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Anime / Beyblade

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Beyblade (known as Explosive Shoot Beyblade in Japan), more specifically the original anime installment in the popular Merchandise-Driven Beyblade franchise focuses the trials and tribulations of the Bladebreakers, a team of Beybladers who all came from different backgrounds and countries. Most characters have a "bit beast" in their Beyblade, embodiments of legendary creatures like dragons and phoenixes that are able to control various elements. But just what is a Beyblade? Is it like those popular children's card games taken very seriously? Well, yes...

Beyblading, you see, is just spinning tops. But turned Up to Eleven. And Serious Business too, what with it being seen as an actual sporting competition, complete with its own governing body, the BBA (Beyblade Battle Association).

The first season focused on the Bladebreakers' rise to the top, starting from taking down an illicit Beygang of very dangerous tweenagers helmed by Kai to obtain "the ultimate Bit Beast that no one can beat" to taking on the world in many a Tournament Arc, often butting heads with the local bladers (but, much like many series of its kind, defeat almost always means friendship or begruding acceptance. The original Bladebreakers team consisted of: cocky but well-meaning kid Tyson (Takeo in Japan) with the dragon bit beast Dragoon, happy-go-lucky Max with the turtle Bit Beast Draciel, does-not-play-well-with-others Kai (yes, that one from the street gang) with the phoenix Bit Beast Dranzer, former member of the Chinese team the White Tigers Rei with the tiger Bit Beast Driger, and Bey information whiz kid Kenny (Manabu in Japan) who normally didn't fight. In the first two seasons of the English dub only, Kenny was given a Bit Beast named Dizzi trapped in his laptop, whose main services were to assist in exposition on the game and provide a healthy helping of sass. The final portion of this season featured the sudden appearance of the world domination seeking Big Bad, Boris and the Russian Beyblade team helmed by The Demolition Boys, who had some past connections with Kai.

Season 2 (V-Force) shifted gears, focusing on the conflict between the Bladebreakers and the Saint Shields, who reluctantly teamed up against an evil organization with their mind set on capturing the four sacred bit beasts: Dragoon, Draciel, Dranzer, and Driger. It introduced The Chick named Hilary (Hiromi in Japan), who really disliked Tyson. She later became an assistant to the team, not taking part in battles herself but assisting the rest in training and helping to hold things together. It also changed up the Beyblades to use Magnacores, magnets in the center that added a new dynamic. Unlike the first and third seasons, it only had one Tournament Arc at the end.

Indeed, Season 3 (G-Revolution) was a return to the Tournament Arc heavy format, with one major twist: the Bladebreakers were no longer together. Max and Ray went back to their old teams, and Kai, in a The Only One Allowed to Defeat You situation, defected to the Demolition Boys (renamed the Blitzkrieg Boys in the dub) so he could face Tyson. The teammates faced off against each other in the various tournaments, but ultimately became allies again for the final Tournament Arc of the series. It also introduced new characters such as Daichi Sumeragi & Boris's new Quirky Miniboss Squad (BEGA), who wrestled control of the entire sport of Beyblade from the BBA, and a whole new kind of Beyblade: the Heavy/Hard Metal System, which would serve as the basis for Metal Fight Beyblade. A new part was also introduced, the Engine Gear, a motor that gave the blades a spin boost in battle.

Note that the anime series was adapted from the manga. Changes were to be expected such as the length in battles (the manga featured a one-battle-only mode while the anime used the best-out-of-three rounds). Furthermore, in the manga, many of the members of other teams were actually lucky if their names were even mentioned while the anime fleshed them out a bit more (to the point of giving every single team member a bit beast and at least featuring them in one battle). Finally, G-Revolution included an original final arc, featuring the aforementioned BEGA squad, with new enemies. Said new characters are taken from characters that appeared on extra artwork pages of the manga.

Much like many other localized kid-oriented anime of the time, the English verision of Beyblade was given a number of changes including Western names for characters, Dizzi's entire existence, certain parts of the show that wouldn't fly when broadcast on U.S. TV, and for whatever reason, Tyson's grandpa frequently using jive talk and similar slang to unsuccessfully establish himself as "the cool Grandpa".

