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Anime / Blue Comet SPT Layzner

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"I came from the planet Grados. My name is Eiji. The Earth is in danger."

Blue Comet SPT Layzner is an anime series produced by Sunrise between 1985 and 1986. Authored by Ryosuke Takahashi of Armored Trooper VOTOMS fame, it takes place in an alternate 1996 where humanity has advanced enough to travel to Mars and the Moon, and establish settlements there. However, the Cold War is still going on, with ever-increasing tensions between United States of America and the Soviet Union, and the threat of a nuclear war looms on the horizon.

But soon, an unknown menace befalls humanity: on Mars, the members of an exchange program funded by the United Nations to promote peace and dialogue between nations find themselves trapped in a crossfire between four mysterious humanoid robots - three of which begin firing on the exchange program's base, killing almost all of the students. Only a few people survive, but they find themselves isolated on an inhospitable planet that has become a battlefield. And, as if this wasn't enough, the pilot of the fourth robot, who had been trying not to involve the civilians in the battle, actually presents himself to the survivors, introducing himself as Albatro Null, a.k.a., Eiji Asuka, and telling them that the Earth is being targeted for occupation by the far-away Grados Empire...

Although Americans were screwed out of an initial release for this Real Robot show (see Late Export for You), /m/subs has completed a full translation here, including a series of three OVAs whose third and last part corrects the original show's sudden conclusion. The entire series has since been re-licensed by Discotek Media.


