Video Game: Danball Senki
is an PlayStation Portable
RPG developed by Level-5
. Players assume the role of Ban, a young boy who is a fan of LBX, or Little Battler eXperience, a line of toys which are equal parts model kit and fully functioning robot. They are most commonly used to battle each other in miniature diorama arenas. One day, he is approached out of the blue by a mysterious female scientist who hands him an attache case containing a prototype LBX called "AX-00", which the scientist claims is "the key to saving the world". Unbeknownst to Ban, however, is the fact that the model is wanted by a mysterious group, and he soon finds himself being hunted by the group's masked agents.
An Updated Re-release
titled Danball Senki Boost
was released in 2011, followed by a further-updated Nintendo 3DS
port titled Danball Senki Baku Boost
The sequel, Danball Senki W
, came for PSP and Play Station Vita
in 2012. A Nintendo 3DS Updated Re-release
has been announced, titled Danball Senki W Super Custom
and scheduled for a July 2013 release.
The anime adaptation
already finished its run, as well the anime adaptation of Danball Senki W
A second sequel, titled Danball Senki Wars
, has been announced for the Nintendo 3DS. The anime adaptation of Wars
already began in April 2013.
This series contains examples of:
- Ace Custom: The norm for good players. Also LBX producers hire test players, for whom special models are produced.
- Action Girl: Ami.
- All There in the Manual: The toyline and add-on sets actually, for nearly every Named Weapon.
- Ambiguously Brown: Ryu.
- Anime Hair: In fine Level-5 tradition.
- Anime of the Game
- Although, for both Danball Senki and Danball Senki W, the anime came out before the game. It's been similar for Inazuma Eleven, where only the first game came out before its anime.
- Arc Words: "Sekai o sukuu no kagi"/"The key to saving the world."
- Awesomeness by Analysis: An important quality of good LBX players. Ami, Ban, and Jin are prominent examples.
- Bare Your Midriff: Saki.
- A Boy and His LBX
- Bratty Half-Pint: The defending champion of Akihabara Kingdom. He's five, and already The Chessmaster.
- Calling Your Attacks: By both the players and the remote controls.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In the last episode of the first season, we see flashbacks of Lex as a child with his younger sister. Let's just say she becomes very important in W.
- W has Kojou Asuka mention that her LBX Vampire Cat was built by her brother Takeru, who only appears onscreen in Wars.
- Chekhov's Skill: Ban can do kung fu kicks with the AX-00 frame if disarmed. This is precisely how he gets through the first round at Artemis.
- Cleavage Window: The female member of the Terrible Trio. And invoked later on with a Ridiculously Human Robot... which cracks open to store the Metanus GX CPU.
- Coat, Hat, Mask: The agents.
- Combining Mecha: Otacross' ZX LBXs unite to form the Perfect ZX3.
- In Danball Senki W, after the first fight with Dr. Mummy's gigantic (compared to an LBX) anti-LBX "Killerdroid" called Wyvern, Prof. Yamano modifies Perseus, Elysion and Minerva, enabling them to combine into the anti-Killerdroid "Super LBX" Sigma Orbis.
- Conspicuous CG: The LBX battles in the anime are rendered with 3D models, while the characters are in 2D.
- Defeat Means Friendship: How Ban gains some of his most powerful allies, most noticeably Kaidou Jin.
- Disappeared Dad: Ban's father supposedly died in an airplane crash, but he is actually alive and being forced to work for the Innovators (not those ones), the group that wants Ban's AX-00.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The first time they use Odin involves having to send it well outside the handphone controllers' range, but Tiny Orbit has created the Sparkbload, a powerful system that can control an LBX miles away. It basically resembles a cockpit simulator. They even launch Odin on a runway!
- In Danball Senki W, our heroes head to "A Country" (not that one), which is totally not Eagleland. And the city they land in is called N City, and not like that other city starting with an N at all. Well, they do head off to China and Egypt later, but they touch down in Shang Pao and Cairu. Nothing to do with Shanghai and Cairo at ALL.
- In Danball Senki Wars, LBX training academies send the kids on training missions also known as "War Time", with fictional nations named Jennock and Rossius. It's like they're not even trying by now.
- Enemy Mine: During the final of Artemis, Jin asked for Ban's help to save Haibara Yuuya.
- In Wars, Rossius takes a big enough hit that its soldiers are reduced to political refugees, forcing Houjou Muraku's squad to join Jenock.
- Evil Knockoff: Jin's LBX The Emperor to Ban's LBX Achilles.
