[[quoteright:303:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Zambot3.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:303:{{Destructive Savior}}s, child abuse, and KillEmAll, ''oh my!'']]

''Zambot 3'', or more fully, ''Invincible Super Man Zambot 3'', is a 1977 anime series by long-standing mecha anime studio {{Sunrise}} and YoshiyukiTomino. Despite consisting of pretty standard SuperRobot fare, ''Zambot 3'' stands out for three things, with the first two coming out of the third. Firstly, it had somewhat of a DownerEnding. Secondly, it featured [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids child abuse]] on an unprecedented level for a childrens show. And thirdly, it was one the earliest (if not ''the'' earliest,) attempts at a Deconstruction of the SuperRobot genre. The general story is that [[AlienInvasion Earth is being invaded by aliens known as the Gaizok]], which are chasing after the survivors of another planet they ruined, who came [[AlienAmongUs to live and hide on earth.]] However, these refugees left behind two weapons - [[CoolStarship King Beal]] and [[SuperRobot Zambot 3]], for their descendants to use. Cue MonsterOfTheWeek format.

Still, the show stands out because it isn't ''just'' 'MonsterOfTheWeek.' As our lead hero Kappei Jin and his allies fight the Gaizok, ''countless'' homes and towns are [[DestructiveSavior demolished in the process]], and whereas some later series such as, say, MegasXLR would just play it all for laughs, Zambot [[{{Deconstruction}} plays it all completely straight]]. The results would have been a turning point for the HumongousMecha Genre had it caught on, with greater maturity and sophistication in the storytelling and a much darker atmosphere. But alas, this wasn't to be, and it wouldn't be until a couple of years later, when Gundam was broadcast and the RealRobot genre was invented, that the next big advance in the HumongousMecha genre would occur (both shows were directed by [[YoshiyukiTomino the same guy]], no less!).

It occasionally gets featured in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', where it usually has a high chance to appear together with its SpiritualSuccessor ''{{Daitarn 3}}'' (in fact it can't seem to exist without Daitarn in SRW), thus they could do combination attacks together. This, however, is mostly offset with the lessening of its [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids brutal nature and child abuse]]. Its appearance in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ'' rectifies this to a degree, by showing how the abuse takes its toll. But it still (barely) avoids the KillEmAll ending.

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!!This show provides examples of:

