Anime / GaoGaiGar

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ggg03.jpg
This is the story of the Brave men and women note  who fight to save the human race!

I'll show you... the power of true courage!
"Cyborg" Guy Shishioh

King of Braves GaoGaiGar (Yuusha-Oh GaoGaiGar) started broadcast in 1997, as the final installment of the Takara/Sunrise Brave Series.

The series opens with the most patently awesome version of the Delivery Stork trope ever as a giant robot lion delivers a human-looking baby to an unsuspecting couple in the middle of a snowstorm, who name the baby Mamoru. Eight years later, in the far flung future of 2005, Mamoru is on a school trip to a garbage island in order to have demonstrated to him the importance of recycling, only to awaken a giant Robeast. He and his classmates are trapped on said robot, and all hope seems lost as the military bombards it with fighter jets, only to have them shot out of the sky. But what's this? A mysterious cyborg swoops in to save them, then jumps into the giant robot lion from eight years ago, turning it into a large robot man. When this proves not enough to save the kids, he fuses it with a bullet train, stealth bomber and drill tank and basically rips its heart out. Just as he's about to crush it however, Mamoru suddenly starts to glow green, wings of light spread from his back, and he flies towards the robot, begging the robot not to destroy the core.

Thus goes the first episode of GaoGaiGar, an anime made in the aftermath of Neon Genesis Evangelion that continued the hot-blooded spirit of its venerable "Braves" franchise, gleefully revisiting the old school super robot style of brute-force attacks while declaring each one by name, and action driven by a pretty good plot. The first 26 episodes are Monster of the Week action - Someone gets turned into a Zonder, they attack the city, GGG launches to fight it. It doesn't get old, though; new technologies and characters get introduced at a constant rate to keep it interesting and you get the occasional glimpse of what's to come. Then, after the half-way point all hell breaks loose and GGG have to try twice as hard as they were just to stay alive. Courage, friendship and sacrifice, it's everything a growing boy needs. Overall a very solid series. Lots of fun, made for kids without being overtly "kiddy" and with some damn fine robot fights. The show was later dubbed by Media Busters, however only half of the episodes were dubbed in English and the other episodes were released subbed on Dvd.

It proved so popular with the Periphery Demographic that it received a Darker and Edgier OVA called Yuusha-Oh Gao Gai Gar FINAL, which elevated the sheer Over-The-Top-itude several times over, as well as providing a lot more explicit (and occasionally very jarring) Fanservice. FINAL would later be edited into Yuusha-Oh GaoGaiGar FINAL Grand Glorious Gathering, a thirteen-episode television version of FINAL made to strengthen the series' ties to sister-show Betterman and promote the upcoming next installment of the Brave Corps series, which would have been a sequel to FINAL. Unfortunately by this time, interest in the franchise had waned significantly, and the sequel never came to pass. Another sequel, codenamed Project Z, was also ultimately dropped due to said lack of interest. A petition to persuade Sunrise to rethink this decision can be found here. During the summer of 2011, San Three created a pachinko machine called GaoGaiGar CR based on the original series. And in September 2016, Sunrise announced a light novel publising branch called "Yatate Bunko", with one of the projects announced alongside it being "King of Braves: GaoGaiGar vs. Betterman".

Compare to Gunbuster, Diebuster, Mobile Fighter G Gundam and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, for more examples of COURAGE AND GUTS. Drop by Neon Genesis Evangelion to see what the fuss was about. Be sure to also visit GoLion and Voltes V who could very much be GaoGaiGar's spiritual grandparents.

Now also has an under construction character sheet.

The Show is about 49 episodes long while FINAL is 8 episodes.

This program provides examples of:

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    A 
  • Adult Fear:
    • Once Galeon started appearing again, Mamoru's foster parents were worried about Galeon coming back to take Mamoru away, unable to stop him or keep their son.
    • Invoked in #18, when the Zonders manage to brainwash all the Space Federation staff to the extent that Kotaro has to literally beat them off with a stick. Including Mamoru's own dad.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The main heroes are brave and loyal all the way through, since they're based on trustworthy people or GGG had the sense to socialize with them before sticking them into combat machines, but both the Zonder Metal and the Sol Eleven are runaway programs.
  • All There in the Manual: How did Kaidou make it to Earth in the first place? How did the GGG members first meet? What happened between the first series and FINAL? A ton of stuff that isn't quite explained in the series is fleshed out in the various sourcebooks, mangas, and CD Dramas which came out in Japan. Naturally, none of it is available in English.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Twice: The Zonder that hacked into the base computer, and later the seven Primevals' raid on the Orbit Base.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Zonuda disabling all working mecha leads GGG to form GaoGaiGar by placing the minds of Chouryujin, Gekiryujin and Volfogg into the GaoMachines.
  • Animal Motifs / Animal Theme Naming: Lions. Lots and lots of lions. Anywhere and everywhere possible.
    • The lion motif runs directly in the Shishioh Clan, including Guy's father Leo, Uncle Liger, and cousin Renais. Even Guy's Greek zodiacal sign is Leo.
    • Rabbits for Mikoto, she calls her hairstyle "The Bunny," and gives a locket with a sticker photo of her with bunny designs to Guy as a love token.
    • Then there's the Ushiyama family with the surname meaning of "Ox Mountain".
    • Swan and her brother Stallion has the names of...a swan and a male horse.
    • Commander Taiga's surname is Engrish for "Tiger".
  • Anime Hair: Mamoru and Guy. Seriously, just look at them!
  • Anime Theme Song: GA GA GA, GA GA GA, GAO GAI GAR!
  • Arc Words:
    • "What overcomes regeneration is the power of destruction. It is the hope to a new zero, the challenge of infinite possibility."
    • In the first series, "The Legacy of Cain," and its counterpart "The Curse left by Abel."
    • And in FINAL it is "Together, with the Oath sworn through Courage!"
  • Attack Reflector: Protect Shade/Wall
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Contra Fall sounds incredibly badass. Unfortunately, it's just the name for a Zonderian strategy, not a character.
    • Basically all characters are this in Japanese, and Shishioh Guy is probably the best example if you look at the Meaningful Name entry.