- Expressive Mask: The Terrible Trio seem to have them.
- Expy: Don't let anyone tell you that Ban doesn't remind them of Endou.
- Exty Years from Now: The anime takes place in 2050. Danball Senki Wars begins another 6 years after that, enough time to change the world order.
- Eye Catch: Somewhat inconsistent as they switch from a closeup of Achilles in the dark to a shot of Ban and Odin together, in a well-lit backdrop instead.
- Fake Crossover: Ban teams up with Endou to promote both their shows.
- If you look closely you can see a Professor Layton poster on one of the buildings in one of the commercials.
- Feelies: The PSP game actually comes with an actual LBX model, made by Bandai.
- Level-5 are going all out, producing not only a model line, but an anime and a manga to go along with the game.
- Fighting Your Friend: In the first anime, Ban with Sendou Daiki and Hanzo Gouda is pitted against Kazu and Ami, with Jin making up their number.
- Ban's and Hiro's teams are in the same Artemis preliminary group in W.
- Finishing Move: All LBXs have at least one, called an Attack Function, though the characters themselves call them "Hissatsu Functions."
- First Name Basis: For the kids and even some of the adults.
- Flight, Strength, Heart: The Otarangers boast that they have the powers of love, courage, and... curry.
- Friendly Sniper: Most prominently Kazu's LBX.
- And of course, if you decide to give anyone else on your team's LBX a sniper rifle in the game.
- Full-Name Basis: Opponents like to call each other with full names.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: The Akihabara Hacker Corps, Yagami and his subordinates, and later Jin showed up to help with the siege at Tiny Orbit.
- In W we get two seasons' worth of characters returning for the final battle.
- Heel-Face Turn: Most opponents become allies later. Jin and Yagami are the most prominent ones since they originally work for the Innovators.
- Hollywood Hacking
- Hover Mecha: LBX Queen, belonging to the token chick of Hanzou's posse.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: An LBX, which is essentially a six inch tall toy robot, can be tuned to perform an assassination when the target is several blocks away through a glass building.
- Lightning Bruiser: Ban and Jin use this type of LBX. Especially when they get Odin and Zenon.
- W adds the Perseus, Minerva, the improbable Vampire Cat and several others.
- Limited Wardrobe: A character wears the same outfit throughout the series.
- Load-Bearing Boss: The defeat of Mizel Olegion in W causes the warheads in his flying fortress to start counting down.
- Invoked in Wars when the damage to the Second World structure that sends Seredy Kreisler into the drink also causes Second World to crumble.
- MacGuffin: Ban's AX-00. Its core skeleton contains a mysterious item called the "Platinum Capsule", inside which is contained data on how to create a device called the "Eternal Cycler" that could theoretically produce infinite energy. Naturally, the Innovators getting their hands on it would be a very bad thing.
- Wars has the Parasite Keys, a secret code in three parts to enter what could be considered the administration level of Second World.
- The Man Behind the Man: Lex assassinates Kaidou Yoshimitsu and replaces him with an android.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: All main characters get one, or two in Kazu's case.
- Ban technically gets two as well, if you count AX-00. And in the game's re-release, Boost, he also gets Epsilon.
- Wars expands on this by passing the older Ace Customs to other squad captains, eventually upgrading the whole platoon.
- Million Mook March: Actually just 25,000 LBXs, in the siege of Tiny Orbit.
- W repeats this feat in the siege of our heroes' home base alleged to be Detector's base by the government, and masterminded by Omega Dyne.
- Mood Whiplash: Two instances: after Ban's victory in the Artemis final, and after the successful defense against the siege of Tiny Orbit.
- My Little Panzer: LBX definitely won't be approved as children's toys in the real world (not with live ammo, anywaynote ). Lampshaded in the series when it's stated that LBX toys have been banned for sale in the past until the creation of fortified cardboard due to injuries and other accidents.
- Never Trust an Opening: The game's opening movie shows what seems to be a relatively light-hearted, standard Real Robot anime... until the very end, where you see that the robots that you've assumed are several feet tall are actually around six inches tall.
- All those people in the shadows seen in the first opening of W? They never appear!
- Ninja Maid: The theme of the LBX used by Akihabara's Hacker Corps.
- Opening Narration:
"The year is 2046. The invention of fortified cardboard material, able to withstand any shock and retain its shape, would revolutionise the shipping industry - but the humble cardboard box itself would see a new use, as an arena for the children's battling hobby robots or LBXs. These battles would later be known as — Danball Senki!"
