Anime: Brave Command Dagwon
Brave Command Dagwon (Yuusha Shirei Daguon
) is a 1996-97 anime, the seventh entry in Sunrise's Brave Series
Whereas in past entries the protagonists tended to be self-aware robots, the primary characters in Dagwon are high-school students who, after transforming into their Dag-(insert your favorite element here) forms, and then fuse with their mecha - they don't pilot their mecha, they are
The show first aired at around the tail end of Neon Genesis Evangelion
, and is clearly influenced by it - think "well-adjusted high-schooler Shinji" and that's half the show. The other half being an invasion by alien prisoners from the Sargasso prison in nearby space, a plot closer to standard Tokusatsu fare.
Rather unfortunately overshadowed by GaoGaiGar
, the next Brave Series show.
Brave Command Dagwon provides examples of:
- Animal Motifs: Fire Dagwon is a ...bird of some sort. Shadow Dagwon is a dragon, a tiger, a wolf, and a hawk. Power Dagwon is a dinosaur. Lian is... a Lion sword.
- Anime Theme Song: Of the Expository Theme Tune variety. It's very heroic.
- BFG: Gunkid, a newly-created gundroid with the personality and self-control of a 5 year old. Transforms into the Mugenhou - the "infinity cannon" - and can cheerfully blow away a mountain.
- BFS: Lian, a surviving Ken-seijin ("Sword-Alien", so... "Swordian"?). Can alter his size in sword form, anything from Fire Dagwon-sized to Fire En-sized.
- Big Damn Heroes: En and the Dag Base. Everyone else is captured and paralyzed by the Big Bad in Sargasso. En can't do anything except shout out "Move! Move!" at the unresponsive Dag Base. Then they fuse.
- Bishōnen: The main characters were designed this way (even Geki to an extent), and are proportioned fairly realistically. The effect is... actually a little jarring in a mecha show.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Shadow Ryu.
- Bythe Powerof Greyskull: Try Dagwon!
- Captain Ersatz: One of Jabba The Hutt appears in episode 20. Dag Drill also bears a slight resemblance to Advenger from the previous installment.
- Clip Show: Demakka-seijin tries this, and learns all he needs to know about the Dagwon... then accidentally gives the show a CMoF.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Super Fire Dagwon is a forced combination, and falls between this and Deadly Upgrade. Gets used three times in the show, after which En has to spend some time unconscious.
- Darker and Edgier: Oh yes. As much as you can get for an anime appealing to grade-schoolers.
- Darkest Hour: ...Leading up to Dag Base Robo's appearance.
- Drill Tank: Dag Drill. Basically a steam locomotive-turned mecha with a large drill for a weapon. He also likes to tank.
- Dynamic Entry: How Dag Base Robo enters Sargasso, fist-first.
- Elemental Powers: And how! Fire Dagwon is all about the flames, Dag Turbo's is Super Speed, Dag Armor has weapons up the wazoo, Dag Wing can fly and create chilling winds, Shadow Dagwon is a Ninja, Thunder Dagwon predictably brings down lightning, and Dag Drill burrows through the ground.
- Engrish: Kai's "Don't Say! Four or Five!". And "We Are Dagwon", the English version of the theme song - the lyrics are okay, but it's sometimes hard to understand what they are.
- Expy: Brave-seijin might just remind you of Eldran or Ultraman. A little bit.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The actual Big Bad, Genocide, comes off as this.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Mind, this is a kid's show. It's typically the aliens that get this.
- Example: there's a train car-sized bug on some train tracks. A commuter train is about to collide with it. Armor Shin shows up, opens fire, (cut to GDS), and the train passes safely over the bug-colored splatter on the tracks.
- Hot-Blooded: En and Geki, Shin to a lesser extent. Fire Dagwon appears to literally have this.
- Jumped at the Call: At the outset, only En really took being a Dagwon seriously.
- Geki, upon meeting Brave-seijin for the first time, tells him to "hurry up and make me a Dagwon so I can go save Maria!"
- Large Ham: Geki shows shades of this as a Dagwon.
- Laser Sword: Galaxy Luna has one of these.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: En gets the best toys to play with.
- However, this is in the sense that his mecha are the most well-rounded. Super Liner Dagwon is better at fighting multiple targets at once, Shadow Dagwon's Ga-oh Giri can destroy without collateral damage, and Thunder Dagwon is incredibly fast and agile in air or space.
- Law of Inverse Recoil: Subverted - Fire Dagwon and Power Dagwon can fire the Mugenhou just fine (from the right hip and left shoulder while using his shovel as a ground, respectively), but when Super Liner Dagwon and Shadow Dagwon try it (together!), they get blown back onto their asses a considerable distance away.
- Note that everyone is tuned to their own weaponry, and the trope is otherwise played straight.
- The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Well there are seven of them...
- Male Gaze: Galaxy Luna has a brief one when she transforms.
- Meaningful Name: All the characters.
- Motion Capture Mecha: The characters directly fuse with their Dag Vehicles post-transformation.
- NINJA: Shadow Ryu, Dag Shadow, Shadow Dagwon... Ryu himself, when he feels like it.
- Oddball in the Series: Dagwon, from top to bottom, does not resemble most other entries in the Brave Series and suffered in ratings as a result. That said, its successor, GaoGaiGar, actually took some of the better ideas and refined them into the Crowner we know it to be.
- Power Glows: And burns, for Fire Dagwon.
- The Power of Friendship: Dag Base Robo, when running on this, is capable of ripping an asteroid apart from the inside.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The last thing En yells as a Dagwon: I'M! A! DAGWON!
- Ramming Always Works: Drill Geki and the Drill Liner live and breathe this trope. And, in order to stop Arc-seijin from freezing the world, En has to use the Fire Jumbo this way.
- Reconstruction: This show came out a bit before Evangelion ended, and while it liberally borrows visuals (quite a few of the aliens could pass as Angels) and some other ideas, it wholeheartedly rejects the self-destructive nature of that show. Especially in the endgame. If you look closely, you can even see some of the elements that made it over to GaoGaiGar.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kai is the Blue Oni. The Red Oni is... everyone else, really, but mostly En.
- Red Shirt Army: The Zagos-seijins are based on ants, and fight with numbers.
- Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Essentially what Brave-seijin does.
- Subverted slightly, though - the teens he picked actually had useful skills, but with the exception of Ryu these don't really match the powers and equipment he assigns them. Kai is pretty good with a wooden sword, but becomes the speed-themed Dag Turbo, who doesn't have a sword.
- Robeast: Occasionally, but most of the invaders are intelligent.
- Rocket Punch: Fire Dagwon is designed in such a way that would allow this, but it's sadly averted.
- Something Person: Not quite how it usually works, but naming scheme is "Element-Name", ie: Turbo Kai.
- Spell My Name with an "S": It's written 'Da-gu-o-n', but 'Dagwon' is the official romanization.
- Stock Footage: Well, yeah - it's a mecha show.
- Theme Naming: The 7 main characters all have single-kanji personal names related to the element or style of their Dagwon battle armor. Geki is the exception, since his name refers more to his attitude.
- Transformation Sequence: Human -> Dag Tector battle armor, for the 7 main leads. Unlike most examples however, the sequences aren't overly flashy - pull the bracelet, suit comes on, easy peasy - and are Sentai-derived.
- Transformation Trinket: The Dag Braces.
- Transforming Mecha: Of course! This does lead to some possible Body Horror, however...