Stark Squad (see FiveBadBand above).
* RealRobotGenre: Metal Armors rely mostly on [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter kinetic weapons]], have most of their operations handled by AI, and aren't too outlandish in what they can do. The Gilga-Zamune does straddle the line(it looks like a samurai, for one thing), however.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Just as he's beginning to realize that his cause might not be so righteous after all, Marshall Guiltorre is shot dead by Dorchenov.]]
** Also, [[spoiler:in the last episode, Meio invokes this trope and decides to remain in the crumbling Phobetore fortress as atonement for his deeds, but his father talks him out of it.]]
* RedHerring: Judging by the 1st Opening, we were told Light would hook up with Diane. [[spoiler:Nope, she hooks up with Ben, and in the ending, she marries him]].
* ShoutOut: Kaine's jacket in episode 9 resembles that of [[Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner David Rutherford's jacket from the Ru Kain 1999 arc]].
* SmugSnake / TheStarscream: Dorchenov. He thinks he's a MagnificentBastard and a badass, but in most cases, his plans either fails or only succeed due to overwhelming power or dumb luck.
* SocialDarwinist: The Giganos see themselves as the next step in human evolution and want to conquer the Earth to "speed up the process and share their prosperity with everyone". [[InsaneTrollLogic Yeah, right...]]
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Let's... Let's not get into how many different romanizations of Meio's unusual name there are...
** Not to mention the show's star - is it Ken? Kaine?
** The spelling Kaine appeared on one of the millitary document in the show.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler:Gon Jem]] and [[spoiler:Dorchenov]]. Played for tragedy in the former case. Incredibly satisfying in the latter, as it shows just how pathetic a person [[spoiler:Dorchenov]] is.
* WaveMotionGun: The Dragonars later get Photon Cannons as extra weapons.
* WhereDaWhiteWomenAt: A very rare example in anime. Tapp has a crush on [[spoiler:Rose]]. It's also an example of the trope played for cuteness.