- Otaku: Ban and co. first encounter one of them in Artemis, and then a whole group in Akihabara Tournament.
- The Power of Friendship
- Rapid-Fire Typing: On both computer keyboards and the cellphone-like remote controls.
- Reality Ensues: The premise involves the invention of the fortified cardboard, making your run-of-the-mill Mons battle possible by preventing real injury to children.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Not an LBX, but a model intended to show off the Metanus GX CPU, with enough power to decrypt the Platinum Capsule. Counts as Foreshadowing, as a different one replaces Kaidou Yoshimitsu later.
- Rule of Three: All over the place. LBX players tend to wind up in 3-man teams, with Ban, Ami and Kazu the most prominent one. Danball Senki Wars has LBX academies which require 3 tournament victories to qualify for enrollment.
- Say My Name: Players call their LBX's names when deploying them.
- Serial Escalation: What the LBX can do just gets crazier as the series progresses, repeatedly breaking in-series technological limits.
- Serious Business: The LBX toys, apparently. The business is SO serious that at one point Ban and his friends are asked by the brother of the CEO of a major LBX manufacturer to help him stop an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister of Japan, which is ALSO being carried out by an LBX.
- Political assassinations are carried out by someone called Jackal.
- LBXs Titan and Ortega resemble the Turn A Gundam (and having tank treads references the Guntank) and Pyramid Head respectively.
- LBX Odin's Finishing Move, Gungnir. Not only is it the right name for the Norse god's weapon, but it involves pulling its Battle Aura into the shape of a drill, which grows longer, then wider, then charges into the enemy.
- By the last episode, LBX Odin, with a flight form and double beam javelin, gains a beam shield. All these items have appeared several times in the Gundam franchise.
- Otacross can craft his own Vocaloids.
- Just the name Danball Senki W. If that's not enough, there's a W logo that mimics the Kamen Rider one, two colors down the middle and everything.
- The Seekers employ a new handler for the kids, who calls himself Cobra. Speaking of which, our heroes' group is absorbed into a larger organisation called NICS.
- Hiro psyches himself up in an early battle by visualising the LBX Invit as a kaijin from Senshiman... which looked suspiciously like the Molech Imagin. But TOTALLY isn't.
- A runaway subway car in "N City" is slowed down with spiderwebs.
- #25 is overflowing with these as we enter not-Akihabara. There's a Shin Getter on a shelf, and we see a cosplayer dressed as a purple recolor of Ryo. There's also this girl who writes in a "Never-Forgive-You-Notebook", read in Japanese as "Yurusenai-desu Note." And what looks like Ojamajo Doremi costumes — on big hairy men.
- The Paradise satellite is controlled by twin AIs named Adam and Eve, which show up as floating 3D geometric shapes.
- The kids get color-coded flight suits when they head up to space, looking like something out of Gundam 00.
- One of Achilles D9's attack functions, the Sword Bits, shares the same name and function with 00 Qan[T]'s Attack Drone weapons.
- Wars has a Terrible Trio doing a Combination Attack that basically screams Jet Stream Attack.
- The Jenock girls platoon does an Angels Pose in #18, backlit and everything.
- Single-Stroke Battle: After warming up on taking out the first Terrible Trio Deqoo, Ban does this to the remaining two.
- Spiritual Successor: To Medabots. Or Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer
- Stalker with a Crush: Mika is often seen following Gouda and/or taking pictures of him.
- Super Mode: Done via Pallete Swap into chromed or clear colors for the most part.
- V-mode for Achilles, Extreme Mode for Odin, and Alternative Mode for Zenon. Also, there's Psycho Scanning Mode for Judge, Seraphic Mode for Lucifer and Inferno Mode for Ifreet.
- In W, we have Knight Mode for Elysion, Burning Mode for Minerva, and Strike Mode for Perseus. Additionally, we have Demonic Mode for Achilles Deed and Giga Voltaic Mode for Zeus. And the O-Legion has his choice of several existing ones.
- Wars has a more straightforward one with the Dot Blastriser, which actually unfolds and sprouts blades.
- Talk to the Fist: How Jin wins some of his battles in Akihabara Kingdom.
- Theme Naming: Most of the prominent LBXs are named after figures in mythology, mostly Greek.
- Tournament Arc: Three of them in the first season. Ban has to win them to access various information and plot coupons.
