GEAR Fighter Dendoh
is a 38-episode Super Robot anime
directed and written by Mitsuo Fukuda and Chiaki Morosawa, a husband and wife team more famous in America for Gundam SEED
and Gundam SEED Destiny
, along with Yasuko Kobayashi of Toku
Dendoh tells the story of an Alien Invasion
of Earth by mechanical aliens known as the Galfa and two elementary school kids, Hokuto Kusanagi
and Ginga Izumo
, who are chosen to fight them by a giant kung fu robot called Dendoh. As chosen pilots of mankind's last, best superweapon, they are recruited by the organization GEAR to etc. etc. etc.
As people familiar with Super Robot
anime can tell by now, Dendoh is pretty standard
for the genre, and intentionally so. Where it excels is in its storytelling - not being Strictly Formula
in spite of its genre conventions - and its likeable cast of characters and their relationships. And of course, tons of Shout Outs
The show's other major distinguishing point is that it's something of a buddy cop
show: Hokuto and Ginga are complete opposites (the former is an introverted nerd, the latter is a boisterous jock) but they're forced to work together because only two people working in tandem can pilot Dendoh.
A sequel was planned at one point, but when that fell through the staff released plot details, character, and mecha designs onto the Internet for all to see.
This show provides examples of:
- Action Mom: Mrs. Izumo is a badass martial artist, and then there's Vega, alias Mrs. Kusanagi
- Alien Invasion
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Ginga
- Big Bad: Emperor Galfa who intends to slay all human life to preserve environments as he was originally programmed to do such
- Brainwashedand Crazy: Altair who is revealed to be Vega's brother who was being used by the villains. A more prominent victim of this trope though is Hokuto
- Calling Your Attacks
- Char Clone: Altair
- The Dragon: Altair, later Zero
- Empathic Weapon
- Evil Counterpart: Gear Knight Ogre, later becomes good.
- Finishing Move:
- Food Chain of Evil: Lagowe does this to the sotais to regenerate.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Data Weapons
- Goldfish Poop Gang
- Giant Robot Hands Save Lives
- Gratuitous English
- Heroic BSOD
- Hot Blooded: Both the boys, but especially Ginga
- Hot Shounen Mom: For both the boys, but especially Hokuto
- Human Alien: Altair and Vega
- Katanas Are Just Better / Everything's Better with Samurai: Altair
- Kill It with Fire: The Dragon Flare data weapon
- Kotono Mitsuishi: Vega's voice actress
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Done twice, both times involving Vega...
- Mask Power: Altair and Vega
- Mons: The data weapons behave like this
- No Export for You: This article brought to you by fansubs, Hong Kong bootleg subs, and a half-translated copy of Super Robot Wars R
- There is a fansub in the works based off the Italian version.
- Odd Couple: Hokuto and Ginga
- Older and Wiser: The stillborn second season would have had the original cast acting as mentors to a team of kids piloting Dendoh-based mecha
- Ordinary Elementary School Students
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Subverted by Vega, who wears a wig and contacts in addition to the traditional mecha anime mask
- Post Episode Trailer: (featuring Hokuto and Ginga arguing about something pointless instead of telling you what's going to happen)
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ginga and Hokuto, respectively. Later, partially subverted in terms of their abilities. Hokuto starts out more intellectual, coming up with the solutions to various problems, while Ginga has more strength and skill, but as time passes it becomes clear that Hokuto's combat abilities have increased greatly, while Ginga's intelligence has not, creating a noticeable imbalance.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: Emperor Galfa's horrific two-headed pet, Lagowe. Somewhat subverted as he wanders on his own.
- Robot War: Technically
- Super Robot Genre
- Super Robot Wars: R and MX
- Shout Out: To just about every Humongous Mecha anime out there. A particularly notable example is this first episode exchange.
- Though they did eventually get the yo-yo.
- Spell My Name with an S: Altea/Althea/Altair, Galfa is also sometimes spelled Gulfer
- Stellar Name: Hokuto means "North Star". Ginga means "Galaxy". Not to mention Vega and Altair...
- Stock Footage: Tons. Taken together with Gundam SEED, it seems to be a staple of Mitsuo Fukuda's directorial style.
- This Is a Drill: The Unicorn Drill data weapon
- Toyetic: The mecha looks like a toy, appears to be powered by two giant AA batteries, and can only be piloted by two kids.
- Verbal Tic: Dawa, jyan, bari!
- What Could Have Been: Some key elements in the show were supposed to be for Sunrise's next Brave show after GaoGaiGar, Brave Saint Baan Gaan, But since the show didn't materialize, said elements came to fruition in this show.
- Whip It Good: The Viper Whip data weapon and Vega