Years after both the manga and anime concluded, the franchise was revived again in a manga and later anime, Metal Fight Beyblade, which also ran for three seasons (known outside of Japan as the Metal Saga; Metal Fusion for the first season, Metal Masters for the second season, and Metal Fury for the third). In 2012, a sequel series was announced, Beyblade Zero G, known as Beyblade: Shogun Steel outside of Japan. Both Metal Fight and Shogun Steel are set in an Alternate Continuity from the original series, though the occasional visual reference to OG Beyblade is made here and there.

The latest anime, Beyblade Burst premiered in spring 2016, seemingly still unconnected to the OG Beyblade anime and manga.

On July 2017, A manga called "Explosive Shoot Beyblade: Rising" was created. Made to celebrate Beyblade's 15th anniversary it tells a new storyline starring the Beybreakers and uses the Burst system Beyblades. It is written by Takao Aoki, the author of the original manga.

Now has a subpage for the tabletop game.

Beyblade contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Warehouse: The hideouts of the Blade Sharks (Shell Killers in the original) in Season 1 and the Saint Shields in Season 2.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Some characters in the manga were lucky to even have names. The anime went on giving every single team its own set of bit beasts and at least one on-screen battle. Some even got to be a major point in each Tournament arc.
    • The dubbed version adds a completely original character: Dizzi as Kenny's talking Bit Beast trapped inside his computer. The two bey-battle commentators Brad Best and AJ Topper are also exclusive to the dub.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Played both Straight and Averted from time to time
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
    • The English dub (and international dubs based on it) has a different opening theme song. "LET'S BEYBLADE!".
    • The Italian dub used the original Japanese version as the basis for translation thus retains the original BGM however still uses an original theme song.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The bit-beasts, barring Dragoon, Driger (male), Wolborg and Galux (female). Doesn't matter what the American dub claims (which refers to all bit-beasts as male). This causes an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole as the dub exclusive bit-beast character Dizzi is referred to as a female along with the fact she clearly has a female voice. (Though she does state she was always different from other Bit-beasts at one point)
  • Americans Hate Tingle: In-Universe example: The Russians aren't big fans of the All Starz.
  • Amicably Divorced: Max's parents. It's made more obvious that his parents are actually separated in the manga, but the BSOD he goes into upon seeing Judy with the Allstars in the anime definitely suggests he hasn't seen her in a while.
  • Animal Battle Aura: This is how the bit-beasts are often portrayed during especially dramatic battle sequences. The beybladers themselves are also commonly portrayed with their respective bit-beasts as their battle aura.
  • Anime Chinese Girl: Ming-Ming, sometimes so much it hurts.
  • Artificial Human: Zeo turns out to be an android created by his own father.
  • Art Shifted Sequel: The animation style changed radically after the first season, becoming more streamlined and "cuter", to the point that all the main characters looked younger in V-Force despite being supposedly one year older. Fortunately, the Art Shift from V-Force to G-Revolution was more subtle, and the characters looked their age once again.
  • Babies Ever After: The last chapter of the manga. Also Honorary Uncle re. Makoto with Max and Kenny.
  • Back for the Finale: Almost every major character in the series makes some form of appearance in G-Revolution's finale.
  • Battle Tops: The premise of the show.
  • Big Bad: Boris Balkov for Season 1, Gideon for Season 2 initially until it's revealed that he takes orders from someone even higher: Dr Zagart And Brooklyn Masefield in Season 3.
  • Book Ends: Both the very first and very last episode of the anime end with Kai and Tyson about to face off.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Team Psykick, Barthez Battalion in the manga.
  • Can't Catch Up:
    • To put it simple, anyone without an incredibly rare Bit Beast has no chance against someone who does, regardless of skill. This line of thought reached its logical conclusion by the third series, by which time Bit Beasts had become as common as dirt.