- Toyless Toyline Character: Not all the LBXs make it into the model kit line, but they lampshade it by having some familiar looking weapons (Gekkoumaru's sword and Perfect ZX-3's combo weapon) in weapon add-on sets. Yagami Eiji's LBX General gets delayed to being released with the W toyline despite getting a couple of scenes in season 1.
- Wave Motion Gun: Often functions as Finishing Move. Hakaioh even has one built into its chest and Hakaioh Zettou has two.
- Wise Beyond Their Years
- Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Riko and Hanzou.
- Younger Than They Look: Gouda and Sendou are jr. high schoolers.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: When Ban together with Ami and Kazu first tries to rescue Professor Yamano, the bad guys simply move the target to a new location.
Tropes in Danball Senki W:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Adam and Eve AIs in W. After the real bad guys go down, they realize they're next and seize control of the Kill Sat. Even worse, after they're taken down they leave a 'child' behind, Mizel.
- All Your Powers Combined: The LBX Olegion in W has Achilles, Odin, Hakai-Oh and Hunter's finishing moves. Mizel Olegion can go into the same super modes that Elysion, Perseus and Minerva have.
- Anime Accent Absence: Foreigners speak perfect Japanese in W.
- Bait and Switch: W #36. You fully expect the Elysion and Perseus to go down with the Suicide Bomber LBXs, especially with the debut of Ban and Hiro's new mechs around the corner. Instead, Kaidou Jin and Haibara Yuuya sweep in for the save.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Inverted in W. The Odin is taken over by Mizel, forcing our heroes to fight it.
- Crazy-Prepared: The assassination plot in W. After the main signal router LBX is destroyed by Ban and Hiro, it turns out there is yet another back up one. Also the assassin avoids being found by putting dummy signal transmitters all over the stadium where he's working.
- Disney Death: Seems to be headed this way with Lex and Dr. Mummy, but is ultimately subverted when it is revealed that Dr. Mummy's true identity was his sister Hiyama Mami all along.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The Icarus Zero and Icarus Force appear in teasers for the Crossover movie with Inazuma Eleven, well before their in-show debut. Once the movie starts screening, new teasers with Odin MK2 and Achilles D9 come out.
- Equippable Ally: LBX Icarus Zero and Icarus Force.
- Evolving Credits: Done with the third OP of W to add Heel-Face Turn Kirito, Mizel and his Humongous Mecha.
- Grand Theft Prototype: The primary plot device for W. Achilles Deed and the O-Legion in particular.
- Hover Board: Riding Saucers, which don't resemble saucers.
- Keystone Army: Taking down Mizel also downs the Vectors.
- Nerf: In Danball Senki W, the Super Modes that you can give your LBXes in the form of Mode Chips are greatly nerfed from the first game; each super mode only gives one stat buff or special ability while it's active.
- No Social Skills: W has one-shot character Gojou, who has to input his words into his LBX to make it Siri his speech for him. Turns out later on he's a Badass Baritone.
- Old Hero, New Pals: Advertised as thus from the first episode onward, with Hiro and Ran in the OP and everything, and apparently enforced with Kazu and Ami Put on a Bus, then finally subverted as The Bus Came Back with everyone.
- Ripped from the Headlines: The Man Behind the Man Alferd Gardyne's Start of Darkness was when his father, a top politician, protested the manipulation of the country's wealth by a mere handful of its population... were they by any chance the 1%?
- Sequel Goes Foreign: Danball Senki W sends Ban and our new heroes Hiro and Ran overseas, starting with... "A Country."
- Training from Hell: Invoked in W for Ban, Hiro and Ran, who would've breezed right through it... except they have to do it together, or redo from the top.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: The action tends to return to our heroes' home town despite going global in W. And it's renamed Tokio City here, which makes more sense when W leads up to a Tokyo Fireball.
- Train Job: W episode 12 has a maglev train heisted by a gang with custom Hakai-Oh LBXs.
- The Unmasqued World: The threat escalates to a level that Nothing Is the Same Anymore, laying the groundwork for the following season.
- Weaponised Exhaust: W #37. More of an ambushified exhaust, as Minerva Kai lures enemy LBXs around the back of the Duck Shuttle, where they are promptly fried.
- Wham Episode: Starting from #31 of W, we learn that Detector was really Yamano Junichiro in a massive Creator Backlash, Hiro's Missing Mom is found, our heroes THINK Dr. Mummy is really Lex Back from the Dead, and worst of all, The Man Behind the Man makes his move, killing the supposed Big Bad, the head of Omega Dyne, and is revealed to be The Starscream to the American president, using the name of Detector for a False Flag Operation!
