Anime: Overman King Gainer
aka: King Gainer
A 2002 anime series produced by Sunrise Studio, created by the legendary Director Yoshiyuki Tomino
of Mobile Suit Gundam
and with mecha designs by Akira Yasuda, better known as legendary Capcom
illustrator Akiman. The characters were designed by Kenichi Yoshida
and the head writer was Ichiro Okouchi
. This series can be considered a return to
the directorial approach seen in 1982 Xabungle
, where comedy is much more emphasized than his normal dramas (Translation:
Don't worry, Tomino doesn't kill everyone...or anyone, for that matter.)
After an environmental cataclysm, the humans went off to live in giant dome cities called Domeopoli to give the Earth time to recover. The domes are governed by London IMA, and are supplied by private firms like the Siberian Railroad company. Although the domes are nice enough places to live, people want to return to the homes of their ancestors - they believe the earth has healed enough to support habitation once more, and thus set out on massive pilgrimages known as Exodus. London IMA and the private firms attempt to stop them, refusing to lose their massive customer base.
A large population of one dome wants to go to Yapan, and so in preparation hire Exodus specialist Gain Bijou. As part of his plan Gain gets captured, meeting expert gamer "King Gainer" Sanga (the latter being arrested during class due to the two having similar names). Together they escape prison and find the Overman that Gainer names after his gamer title. They also kidnap Ana Medaiyu, the daughter of the dome's leader, Duke Medaiyu. Ana turns out to be a willing hostage, going with them to see the outside world along with her tutor Lioubov Smettana. As whole parts of the dome's city are pulled by huge Silhouette Mammoths, Gainer finds out that his friend Sara and teacher Mamado are a part of the Exodus, and he must protect them as they go to Yapan.
Sent to stop the Exodus are the members of Siberian Railroad (first lead by lovers Yassaba Jin and Adette Kistler) and later London IMA's Saint Reagan, represented by Asuham Boone. While the Siberian goons are simply doing their jobs, Asuham has a personal grudge against Gain, who left his sister heartbroken years before.
The series is also noteworthy for being made after Tomino recovered from his infamous Creator Breakdown
, the result being a lighthearted series that has remarkably little death (only around a dozen people die, most of them villains) compared to his previous Kill 'em All
Has nothing to do with that other sort of Overman
This program provides examples of:
- Ace Pilot: Gain, Gainer, and Cynthia.
- After the End: Most of humanity fled to out of the way places like Siberia, and Deserts to live in domes to allow Earth to heal.
- A Mech by Any Other Name: Two types: the relatively primitive Silhouette Machines and the almost biological Overmen.
- An Ice Person: Overfreeze grants this.
- Angst: Defied. It's noted that angsting over things, justified or no, is unproductive at best and running away from the issue at worst.
- Ascended Fanboy: Subverted by Gainer who wants nothing to do with fighting Giant Robots in real life, and Cynthia, who can't seem to tell the difference between games and reality for most of the series when she does learn the difference, it hits her hard.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Attack of the Overman-sized Overdevil-controlled Gainer!
- Badass: Gain Bijou.
- Base on Wheels: The city of Wulgusk is carried on a train of Silhouette Mammoths.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Asuham.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Gainer, Sara, Cynthia and Gauli, all under the Overdevil's control.
- Calling Your Attacks: Most Overskills are called. Hughes Gouli also does it whenever he uses Ninpou.
- The Casanova: Gain.
- Chainsaw Good: King Gainer's Chain Gun.
- Char Clone: Cynthia—Ace Pilot, (a fast) Red Mech, her online avatar is even blonde.
- See also Adette. She starts off as the first named enemy Gainer fights. She's blonde, dresses in red, and after her Heel-Face Turn acts as a mentor(literally teacher) and Cool Big Sis(if a somewhat immature one) to Gainer. And when she gets another mecha halfway through the series, she even paints it red.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: The Golem's Overskill.
- Chekhov's Gun: The King Gainer is an Overman sitting in Wulgusk's museum that was seemingly hijacked simply to assist in facilitating the Exodus. But later, it turns out that it's part of the Overdevil family of Overmen, and can utilize Overfreeze, the Overdevil's primary power.
- The Overman arm on Gain's Gotchko also counts. At first it just seems like an in-field modification to give Gain an advantage without actually having an Overman. Turns out, it used to be attached to Brunhilda, Early Meeya's Overman, and can utilize Brunhilda's gravity and light powers, making it key in defeating the Overdevil later on.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In the first episode, the audience is introduced to Cynthia Lane, Gainer's online rival and friend. It isn't until much later in the series that the audience learns that she's the Siberian Railway's ace pilot.