    • An episode in Season 1's America arc had a subversion of this trope. Minor character Diego who didn't have a bit beast was in a match against Ray in the tournament and didn't do anything causing Ray to walk away saying "He isn't even doing anything" and assumed the match was already decided.Cue Diego's beyblade launching a surprise attack on Ray's and knocking it outta the stadium.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: The mayority of named characters are young, male and fit — and there are a lot of them.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In S1 episode 32, Ray finds a silver coin on the train the Bladebreakers are on. Later in the episode, he uses it to defeat a werewolf bit-beast.
  • The Chick: Hilary is the only female on the main team. She is more of a manager, however, and does't actually blade herself.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Andrew (Akira in the Japanese version) in season 1 who is set up as apparently a very important character (and Tyson's good friend) but largely disappears after a couple episodes. He appears again in episode 50 only to never be seen or heard from again for the rest of the series.
    • In the Season 1 and 2 of the dub, Kenny has a Bit Beast: Dizzi who is trapped inside his computer. She disappears in Season 3 with no explanation.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Tyson manages one against Brooklyn with the help of all the beybladers he befriended.
  • Conspicuous Cgi: Starting with the second season, Conspicuous Cgi was used for the appearance of the Beyblades.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Dark Bladers. They say they were turned into monsters after losing the the Majestics, but the only bad thing this really seems to do is make them sensitive to light (mostly sunlight, since they're seen in lit stadiums, but they're even outside during the day in the finale). On the plus, they seem to have some form of teleportation, have monster Bit Beats (the English version implied they didn't before the curse) that have few weaknesses, and clearly took some levels in Badass.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly, many of the characters in dub though most noticeably season 3.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Every beyblader or team that is defeated by the Blade Breakers is incorporated into their group of friends.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Bit-Beasts in G-Revolution. Despite being a major element to the Bey-battles in the previous two seasons, they're barely mentioned or featured in fight scenes in G-Revolution.
  • Disney Death:
    • There was a somewhat odd example near the end of season 1. Ray's bit-beast Driger apparently sacrifices itself in order to save Ray's life. According to Kai, while Driger was able to protect Ray from taking further damage from Falborg's wind attacks, the attack was too much for Driger, which caused it to disappear after the fight. Near the end of the season finale, it is shown that Driger has returned to Ray.
    • Similarly, in G-Rev, Dranzer's bit-chip shatters and you hear it cry and yet come the epilogue, here s/he is again. Then again, Dranzer is a phoenix, an animal depicted to be reborn from it's own ashes...
  • Distant Finale: The last chapter in the manga takes place several years into the future.
  • Eagleland: The All Starz.
  • '80s Hair: Looking at you, Kai.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Kai vs Sergei demonstrated this nicely in season 1. Not only did Kai lose, but he lost two consecutive rounds.
  • Elemental Powers: Water (Draciel), Wind (Dragoon), Fire (Dranzer), Earth (Strata Dragoon) and Lightning (Driger in G-Rev). Dragoon's named element in the show is Wood, but apparently Wind comes under the heading sometimes.
  • Empathic Plastic Toys: They're actually made of metal, in-universe. It's the official toys that are plastic, though some toys come with metal parts. Some of those quite heavy, and some comes with small pieces of a material that sparks on contact.
  • Evil Twin:
    • Black Dranzer, for Dranzer.
    • All the Cyber Bit-Beasts in V-Force certainly count.
    • Also in the movie, all the Dark bit-beasts.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The whole damn premise.
  • Fair-Play Villain: In G-Revolution, Kai forces Bryan and Spencer to simultaneously battle him, to ensure a fair fight against an exhausted Tyson straight after. Needless to say, Kai singlehandedly defeats them both before taking on Tyson.
  • Fingerless Gloves: While Tyson wears them since the beginning, in V-Force and G-Revolution it looks like they're required equipment for practicing Beyblade, as only very few characters don't wear them (or wear normal gloves) and some of them (like Max and Kenny) wear them only when fighting.
  • Follow the Leader: The dub team tried to match that of Franchise/Digimon: up-tempo battle tracks, a previously-on segment, and regular use of Enemy Scan.