    B 
  • Badass: Everyone in the GGG who gets a name qualifies. One of the scientists shown in FINAL. He didn't get to do much in the OVA series, but during the interim manga, he's present when BioNet stages an attack on one of their research vessels. He and Mikoto make a run for the command bridge, but are attacked en route by BioNet's freaky monster mooks. The thing charges them and, without even flinching, the scientist does a judo hip toss on it, slamming it into a bulkhead. He then urges Mikoto to get to the bridge while he, an unmodified human, deals with the monster. Later on, he's shown to have done so and come out without a scratch on him.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: At least four characters were shown in space without having space suits to protect them with no problem. Then again, by FINAL, everyone who has survived is justified by having powers and abilities far beyond the human norm.
    • Justified with Guy. He's a cyborg who doesn't need lungs. (He does, however, need air, and carries a limited supply just in case - it's enough to survive a few minutes in a vacuum.)
    • Not so much justified with Hyuuma, being able to survive only wearing his standard uniform and a helmet. He doesn't wear a full space suit. Only the helmet.
  • BFS. Really, it's a Big Fucking Hammer, two, actually, but the principle applies. Also, in a potential subversion, Guy's personal weapon is a small knife. Albeit a knife that becomes more powerful the stronger Guy's willpower is.
  • BGM Override: The GaoGaiGar combining theme gets spliced in between that of King J-Der in #42.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Pretty much sums up Choryujin's whole personality. You can't really argue this point about someone who will put themselves in the path of an apocalyptic asteroid, not to mention your opponent's Finishing Move, without a moment's hesitation.
    • Also? Mamoru in episode 40, bursting through the floor of the Main Order Room while riding Galeon to rescue the GGG bridge crew from the Ear and Nail Primevals. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the little guy, since he'd mostly been the Tag Along Kid up until that point.
    • Before either of those, the Big Entrance of Soldat-J and his massive warship. They utterly dominate the first three Primevals (who had just delivered a Curb-Stomp Battle and No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on GaoGaiGar) and purifies two of them.
    • Another few examples in FINAL:
      • Near the end of episode 4, the real Mamoru shows up while everyone's out of commission and allows Guy to perform Final Fusion. It doesn't help much. In the very next episode, Soldat-J makes his triumphant return
  • BOOM Headshot: The first use of the Broken Magnum plows straight through EI-02's face, forcing it to take a moment to pull its head back together...just in time to get socked right in the jaw!
    • As seen in Kajetokun's "0ver 9000!" video here.
  • Boring Yet Practical: For a given definition of "boring" (and by that I don't mean Drill Knee), the Broken Magnum runs on this. BECAUSE it spins in two different directions (except Genesic's version, which only uses the hand and spins one way), it can bore a hole through any Zonder, destroying its barrier in the process - and softening it up for a Finishing Move.
  • Brought To You By The Letter G Every single official thing starts with G.
    • A looser variation, everyone whose names starts with a P is on the wrong team.
      • Everyone except for Papillon Noir, that is.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: GGG. All of them.
  • But Now I Must Go
  • By the Power of Grayskull!. Equip, Fusion, Final Fusion, System Change, Symmetrical Docking, among others. The "Perfect Yell" version of the main theme is basically the double full-version song featuring all the major examples of the trope in the series.

    C 
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • HIKARI NI NAREEEE!!!!
    • TITAN HEAD DRIVER!!
    • "HELL AND HEAVEN! Gemu giru gan go gufou! VITAS!"
  • Chest Blaster: The Japanese Dragons' Chest Thriller and Warmer. The Chinese Dragons, though having chest controls for their Feng Dao Dan and Lai attacks, do not actually attack via their chests. The French Dragons have Explosive Overclocking generators in theirs instead, which disqualifies them from the trope.
  • Colony Drop: Primeval ZX-06 - the brain satellite - tries to drop several asteroids on the Earth.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: ZX-10, the Eye Primeval, can predict enemy movement with great accuracy and speed; since the Eye lacks offensive capabilities of its own, it relies on its kin, such as the Arm Primeval, to act on those predictions.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When you sucker-punch your enemy before he's had a chance to recover from putting his head back together (and in the first episode, no less), any claims to fighting like a gentleman go right out the window.
    • Hell, the fact that Guy put launched his fist through EI-02's face in the first place pretty well sealed it. But, to be fair, he is fighting for the sake of the entire planet (and, in a way, all life in the universe), so a fair bit of leeway ought to be given to his fighting style.
  • Combining Mecha: Actually, as the combined mecha mostly act and are treated as separate entities than the combinees, maybe the mecha account for half the cast.
  • Conspicuous CG: The morphing effects, Mirror Coating - the show was made before CG became commonplace.
  • Cuckoo Nest: ZX-06 tries to trap Gai in an illusion that the entire series to date was All Just a Dream. It lasts for about a minute before he snaps out of it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: GaoGaiGar vs EI-14, Guy/Renais/GaoFighGar vs. Gimlet/Gimlet Empereur, and on the flip side, the first 3 Primevals vs. GaoGaiGar, which is then replaced by King J-Der wiping the floor with said Primevals with minimal effort.)

