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Anime: Blue Comet SPT Layzner
aka: Layzner
"My name is Eiji. I'm here to protect the Earth."

Blue Comet SPT Layzner is an old anime series produced by Sunrise between 1985 and 1986. Authored by Ryosuke Takahashi of Armored Trooper VOTOMS fame, it takes place in an alternate 1996 where humanity has advanced enough to travel to Mars and the Moon, and establish settlements there. However, the Cold War is still going on, with ever-increasing tensions between United States of America and the Soviet Union, and the threat of a nuclear war looms on the horizon.

But soon, an unknown menace befalls humanity: on Mars, the members of an exchange program funded by the United Nations to promote peace and dialogue between nations find themselves trapped in a crossfire between four mysterious humanoid robots - three of which begin firing on the exchange program's base, killing almost all of the students. Only a few people survive, but they find themselves isolated on an inhospitable planet that has become a battlefield. And, as if this wasn't enough, the pilot of the fourth robot, who had been trying not to involve the civilians in the battle, actually presents himself to the survivors, introducing himself as Albatro Null, a.k.a., Eiji Asuka, and telling them that the Earth is being targeted for occupation by the far-away Grados Empire...

Although Americans were screwed out of an initial release for this Real Robot show (see No Export for You), /m/subs is working on a full translation here.
This series provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Fouron.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Julia, to Eiji.
  • Animation Bump: The episodes done with Anime R, specifically episode 26.
  • Another Century's Episode: Debuts in the very first game. Also appears in the second.
  • Anti-Villain: Ahmos Gale, Eiji's best Gradosian friend, all the way.
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Aristocrats Are Evil
  • Ax-Crazy: Gosterro.
  • Back from the Dead: Gosterro
  • Bad Boss: GOSTERRO.
  • Beta Couple: Eventually, David and Simone.
  • Betty and Veronica: Anna and Simone, for Eiji. He picks Anna.
  • BFG: The Buldy and the Dankov both come equipped with shoulder-mounted artillery pieces.
  • Big Applesauce: Almost the entirety of the Ru-Kain 1999 arc is set in New York City.
  • Big Bad: Ru-Kain
  • Black Dude Dies First: Poor Judau...
  • Blood Knight: Gosterro
    "You can't kill...but I love to!"
    • The rest of the Demon Death Squad as well.
  • Char Clone: Ru-Kain, for a given value of Char.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Gosterro
  • Combo Platter Powers: A V-Max Driver is the gift that keeps on giving:
    • A powerful sheathe of magnetic energy that renders the SPT immune to laser weapons and capable of obliterating any solid matter it touches.
    • Super Speed so fast, the pilot needs to rely on his onboard computers to avoid crashing.
  • Commander Contrarian: David to Eiji, albeit for the very good reason of Eiji wanting no bloodshed whatsoever while David puts the survival of the Cosmic Culture Club as his #1 priority.
  • Darker and Edgier than both of Ryosuke Takahashi's earlier IPs and that's an accomplishment!
  • Dude Magnet: Julia. It never works out for her.
  • Eagleland: David Rutherford is a sympathetic Type 1 example, and the leader of the Resistance during the Ru Kain 1999 arc. The Type 2s show up with the military in the Astrohawk II, and, more concerned with replicating Layzner in the name of the global power struggle with the USSR, refuse to listen to Eiji's warnings about the invasion until it's too late.
  • '80s Hair: Just about everyone.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Manjuro, as the last survivor of the Demon Death Platoon after civil internal disagreements and regrettable but necessary release of problematic employees have thinned them down, is ultimately permitted to test an experimental V-Max Driver against Layzner. It helps... but not enough.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ru-Kain is, without question, a racist dick, but he always fights fair. When Gosterro uses hidden snipers to cripple David and Simone mid-duel, Ru-Kain has him jailed.
  • Evil Counterpart: Gosterro to Eiji. Fouron to Rei. Zakaal to Layzner.
  • Evil Laugh: Gosterro & Ru-Kain, along with The Demon Death Squad.
  • Evil Is Petty: Ru-Kain all the way!
  • Evil Prince: Ru-Kain again.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Anna goes from a Tomboyish Ponytail to a Motherly Side Plait.
  • Facial Markings: Gresco has a red lining around his left eye. Getey has a number of patchy tattoos all over his face.
