Reviews: The Brave Express Might Gaine

There Is Fun To Be Had; You Just Have To Wait For It.

Let me tell you a story. One day, a boy who belongs to a family of billionaires is minding his own business when he sees his father die before his very eyes. The boy vows vengeance on the underworld that took his father away from him, and with the help of his loyal butler— wait a minute, are we talking about Brave Express Might Gaine or Batman?

Allusions to caped crusaders aside, Might Gaine is a show that stands on its' own, even if it doesn't seem so at first. Might Gaine is a Super Robot show in the classic mold, the same as the rest of its' brethren in the Brave Series, where steel juggernauts perform cool poses and combine into even larger steel juggernauts before performing a flashy super move, all while spouting passionate quips about love and justice. And we love it for that.

That's not to say it's instant awesome straight out of the gate. At first, the show kind of just... exists. The characters are likeable enough, and the action's alright, but for a show from 1993, there isn't much there. Joe (the rival,) helps spice things up, but it isn't until around Episode 17 that you start to get invested in the series. Suddenly, the characters start getting more development, the stakes become higher, the action gets more intense, and the show gets an actual plot. From here on, the show keeps getting better and better straight up until the climax, where it becomes a tour-de-force.

That's not to say the show's perfect. It Gets Better aside, the biggest problem with the show is that it doesn't always develop its' characters that well. The robots are the biggest offenders, because despite having actual personalities, we still don't really know much about them, so we never really care about them. And while Might (the hero and protagonist,) is a likeable, charismatic character that we want to follow, he doesn't really get much growth or change over the course of the series, remaining the same from start to finish. If this were the 70's, the hey-day of Super Robots, this would be one thing, but this was 1993. But again, this is made up for by Might being such a likeable character from the get-go, so it's not a big deal.

It's also surprisingly kind of circumvented by going the route of Batman TAS and putting the focus on the villains. Joe (the Rival) and Wolfgang (the Mad Scientist,) all get a lot of focus and development by the end, and some of the others still have their moments. It takes what might otherwise have been shallow 1-dimensional baddies and humanizes them, turning them into characters we kind of want to root for. So even if the hero doesn't grow or change, the villains do.

Might Gaine ain't perfect. It takes a while to get going, doesn't always have a lot of substance, and it starts to wear thin around the 40 Ep mark. But it makes up for it all with everything mentioned above and just being fun. In a number of ways, the Brave Series is a predecessor to shows like Guren Lagann, and Might Gaine is no exception.
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