  • The Four Gods: The protagonists' Bit Beasts. Specifically, Genbu (Draciel), Suzaku (Dranzer), Byakko (Driger) and Seiryuu (Dragoon). Daichi's Strata Dragoon is meant to be the fifth god, in Chinese mythlogy. Yellow and represents earth.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Kai (choleric), Ray (melancholic), Max (leukine), and Tyson (sanguine).
    • White Tigers: Kevin (choleric), Lee (melancholic), Gary (leukine), and Mariah (sanguine).
    • All Starz: Steven (choleric), Emily (melancholic), Eddie (leukine), and Michael (sanguine).
    • The Majestics: Johnny (choleric), Robert (melancholic), Oliver (leukine), and Enrique (sanguine).
    • Demolition Boys: Spencer (choleric), Tala (melancholic), Bryan (leukine), and Ian (sanguine).
  • Functional Magic: Device Magic primarily, but Theurgy and Wild Magic come into play.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Subverted. Always. Whatever damage the characters take is always cured in time for the next bey-battle. There was that one time Ray twisted his ankle, but it didn't matter anyway, because he and Tyson were late and Kai fought his battle.
  • Good Is Dumb: Just about any person who fought the Bladebreakers and reformed is an example. The two most glaring ones are the Saint Shields, who were legitimate threats in their first appearances, and Tala, who fought Tyson for the World Championship at the end of the first season. Then he returned in Season 3, and was demoted to Kai's second banana.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Brooklyn, the final boss of Season 3, never practices because he has an abnormal level of natural talent. This is presented as a Bad Thing ... except you rarely see anyone else practising either. Most of the time, when someone needs to get stronger, they either get new equipment or a convenient Bit Beast upgrade. But whenever they do get new equipment, they have to train. That was how Hilary ended up joining the team!
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door:Kai changes teams on a regular basis — up to three times per season!
  • Heel–Face Turn: Just about everyone that the Bladebreakers fought ended up this way.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Kai after losing to Brooklyn.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: Kai after beating Brooklyn.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed:
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Kai on Lake Baikal. And Zeo vs. Tyson, Salima vs Ray.
  • Immune to Slapstick: Of the main cast, Kai (being The Stoic Anti-Hero of the team) rarely took part in comedic moments, usually acting as a bemused audience or leaving to do his own thing. Rei/Ray, though more jovial, usually only had a handful of cartoony moments per series as well.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: While the dub got most of the names that stayed the same right, one name they flubbed on was that of Ray's Bit-Beast, Driger, which was originally said as "Drai-ger", but was changed to "Drih-ger"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kai is as antisocial as they come, but in one episode he's willing to train a young blader.....if only it was so said blader could bring Tyson/Takao down a peg or two after his ego swelled liked a balloon.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Dr B. in the second season gets accidentally killed in a fit of insanity. The death itself is offscreen but the implication is clear.
    • In the original, Wyatt through a similar way, leading Kai to more angst
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Ray, who hair almost down to his ankles, and Garland. Several others count, but these two are the most magnificient examples.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Dr Zagart engineered practically everything the Bladebreakers had to go through through V-Force but it turns out they did it all just so that he could use the four Sacred Bit-Beasts make his android son into a real boy.
  • Letter Motif:
    • Dragoon, Dranzer, Draciel, Driger. Also evident in the White Tiger team - Galeon, Galzy, Galman, Galux - and the All Starz team: Trygle, Trypio, Tryhorn, Trygator.
    • The Demolition Boys had this for the second syllable: Wolborg, Seaborg, Falborg, Wyborg
    • Keeping the list strong with the Majestics: Griffolyon, Salamalyon, Amphylyon and Unicolyon
  • Lighter and Softer: Just like the new saga "Beyblade Burst"
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Everyone, all the time, though sometimes you'd see people in their nightwear. Ming-Ming is an exception. Hilary and Hiro also displayed a few different outfits throughout G-Revolution.
