Bakugan Battle Brawlers is the story of six children who find Bakugan, which are these spherical toy-like things that transform into Mons, and must save the Bakugan's world, Vestroia. Some of these have their own spirits and are able to speak—all of the main characters, and most of the supporting cast, has one of these.All and all, Bakugan could be seen as a combination of many different popular series. It is in varying parts reminiscent of Digimon (the whole "save both worlds" thing—overall, it probably skews closest to Tamers), Yu-Gi-Oh! (the sentient Bakugan is somewhat like the spirit monsters in GX, and the game is played with cards), Pokémon (in that Pokemon was one of the first "mon" series and this series features battling monsters contained in spherical devices), and Beyblade (Merchandise-Driven). There is one notable difference from these series, and that is that the non-human characters are able to talk while in ball form. (Go ahead, there's no instance where a Pokémon ever talks to its trainer while inside a Poke-ball.)The rules are hard to pin point, since they were never fully explained and change whenever necessary, similar to the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh!. Best just leave it alone.Was followed by a sequel series, Bakugan: New Vestroia set a few years after the end of Battle Brawlers, and recently a third series, Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders, ended and was followed by Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge, which ended its broadcast in Canada and the United States. Additionally, there are three video games available on all current generation consoles.A Reboot based on the Manga titled Baku Tech! Bakugan has started airing on TV Tokyo and animated by Xebec as part of Oha Coro. However, this one is received poorly by the fans. It also spawned a sister series, Zoobles which is aimed more for the girly crowd.Not to be confused with Bakuman。. Or Byakugan.Collectible Card/Figure game here. and Video Games here.
Alien Invasion: After Naga was destroyed in the first season finale, the next two seasons had extradimmensional aliens as their main villains. Its presently unknown is Mag Mel is continuing this trend or not.
Becoming the Mask: After Alice discovers that she is really Masquerade, she initially stops brawling all together, but eventually is able to fight using Masquerade's abilities while remaining herself.
BFG: Ren's Boomix battle gear and Kieth's Zukanator Battle Gear.
Big Bad: Each season has a new Big Bad. Season 1 had Naga, season 2 was King Zenoheld, season 3 was Emperor Barodius, and season 4 has Mag Mel in the first half and Wiseman and Coredegon in the second, although it turns out Mag Mel was Barodius and Wiseman was a disguise for Coredegon.
Dan: My whole world changed one day when all these random cards started raining down everywhere! At first they seemed harmless enough so a bunch of us kids invented this cool new game... That's when we realized those cards weren't so harmless after all!
Char Clone - Spectra Phantom wears mostly red (including a mask), is blonde, is The Rival, and is actually named Keith Clay, the older brother of Mira Clay. Also, Masquerade doesn't have a thing for red nor does he err, she have a younger sister, but he is mostly this trope.
Combination Attack: Various special attacks can be used to boost the power level of your Bakugan if you're attacking with two Bakugan of elements next to each other on the elemental wheel...or across from each other on the wheel...or with the three that make up a triangle on that wheel. So there's a pretty good chance that any time two of the Brawlers are dueling together, they'll be able to use a combo attack.
Hell, seeing as how regular (normally Aquos) Preyas can change his element at will and his evolution manifested in the form of a second Bakugan, Haos Preyas Angelo/Pyrus Preyas Diablo, Marucho is able to pull off the Aquos/Pyrus/Haos triangle attack all by himself—or would be, if any of the non-sentient Bakugan appeared at all during New Vestroia.
Combined Energy Attack: Dragonoid Destroyer gets powered up by the energy of the bond between all humans and Bakugan on earth, activating his Golden Super Mode and allowing him to obliterate Mechtavius Destroyer in one hit.
Continuity Porn: Mechtanium Surge has been this so far. Characters from all seasons have been making reappearances in important roles, including Spectra and Preyas (well, half of him, Preyas Angelo/Diablo is nowhere to be seen), Gundelia and Vestoria have been revisited for multi-episode arcs,and Mag Mel is the previous season's Big Bad, Emperor Barodius. And the season isn't even halfway over yet! Also a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, as this is one of the best things the season has going for it so far.
The episode 'Blast from the Past'in the second half of the season is a glaring example. It brought back both Preyas forms, Minx Elfin, Skyress, Gorem, Ingram, the list goes on, but it's basically every partner Bakugan except Drago from previous seasons. It's a shame they were just there to get beaten though...