- Cool Big Sis: Adette, after her Heel-Face Turn.
- Dancing Theme: "King, King, King Gainer/Metal Overman King Gainer!" Everybody, do The Monkey with me!
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Asuham and Jaboli have their moments.
- Subverted in how completely and utterly useless and incompetent they usually are despite this, Jaboli even moreso than Asuham.
- Dirty Coward: Kashmir. One of his favourite sayings is "if I don't fight, I can't lose".
- Dual Wielding: The King Gainer starts using two Chain Guns starting in episode 24.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Overdevil.
- Everybody Lives: Aside from backstories, only two people die. Both of them bad guys, both of them non-sympathetic.
- Which is quite amazing once you realize who the director is.
- Also, a CRAPLOAD of poor mooks die over the series.
- Excuse Me While I Multi Task: Gainer, being pressured to multi-task, fights off a horde of Overmen controlled by the Overdevil in real-life and several enemies in his video games. AT THE SAME TIME.
- Expy: Sorta, many can consider the love triangle between Gainer, Cynthia and Sara to be a more developed form of the Jiron, Elchie, Rag triangle from Xabungle.
- Infact the whole SERIES can be considered Xabungle in Siberia, not that this is bad mind you.
- Sara has red hair, pilots a grunt mech alongside the hero, and is the hero's love interest. She and Sochie Heim should get together sometime.
- Fan Nickname: The Gainer's multiple tubes attached at the back of its head are enough for many people to call it the Dreadlock Mech.
- Forgot About the Mind Reader: Kashmir's Overman Planeta's Overskill. Gainer makes it backfire by simply telling him about what's on his mind most of all... Sara. The entire Exodus just so happens to hear it.
This gets played for greater laughs in Super Robot Wars Z, where Gainer is joined by Shinn Asuka (declaring his desire to protect peace and NOT his love of Lunamaria, to the latter's disappointment), Garrod Ran (declaring his love for Tiffa), Kei Katsuragi (declaring his love for ALL the female characters up to that point), Jiron Amos (declaring his love for...his favorite food, lizard stew), and the chosen protagonist (either Rand or Setsuko). And it works!
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Near the end of Episode 16, Gainer saves Adette Kissler's life. She helps him defeat the current Overman they were fighting, and at one point says that "at the end of this, we're having a long dinner." The next time we see the two, she's chasing him around the building to give him new clothes... and when he falls in the classroom she teaches in, she starts putting it on him. And not on top of his clothes either.
- Giant Robot Hands Save Lives
- Girlish Pigtails: Cynthia, of the "immaturity" type.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Gain takes on all comers in boxing matches during episode 4.
- And, later, gets the living piss
kicked punched out of him by Asuham.
- Gonk: A surprising number of secondary characters.
- The Gunslinger: Gain.
- Heel-Face Turn: Adette, Yassaba.
- Heroes Want Redheads: And Gainer wants Sara.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Asuham can best be described as inbetween Zechs Merquise and Gym Ghingnham.
- High-Speed Missile Dodge: King Gainer vs. Blackmail in episode 5.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: One of King Gainer's abilities. Y'know it's Chainsaw-Sword Gun? It can fit in King Gainer's pocket. Must be seen to be believed.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Gainer and Cynthia learned how to pilot by playing video games, and both improve by playing them.
- Only Gainer is a Last Starfighter, videogame jockey cum ace pilot. Cynthia has been trained and experienced real combat from childhood. Likewise, Gainer's progress and skill have a lot more to do with the series' completely unexplained mystic abilities (Oversense) and the fact that he pilots what is arguably the most versatile and powerfu Overman on the planet.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Gain. Justified in that he's a trained sniper with a lot of experience under his belt.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Hughes Gouli is a ninja in a futuristic mecha series set in Siberia.
- The model-only Overman XAN, which appeared in the SRW Z Special Disc, is essentially a Black-colored Ninja version of King Gainer.
- Jerk Ass: Kejinan of the Terrible Trio.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Adette, easily.
- Karma Houdini: Asuham gets away with relatively little for all the crap he's pulled..
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Asuham. The guy makes Lelouch Lamperouge look like an Aloof Big Brother!
- Also deconstructed in that Asuham's obsession is the cause of much distress and even danger for everybody around him.
- Large Ham: AsuHAM Boone.
- Latex Space Suit: Most notably Adette's suit.
- Man Child: Adette, as Gainer states at one point.
- Yasaba is a milder one. He can be competent and composed at times but is prone to crying fits.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Sara Kodama, we're looking at you!
- May-December Romance: Mamahd and Liubov.
- Mecha Expansion Pack: "Overcoats", which grant Overskills to their wearer.