  • Fake Defector: Rowan
  • Fantastic Caste System: In the Ru-Kain 1999 arc following the Gradosian conquest of Earth: humans are either voluntary collaborators with skills that allow them to serve as second-class citizens or destitute slaves that refused to betray humanity.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans & Gradosians, both ways. It's a major theme throughout the entire series.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Manjuro
  • Five-Bad Band: Ru-Kain & The Demon Death Squad
  • Five-Man Band: Cosmic Culture Club
  • Five-Token Band: Cosmic Culture Club
    • Eiji: Japanese/Gradosian
    • David: American
    • Roanne: Swiss
    • Simone: English/French
  • Foil: Gosterro to Eiji.
  • Four Is Death: Fouron & The Demon Death Squad.
  • From Bad to Worse: The 2nd arc of the series starts off by informing you that Earth lost the battle against the Gradosian fleet, the Gradosians devastated the surface of the Earth with orbital bombardment and Eiji went missing afterwards and has not been seen in 3 years. The Gradosians now oppressively rule over Earth as tyrants, with humans either working as second-class collaborators or slaves.
  • Futuristic Pyramid: Gradosians use one as their base of operations in New York during the Ru-Kain 1999 arc.
  • Gainax Ending: Deliberately with the final TV episode, as the creators found their series Cut Short, and had to extensively rewrite the finale. The Hallmark 2000 OVA fixes it somewhat.
  • Glowing Purple Eyes Of Doom: Fouron when it takes control of Layzner. Gosterro's mechanical eye glows red.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Bohn.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Eiji and Julia are the children of a Japanese astronaut and a Gradosian woman.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Eiji.
  • Honor Before Reason: Eiji refuses to kill even when, in earlier episodes, Rei has a kill-shot lined up on Gosterro, who has been picking off the various adults helping the Cosmic Culture Club one at a time.
  • Hot-Blooded: Eiji & David.
  • Human Aliens: The Gradosians. It's actually discussed early on by some of the cast. And then averted: They are human descendants of earthlings abducted to Grados by its original inhabitants who have since died out.
    • Humans Through Alien Eyes: They frequently refer to us by slurs like "apes" and "monkeys," and those who aren't as racist (like Gale), hold our Cold War-era global politics in horror, arguing that their invasion is justified by our inability to avoid destroying ourselves.
  • Human Mom Non Human Dad: Inverted.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When it's revealed that Earthlings and Gradosians are in fact the exact same species and not just similar, Ru Kain could have used this revelation to become more tolerant. Nope, it only fueled his superiority complex on a cultural scale, though Ru Kain was always less of a racist and more of a cultural supremacist to begin with.
  • Ignored Expert: The Americans ignore Eiji's warnings of an alien invasion, imprisoning him and trying to replicate Layzner to tip the balance of the Cold War until it's too late.
  • Imperial Japan: During the Ru Kain 1999 arc, the occupying Gradosian forces treat their human subjects with the same virulent racism and callous brutality as the Japanese army in Korea, even implementing similar war crimes and book burnings. In fact, one reason for the show's early closure was the discomfort many Japanese felt at such a grim reminder of the past.
  • Jerk Ass: Gosterro. At first David is one of these to Eiji but he eventually gets over it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: David matures into this after his initial mistreatment of Eiji, and even ends up leading the Resistance in the "Ru-Kain 1999" arc.
  • Kick the Dog: Gosterro calling Eiji's bluff that he'll execute the wingman of Gosterro's that he captured and gleefully egging him on to go ahead and do it.
  • Large and in Charge: Gresco is seemingly rotund, but appears to have some muscle underneath the fat. His son Ru-Kain is a hulking giant with a bodybuilder physique.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Layzner, and especially the Zakaal, Ru-Kain's personal golden SPT.
  • Made of Iron: After his upgrade, Gosterro. The translator jokes that there's probably a little cockroach in his family tree somewhere.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: The ENTIRE Demon Death Platoon, for various and sundry reasons.
  • Martial Pacifist: Eiji uses judo. Later on he seems to have ditched this, as he starts using tonfas in addition.
  • Meganekko: Roanne Dietrich is a male version. He fixes them frequently early on.
  • Mook-Face Turn: Gusten & Roberia. Even Gosterro's own wingmen are disgusted by his actions.
  • Names to Know in Anime: Kazuhiko Inoue (Eiji), Fumi Hirano (Simone), Hiroko Emori (Anna), Eriko Hara (Rei)...
  • No Export for You: A particularly annoying example as Bandai Entertainment licensed Layzner for America but received completely unusable master copies (damaged and blue-tinted) from Sunrise. They asked for replacements but never got any before the license expired in 2005.
