Dancougar is a Super Robot anime which tells the story of the Cyber Beast force (Juusenkitai). The Earth is under attack by the Muge Empire, and they slowly take over the Earth as they were able to acquire information about Earth's resources and strategies thanks to a traitor from the Cyber Beast Force named Shapiro Keats. The last line of defense for the Earth is said Cyber Beast Force, a squad of several soldiers riding several robots based on animals,and who are able to unleash the bestial rage of the animals which their robots are based on. The team includes:
SaraYuuki. A Fiery Redhead who once loved Shapiro, now heartbroken at his betrayal, but seems to open up with Shinobu. Pilots the Land Cougar.
Masato Shikibu. The youngest member of the team, he tends to lighten the situation by cracking jokes, but is smart and skilled enough to be a valued member. Pilots the Land Liger.
Ryou Shiba. Calm, cool, mostly lone member of the team. Knows Kung Fu and will use it very often. Pilots the Big Moth.
Eventually, as the story advances, their machines are able to combine into one giant robot known as Dancougar. Together, they must defeat the Muge Empire and liberate Earth.This series also got a sort-of sequel/Spiritual Successor in the form of Dancougar Nova.Tropes associated with the series:
The full payload: 4 pulse lasers on its chest, two energy cannons located on the hips and two located behind and above the shoulders. There's also the large "DankuuHou" cannon located on its back. The DankuuHou Formation attack fires all of these at once. It also has a hand-held cannon that is built from the hand-held guns of its component units. The non-canon Final Dancougar gets another cannon by using Alan's craft.
BFS: The Dankuu Kouga Ken, which takes Dancougar's regular Dankuu Ken sword and adds a ridiculously long satellite-transmitted beam blade.
Combining Mecha: A particularly illogical example, with the smaller robots forming a helmet and boots for the largest one (to show that Dancouga is "more than the sum of its parts"). And their first combination is in episode 16. Also, they had to do it twice before the combination was succesfully completed.
Deconstruction: Of a classic Super Robot plotline. Only unlike many other deconstructions, this one manages to a work interesting and entertaining enough on it's own that you hardly notice the deconstructing. Points addressed in particular:
"Why does evil alien empire fool around with Monster of the Week trying to take down lone mecha instead of launching a full-scale invasion right away?" - Show premise.
"How would a hot-blooded pilot actually fit and cooperate with military" - see Nice Job Breaking It, Hero and more than one other occasion.
"How would a Martial Pacifist perform in a Real full scale War ?" - Ryo in one of the episode.
Also touches on how hard it would be for four people, each one Hot-Blooded to some degree and confident in their individual piloting skills, to control a Combining Mecha which requires all its pilots to operate in sync. The first transformation took place after a quarter of the show had passed (after the pilots got the hang of the transforming mechanics and their Beast forms), and it actually failed since they have yet to learn how suppress their ego and work effectively as a team. Or, more like they did not trust Shinobu enough and a case of Poor Communication Kills.
One could argue this is a deconstruction of the Super Robot anime that have Five-Man Band teams.
Glass Cannon: Pretty much a way to personify Gil Dorom's plans. They involve tricking people and causing in-fighting. But he only uses about a hand-full of fighters or a weak monster so the actual physical problem is solved very easily once they figure the ruse.
Holding Back the Phlebotinum: General Igor never told the pilots about the transforming mechanics, Beast forms, and the ability to combine until they felt the pilots are ready for it. He also doesn't want to go into space to strike the enemy. With good reason. The Gundor can only stay operational for a set amount of time before its power supply ran out, so he has to wait until the pilots fulfill their greatest potential before setting off in order to give them the best chance at victory.
Mid-Season Upgrade: First Humanoid Change for CBF mechs followed by Dancouga itself. Both of them happen pretty early, though it took surprisingly long for the titular Super Robot to show up. There's also the Flight Booster late in the series and Gundor, their flying mecha-dragon base.
It sure seems like the pilot was pulling a kamikaze and the what the base couldn't close the door or maybe put in safety measures for enough weapons that when blown up at once to try to add a few safety features?
A bit more justified. The reason why the first attempt at combining failed is because Ryo messed with the engine causing the combination to fail. To be fair, they are forced to combine when they did not know about it while being cornered, and Shinobu is practically hypnotized by the system. Naturally, he fully believed in Shinobu at the second attempt.
Not So Different: Alan and Ross has a lot more simmilarity beetwen them than they would admit. In fact, they have the same idea in ending the war.
A particularly funny example happened after Ross death, when the team imagined what Ross would say to Shinobu in a particular situation. Cue Alan contacting the base and saying exactly that.
Not Quite Dead: Both Muge Zorbados and Shapiro turn out to be this way in the OVA sequels.
Off Model: A recurring flaw in the TV series. The main victim being Sara.
Real Men Wear Pink: Shinobu seems to like wearing a long pink shirt when out of uniform, pray no one is dumb enough to call him a sissy for liking pink.
Super Robot Genre: Four piloted machines, all animals, with their own humanoid forms, that combine, and grow stronger with their pilots rage, that's four checks right there.
Despite this, the setting is quite Real Robot-esque, between the Cynicism and the fact that the individual machines are not useless.
Super Robot Wars: Quite a staple entry, including an additional upgrade that is Final Dancougar, which is accessible because they usually spared Alan from death.
It recently made a notable appearance in Z2, alongside its successor. In this game, it is said that Dancougar Nova and R-Daigun are based off of Final Dancougar, which Earth Will rescued after it and its pilots were stuck in Muge's dimension after defeating him. Also, apparently Moon WILL calls his machine Original Dancougar because he considers his the first true Dancougar.
Moon WILL: I have no use for a Dancougar that needs humans.