- W #37. Dr Mummy was NOT Lex, but his sister Hiyama Mami the whole time.
- Whole Costume Reference: Save for the hair, doesn't Cobra remind you of Spike Spiegel?
Tropes in Danball Senki Wars:
- Action Prologue
- Aluminium Christmas Trees: The fact that Toujou Rikuya is getting special protection, not just for housing a MacGuffin in his LBX but for being the prime minister's son. Real Life countries with mandatory military service will sometimes allow a whole platoon an easier time if the sons of politicians are conjugated in them, earning the term "white horse platoon."
- Appropriated Appelation: Bandit is the rather appropriate name given to the unaligned platoon seemingly out to bring down all other platoons. Their real name? Ezeldarm.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Jenock Platoon Squad 4 has this covered.
- Breather Episode: #24. After busting out two new mechs and the threat of Bandit escalating, we get an episode about a Designated Girl Fight.
- The Butler Did It: Literally! Gendo's butler Ayabe was a mole for the bad guys the whole time!
- Call Back: All over the place, from the mention of Artemis, Sendou Daiki's sister and a book left behind by Yamano Junichiro to Kaidou Jin appearing in person.
- Child Soldiers: The children are being trained to battle in a simulation of the real world, complete with each country's resources reflected in each army's backing. The Reveal just formalises this.
- Darker and Edgier: In principle, if not appearance.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The title can translate as "Cardboard War Chronicles Wars." Let that sink in for a moment.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Sena Arata's first use of the Dot Blastriser G Ext Finishing Move can sink the ship they were meant to be boarding. Like, WHOA.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Kamui Daimon's underground training facility. Like Real Life military ones, each can be up to 10km wide.
- Let Me Get This Straight: #9 does this to clear up a Mistaken for Spies moment.
- Mecha Expansion Pack: The Dot Phoenix addon for Dot Blastriser.
- Meta Mecha: The Riding Armor add-on for LBXs.
- Military School: Prep school-looking establishments now train aspiring LBX players for full-blown combat.
- New Transfer Student: Arata and Hikaru from the beginning.
- 90% of Your Brain : Brought up as a plot point. The so-called Overload removes the ninety percent barrier and has the potential to cause brain damage with overuse.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The true nature of Second World. It has to be plugged into the brain of its own creator, Professor Mito.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: An almost literal version in #14 when Houjou Muraku and his squad are reassigned to a frozen wasteland after a bad mission. Then subverted as he gets Kicked Upstairs.
- Refuge in Audacity: Bandit, outed as the Ezeldarm platoon, which cannot be disbanded as Seredy Kreisler justifies their existence as an equivalent to subversive terrorist cells in the real world. Also he'd blow the secret of Second World worldwide if they did anything to him.
- Remember the New Guy: Thanks to a mandatory media blackout, nobody even brings up the massive World Savers terrorist group until #30.
- Retraux: The entire island housing Kamui Daimon Academy has been built in the style of '60s Japan, supposedly influenced by the period of national growth and development. Even the TVs are black and white, by god.
- Running Gag: Instructor Saruta walking into Jenock mission control whenever he wants, despite having no affiliation to any platoon.
- The Squad: Jenock Platoon consists of several 4-man teams.
- Theme Naming: Jenock Platoon Squad 2 has two guys named for Byakko (Taiga and Rinko), one guy named Seiryu and their leader, Gendo (for Genbu).
- Timed Mission: The entire premise of War Time, with the subversion that all units are merely frozen on time-out and Un Paused the next day. Even with War Time extended to 2 hours, this can still happen.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Two members of Jenock Squad 3 are still in the OP after being dropped from the team and replaced, TWICE.
- Wham Episode: #17-18. All those training missions are NOT preparing our heroes to protect the world, but actual Combat by Champion battles deciding real world politics. And Kaidou Jin is revealed to be fielding a platoon of his own, explaining the connection needed to get Kojou Asuka's brother involved.
- #30. Seredy Kreisler is not only really 90 years old, but he AND Gendo's butler Ayabe are with the World Savers terrorist group, aiming to crack open Second World and take the secrets to real world politics for themselves, all under the guise of freeing the Kamui Daimon students from the real world conspiracy.
- #33. Seredy Kreisler, seemingly defeated when they sink his flying fortress in Second World, mobilises troops in the real world to occupy the whole island.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After uniting the MacGuffin, Seredy Kreisler takes the LBX Phantom and destroys the Guruzeon.
- Zerg Rush: Used as an actual tactic in #25.