    D 
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: About a third of the way through the series, it's revealed that the Once an Episode Finishing Move Hell and Heaven puts too much strain on Guy to be used safely, and they start to use the Goldion Hammer instead, and Hell & Heaven is restricted to only the most desperate situations (in which case it usually fails.) In FINAL, Hell and Heaven goes back to being the Finishing Move after episode 3, when Goldymarg is destroyed by Repli-GaoGaiGar.
    • Projectile X is also revealed to be one of these during the final battle with EI-01. While giving the Braves the power to overcome and ultimately destroy their (presumed to be, at the time) ultimate foe, they knew very well that they had next-to-no-chance of surviving the use of it, leading to a powerful Tear Jerker moment after the battle.
  • Death Is Cheap: To begin with, but less so as the series goes on. Much less.
  • Determinator: Actually written into the bylaws of the Gutsy Geoid Guard. "Article 5, Section 120: ... Under no circumstances must a GGG member ever give up."
    • Exemplified by ChoRyuJin MULTIPLE times. Getting GaoGaiGar out of the Grand Nova, stopping the Dino-Killer Asteroid from hitting earth about 65 million years late, using himself to shield Tokyo University from a high-powered cannon shell, putting himself right in the path of Repli-GaoGaiGar's Hell And Heaven...yeah, like I said. Multiple times.
  • Disappears into Light: Trope Namer: HIKARI NI NAREEEE!!!!
    • Subverted quite often, actually...usually the core gets ripped out for purification, leaving the hammer's target to survive while Robo-form makes the grand exit from reality. This doesn't apply if you're the Big Bad at the time, however. Not by a long shot.
  • The Dreaded: Implied with King J-Der, who the Primevals refer to as 'the Disaster Left By Abel' and gave a threat level of 100 when he arrived.
  • Drill Tank: DrillGao.
    • StraightGao and SpiralGao could also qualify, though they're more of mecha-moles than actual drill-tanks. They serve the same main purpose, though: To become GaoGaiGar's feet and be destroyed in combat.
  • Drop the Hammer: GaoGaiGar uses some of the biggest hammers ever in media.
    • "Some of"? I'd like to see any other example of a hammer large enough TO CRUSH THE SUN.
    LET'S BREAK STUFF!!
    • Well, when you need to combine three spaceships, just to make the hilt, it's probably time to consider just how dead you want the target to become...
    • Also, considering that the Goldion Crusher was designed to be used with Ul-Tech Power, and instead got fed with Genesic Aura, it's area of destruction probably increased quite a bit.
  • Dynamic Entry: Two epic examples occur practically back-to-back in episodes 39/40. First, Soldato-J inadvertently saves Guy by riding a missile through a wall to fight the Arm and Eye Primevals. In the opening sequence of the very next episode, Mamoru bursts through the floor of the Main Order Room riding Galeon to rescue Mikoto and the GGG bridge crew from the Nail and Ear Primevals.
    • Hell, Soldato-J's first appearance in the anime was a hell of a Dynamic Entry. The first 3 Primevals stand over the tattered, defeated remains of the titular mecha, seemingly invincible...and then a single volley of the J-Ark's lasers completely frags one of them. J even comments that said volley may have been too much.

    E 
  • Elemental Powers: The Dragon siblings all have contrasting elemental powers.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: THE POWER. Of course, the villain gets to use it too...
  • Engrish: A fair bit used throughout the series, especially for the stock sequences and weapon summons/approval sequences. Swan and Mic do it as well, and there's one episode beginning, taking place in America, where the actors are all speaking very bad Engrish instead of Japanese.
    • Now the written English is a different story. All technical information (like statistics) is written in English and is surprisingly good. It's easier to use the Roman alphabet on digital screens than kana, as seen in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Words like "DANGER", "EMERGENCY", "READY", "GO", "STOP", etc. are easy to understand for the Japanese.
      • ...But, then we get stuff like the " Ultra Technorogy Laboratory" in the eyecatches. (Hey, what's a super robot show without Engrish)?
  • Enthusiasm vs. Stoicism: The show explicitly runs on the idea that "courage erases the first two letters from 'impossible'" and Gutsy Geoid Guard has "never give up" written into their bylaws, but no one's silly enough to allow a 30 meter tall robot run around Tokyo without a really good plan behind its actions.
    • And then there's Hyoryu and Enryu's argument over which one of them would be better at guarding Mamoru in public, which sounds like a textbook example of the trope.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: "Broken Magnum!" "Hissatsu! Dai-kaiten Madan!" GaoGaiGar can also spin the Goldion Hammer to deflect attacks, sometimes.
    • Though usually not as useful, Straight Drill and Spiral Drill are both basically a knee-thrust with a giant drill mounted on the knee-cap.
  • Evil Knockoff: In one episode, a Zonder absorbs several spare GaoMachines and becomes an evil GaoGaiGar.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Near the end of the series, the G-Stone supposedly turns both Guy and his girlfriend Mikoto to the "final evolution of humanity", called "Evoluders." Both their new powers are quite vaguely defined, in any case.
    • At the end of FINAL, Guy was taken even further. After performing Final Fusion between Genesic Galeon and the Genesic Machines to create Genesic GaoGaiGar, he became a Genesic Server, with circuits of white flashing across his body at regular intervals, leading to his eyes - every time a pulse traveled along his body into his eyes, the pupils would flash with a G symbol. And this actually was defined as being his link to Genesic's systems - when Guy activated one of the Gadget Tools onboard GadgetGao a pulse would flow out of his eyes and along his body just before the tool activated.
  • Expository Theme Tune: And how...
  • Evolving Credits: Every few episodes of the original series they re-cut new characters and devices in. Even moreso in FINAL, where every episode has a slightly different opening.
  • Expy: Pizza is a clear homage to Cyborg 002.
    • To drive the point home his full designation is Soldato J 002.
    • One could also argue that Liner Gao is a shout-out to an older Braves series, Brave Express Might Gaine, in which the entirety of the team could transform into trains, primarily Shinkansen-style ones. (Not surprising given the hero of the series was a 15-year-old train magnate billionaire.)
      • Not to mention that the robots look so much like Generation 1 Transformers they're often mistaken for Autobots by those not familiar with the series. For good reason, though about the only thing missing is the red insignia and the 5-tone transformation sound.
  • Eyecatch: Combined perfectly with Schematized Prop, telling you anything and everything you could want to know (unless it's classified) about everything from Swan's mini-bus to the titular mecha to the Orbital Base...even a number of the villains! Carried over to FINAL as well.
  • Eye Scream: Guy finishes off Palparepa by ripping the Loud G-Stone out of his right eye socket.
    • Actually, what happened was Guy slammed his G-Stone into Palparepa's Loud G-Stone, and Minovsky Physics did the rest.