* AcePilot: The ace pilot Kappei literally pilots a robot called Zambo Ace.
* AIIsACrapshoot: [[spoiler: The BigBad is]] an alien super computer.
* AlienAmongUs: The Jin Family.
* AlienInvasion
* AnyoneCanDie
* AttackItsWeakPoint: Most Mecha-Boosts are so heavily armoured that this is the only way to defeat them.
* TheBattlestar: King Beal for the heroes, the Bandok for the villains.
* BigFriendlyDog: Kappei's [[AmazingTechnicolorWildlife oddly purple-furred]] hound, Chiyonishiki.
* [[spoiler: BittersweetEnding: The series ultimately ends with many innocents killed, much of Japan completely wrecked, and several members of Kappei's family dead, including his teammates - but also with Gaizok's assessment that HumansAreBastards proven wrong, as a crowd of people flock to Kappei to finally cheer him as a hero.]]
* BloodlessCarnage: Whenever a human bomb explodes, the human completely vanishes.
* BreakTheCutie
* CallingYourAttacks
* ChekhovsVolcano
* ChildSoldiers
* CombiningMecha: Zambot 3 is formed by combining the Zambo Ace, Zambull and Zambase.
* CoolShip
* DeathIsDramatic: At least, it becomes so - in the first few episodes, civilian casualties seem to be completely shrugged off.
* {{Deconstruction}}: One of the first, if not ''the'' first, when it comes to [[SuperRobot Super Robot's]]. However, the show just never really caught on, though recently, it's started to get a bit more attention.
* DestructiveSaviour: This series PERSONIFIES this trope. Yoshiyuki KillEmAll Tomino went to extreme lengths to show why it is not a good idea getting two HumongousMecha fighting in a populated area. Although [[KidHero the children piloting]] Zambot stop the [=MechaBoost=], they caused enormous amount of damage, ([[UngratefulBastard which does nothing to convince the Earth folks who hate them they are ON its side]]).
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Kozuki. And also Kappei, even if in a [[AnyoneCanDie much]] [[StarCrossedLovers more]] [[HeroicSacrifice expensive]] [[BreakTheHaughty way]].
* ExpositoryThemeTune: "Three mechas unite as one. Our justice in the shape of a giant robot. It's name is Zambot 3!"
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: In Kappei's case, literally.
* FantasticallyIndifferent: When Kouzuki finds out that Kappei and his family are aliens, he responds with a blase "Man... I knew it would be something like that."
* FinishingMove: MOON ATTAAACK!
* ForgottenPhlebotinum: The Gaizok create a material that can deflect absolutely any attack. One Mecha Boost is coated in this, then it is never reused.
** Actually, the [[NeverRecycleYourSchemes associated trope]] is ''averted''. Butcher ''does'' bring back the most successful of the Mecha Boosts for one episode and that one is included.
* HomeBase: The King Beal, which was an AirborneAircraftCarrier AND a CoolStarship.
* HumansAreBastards: The reason why Gaizok decided to destroy mankind.
* HumongousMecha
* InfantImmortality: Averted.
* {{Jerkass}}: Kappei is a total ''asshole'' at first, deliberately refusing to have his machine combine with the others, nearly killing someone by pretending to punch them ''while in the machine'', and pretty much mucking things up more than he needs to.
* {{Kaiju}}: The Mecha Boosts are technically robots, but they generally look more like organic monsters you might find in a Godzilla film.
* KidHero
* KillEmAll: By the man himself.
* LargeAndInCharge: Killer The Butcher.
* LetsGetDangerous
* LimitedAnimation: No animation supervisor, and many episodes were animated by just one or two people.
* MadeOfExplodium
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens
* MonsterOfTheWeek
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The [[spoiler: fake]] leader of the Gaizok is called Killer TheButcher.
* OffModel: Thanks to the reasons outlined above, this happened constantly.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: So it's okay for Uchuta and Kappei to mock Keiko and imply she hasn't been weaned off her mother's breast milk and then laugh when she rips her birthday present kimono in the process of trying to grab them. It was all just to piss her off so she'd storm off and go visit her mother. Sure. That makes up for being, you know, ''asses'' for no real reason.
** [[spoiler:Gaizok is actually a super computer designed to find and destroy any creature with an evil intent in the universe.]]
* OnTheNextEpisodeOfCatchPhrase: "Well, how are they going to fight through this?"
* PsychopathicManchild: Butcher's not only a completely unforgivable asshole, but spends most of his on screen time acting like a moron. Makes it all the more terrifying when he turns killing people into a game.
* RealityEnsues: Kids being pilots of a HumongousMecha can actually be psychologically straining, and immaturity can lead to deaths. Also, cities do not get magically repaired after getting smashed down during a battle between giant robots, and often the cast has to fight on the ruins of a city destroyed in an earlier battle.
* {{Robeast}}: Mecha Boosts
* ScarfOfAsskicking: A technicolor one made by Aki in one episode. Zambot wears this at the very end of the episode, possibly making this the TropeMaker for mecha.
* SleepLearning: Which is only the start of the child cruelty.
* SomeKindOfForceField: Around the Bandok.
* SpiritualSuccessor: {{Daitarn 3}}
** Though this is arguable, considering the two shows couldn't possibly be any more different, at least in terms of tone. Daitarn might be a successor, but not necessarily a spiritual one.
* SuperRobot
* VideoGame/SuperRobotWars: ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4'', ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsCompact2'', ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAdvance'', ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsReversal'', ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ'', and ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars64''.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse
* TheTokyoFireball
* TransformingMecha
* UnbuiltTrope: Could be considered a {{Deconstruction}} of SuperRobot anime, ''decades'' before ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' and ''{{Bokurano}}'' came out.
* VillainsOutShopping: Killer the Butcher, in spite of being a pretty depraved guy, is often shown doing stupid stuff like trying on jewelry or taking a bath.
* WhyAmITicking: Halfway through the series, this becomes the weapon of choice for the Gaizok.
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