Crystal Dragon Jesus: Drago, oh so much. Bonus points for being a literal dragon and turning into an actual crystal at the end of the first season.
Cultural Translation: Gundalian Invaders seems to have taken this literally, seeing as how Dan's new place of living, Bayview City, has American Football, Burger Joints, has people with English names like Jake, and he now lives fairly close to Julie, it can be assumed that he's moved to America.
The second Big Bad outdos him by leveling an entire city and killing off all the Bakugan! To clarify, there's no attempt to cover up that destroying the city killed millions of people, in fact its very heavily implied it did. Thank goodness the Brawlers Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
Mira forms the Resistance after discovering the Bakugan her father was torturing was intelligent.
Defeat Means Friendship: Zenthon, a Mechtogan spawned from Drago's out of control power, was a rampaging beast until finally, Drago managed to best him in battle, resulting in him coming under Drago's control. Though in this case, it was described as "breaking a wild horse" and showing it whose the master.
Demoted to Extra: Julie, Runo and Alice in New Vestroia. Okay, maybe more like demoted to second tier, but until they regain the ability to brawl, the trope still applies.
By the time of Gundalian Invaders, Runo and Alice don't even appear. Runo's mentioned in a picture, but that's about it.
Then, Runo returns as a (fairly) main character in the second half of Mechtanium Surge, but she's still retired from battling.
Elemental Powers: Pyrus (fire), Aquos (water), Ventus (air), Subterra (earth), Haos (light), and Darkus (darkness). These powers are drawn from Infinity (positive energy), which allows Bakugan to use all elements, and Silence (negative energy), which amplifies dark power to extreme heights. When combined, they form Perfect energy, and a Bakugan can use any element to its fullest, or even bend space and time.
Evasive Fight Thread Episode: Episode 2 of New Vestroia, after a bit of exposition, turns into a fight between Dan and Ace that never gets resolved.
Evil Twin: Naga, to Wavern. (They're fraternal twins, by the way.)
Evil vs. Evil: The evil Mechtagan vs the Nonet Bakugan and Wiseman II. The episode is even called "Evil Vs Evil".
Evolution Powerup: All of the main Bakugan evolve at least once, and Drago and Hydranoid evolve twice. Then, Drago succumbs to something we could deem Spontaneous Evolution Syndrome, and hits an absurd level of transformations to the point it gets cheap to know he's just gonna keep evolving like crazy each season.
Speaking of Code Geass, when Dan's new silver outfit makes him look a lot like Suzaku.
Shun is a top level battler in his chosen toy-using sport, has real-world fighting skills, plays on All Girls Want Bad Boys for the fans, and is a loner. He's Kai with a different look. He even had issues with working with his team and came around due to his connection with his Bakugan (like Kai did with Dranzer).
Fanservice: Very subtly. While they've taken them out of the action, Julie and Runo aren't completely gone in New Vestroia, and any time Mira is seen from the side, it will inevitably be from the right side with the knee-high boot. Marketing to children while including some Turn On Tropes... well played, Sega/Spinmaster.
Fabia, Ren and Jake all have many moments throughout Gundalian Invaders.
From Bad to Worse: When they delete Bakugan Interspace in an attempt to kill Mag Mel, he makes it to Earth with his army anyway. Oh, and Razenoid evolved!
When Dan accuses Gunz of being Wiseman, when he really isn't, the team turns on him. Gunz responds by actually becoming Wiseman. Thankfully, it got straightened out.
Fusion Dance: Mechtanium Surge introduces this, allowing two Bakugan to merge together. They split in half and then each half merges with half of their partner. In an unusual take on this, they two remain separate, but both gain traits and powers from their fusion partner.
Gender Bender: Masquerade is clearly a guy, especially with his deep voice, but when his mask is taken off, he becomes Alice. Comes with a nifty clothes change too.
Dan Kuso. "Kuso" roughly translates to"shit" in English. That's right- IT REALLY MEANS SHIT. This is a spectacular radar slip for the ages. Just imagine all those little kids watching the show and all the blissfully unaware adults who don't know a lick of Japanese, and then imagine the Japanese who had the balls to name their character Dan "Shit" and know the parents in that country would clearly understand it. And That's Terrible.
Heroic Sacrifice: Drago has to merge with the Perfect Core at the end of Battle Brawlers, losing his physical form. He gets better at the start of New Vestroia.
