"BUILD UP!"Kotetsu Jeeg
(鋼鉄ジーグ, Kōtetsu Jīgu), more commonly known as Koutetsu Jeeg, Steel Jeeg or even "El Vengador", is another classic Humongous Mecha
anime created by Go Nagai
in cooperation with Tatsuya Yasuda. The anime TV series was produced by Toei Doga. It was first broadcast on Japanese TV in 1975. The series lasted for 46 episodes. Steel Jeeg also ran as a manga in several children's publications.
Essentially a Combining Mecha
series, it told the story of Shiiba Hiroshi, a car racer who's reconstructed as a cyborg by his father after being mortally wounded in an accident
. As a cyborg, Hiroshi's capable of transforming into the eponymous Kotetsu Jeeg, a steel robot head that combines with a variety of external parts to form a giant robot and fight the minions of Queen Himika, leader of the Jamatai Kingdom.
The series received a sequel, Kotetsushin ("Steel God") Jeeg
in 2007, taking place in another continuity, fifty years after the original and featuring both new and classic characters.
The original Kotetsu Jeeg features examples of:
- Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The Jamatai Kingdom. It slightly subverts the trope, since they used both advanced technology AND magic.
- Arm Cannon: The Jeeg Bazooka. It returned in the sequel, transformed into a BFG.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: With spikes, no less. Ends up taking more than half the face off a Monster of the Week
- Badass Normal: The Build Angels again, and many, many more
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: A subversion. In the ending credits, Jeeg blocks a downward, vertical swing... by crossing its forearms above its head. Of course, given that Jeeg is a robot, hence it is not made of flesh, it is not worried about the weapon slicing it, and the blade shatters upon impact.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: And so can Hiroshi, although slightly justified since he's a cyborg.
- Beneath the Earth: The Jamatai Kingdom were a subterranean civilization. They had attempted to conquer Japan in ancient times but they were defeated and fled underground. Big Bad Queen Himika definitely harbored a grudge afterwards and longed for revenge.
- BFG: The Jeeg Bazooka is larger than Jeeg itself in both series.
- Big Bad: Queen Himika except in the second half of the original series where she is replaced by the Dragon Emperor (aka Ryuu Teio).
- Butt Monkey: Don in the original series.
- Calling Your Attacks: It is a Super Robot show, after all
- Chainsaw Good: The Earth Parts give Jeeg chainsaw arms.
- Combining Mecha: An interesting version: Hiroshi is a cyborg who transforms into a giant head, which then combines with man-made parts to form a Humongous Mecha. In the Revival-slash-AlternateUniverse sequel Koutetsushin Jeeg, a transforming motorcycle forms the head of the titular mecha, which otherwise functions exactly like its precursor.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Hiroshi appears to have been designed after Elvis Presley.
- Deface of the Moon
- Detachment Combat: Given that Jeeg is able to use magnetism to pull its body parts together or replace them, it also can use them like weapons separately or shoot them (sometimes it did that with just its head!).
- Do-Anything Robot: Jeeg is very modular: it can detach and reattach its parts like Lego bricks. Therefore, as long as they can get the right parts to the battlefield, Jeeg can change form to meet any situation.
- Expy: Himika looks an awful lot like Sister Jill. Mecha Don is essentially Boss Borot on a formula 1 car.
- Formula One: With Hiroshi and Don being race car drivers they did drive these in the original series.
- Go Nagai
- Gratuitous English: BUILD UP! and CHANGE CYBORG!
- Hey, It's That Voice!: (Hiroshi in both incarnations. His classic form is Amuro Ray, while his Kotetsushin form is Archer)
- Home Base: The Build Base for the heroes. An Elaborate Underground Base for the villains.
- Humongous Mecha: Partially averted. Jeeg's surprisingly short for a Super Robot - comparable to the average Real Robot, in fact.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Many baddies have managed to stop Jeeg from forming, only to realize in horror that Hiroshi doesn't NEED to form Jeeg to kick your ass. CHAAAAAAAAAAAAANGE CYBOOOOOOOOORG!!