    F-G 
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: Taken to rather funny levels when in the middle of a battle it will pause to do this, explaining the battle moves over a Theme Music Power-Up.
  • Foreign Fanservice, Fanservice, Ms. Fanservice (Swan White, the American member of GGG, starts to pick up a fanservice role around the same time the show matures. FINAL also has a good deal more fanservice than the regular series, with several of the female characters wearing skimpy clothing or being depicted nude-with-hair covering the good bits at various points. Not to mention the fact that one of the major antagonists of FINAL is very explicitly a dominatrix... It also had another bit of French Foreign Fanservice in form of the (literally) hot Renais.
    • And said dominatrix's treatment of Renais is high grade Fetish Fuel.
  • Fusion Dance: "Symmetrical Docking!"
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Asides from the occasional swearing in english, there was also this one scene in Episode 23 where Liger actually gives his elder brother the finger whilst they argue with each other.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Zonuda shows up practically out of thin air in the final episode with little foreshadowing. The "almost" is only there because the last On the Next hinted that the fight wasn't over just yet.
    • To say nothing of the fact it's made clear early on in flashbacks that Mikoto's parents were killed when Pasder crashed into her house and she was attacked by him and is mysteriously fine for no reason.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Zonder Metal was invented as a method to control negative emotions. After an accident, it became a device that fed off of negative emotions, turning the victim into a bio-technological lifeform in the shape of the source of their distress, or whatever vehicle/device they integrated into their form.
    • To clarify, the victims seem to all be under considerable stress at the time that they're Zonderfied, and noticeably stress-free after getting Purified. (In one case, a grossly overweight man gets slimmed down in the process - none of the other victims had a stress source that was both internal and physical.)
  • Grand Finale: Three, actually-two in the series, then one in FINAL.
    • The show itself is one to the Brave Series.
  • Gratuitous English: "Goldion Hammer! Safety Device RELIIIIIEVE!!" Also Gratuitous French, by Renais. The entirety of NASA speaks in heavily accented English. Mic Sounders the 13th, being a product of NASA, lapses into English quite often.
    • In fact, Mic Sounders the 13th speaks english more frequently than he speaks japanese, at least during battles.
      • Inverted into Gratuitous Japanese in the dub, where Mic Sounders' power-boosting song is changed into Japanese when he normally speaks exclusively in English.