- Manipulative Bastard: Kashmir, Asuham to an extent.
- Meganekko: Liubov, Jaboli.
- Motive Decay: Asuham's tactics increase in harshness, eventually deciding to freeze the entire world - all because Gain had a one night stand with his sister.
- To be fair, it's implied, if not outright stated that Gain (Charles) and Asuham's sister were engaged at one point, if not a serious couple. When Gain left London at a younger age to find himself, escape the oppressive society, and make a difference, he obviously intended to come back, but somewhere along the line he became a very jaded and different person.
- Even more to the point, Asuham's whole "for my sister's honor" thing is very obviously an excuse to cover for his crippling inferiority complex and jealousy of Gain's skills, freedom, etc. This is hammered home when his sister shows up at the end and reveals to the audience that she got over Gain ages ago(in the anime, she flat out says that wild guys like Gain are only good for one night). Finding out how useless he is in the grand scheme of things, and how pathetic affairs of the world have gotten (as well as the general loopiness of the series and atmosphere) kinda has him go more and more off the deep-end as the series progresses, from a somewhat suave Char-esque expy to a raving lunatic and omnicidal, Freudian-Excuse driven maniac.
- Ms. Fanservice: Adette.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Doing the Monkey with a Humongous Mecha, which gets transferred to SRW Z.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Cynthia's freakout when she finds out that This Is Reality and that smacking around King Gainer causes Gainer himself to actually get hurt.
- Platonic Life Partners: Gainer and Cynthia. In the manga, Gainer and Sara are this as well. For now.
- The Power of Love: How Adette breaks Gauli free from his brainwashing though this also then skirts into the Strangled by the Red String trope. Later cruelly subverted when Sara does the exact same thing with Gainer and fails to snap him out of Overfreeze. Illustrating how their relationship had been damaged towards the end of the series.
- It's not really the 'power of love' in Adette and Gauli's case, such as 'the power of a really hot chick kissing and coming on to you'. The power of lust, lets's call it. She seems to switch her somewhat shallow and obsessive crushes like a teenage girl...
- Punch Clock Villain: Many of the Siberian Railroad goons are just doing it for the paychecks; in particular Kajenin and Enge, who are obsessed with their rank and quest for a higher salary.
- Real Robot: Silhouette Engines.
- Rebellious Princess: Ana Medaiyu.
- Red Baron: Gain's nickname of the "Black Southern Cross", Gainer and Cynthia's online titles ("King" and "Queen", respectively).
- Robot Hair: King Gainer, the only mech with hair. It's even called "The Overman with hair" in-series.
- Shapeshifting: The primary gimmick of the Dominators.
- Shipper on Deck: Ana, for Gainer and Sara. Possibly Cynthia as well.
- Smug Snake: Kashmir, which makes his end by Gain's signature "Black Southern Cross" very satisfying.
- Super Robot: Overmen and the Overdevil.
- Super Robot Wars: Z/Z2 and K). Also Another Centurys Episode 3, R, and Portable.
- Terrible Trio: The Siberian Railway and/or Saint Reagan.
- Time Stands Still: Rushrod's Overskill.
- Weak, but Skilled: Gain doesn't have an Overman for most of the series as uses the practically Joke Character Gachiko for most of the series. However, his skills turn it into a Lethal Joke Character.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Cynthia wants to repay her adoptive parent, President Kids Munt, for having taken her in.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Leader Gauli gets called out by Gainer and Sara, and later punched by Gain, when it turns out he's the one who murdered Gainer's parents.
- This is kind of extended to the entire leadership of the Yapan's Ceiling Exodus, specifically the 5 Wisemen, a few times over the course of the series, and definitely at the end, by protagonists NOT a part of the upper echelons (Gainer, Gain, Ana, etc.). Even though they're relatively affable, and not all that corrupt, it's pointed ut that they can be manipulative bastards, who are generally pretty cowardly, and don't actually contribute all that much in terms of leadership, accomplishment, or effort to the Exodus and the community other than acting as figureheads (similar to the utterly useless, ditzy, current Meeya, who's basically a glorified pop-idol rather than a key religious figure) and managing mundane bureacratic matters.
- The Overdevil also pulls one of these on many of the main cast members whilst possessing/assimilating Gainer in the last episodes, pointing out many of their flaws, "sins", and "crimes" (some accurate, some made up to act as psychological attacks) using their friend's face to weaken their resolve and play up their guilt.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Gainer disguises himself as such when keeping tabs on Gain while the latter competes in a boxing tournament to make extra money for the Exodus Movement. He's actually really effective at it and is kinda pretty. What?
- Younger Than They Look: Per Word of God, Yassaba is only 32. Would you believe it by looking at him?