- Ice Queen: The Princess of Snow from episode 10 of the original series.
- Kid Hero: Averted. Hiroshi is twenty-five years old and looks his age, if not even older.
- Kryptonite Factor: In the original series Steel Jeeg was weakened when making contact with electricity as it affects the magnetic power that binds his body together. Episode 5 also reveals that strong magnetic storms like solar flares prevent him from combining (at least until they made a special coating spray).
- The Lost Lenore: At some point in the series, Himika revives a very badass Yamatai general whose wife had died years before he did. Then, the man met Miwa and was shocked to see that she looked exactly like his beloved. It ended in tears.
- Lost Technology: Dr. Shiba finds several ancient mysterious magical artifacts and hieroglyphs during an archaeological expedition. His findings provide evidence that the ancient lost kingdom of Jamatai that thrived in the south of Japan has survived, and its Queen Himika is preparing to invade Japan. Of course, his reaction was using that lost technology to get a countermeasure ready (i. e., turning his eldest son into a cyborg capable transforming into a Humongous Mecha when said son has a life-threatening accident)
- Made of Iron: The series name is "Steel Jeeg"
- Marshmallow Hell: Kenji is the target of this... from Monko, much to his dismay.
- Mecha Expansion Pack: Jeeg had first the Jeeg Drills, a set of weaponized rockets that doubled like This Is a Drill, and later it had the Earth, Marine and Sky parts, three sets of armor let the Humongous Mecha fighting in land, sea and air, and transforming.
- Mecha Show
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: In the original series it happened twice with the same person. Professor Shiba got murdered in the first episode. However he had the foresight to make a backup of his personality in a computer in order to help and guide his son Hiroshi and then it commited a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Meta Mecha: In Super Robot Retsuden -a Ken Ishikawa Affectionate Parody / Crossover- of several Go Nagai Mecha Shows, Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, UFO Robo Grendizer, Getter Robo G AND Kotetsu Jeeg rode a ridiculously, impossibly, massively huge Transforming Mecha in the Final Battle.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Dr. Shiba. He was an archaelogist, but he could also heal his son's scarred body, make a cyborg, build giant robots and flying vehicles, and transfer his mind into a computer.
- Orochi: Used as the main antagonists' flying fortress in the original series with a cameo in the new series. It doubles like Cool Airship and Airborne Aircraft Carrier.
- Razor Wings: The Sky Parts from the original series.
- Robeast: The Haniwa Phantoms
- Rocket Punch: Dynamite Punch and Knuckle Bomber, the latter using both fists clasped together
- Power Fist: Their fists are also reinforced to cause bigger damage.
- Sculpted Physique: Asamo's body seems done from brown, angled rock, with crystals jutting out of his head and back.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Sometimes romanized as "Steel Sieg", which does make a bit more sense.
- Super Robot Wars: Super Robot Wars Alpha 2 and 3 have the original, while K and L have Koutetsushin
- Tagalong Kid: Mayumi, Hiroshi's little sister. She was more endearing and more lovingly naive than her counterparts in other Go Nagai works.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Hiroshi's mother, who gets a CMOA for openly calling out Dr. Shiba in his treatment of Hiroshi
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Flora in the original series.
The sequel Kotetsushin Jeeg features the following tropes:
- Alternate Continuity: Kotetsushin Jeeg presents significant differences with the original story. For example, the presence of the father of Hiroshi (still alive), Senjiro Shiba, and the return of Himica who is not dead as narrated in the first series. In this regard, the new series ignores the existence of the Dragon Emperor.
- Amazon Brigade: The Build Angels
- Boisterous Bruiser: Monko of the Build Angels
- Cameo: This being a Go Nagai title, there are at least a few. Notably, Kouji Kabuto and others are visible during a scene in episode 13 of Kotetsushin.