Elico sacrifices his life in battle with Farbros to protect Gus. Soon, Hexados follows suit and leaps in front of a lethal blast to save Vulcan.
Prince Hydron makes sure his father goes down with the quickly collapsing ship at the end of New Vestroia. As for Professor Clay, he chooses to stay behind in the Alternative when he gets trapped, rather than have Mira and Keith risk their lives to save him.
"Surge": Kodokor lets himself be slain so that a combined Spatterix and Stronk can take down Mechtavius Destroyer in the havoc of his explosive death, and likewise, the latter two buy time for Betadron and Gunz to escape harm.
Also in "Surge", Worton and Betadron stay behind in the time stream to let the Brawlers travel back to the past, knowing they might perish.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Naga kicked off the series by absorbing too much energy from the Silent Core. When he dies, it's also by absorbing too much power. The BT System of New Vestroia also explodes by absorbing too much power. Phantom Darak and Barodius also explode from, guess what, absorbing too much power. Now, in Mechtanium Surge there is a creepy guy who is demanding power from the main characters. Any bets on what'll happen to him?
During New Vestroia, "Ability Activate!" makes up 80% of the dialogue. And no, that is not an overstatement, it really does.
Karmic Death: All of the Big Bads (sans Mechtavius Destroyer) have been done in by their own doing. Naga's own energy absorbing powers were used to overload him, causing him to explode. Zenoheld's own ultimate weapon exploded with him inside it while his son who he treated like crap keeps him inside it. Barodius met his end when the object he spent the entire season trying to get proved far too much for him to handle and seemingly vaporized him and his Guardian Bakugan. Instead, they turned into Mag Mel and Razenoid, but then were finally beaten for good and destroyed entirely... again, by Mag Mel's suicidal attempt to take Dan down with him by launching all his hi-jacked energy at him... only to fail.
Alice, a Mad Scientist's Beautiful Granddaughter, plays this straight. Well, sort of. Her grandfather, Michael, was taken over by negative energy after an accident with a dimensional transporter and became the evil Hal-G, and she tried to defend him, and was herself being used by him, first by being turned into Masquerade and then by being tricked into believing that Michael was in there somewhere.
Magical Girl: Elfin. while it wasn't so noticeable at first, when she evolved into Minx Elfin, she invokes this trope so much that she's practically become a direct homage to Sailor Moon, complete with In the Name of the Moon style phrases. It's so blatantly obvious now that she even copied one of Sailor Moon's signature poses.
Helios takes it to a major extreme by implementing Vestal technology into his body to become a technorganic dragon, improving it as he and Spectra see fit. The first Battle Gear he uses (also first in the series) is the Twin Destroyer, a pair of rapid-fire, quadruple-barreled machine gun turrets. The next atep up is the Zukanator, a missle-size photon laser that can rip through tempered steel plates like tinfoil.
The Vexos use mechanical Bakugan as a total replacement to the living ones, believing they can craft bigger weapons of destruction than Bakugan themselves can unleash. If need be, they will force evolution or experiment to make them deadlier.
King Zenoheld starts off with Farbros, a mechanized dragon with immense firepower. It turns into a full-fledged battle suit when the Assail System is combined with it. But the most fearsome weapon he ever used was the Alternative, a continent-sized starship with garrisons of disposable attack bots, SAVAGE firepower that ripped a gaping hole in a moon, then ''vaporized said moon", and the power to wipe out planets at the flick of a wrist.
Drago's constant use of Battle Gear himself, plus his unbelievably frequent evolution rate powers him up time and time again.
Dragonoid Colossus had Battle Gear he could summon to use on his back like battleship guns. Axator even managed to link up to Drago. If Colossus didn't get destroyed, we might have seen more of his Battle Gear used by Drago.
Mechtogan are summoned in response to the need for more power to defeat a foe, starting with Zenthon- but he's stuck in an Unstoppable Rage until put under proper control. When that isn't enough, immense willpower can cause a Mechtogan Titan to appear. When a Brawler's will reaches its peak, the strongest Mechtogan can be summoned- ones that can combine. The strongest of these is Dragonoid Destroyer.
Bakugan can fuse with other Bakugan to combine powers and abilities, or absorb objects of power to grow stronger and harness their might.
Kazarina splices ancestral DNA into Dharak for the sole purpose of his evolution to be on par with Drago.