  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Knuckle Shots are good against armored units because instead of attacking the mech, they're electromagnetized to directly attack mech systems.
  • Beta Couple: Eventually, David and Simone.
  • Betty and Veronica: Anna and Simone, for Eiji. Anna is the one he favors, as if the image above wasn't obvious.
  • BFG: The Buldy and the Dankov both come equipped with shoulder-mounted artillery pieces.
  • Big Applesauce: Almost the entirety of the Ru-Kain 1999 arc is set in New York City.
  • Blood Knight: Gosterro, and the rest of the Demon Death Squad as well.
    Gosterro: "You can't kill...but I love to!"
  • Combo Platter Powers: A V-Max Driver is the gift that keeps on giving:
    • A powerful sheathe of magnetic energy that renders the SPT immune to laser weapons and capable of obliterating any solid matter it touches.
    • Super-Speed so fast, the pilot needs to rely on his onboard computers to avoid crashing.
  • Commander Contrarian: David to Eiji, albeit for the very good reason of Eiji wanting no bloodshed whatsoever while David puts the survival of the Cosmic Culture Club as his #1 priority.
  • Darker and Edgier: Moreso than both of Ryosuke Takahashi's earlier works and that's an accomplishment!
  • Downer Beginning: See the grim description above? That's the first episode of the series.
  • Dude Magnet: Julia. It never works out for her, specially considering her "suitors"...
  • Eagleland: David Rutherford is a sympathetic Type 1 example, and the leader of the Resistance during the Ru-Kain 1999 arc. The Type 2s show up with the military in the Astrohawk II, and, more concerned with replicating Layzner in the name of the global power struggle with the USSR, refuse to listen to Eiji's warnings about the invasion until it's too late.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: How the OVA's finish. La Résistance wins and liberates Earth from the Gradosian oppressors, the team member believed to be The Quisling is a Fake Defector instead and plays a key role in the aforementioned victory, Julia unlocks the Seal of Grados and convinces Ru-Kain to lay down his arms and return to Grados with her so they can work for a peace that is still far of being obtained, and Eiji returns to his friends and specially to his girlfriend Anna so they can start rebuilding Earth and their own lives.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Anna goes from a Tomboyish Ponytail to a Motherly Side Plait (seen in the picture above). Simone cuts her already short hair even shorter and ditches the pink stripe. Roanne begins to slick his Messy Hair back when he becomes The Mole, and stops slicking it shortly before he returns to the others.)
  • Facial Markings: Gresco has a red lining around his left eye. Getey has a number of patchy tattoos all over his face.
  • Fake Defector: Roanne, who makes himself pass as The Quisling but is actually The Mole.
  • Fan Disservice: Seeing Eiji naked at some point of the first arc is incredibly unappealing because he's been forcibly stripped and thrown nude into a padded cell by mad scientists who intend to study him like an animal for his half-Gradosian, half-human heritage. It gets even worse when we get to see his gorgeous older sister Julia lose her clothing... at the hands of Gosterro, of all people, and in public.
  • Fantastic Caste System: In the Ru-Kain 1999 arc following the Gradosian conquest of Earth: humans are either voluntary collaborators with skills that allow them to serve as second-class citizens or destitute slaves that refused to betray humanity.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans & Gradosians, both ways. It's a major theme throughout the entire series.
  • Five-Token Band: The Cosmic Culture Club. Justified and Invoked due to specifically being gathered from different races.
    • Eiji: Japanese/Gradosian
    • David: American
    • Roanne: Swiss
    • Simone: English/French
  • Foil: Gosterro to Eiji.
  • Four Is Death: Fouron & The Demon Death Squad.
  • From Bad to Worse: The 2nd arc of the series starts off by informing you that Earth lost the battle against the Gradosian fleet, the Gradosians devastated the surface of the Earth with orbital bombardment and Eiji went missing afterwards and has not been seen in 3 years. The Gradosians now oppressively rule over Earth as tyrants, with humans either working as second-class collaborators or slaves. Then, Eiji returns...
  • Futuristic Pyramid: Gradosians use one as their base of operations in New York during the Ru-Kain 1999 arc.
  • Gainax Ending: Deliberately with the final TV episode, as the creators found their series Cut Short, and had to extensively rewrite the finale. The Hallmark 2000 OVA fixes it and says "Earn Your Happy Ending".
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Eiji/Null and Julia/Mille are the children of a Japanese astronaut and a Gradosian woman.
  • Honor Before Reason: Eiji refuses to kill even when, in earlier episodes, Rei has a kill-shot lined up on Gosterro, who has been picking off the various adults helping the Cosmic Culture Club one at a time.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Eiji and Anna, with him being at least One Head Taller and having to lean down very low to give the tiny Anna a hug or The Big Damn Kiss. Julia and Ru-Kain as well, if not more; she's rather normal in size, maybe a bit taller than usual, but he's THAT massive.
  • Human Aliens: The Gradosians. It's actually discussed early on by some of the cast. And then averted: They are human descendants of earthlings abducted to Grados by its original inhabitants who have since died out.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: They frequently refer to us by Fantastic Slurs like "apes" and "monkeys," and those who aren't as racist (like Gale), hold our Cold War-era global politics in horror, arguing that their invasion is justified by our inability to avoid destroying ourselves.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When it's revealed that Earthlings and Gradosians are in fact the exact same species and not just similar, Ru-Kain could have used this revelation to become more tolerant. Nope, it only fueled his superiority complex on a cultural scale, though Ru-Kain was always less of a racist and more of a cultural supremacist to begin with.
    • He did, in comparison to his previous attitude. Notice how he promotes Rowanne to his second-in-command (which allows him later to both survive and finish his own plans to help La Résistance) and grants Earthlings (supposedly) equal promotion opportunities to Gradosians right after that. And in the OVA, he ultimately follows Julia back to Grado, probably to actually work on his and the Gradosians's issues.