    H-L 
  • Hair Colors: Somewhat justified with Guy. He is a cyborg, after all. And Mamoru is an alien.
    • Definitely justified with Guy. After he becomes human again, his hair color reverts to brown.
  • Healing Shiv: "ERASER HEAD! XL!" And in a reversal, the Gatling and Bolting Drivers are offensive takes on what was introduced as an extremely versatile support tool, the Dividing Driver.
    • Slight mix-up here. In-universe, the Bolting Driver was the original, and the Dividing Driver's derived from its data.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: After everything that happens in the first 5 episodes of FINAL, including having to destroy Mamoru and Galeon, finding Cain in league with the enemy, GaoFighGar's destruction, being turned into a mind-controlled puppet for the enemy, annihilating the duplicates of the Robo Corps against his will, and nearly killing his sweetheart with a duplicate Goldion Hammer, Gai's reaction is pretty understandable...
    • Subverted with Mamoru partway through the series. You'd think that having his ability to sense and purify Zonders being useless against the Primevals would be a huge downer for him, but his reasoning and reaction to it in his classroom comes off more as relief, even though he'd still like to be able to help his GGG friends. Galeon and Cain take care of that problem a few episodes later.
      • Of course, then a few episodes later, he finds out what we already knew from the very beginning: that he's not human. Screws him up somewhat worse for a while, until he decides that, regardless of what he is, he's gonna protect the people important to him. From that point on, I would not recommend ever trying anything to piss that kid off. Especially if it involves Hana.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Guy delivers an EPIC one in the final battle against the Machine Kings:
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This happened prior to the series to the people of the Purple Planet. The Zonder Metal was originally intended as an anti-depressant and stress-reliever. And it would've worked, if they hadn't made it sentient too.
    • Done again in FINAL episode 8. To both sides, even. First, the Sol Masters are beaten up thoroughly. This causes Pisa Sol to use all its energy to create hundreds of replicants of the Sol Masters. However, doing this weakens Pisa Sol's defense, allowing Guy to go in with and obliterate the sun with the Goldion Crusher... Which in turn causes the universe to start collapsing, trapping the heroes in an alternate universe with no escape...
    • Done more personally to Palparepa during the events of FINAL, when he tries to take down the titular mecha with a bio-tech computer virus...only to find out that Guy's Evoluder powers enable him to rewrite said virus and infect him right back.
  • Hot-Blooded: All of them... All of them.
    • At the beginning of FINAL, we are introduced to hotblood king Koutarou Taiga's replacement as GGG chief, Yaginuma. He existed so that Taiga could make a dramatic return at the appropriate moment while still having someone to approve GaoFighGar's Final Fusion and Goldion Hammer, but... did they have to make him slow, quiet, understated and analyzing? The contrast is genuinely shocking.
      • Still, you gotta admit, slow and cool-blooded as he was, you can't help but like the guy.
      • Also a slight Take That to the average section chief staple figure in the average Japanese company.
  • Hot Wings: King J-Der.
  • Iconic Logo: The "GGG", logo of GGG and of the Gutsy Geoid/Galaxy Guard. It even precedes the intro for every episode, accompanied by a shock cord.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Pinchernone's laugh note , the amount of vocoding used by the mecha members, and pronunciation of names note  vary between episodes in the English dub.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Kotaro Taiga has a golf club that he calls the Taiga Wood. Yeah.
  • It's Personal: Technically it was personal from before the beginning of the series, after EI-01 slammed into the shuttle Guy was piloting, nearly killed him, and did kill his girlfriend's family. Forty-eight episodes later, the force behind the Zonders has been destroyed ... and then his girlfriend became the next evolution of Zonder-esque machine life-form.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
  • The Juggernaut: Goldymarg.
  • Leitmotif: Pretty much every robot (and several villains) has one, including Guy, Renais, Mamoru, Arma, and Soldat J.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Linked with the Sorting Algorithm of Evil. As the Zonders got progressively more powerful over the course of the series, 3G started busting out bigger and flashier tech to counter them. This gets taken to its logical conclusion in FINAL with the debut of the Goldion Crusher, a weapon specifically designed to kill planet-sized enemies like the Big Bad of the TV series.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: in #23, when Mic Sounders 13th's Big Damn Heroes moment... isn't.

    M-O 
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Inverted in the second half of the series when the seven most powerful villains show up to challenge the heroes. The fan translation of the series even refers to them as the "Magnificent 7 Machine World Primevals".
  • Manly Tears: At the end of the TV series, as Mamoru and Galeon leave Earth, presumably to stop the 11 Sol Masters in FINAL, Hyuuma's salute cannot hide these.
  • Meaningful Name: Guy Shishioh means "Triumph/Victorious" and "Lion King" respectively. Soldato means "Soldier." Mikoto means 'command' or 'prince, and can be read as 'inochi', meaning 'life'.
    • Interestingly enough, episode 48, the one where Mikoto is turned into the New Machine Species, Zonuda, is actually named 'Inochi'...
    • And, as his father points out late in the series, Mamoru means "to protect".
    • All the dragon siblings' names mean "Elemental Power + Dragon."
      • And the dragon-gods' names, "Super Dragon God" (ChouRyuJin), "Attacking Dragon God" (GekiRyuJin), "Phantom Dragon God" (GenRyuJin), "Mighty Dragon God" (GouRyuJin) and finally "Heavenly Dragon Goddess" (TenRyuJin).
  • Never Tell Me the Odds: Over and over and over. Koutarou Taiga kicks it off in the first episode with the iconic line, "With courage, even 1% becomes 100%!"
    • Let's face it. There's no "odds of success" for GGG. If they have any chance in hell of victory, victory's guaranteed.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Good work hoarding all the Primeval cores, Soldat-J, even with GGG on your side. Not like the enemy only needs to hit you hard enough just to take them all back in one fell swoop...
  • NINJA: Volfogg. That is all.
    • Also his Sol Master counterpart in FINAL.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Also Volfogg.
    • Taken to literal extremes when paired against his Zonderian rival in the first saga, Penchinon. Volfogg: Robot Ninja. Penchinon: Pirate Zombie.
      • The Zonder in general can be thought of as a kind of Zombie-robots... however that works.
  • Nobuyuki Hiyama: Guy (Where do you think he gets the Yuusha-Oh title from?)
  • No Ontological Inertia: The mechanization of earth immediately reverses itself after Z-Master is destroyed.
    • Once Pisa Sol is destroyed in FINAL, everything it created vanishes as well, including all of the other Masters Of Sol, Repli-Earth, Repli-Papillion, and the entire universe it was currently residing in.
  • Not So Different: Episode 7 opens with the GGG staff and their counterparts in the Zonder top tier basically having the exact same discussion.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Genesic Hell and Heaven.
    • Partially subverted: If you listen close to the song, the "latin" is actually just "Hell and Heaven" over and over.
  • On The Next Episode Of Catchphrase: 'Final Fusion Approved!'
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: When the Primevals use a portal to send an asteroid that could mimic the one that killed the dinosaurs, Chouryujin's Heroic Sacrifice cause him to push the asteroid back up the portal and back in time, so that it DOES kill the dinosaurs.