Cordegon, Slycerack, Exostriker, and Mandiblor act as minions to the Nonets to use their power while they recuperate. These Mechtogan combine into the terrifying Mechtavius Destroyer when united, capable of sucking in the power of defeated Bakugan. In response to this, Chromopod's ability to strip these Mechtogan from Cordegon's control allows for the fusion of Quatrogan.
The strongest power of Bakugan is the ability to resonate with the willpower and courage of other Bakugan and humans to tap into their greatest and most decisive powers, often the result being evolution. In Drago's case, anytime a foe causes both him and Dan to force themselves to new heights, their wills fire up, and almost certainly, it leads to another evolution. They get tested so much by powerful forces and battle challenging evils so frequently, transformations are Drago's instinctive response to finding more strength: he and Dan will it into existence.
Nice Hat: On the final episode of Battle Brawlers, Dan and Runo go out on a date, with the latter sporting a whole new hairstyle and matching white dress. Somehow the first thing Dan notices on Runo is her cool looking hat.
Code Eve, the creator of the Bakugan, gave Drago an upgrade as a reward for defeating season three's Big Bad. This ends up being too much for him to handle, resulting in Drago creating a Zenthon. This also links Dan and Dragon to MagMel, allowing him to absorb energy and begin to escape his prison. Yeah, real nice job there!
Thanks to Mag Mel, nearly everything the Brawlers do in Mechtanium Surge turns out to be this. Not really their fault though, Mag Mel is just that good at Xanatos Speed Chess.
Non Action Girl: Alice for the majority of Battle Brawlers—first because she doesn't have any Bakugan, and then because she's too busy Wangsting about having been unknowingly controlled by Masquerade.
Out-of-Character Alert: Shun uses this to recognize Hal-G using his powers to disguise his voice as Marucho's butler over the telephone.
Power Levels: Have been escalating. Brawlers can now take their opponent's Bakugan if their Bakugan's power level exceeds the opponent's by 500, and this happens regularly—as do power levels nearing 2000. Also, in episode 9 of New Vestroia, Lync says that a Bakugan can't move if its power level drops below 300. In Battle Brawlers, Bakugan with a natural power level below 300 were commonplace.
Heck, the power levels in the actual game have been increasing as well, though at a slower pace. 450 to 500 Gs used to be powerful, but now we have Bakugan with 1000 Gs. Luckily enough, 1000 is as far as it goes...for now.
The highest so far has been Drago with 3150 Gs. Granted, this was seen as far to much in-universe, and he was in danger of exploding but...
Power levels vanished about halfway through Gundalian Invaders and haven't returned in Mechtanium Surge.
Not Quite Dead: Emperor Barodius and Dharak weren't vaporised, but instead sealed in another dimension by Code Eve, transforming them into Mag Mel and Razenoid.
Power Trio: Through three series, we've had three different Haos, Darkus, and Subterra brawlers...but Dan, Shun, and Marucho have been there for all four seasons.
Put on a Bus: Joe in New Vestroia, while played with in Gundalian Invaders as Dan and Julie took a bus away from Runo and Alice.
The official website has also removed most of the content regarding Battle Brawlers in favor of New Vestroia material...Not exactly sure how they're going to bring the suspense about Shun's return, which hasn't actually aired in the US yet...
Also Preyas Angelo/Preyas Diablo. He disappears until Mechtavius Destroyer wages an attack on New Vestroia... and gets a painfully brief cameo before he has a Disney Death.
By how the website's now been Gundalian-ified, things aren't looking too good for the New Vestroia characters...Mira, Ace, and Baron are replaced by Jake, Ren, and Fabia, respectively by Bakugan type.
So far in Gundalia, this seems to have happened to Preyas, Elfin, and Ingram.
In short, if your Brawler or Bakugan is Darkus, Subterra or Haos, you're screwed.
All of the Trap Bakugan.
The Bus Came Back for most of them in the fourth season, including Preyas (who is training an apprentice in Vestoria) and most of the Gundalian Invaders characters due to Marucho sending out a Gondor Calls for Aid and Gundalia being Mag Mel's first target after being freed. Many other Bakugan make a return in "Mechtanium Surge," Tigerra showing up once, and then a large number making last stand against Mechtavius Destroyer in the Bad Future, including Gorem, Preyas Angelo/Diablo, Skyress, Ingram, Taylean, Hydranoid, Tristar, Tigerra (again), Preyas, and Elfin. The Vestal-native Bakugan do not return.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Part of the reason Skyress didn't stick around was because the person who provided voice work for her couldn't return, but a deal was made for Skyress to have a goodbye episode.