  • Ignored Expert: The Americans ignore Eiji's warnings of an alien invasion, imprisoning him and trying to replicate Layzner to tip the balance of the Cold War until it's too late.
  • Jerkass:
  • David at first, given how he blames Eiji for the death of his friend Juno, but he eventually gets over it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: David matures into this after his initial mistreatment of Eiji, and even ends up leading the Resistance in the "Ru-Kain 1999" arc.
  • Kick the Dog: Gosterro calling Eiji's bluff that he'll execute the wingman of Gosterro's that he captured and gleefully egging him on to go ahead and do it.
  • Large and in Charge: Gresco is seemingly rotund, but appears to have some muscle underneath the fat. His son Ru-Kain is a hulking giant with a bodybuilder physique. When Roanne gets a promotion from Ru-Kain himself towards the end, he seems to suddenly grow several inches, but this might be just Off-Model animation since the end of the OVA shows him "back" to his normal height, as he rejoins the group and they go greet the returning Eiji.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Layzner, and especially the Zakaal, Ru-Kain's personal golden SPT.
  • Made of Iron: After his upgrade, Gosterro. The translator jokes that there's probably a little cockroach in his family tree somewhere. That joke might also be a reference to his singularly undignified end shortly thereafter.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: The ENTIRE Demon Death Platoon, for various and sundry reasons.
  • Martial Pacifist: Eiji uses judo. Later on he seems to have ditched this, as he starts using tonfas in addition.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Gusten and Roberia, out of sheer disgust for Gosterro's actions.
  • Noble Bigot: Le Caine honestly subscribes to the idea of Gradosian superiority (and thus the right to rule) over Earthlings.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Averted: both the Cosmic Culture Club and the Gradosian Empire have a very real fear of the nuclear weapons possessed by the Americans and the Soviets, and a number of nukes go off on Mars as the secretive nature of the initial Gradosian invasion has the two nations at each other's throats.
  • Omniscient Morality License: The Grados super-computers have predicted that, in a few centuries, humanity will stop fighting amongst themselves and expand to the stars, posing a threat to Grados. The Gradosians have decided to destroy humanity in pre-emptive self-defense.
  • The Ophelia: Dr. Elizabeth loses her mind and becomes this, since she can barely reconcile her conscience with the fact that she has to build killing weapons. Thankfully, she recovers.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Invoked with Gresco who spends the entirety of the Ru-Kain 1999 arc ruling over the Grados-conquered Earth but doing nothing about the human rebellion. It's stated that he has effectively given in to his lust for power. His Anvilicious explanation of the nature of power (in the Hallmark 2000 OAV) indicates him as Necessarily Evil and/or The Unfettered.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: David is American and he's a blond.
  • Precap: The show does "on tonight's X..."... ''on the middle of the opening sequence (Before the chorus plays, see for yourself here (starting at 1:00 mark)).
  • The Quisling: Roanne. Turns out to be The Mole - he was passing along info to La Résistance, and his mean and jerkass facade was THAT good.
  • Real Robot Genre: Small mechs powered by (fairly) realistic technology and conventional weapons and handled by AI? Yup, real robots.
  • Shipper on Deck: David ships Anna/Eiji pretty clearly, double because he has feelings for Simone.
  • Smug Snake: Ru-Kain, but he can always back it up.
  • The Social Darwinist: Ru-Kain tends towards Type 5. Grados Empire as a whole is Type 2.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Ru-Kain//Le Cain/Le Caine/Lu Klyne? Gosterro/Gostello/Ghostello/Costello? Gale/Gail?
  • Stealth Pun: Layzner becomes the "Blue Comet" when it activates V-MAX. The V-MAX Super Charge used by the Zakaal is referred to as "Red Power". Making the Zakaal a...Red Comet?
  • Super Mode: V-MAX for the Layzner and the Zakaal.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Initially Fouron serves as this to Rei.
  • Technical Pacifist: Eiji doesn't want to kill anyone and deliberately tries to disable enemy SPTs rather than the kill the pilot outright. This has the side effect of forcing the Buldy and Baybull to fight the same way, as they use Layzner's combat data. However, his mech has an A.I. named Rei, and it frequently disobeys his commands to save his life.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Rei! Engage V-Max!
  • This Is a Drill: Manjuro's Gasshalan and Bohn's Eldarl, though the Eldarl's snake drills more closely resemble whips.
  • Time Skip: A rather sudden (and network-mandated) one starting with episode 26.
  • Token Good Teammate: Gale is the sole major full-blooded Gradosian character who isn't some combination of racist, sadistic, or just plain unpleasant right off the bat.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Gosterro's bloodlust, in the words of The Other Wiki, "forces him to take the lives of his own wingmen." Furthermore, three-quarters of the Demon Death Platoon either attempt to kill one another or succeed.
  • Unwilling Suspension: In the Ru-Kain arc, this happens to Anna and David among several others. For worse, they're hanged in front of a building that houses a mecha, and they're about to be executed in public. Eiji sweeps in and manages to rescues them.
  • Vichy Earth: Long story short: Eiji and company fail to get anyone to listen to them, and Earth is conquered by the Gradosians. Throughout the Ru-Kain 1999 arc, they brutally occupy the planet, complete with "collaborators" who sell out their race for privileges.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The students do not get along with each other at first, and even less with Eiji.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Gosterro, though not without certain side effects, most notably brainsplitting headaches.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Commander Gueler
  • You Are What You Hate: The Gradosians constantly insist that they are superior to Earthlings. Of course, it turns out that Earthlings & Gradosians are all-but-identical.