  • Not So Different: Humans and Gradosians.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Averted: both the Cosmic Culture Club and the Gradosian Empire have a very real fear of the nuclear weapons possessed by the Americans and the Soviets, and a number of nukes go off on Mars as the secretive nature of the initial Gradosian invasion has the two nations at one another's throats.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Invoked with Gresco who spends the entirety of the Ru-Kain 1999 arc ruling over the Grados-conquered Earth but doing nothing about the human rebellion. It's stated that he has effectively given in to his lust for power.
  • Omniscient Morality Licence: The Grados super-computers have predicted that, in a few centuries, humanity will stop fighting amongst themselves and expand to the stars, posing a threat to Grados. The Gradosians have decided to destroy humanity in pre-emptive self-defence.
  • Ojou: Simone Reflan
  • Phenotype Stereotype: David
  • Plucky Girl: Anna and Simone, in their own ways.
  • Precap: The show does "on tonight's X..."... ''on the middle of the opening sequence (Before the chorus plays, see for yourself here (starting at 1:00 mark)).
  • Psycho for Hire: The Demon Death Squad.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Demon Death Squad.
  • The Quisling: Roanne.
  • Real Robot
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dr. Elizabeth & Gale
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eiji and David definitely qualify. Even their mechs' paintjobs reflect this: with Eiji in the eponymous Blue Comet SPT Layzner, while David pilots the red SPT Baybull.
    • Conversely, Eiji & Layzner are the Red Oni to the Blue Oni of Ru-Kain & Zakaal. Eiji could also be the Red Oni with Rei & Fouron as the Blue Oni.
  • Screwed by the Network: The last few episodes' noticeable problems of pacing and the show's Gainax Ending are the result of near-continuous budget cuts and reductions in the number of episodes. The network justified these measures with declining ratings, which were in turn the direct result of putting it in the same time slot as a Japanese cultural icon.
  • Smug Snake: Ru-Kain, but he can always back it up.
  • The Social Darwinist: Ru-Kain tends towards Type 5. Grados Empire as a whole is Type 2.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Ru-Kain//Le Cain/Le Caine/Lu Klyne? Gosterro/Gostello/Ghostello/Costello? Gale/Gail?
  • Stealth Pun: Layzner becomes the "Blue Comet" when it activates V-MAX. The V-MAX Super Charge used by the Zakaal is referred to as "Red Power". Making the Zakaal a...Red Comet?
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Initially Fouron serves as this to Rei.
  • Super Robot Wars - Debuted in Shin and appears in J, GC and 64.
  • Survivor Guilt: David, in regards to Juno.
  • Technical Pacifist: Eiji doesn't want to kill anyone and deliberately tries to disable enemy SPTs rather than the kill the pilot outright. This has the side effect of forcing the Buldy and Baybull to fight the same way, as they use Layzner's combat data. However, his mech has an A.I., and the A.I. frequently disobeys his commands to save his life.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Rei! Engage V-Max!
  • Time Skip: A rather sudden (and network-mandated) one starting with episode 26.
  • This Is a Drill: Manjuro's Gasshalan and Bohn's Eldarl, though the Eldarl's snake drills more closely resemble whips.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Gosterro's bloodlust, in the words of The Other Wiki, "forces him to take the lives of his own wingmen." Furthermore, three-quarters of the Demon Death Platoon either attempt to kill one another or succeed.
  • Unwilling Suspension: In the Ru-Kain arc, this happens to Anna among several others. For worse, they're hanged in front of a building in a deserted city... which hides a mecha behjind its facade. Eiji manages to rescues them.
  • Vichy Earth: Long story short: Eiji and company fail to get anyone to listen to them, and Earth is conquered by the Gradosians. Throughout the Ru Kain 1999 arc, they brutally occupy the planet, complete with "collaborators" who sell out their race for privileges.
  • We Are Struggling Together
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Gosterro, though not without certain side effects, most notably brainsplitting headaches.
  • What Could Have Been: The Layzner Mk.II. Thankfully SRW and ACE have both been very kind in that department.
    • The New Layzner add-on packs and the King Grados SPT, too. All of the above had to be scrapped in the series proper due to poor ratings causing a premature cancellation that necessitated a rewrite of the latter half of the story to fit.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Commander Gueler
  • You Are What You Hate: The Gradosians constantly insist that they are superior to Earthlings. Of course, it turns out that Earthlings & Gradosians are all-but-identical.
    • Noble Bigot : Le Caine honestly subscribes to the idea of Gradosian superiority (and thus the right to rule) over Earthlings

The Big OCreator/Studio DubBlue Seed
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alternative title(s): Layzner; Blue Comet SPT Layzner; SPT Layzner
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