    P-Q 

    R 
  • Ramming Always Works: Yes, the J-Phoenix is technically covering the J-Ark in a flame when doing so (basically burning its Generating Armor), but it doesn't change the fact that the technique was essentially just ramming them.
    • Also Hell and Heaven to a degree, since it's basically just smashing into an opponent fists-first.
    • DaiKaiTen-DaiMadan also falls under this category, since it's basically just Big Volfogg putting on a full-strength Mirror Coating and then charging through an opponent.
    • Hyuuma has a bad habit of resorting to this tactic way too quickly after the Primevals show up. The first time he wants to go for it, he's cut off by the series' ultimate He's Back moment, aka the triumphant return of the Mobile Unit, while the second time....it just plain doesn't work.
    • This + Explosive Overclocking + Volfogg's avoided Heroic Sacrifice = How the Multidimensional Super-Intelligence Submarine took out Penchinon.
  • Reconstruction: Deliberately made as a statement in opposition to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Recurring Riff: Yuusha-Oh Tanjou is the backbone of the FINAL soundtrack. Everything else is a remix from the original series.
    • And then there's the famous Tower Bridge Riff, straight from Power of Desire.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: EnRyu and HyoRyu; Mamoru and Ikumi/Alma; Gai and Soldato-J.
    • Mamoru and Guy to Ikumi/Alma and Soldato-J is ironic, since the ones who glow red are the Blue Onis while the ones who glow green are the ones who should be the Red Onis.
  • Red Shirt Army: The Mic Sounders brigade exists mainly to be brutally destroyed. Several times. Funnily enough, the only one of them that is red is part of the main cast and is the only one to make it to the end..
  • Robeasts: Zonder Robos, and a number of the Earth-bound Primevals.
  • Robot Hair: The Genesic GaoGaiGar has big red hair of the synthetic variety. Galeon himself's normal form is a Lion with a mechanical mane facsimile.
  • Rocket Punch: Broken Magnum and Phantom - what would a Reconstruction be without one?
  • Rule of Cool: But only if it doesn't conflict with logical consistency.
  • Running Gag: Several, such as EnRyu never being able to land properly.
    • Anytime Hana's walking that oversized dog of hers, shit happens.
  • Schematized Prop: One free in every Eyecatch.
  • Shared Universe: Strangely enough, the real robot horror series Betterman takes place in the same universe as GaoGaiGar.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Liver is the first of the Magnificent 7 Primeval's to be purified.
    • Inverted in Final. The heroes push themselves to the limit to destroy the other Sol Masters knowing full well that they'd be revived by Pisa Sol, but it turns out it was all a Batman Gambit to make Pisa Sol use up her energy, leaving her vulnerable to Goldion Crusher.