Say My Name: Joe when Wavern is destroyed to release the Infinity Core within her.
Dan to Drago in every. Single. Battle.
Screw The Rules, I Have Plot!: The exact rules of the game are never quite made clear, but it's still obvious that what Dan and Drago are doing in the second episode of New Vestroia is circumventing them.
Reporter: Tell us about what really inspires you the most?
Sequel Hook: At the end of New Vestroia, The last thing Prof. Clay sees before the ship blows is footage of Bakugan at war with each other, setting the stage forGundalian Invaders.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: C Mechravius Destroyer obliterates Bakugan City and everyone in it, as well as succeeds in Bakugan genocide, so Dan and the Brawlers go back in time to stop him. However, it does not save the fallen Nonets, while the last two left alive perform a Heroic Sacrifice to make this happen.
Shout-Out: Amazon from the newest series seems to have some homages to Kamen Rider Amazon, including his pose and dorsal spines flexing when preparing his special moves. He even does the "AAAAAAA-MAAAAAA-ZOOOONNNN!" when preparing his attacks.
Sixth Ranger: Joe in terms of when he joins the show, and Alice in terms of when she starts brawling, in Battle Brawlers. Shun in New Vestroia, and no, that doesn't need a spoiler. The official site isn't making any attempt to deny that he'll be returning.
What does need a spoiler is the otherSixth Ranger: Spectra, a.k.a. Keith, Mira's brother.
Slasher Smile: When Alice remembers a flashback of Masquerade battling people and sending their Bakugan to the Doom Dimension, she freaks out immensely when the camera pans to his face pulling this smile, phasing partially through his mask to show it's her eyes. That moment also counts as a What Have I Done?
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: While mostly completely unconnected, each season's Big Bad is a great deal stronger than the previous one. Their actions also get progressively more evil as they go along as well. Case in point, Zenoheld attempted genocide but failed, the season four Big Bad Mag Mel is said to have been imprisoned for actually committing it.
Spin-Off: TMS decided not to Dub Mechtanium Surge in Japanese and instead, do an anime adaptation of the Bakutech! Bakugan Manga, starting again from scratch and rebooting the whole franchise. This however, displeases a lot of Japanese fans.
Though this is not counted, Zoobles is also considered a Spin-off to the Bakugan Toyline since they both got similar concepts of Spherical Toys transforming into figures, except that Zoobles transform using magnetic holders called Happitats, much like the Gate Cards. But when is Bakugan is a Tabletop Game, Zoobles are more of toys for girls. When its released in Japan and Korea, it even get more Hilarious in Hindsight when the Zooble toys can be activated using Magnetic Recipe cards, more of a Shout-Out to the Bakugan's way of activating a Bakugan using a Magnetic Gate Card. Of course, both toys were distributed in Japan by the same company, Sega Toys.
Spoiler Ending: The closing credits for Gundalian Invaders lists characters who haven't even been mentioned yet from the first episode.
The Starscream: Spectra and Mylene from New Vestroia; Kazarina from Gundalian Invaders, although she was ultimately loyal to Emperor Barodius.
Transformation Is a Free Action: Played with the second arc of Mechtanium Surge. Wiseman had a tendency to not let the good guys' Bakugan combine, and would just respond to this attempt with an attack, though in "Jump to Victory" that attack took awhile to rear up so it really didn't make as much sense. In "Enemy Allies", Mechtavius Destroyer attacks Dan as he is getting ready to bring out Dragonoid Destroyer, and in "Evil Arrival" he attacks Gunz before he gets to finish saying "Bakugan Bra—". Most notably, in "Evil vs. Evil", he doesn't let Betadron, Kodokor, and Mutabrid combine, and keeps slapping Mutabrid around, but no matter how much, he insists on combining and eventually dies. That said, Talking Is a Free Action is still in play.
There actually was one time that Talking Is a Free Action was not in play, during the final battle, when Dan was confused as to why Dragonoid Destroyer was only using 90% of his power. This was done for surprise effect later on.
Tsundere: Runo and Julie both fit this trope. Come to think of it, Billy and Julie could almost be considered a Takahashi Couple as well, except Billy's not part of the main cast so we don't get to see the extended Will They or Won't They? like we do with Dan and Runo.