    • Also if you count different seasons, each main character had at least 3 outfits and most returning characters had 2.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Every Beyblade team consists of at least four members, and there are enough teams to warrant three tournament arcs in the series. Thanks to Adaption Expansion, many of them also get more spotlight compared to the Manga.
  • Loophole Abuse:
  • Merchandise-Driven: Read more about the toys here.
  • The Movie: Beyblade: The Movie - Fierce Battle
  • Multinational Team: The Majestics, from Europe, have Robert (German), Johnny (British), Oliver (French) and Enrique (Italian). The Barthez Battalion might also be this, considering the members have names of different origins, but no specific nationalities are stated.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Gee, how do we make a show about spinning tops interesting? By giving them a mind of their own, it would seem.
  • My Little Panzer: There are some things Beyblades can do in the anime that would never allow them to be approved for child, or even general public, use. Even disregarding the bit beast, some of the components used in them can cause some serious damage, with one person even firing their Beyblade at another like a gun. Obviously, this is all really toned down in Real Life... But that said, it's generally a good idea to make sure the components for them are on tight, and it's not a particularly wise idea to stand close to the arena...
  • Official Couple: Ray and Mariah at the end of the manga.
  • Off-Model: Anyone even only half-paying attention to the show can catch the numerous amounts of animation errors. Mostly rampant in season 1, with the animators tending to draw the wrong Beyblade in a certain scene. Seasons 2 and 3 have their fair share of this too, though.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kai has this attitude towards Tyson. Not only does he join several rival teams over the course of the series, he also makes sure to always be the one who takes on Tyson and that Tyson is in the best possible shape for their duel.
  • Parental Abandonment: When it comes to the main characters, Tyson's mother is dead, and his father is away most of the time because of his job. Kai is in a similar situation, but has it worse than Tyson. Max's parents are divorced, he lives with his father, but he does have a good relationship with both parents. As for Ray, his parents never appear and we never really hear anything about them. So, we don't really know anything about his family situation.
  • Put on a Bus: The Saint Shields and Team Kane. Both of them comeback eventually.
  • Recap Episode: Season 1's Episode 29, where Kenny recaps everything that has happened from the moment he meets Tyson until the end of the American tournament.
  • Replacement Goldfish ( Zeo/Leon in the manga)
  • Science Is Bad: Boris is Why We Can't Have Nice Things.
  • Serious Business: This series is up there with Yu-Gi-Oh! in terms of inanity. Apparently, if you want to take over the world, you have to do it with spinning tops. As seen in G-Revolution, Beyblade is recognized as an official sport. Lampshaded by Brooklyn to Kai, who on several occasions made remarks about how serious Kai was about the game. Also lampshaded in the German Beyblade opening, were a line in the lyrics essentially is "The whole world revolves around Beyblade". This aspect of the series is actually justified. At one point you do see Kai's beyblade chop down about 6 trees in one go and in another situation, he demolishes 4 brick pillars so you can probably imagine what it'd do to a human. Several of the blades contain powerful bit-beasts trapped inside them and are covered in very sharp metal spikes, so they're much more dangerous than simple kids tops. Not all blades however contain bit-beasts.
  • Ship Tease: The entirety of the 16th episode of the first season was this for Ray and Mariah.
  • Shoe Phone: As the series goes on, it introduces more and more ludicrous ways to launch a Beyblade. Hell, halfway through the first season, we see the All Starz using various Sports-like applications to launch. Including a baseball (which splits apart) and one on a tennis racket. That last one actually makes sense given the dubious physics used, all of which were thrown out the window for the second half of G-Revolution in favour of pure awesome.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Tala. Why.
  • Sixth Ranger: Daichi is introduced in G-Revolution.
  • Slasher Smile: Kai in G-Rev, with the Hellish Pupils and the Power Glows and the definite, definite not-smiling-really. Generally followed by some superhuman Crowning Moment of Awesome. Also Brooklyn, accompanied by the Glowing Eyes of Doom and followed by a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum.
  • Snap Back:
