Daikū Maryū Gaiking (Great Sky Demon Dragon Gaiking) was a Super Robot mecha anime series produced by Toei Animation, credited as an original idea by Akio Sugino. However, in reality the original idea was Go Nagai's. Toei deliberately took Nagai out of the credits in order to avoid paying him royalties. Because of that, Nagai sued Toei and refused to collaborate with them for many years. The legal battle lasted over a decade. Nagai himself confirmed that he was the creator of Gaiking at the 2007 Naples Comicon.It ran from April 1976 through January 1977 and consisted of 44 26-minute episodes. Gaiking was notable for being one of the few super robot series to take place in real places outside of Japan, and for being the first Super Robot series to have a mobile carrier for the chief robots. In the USA, Gaiking was part of Mattel's popular Shogun Warriors import toy line of the late 1970's and Jim Terry's Force Five anthology series. In 2005, an In Name Only reimagining titled Gaiking: Legend of Daikuu-Maryuu was produced.The original story chronicled the battle between the crew of the semi-transformable carrier Daikū Maryū (called both the Great Space Dragon and Kargosaur in the US version) and the Super Robot Gaiking invented by Dr. Daimonji (Prof. Hightech in the English language version of the show) against an invading race of aliens called the Dark Horror Army in the dub from the planet Zela which is facing destruction by a black hole as their population starts to mutate (the fact that their bearded ruler now wears his face on upside-down is considered only a minor mutation). Notable aspects of the series include the dinosaur-based designs of the Daikū Maryū and its support machines and the use of part of the carrier to form the main robot.Gaiking was piloted by former baseball star named Sanshiro Tsuwabuki (Aries Astronopolis in the dub), who was drafted for the job because his latent psychic powers made him the only one capable of doing so. All other similarly empowered candidates having been assassinated by alien agents with Sanshiro himself having been injured in an attack that ended his sports career. Gaiking is most easily distinguished from other mecha by its skull-shaped golden torso formed from the head of the Daikū Maryū and its golden horns.The leader of the alien villains was named Prince Darius, and all of their ships and mecha were fish-shaped, which most likely inspired the Darius series of video games. It was also dubbed in Latin-American Spanish as El Gladiador, which aired as part of a showcase called El Festival de los Robots. In this version, Sanshiro Tsuwabaki was called Brando Drummond with the Daiku-Maryu itself called "El Gran Dragon del Espacio".In 2009, William Winckler, the man behind the infamously cheesy english dub for Tekkaman, produced equally cheesy english Compilation Movies for Gaiking, along with several other of Toei's older titles. Shout! Factoryreleased all three movies on DVD on May 21, 2013.And in a rather surprising twist over other Super Robots, Gaiking is getting a CG movie remake. Watch the trailer here. In January of 2011, Toei put up the entire Legend of Daikuu Maryuu series subtitled on Hulu. People living in the United States can view it here. The show is also available on Crunchyroll, Crackle, and the U.S. Playstation Video Store.
Provides Examples Of:
Abusive Parents: Fan Lee's adoptive parents, hence why he and his younger brother ran away from them.
Game-Breaking Injury: Sanshirou used to be a baseball star, until he was given this by some loony. It turns out he just happened to be the Sole Survivor out of many people attacked, so Dr. Daimonji takes him into his crew and as the pilot of Gaiking.
Gentle Giant: Yamagakake. He actually used to be a Sumo wrestler before joining the group due to the death of his mentor.
Harmful to Minors: More than one kid gets hurt or in danger here, with Hachirou the Tagalongkid being only one of them. Fan Lee's kid brother San-Lee (who's fifteen years old tops) is shot to death, and so is a little girl named Lisa who's the daughter of a member of Darius's army. Peter's pre-teen brother Tom gets used as a hostage.
Alternate Continuity / In Name Only: The only things the two shows share in common are the mecha (obviously including the Daikuu-Maryuu and Gaiking themselves), and Daiya's last name among other things. Otherwise, the second series is a completely separate series that has no relation to the original.
An Axe to Grind: Gaiking and Vulking's Great Axes. Surprisingly, despite being on the cover art for Super Robot Wars K, Gaiking's axe does not show up in the game. In episode 14 Shizuka arises from scrap and seems to be dual wielding two that appear to be Getter Tomahawks of the Shin Getter - Armageddon variety...
Ascended Extra: Kain started out as one of Nouza's direct subordinates. Very, very quickly, all the other subordinates got killed off. Kain, however, sticks around and pretty much is the only reason Nouza got over his Heroic BSOD. Daiya's childhood friend also becomes very prominent in the last eight episodes.
Kain is also the only one of Nouza's lieutenants that actually makes it into Super Robot Wars K.