- Also, Kouji in the first episode amongst the cheering crowds.
- Super Robot Wars ran with this by having Kouji end up fast friends with Kenji in K and L.
- Cool Bike: Kenji's motorcycle from Kotetsushin, which transforms into the head of the new Jeeg
- Distaff Counterpart The Build Angels are often considered a gender-swapped version of the Getter Team
- Doing In the Wizard: In Kotetsushin, we find out that Himika and everybody that's presumably mystical are really aliens. The Bronze Bells were the reactors for an ancient ship. The Dragon Emperor isn't mentioned at all, either.
- Although possibly a subversion in that the Jama Kingdom are still said to derive their powers from sorcery.
- Expository Theme Tune: "Just you watch, the Haniwa Phantoms will be completely destroyed. Run forth, Banban Baban! Big Shooter, swifter than the wind. Build up!"
- Falling into the Cockpit: Subverted: Kenji's forced to take control of the new Jeeg when a Haniwa Phantom God attacks, but in the next episode it's revealed that he had been intended to be the pilot all along — the attack simply forced the New Build Base crew to put him into the robot sooner than planned.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: (Early on in Kotetsushin, Kenji decides to use one of Jeeg's arms to bludgeon a Haniwa Phantom God to death)
- Home Base: In Kotetsushin, a Volcano Lair.
- Lady of War: Captain Yagyu of the Build Angels.
- Legacy Character: Kenji
- Married to the Job: Hiroshi did not knew why his father was always working and he barely talked to his family, and after several years, he decided he did not care about it or his father. When he learnt his reasons, he kind of forgave Prof. Shiba, but his mother still called her husband on it.
- Miko: Tsubaki's part-time work, since her grandmother Miwa "Micchi" Uzuki has become a Shinto priestess
- Older and Wiser: Micchi was The Chick in the original series but has become The Captain by the time the sequel starts
- Red Shirt Army: Subverted in early episodes of Kotetsushin Jeeg. The JSDF -that usually is utterly useless in most anime shows- display competent tactics in their battle against Himika's Haniwa Genjin, and although Jeeg spearheads their attacks, he can't do it alone. They pay a high death toll, of course, but they are not completely exterminated.
- Rip Van Winkle: In Kotetsushin, Tatsuko Mido and Monko Saotome of the Build Angels; later, the JSDF forces found within the zone on Kyushu, and Hiroshi.
- Super Mode: The Koutetsushin Jeeg; overlaps with Eleventh Hour Superpower, since it only appears in the final episode.
- Also applies to Super Robot Wars K, where it can only be accessed as a Combination Attack
- Bronze Bell Power counts too. As one of the game's buffet of "Better Mazinpowers", it grants a 25% boost and resistance to damage and an increased critical rate
- The Other Darrin: Junichi Suwabe replaces Tōru Furuya as Hiroshi in Koutetsushin
- This Is a Drill The Mach Drills, though the Earth Parts also grant Jeeg a pair of drill legs
- Time Dilation Field: One of these was used to seal evil in a can in the backstory for Kotetsushin
- Transformation Name Announcement
- Tsundere: Tsubaki from Koutetsushin is a Type B
- Two Guys and a Girl: Kenji, Kyo, and Tsubaki in Kotetsushin
- Wham Episode: Episode 10 of Kotetsushin; Tsubaki gets possessed by Himika, who then extracts both Bronze Bells, Kyo reveals he (and the Jama Empire as well) is not only an alien, but also Kenji's uncle AND reveals that Kenji himself is half-alien, Tsubaki descends from a clan of priestesses that have protected Kyo's bloodline, and Build Base gets destroyed. To top it off, Kyo sacrifices himself so that everyone can escape.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Miwa as she grows into a graceful and serene Miko and later The Captain who is very into the whole "core of steel" thing.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kyo in Kotetsushin