    • Any and all Character Development Tyson went through in the 1st season was completely disregarded in seasons 2 and 3, which had him acting like even more of a Hot-Blooded brat than when season 1 started, and even back then he was much more mature.
    • White Tigers and Blitzkreig Boys from season 1 to season 3. Oh, and the Majestics. And Kai between V-Force and G-Rev, to the point where it's insanely hard to rationalise. And Ray, omigod Ray. Goes from usually awesome, polite, pretty sane really, to muscle-bound meanie obsessed with winning.
    • Kai's behavior in G Revolution is mostly him not speaking much, considering he did quite a bit of it in V-Force. Ray on the other hand was a new team leader and his new traits reflected it.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: After using the Cyber Bit-Beast Minami (Wyatt) perishes in the original however all this is cut from the dub and he is implied to have gone crazy instead. An obvious Bowdlerisation attempt however when you actually think about it, they made it more family unfriendly by giving him A Fate Worse Than Death.
  • The Spartan Way: Welcome to the Abbey, kids!
  • Stock Shout-Out: In original Japanese version of G-Revolution Episode 21, where Daichi loses a boxing match against a kanagroo, leading to a Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame of him slumped over on a stool with a smile. To complete the homage, even the credits begin to play, leading to Kyojyu and Hiromi (Kenny and Hilary) to interrupt them because it's too early.
  • Survivor Guilt: Kai after Wyatt's version-specific fate, in his battle with Goki.
  • Summon Magic: The Bit Beasts.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Kai after losing to Brooklyn. Complete with flappy cloak. Also Brooklyn after losing to Kai.
  • Tournament Arc: Most of the series, with the exception of a bulk of the second season.
  • Tragic Dream: Zeo's dream of becoming human. (Even if he had succeeded in capturing all four sacred bit-beasts there was no guarantee he'd be able to become a truly human) But by the finale he learns to accept himself as he is.
    Tyson: He set his goals a little too high, but when he realized he could never Become a Real Boy, he found out that, that wasn't the most important thing in life. You see if you're not happy with who you are, being something else won't make a difference.
  • Turn Coat: Kai is the king of this trope. Over three seasons, he switches sides a grand total of six times. He's allied with the Blade Sharks, the Bladebreakers, the Demolition Boys, the Bladebreakers again, then the Blitzkrieg Boys, then BEGA, then the G Revolutions [the Bladebreakers with another teammate]. Possible Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Warrior Therapist: It seems like this series is ripe with both kinds of this trope. Apparently, no matter how many battles you've won in the past, all it takes to get you doubting yourself is a well-timed comment.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Most of the beybladers working for Team Psykick have Punny names relating to their bit-beast however it seems strange when you see instances where the kids have the name BEFORE they are given their bit-beast/beyblade. Some examples would be Foxy who uses a fox bit-beast, Nett who uses a spider bit-beast, Snakey, Bat, Chameleon, the list goes on...
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: This from Kai's second battle against Brooklyn:
    Kai. That's my name. And I'm a Beyblader. And you might think you are but you're not. You learned from the best but you forgot a very important lesson. Beyblading isn't just about overpowering your opponent with fancy moves. That's only part of the game. There's more to it than that. Much more. That's why I have something you don't.I have learned from every battle I fought. Every friend, enemy and spectator always had something to offer me. And I'm a student to this game. And I always will be. With the hardships of training, competitions, the wins and the losses, they all taught me something. And I've taken that knowledge and used it to my advantage. That's why I can say, that I'm a true beyblader. That's what keeps me going. And that's my strength. I don't think you ever will(understand). Because you're not a true beyblader. You have the power and the skill but something is missing from inside you. You don't have the beyblading spirit! That's why I have to win this battle! Because beyblading means more to me than you could ever understand! IT'S NOT JUST A GAME TO ME! NOW FINISH HIM OFF DRANZER!"
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Tyson and Kai both have blue hair. Mariah from the White Tigers team has pink hair, also from the White Tigers team there's Kevin who has green hair. Oliver from the Majestics also has green hair, from the same team there's Robert who has purple hair...