    S 
  • Shout-Out
    • Several to Ultra Seven. Ayame's custom phone is Dan Moroboshi's Ultra Eye henshin device, the scene in Episode 48 where Hana reveals to the class that Mamoru is the green-haired boy is almost line-for-line from Ultra Seven's final episode, as is Kaidou's conversation with Hana in Episode 3 of FINAL.
    • A few to Gundam too:
      • The Monster of the Week in Episode 14 is a Zaku. See also: Curb-Stomp Battle.
      • Take a look at GaoGaiGar. It's clear to see its design was based off of a Gundam. No wonder GaoGaiGar curbstomped the Zaku.
      • Also, the fact that Kunio Okawara, the Lead Mechanical Designer for most Gundam-series, designed GaoGaiGar and pretty much anything else, explains the Real Robot-ish designs and transformation sequences (no parts disappearing or showing up from out of nowhere).
    • Pizza's long nose and love of the sky is a shout-out to Cyborg 002. He also resembles Terry Bogard in human form and the Gatchaman symbol in Zonder form. Also, see Actor Allusion.
    • #25 has a pair of Zonder Angels, with appropriately nightmarish attacks.
    • #38 has Guy slip into a Lotus-Eater Machine, in a sequence involving Evangelion-worthy visuals and audio.
    • One of the Zonders, specifically the Evil Knockoff of GaoGaiGar, uses the Big Swing Rocket Punch.
    • Gai's civilian garb in #24 is that of Hayato Ichimonji/Kamen Rider 2, right down to the henshin belt buckle.
    • Also in the 14.5 scenario during the video game Blockaded Numbers, Gai's outfit is that of Ichiro from Kikaider 01.
    • At the start of FINAL one of Mamoru's friends can be seen on the bow of his parents boat shouting DiCaprio!
    • Mamoru and Kaito owe their evil-detecting-reactive-hair to GeGeGe no Kitaro.
    • King J-der's fingers are anti-meson cannons. This is the exact same type of weapon used by the Martians in the 1953 film version of The War of the Worlds.
  • Something Person: Cyborg Guy, Evoluder Guy.
    • This probably isn't a true case of Something Person, as the character's name is Gai, pronounced about the same as 'Guy'. Thus, if his name had been Bob, it would have been Cyborg Bob. The fact that his name happens to be a synonym (and homonym) for "man" is a coincidence.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The Zonders start out threatening to destroy city hall and move upwards from there; by the show's halfway mark 3G is warding off The Tokyo Fireball nearly every episode. The Primevals up the stakes yet again by threatening large-scale climate change, meteor impacts, and similar Apocalypse How nastiness before being one-upped once and for all by the Sol Masters and their plan to regenerate the Trinary Solar System by destroying our universe.
  • Space Whale Aesop: In the first episode. Filling landfills with excessive trash will cause Zonders to create a monster out of them! And throwing out perfectly serviceable microwave ovens and fridges give it destructive microwave and freezing attacks!
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The series is actually generally very good about this, but there are a few examples.
    • First, Rune/Renee/Renais - more due to the difference between languages than anything. (They're all spelled exactly the same way in katakana.)
    • On one occasion, the subbed version has Pasder's name translated to "Pasta". Must be a kind of joke, considering that he was talking with Pizza at that time.
    • Guy/Gai. Also, GaoFighGar/GaoFaiGar.
    • A more minor example is J - specifically, "Soldato J" or "Soldat J"? The confusion comes from both the fact that "ト" is often used as a solo T in kana transliteration in addition to being "to", meaning the name could be read either way... and the fact that either reading is still correct, as "soldato" is soldier in Italian, and "soldat" is the same in German. It really comes down to which language you think the staff intended to reference.
  • Spoiler Closing: The ending theme song to the TV series actually foreshadows Mamorou's leaving Earth at the end of the series. There's even an image of him and Ghaleon on an alien world which must take place after the end of the series since he has his pendent, and the sequence ends with a shot of his parents waiting for him to come home.
    • There's a retroactive spoiler of sorts in the second version of the opening, as well. Thankfully, you won't realise it's always been there until around the final battle, and even then, it's pretty minor. During the first opening, the part where they're singing about the G-Stone uses the word "mamoru"note , which is the name of a character. During the second opening, the part describing the G-Stone no longer uses Mamoru's name... but instead uses "kizuna"note . See the Fridge Brilliance page for more info.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Volfogg is fond of these. The fact he's a friggin' GIANT ROBOT and is able to pull them off is a testament of how mindblowingly awesome he is.
  • Stock Footage: A lot, but used intelligently for once. You really start to suspect Mic's motives when he's going through GGG's Zonder footage, for example.
    • On the other hand, one episode has ChoRyuJin fire more than 10 Eraser Heads. We don't have to see them all, though, but watching the same animation 5 times in an episode... it gets old.
      • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Actually, if you look closely you'll see that the Eraser Heads get progressively larger as the episode goes on. He starts with the standard ES-99 and by the end he's firing an ES-9999.
    • Fusion, Final Fusion, System Change, Symmetrical Docking and Sanmiitai all have their own stock-footage as well.
    • Just about every single attack ever used, even by some of the bad-guys.
  • Super Mode: Actually, Hyper Mode in Cyborg Guy's case. One tug of the battery-canisters on either side of his head and BAM, 3 minutes of high-octane ass-kicking. Demonstrated numerous times to be able to work on GaoGaiGar as well, especially at the end of FINAL, when we find out, via a split-second showing, that Genesic's "hair" is actually a few million of those same canisters.
    • Similarly, the G-Stone and J-Jewel can activate each others' Super Modes, demonstrated in FINAL with J and Renais.
  • Super Robot Genre: By the end of FINAL, about half the cast are robots. Hyoryu, Enryu, Volfogg, Mic Sounders, Rairyu, Fuuryu, Soldat-J (Cyborg, but close enough), Renais (also a cyborg), Galeon, Guy, Koryu, Anryu, GunGlue, GunDober (albeit not having a single line throughout the entire series).
    • Guy may disqualify, since he's an Evoluder, and not a Cyborg any longer.