Bad Export for You: Toei has released the entire series on Hulu....only with the 16:9 aspect ratio squished into a 4:3 ratio for no apparent reason. Additionally, the subtitles are full of typos, plus some words, even entire sentences are either left out completely (sometimes with no subtitles appearing at all), or are given the wrong translations.
BFG: The Serpent support ship can dock with Gaiking's right arm to be a gun
Big Bad: At first, Emperor Darius 17th who spends most of the series focusing on other matters, so his generals take center stage. Later on Proist ascends to being The Dragon, again near the end to being the Big Bad after Darius reveals his intentions.
Book Ends: Daiya's first and last battles both end with him using a point-blank Hydro Blazer while the show's theme plays.
Breather Episode: A whole lot of them take place after Proist becomes the Emperor's Dragon. Arguably too many.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The battle between Chouryuu Dborak and Gaiking the Great. Proist doesn't even get a single hit in, and is not only badly beaten but horribly humiliated as well.
The first use of Face Open also counts, as Noza is reduced to being beaten around like a ragdoll while screaming IMPOSSIBLE!WHAT IS HE?!
Dark Is Not Evil: the black flame of the Darius is not inherently wrong or evil, although Proist's was potent enough to kill her father without even noticing
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Subverted. Face Open appears to be this at first, but it's not forbidden, per se - they just hadn't installed the restraint mechanism to turn it off before Daiya collapsed from heat exhaustion. After this, it becomes a standard Super Mode.
Designated Hero: Double-subverted in-universe. Daiya finds out fairly quickly that the people on Darius view the Daikuu Maryuu as invaders and he has to face the fact that technically they are the bad guys. And then we find out they're just helping out a pre-existing rebellion that got started by inhabitants of Darius anyways and the Darius Empire isn't as noble as the citizens think.
Deadly Upgrade: Face Open at first. During his first time using it, Daiya had no way of turning it off and was exhausted of all possible strength. It wasn't until later that an emergency shut-off was installed.
Super Robot Wars K omits this little detail as the emergency shut-off is in the attack's animation all the time, including when it first debuts in the game proper.
Eye Beams: The Despair Sight on Gaiking. On Raiking and Gaiking the Great, they are stored in the fingers.
Fastball Special: The Shinryu Hydro Blazer and the Death Fire attacks are variations. While Daiya doesn't exactly throw an ally at the opponent, he does throw a ball-shaped Hydro Blazer either directly at an enemy or towards Dick to launch back at the enemy.
Faux Affably Evil: Proist generally maintains a cool, regal air about her person, masking her ruthless nature with a persona of elegance. The illusion shatters whenever she loses face and succumbs to her inner rage.
Fragile Speedster: In premise Raiking and Tenkuu Maryuu are supposed to be this. In execution, they're freaking Lightning Bruisers that shrug off some of Gaiking and Vulking's best attacks
They're actually 14 according to official material, but thats still pretty young.
In Name Only: Aside from Daiya's last name, the Daikuu Maryuu and Gaiking themselves (which both use the same attacks) and the names "Darius" and "Death Cross", this series has no other connections to the original series.
Lolicon: Dick seems to be specially interested in Ruru, y'know...
Luke, I Am Your Father: Again, double-subverted. Captain Garis, despite minor foreshadowing, is not Daiya's father. He's Ruru's.
"Minor"? He says the same things and even has the same mannerisms as Daiya remembers his father having. It's even foreshadowed in the opening theme - during the "voice of your father" line, the camera does a close-up on Garis' mask. This was nothing less than an intentional bait-and-switch on the part of the writers, and it was executed brilliantly.
Meaningful Name: "Puria" is a subversion; she's not exactly pure in personality.
Mid-Season Upgrade: Superior Stinger (Puria), Vulking and Raiking (Lee and Nouza, respectively). Gaiking the Great sort of counts as well for Daiya.
Off Model: People do... not watch this show because of its good animation. Except for episode 13
There was also the occasional scene where the animation got to episode 13's standards for whenever Daiya pulled off a Big Damn Heroes moment, but they were very rare and often hard to spot.
While most of the series was made up of the usual Toei choppiness, pretty much any scene animated by Hiroyuki Imaishi (of Gurren Lagann and Dead Leaves fame) was really fun to watch. Other than that, a surprising amount of scenes actually looked above average.
In general, the animation before episode 13 was very poor, but the episodes afterwards were about average for anime as a whole. Things moved, but not with incredible fluidity, but nothing looked as broken as before episode 13.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Mecha variation. Puria is one of the very few people who refers to the Crab Bunker by its actual name. Everyone else pretty much uses Daiya's nickname for it, "Kani Tank", which pisses off Puria. Daiya takes the nickname further when the Crab Bunker docks with Gaiking by calling the new combined form