    T 
  • Technology Porn: Where do we start? It's a highly epic toy commercial, so all the robots are made of this. On top of that, the Narrator also lovingly describes how every one of the Hero's devices operate.
  • Technopath: Guy, after he becomes an Evoluder.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The 31 Primevals.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "GA-GA-GA GA-GA-GA GAOGAIGAR!" Also, "Saikyou Yuusha Robo Gundan" for the rest of the team.
    • FINAL had Saikyou Yuusha Robo Gundan Ladies for the... well... Ladies
    • And lest we forget, the show plays the trope far straighter than anything has a right to: when Mic Sounders sings "Power of Desire," every robot in the main cast within earshot gets a powerup. No, really.
      • Well, except when he's using it to help out Repli-Mamoru by knocking out Swan/Raiga/Stallion or riffing it out on the Tower Bridge to destroy Pericurio.
    • There's also "Yuuki aru Tatakai", which is pretty much the signal for the heroes to unleash hell (with the expectation that they won't survive it). Most notably used when Projectile X powers up everyone for a final showdown with Pasder and in FINAL during Genesic Gaogaigar's No Holds Barred Beat Down of Palparepa.
    • When Final Fusion starts playing, evil is about to be assbeaten by the POWER OF COURAGE!!!
    • Done gorgeously with "Dividing Driver" during the last episode of FINAL.
    • There's J for when Soldat-J uses J-Phoenix in FINAL.
  • Theme Naming: Pasder, Polonaise, Pizza, Primada, Pinchernone, Pagliaccio, Palparepa, Pillnus, Pia Decem, Palus Abel, Pei La Cain, Pisa Sol, Percurio, P-Vater, Polturn, Puranus, Ptulone. In fact, there's exactly one character whose name starts with "P" that isn't a member of a villainous team.
    • What about Papillon? (note: that's the one)
      • True... she is only around from the 3rd episode on due to the actions of the villains. Hmmmmm...
      • There were 2, actually. Let's not forget background support maid-mecha Piggy.
    • Also, note the names of many of the good guys: Guy Shishioh, Leo Shishioh and his brother Liger, Kotaro Taiga, etc...
      • Swan White and Stallion White. A swan is a bird and a stallion is another term for a mount (typically a horse).
      • The Brave Robots also count. Enryu, Hyoryu, Fuuryu, Rairyu, Koryu and Anryu's names mean (Element) Dragon. Wolfogg's name is derived from the word "Wolf" and the word "fog". Mic Sounders... Well, Mic's the only one who doesn't qualify for this, as his name doesn't contain an animal.
  • Title Scream: Bokura no Yuusha-Oh... GAO GAI GAAAAAR!!!
  • Tokyo Tower: Pasder and the 4 Machine Kings hang out under here.
  • Took About 50 Levels In Badass: Mamoru of all people. At the start of the series this grade-school kid only has the power to purify Zonder Cores. By the end, he's not only strong enough to purify Primeval Cores as well, but take on Primevals directly, and was putting up a good fight against Zonuda with Galeon's help. And then, of course, he tops it all off in FINAL by taking on Pe la Cain and handing him his ass on a platter. Considering the PasQ-Machine's replicants are of equal strength, I guess the fact that he's capable of piloting the titular mecha counts too. Too bad his replicant was turned evil and thus had to be squashed by Guy. Oh well!
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Mic's gear gets shown off during one of the eyecatches, and his hoverboard is labeled the "Gutsy Galaxy Guard" version... in episode 30, two episodes before the Galaxy Guard are introduced and even before the Wham Episode that could make you think the Geoid Guard gets completely annihilated. Interestingly, this was printed in English originally, so it's a little hard to know just how many people picked up on the spoiler in the original broadcast.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Not even close. The G-Energy tornado that GaiGar (yellow for GaoFar in FINAL) generates at the beginning of the Final Fusion sequence is made to serve as a defense against outside interference. In the very first Final Fusion sequence, the Zonder Beast immediately tries to stop the transformation, thus justifying the tornado. Later enemies, particularly EI-15, showed that it wasn't a perfect defense; if one can get through it, the titular mecha is a sitting duck. Add in the fact that performing Final Fusion at all requires authorization from the GGG command center, and it's about as far from a free action as you get.
    • That said, transforming often is a free action for the other mecha.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: Everyone. Braves, villains, minor side characters, everyone.
  • Transformation Sequence: At least two per robot, including combination sequences - Guy included.
  • Transforming Mecha: Over a third the regular cast could be mistaken for Autobots; which makes sense considering the franchise was made by the same people, and they even recycled a couple of designs from it throughout the various Braves series.
  • Trash the Set: The 31 Primevals destroying the GGG's old base in minutes.

    U-V 

    W-Z 
  • Weaponized Landmark: The Primevals end up possessing and transforming the Great Wall of China, the Sphinx and several moai to do battle with the heroes. Later on, we see Weaponized Planetoids when they possess the moons of Jupiter.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Guy and Renais.
    • Well, Renais' rebuilding was done unnecessarily, against her will, by a criminal arms-merchant mega-corporation. Her dad just fixed their screw-ups as best he could, and even then he couldn't correct everything without killing her, thus her heat problems.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Whenever the Zonders didn't have a specific target, they always seem to attack wherever Hana happens to be at the time, even if it's miles away from anyone else.
    • Might not be as accidental as folks think. The Zonderians eventually come to know that Mamoru is a major threat to them. If they were aware of their relationship, she'd pretty much have a bulls-eye on her. This may go into Fanon territory, however, as the Pasder's Zonderian council never talks about her directly.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Zonderians just want to relieve everybody's stress by turning them into machines, which can't feel stress, albeit who can't feel anything else as well.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 31, "Goodbye GutsyGeoidGuard".
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? / This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • Although they did find use for DrillGao and StealthGao regularly (as armaments for GaiGar), finding a use for LinerGao was usually an obvious attempt to make it useful outside of being GaoGaiGar's shoulders. The Pliers also fit, in that their specific ability of being able to pull apart dimensional disturbances wasn't exactly helpful when there weren't dimensional disturbances to pull apart... at least they managed to be helpful in using Goldion Hammer before Goldymarg was built. By the end of the series, though, they show what they're good for. Building stuff quickly, and disassembling a barrage of missiles headed towards the Orbit Base.
    • The Pliers manage to escape this trope entirely when they're upgraded to the ultimate construction force, the Carpenters. Even get their own moment of awesome when they charge headlong into a massive missile barrage and, almost nonchalantly, disassemble each and every one.
      • The Carpenters also get a moment of heartwarming when they rebuild the city after Gai and Mikoto/Zonuda's battle in the final episode of GaoGaiGar.
    • This is the pretty much the best description Mic's Cosmo Robo mode has.
  • World of Badass
  • World of Ham: It's a classic-style super robot anime. It's a wonder the footage doesn't have tooth marks.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The Green Planet's "two powers into one" spell, built into GaoGaiGar as Hell and Heaven. Also Cho Ryu Jin's FINAL attack.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Probably one of the most ridiculous examples in all of fiction, when the Dimension Pliers block Pizza's attack in episode 27, taking a beating but allowing GaoGaiGar to penetrate the Contra Fall in the process.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: With white socks (see above picture). And on Swan White.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/GaoGaiGar