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Anime / Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu

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Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu is a Super Robot anime produced by Toei Animation. It loosely adapts the 1976 anime, Gaiking, retaining the names and appearances of the the titular Humongous Mecha, and throwing in little references to the original series, such as recurring character names.

Five years ago, Daiya Tsuwabuki and his father were attacked by an enormous monster while out on a fishing trip. During the attack, Daiya's father was lost at sea, and has been since pronounced legally dead. However, Daiya alone believes that his father is still alive. He believes this because he remembers the gigantic dragon of metal that defeated the monster.

Then, one day, another monster appears in the town. The giant metal dragon reappears, and a girl summons him to pilot the Giant of Fire, Gaiking. Defeating it, he learns that the land of Darius, hidden away inside the Earth's centre, is sending these creatures as an invasion force, and the metal dragon - known as Daiku Maryu - and its crew are La Résistance against this attack.

Together with Gaiking and Daiku Maryu and its crew, Daiya ventures into the land of Darius to defeat the evil army that threatens the very existence of his entire race.

Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu began on the 12th of November, 2005, and ran for 39 episodes. It has also featured in the Super Robot Wars games for the Nintendo DS, Super Robot Wars K and Super Robot Wars L. In January of 2011, Toei put up the entire series subtitled... poorly... on Hulu. People living in the United States can view it here. The show is also available on Crunchyroll, Crackle, and the U.S. Playstation Video Store.

Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Yanma, Hacho and Bubi trying to become more useful.
  • Ace Pilot: Puria Richardson and Lee Jenshin each pilot a Cool Plane, and are indispensible allies to Gaiking on the battlefield, helping him out of many stickiy situations.
  • Alternate Continuity / In Name Only: The only things the two shows share in common are the mecha (obviously including the Daikuu-Maryuu and Gaiking themselves), and Daiya's last name among other things (attacks, the way certain things in the series look i.e. Dvorak's face being the original Face Open with all the original attacks) Otherwise, the second series is a completely separate series that has no relation to the original.
  • Animation Bump: Any scene animated by Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masami Obari. As well as the second opening animation and episode 13 as a whole.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Flame. Everybody has it as an innate power, and so much of it is stored within the Hydroroot that it's used as a power source for every machine in the series.
  • Arc Words: Burn up!
  • Ascended Extra: Kain started out as one of Nouza's direct subordinates. Very, very quickly, all the other subordinates got killed off. Kain, however, sticks around and pretty much is the only reason Nouza got over his Heroic BSoD. Daiya's childhood friend also becomes very prominent in the last eight episodes.
    • Kain is also the only one of Nouza's lieutenants that actually makes it into Super Robot Wars K.
  • Ax-Crazy: After the Reveal Protist quickly shows herself to be full of rage and bloodlust just waiting to go off. However even when Protist is more lucid she shows a clear sadistic streak.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 7 sees the crew disembark to relax on a beach.
  • BFG: The Serpent support ship can dock with Gaiking's right arm to be a gun
  • Big Eater: Daiya comments off-handedly about lunch being the most mportant thing in the day.
  • Book Ends: Daiya's first and last battles both end with him using a point-blank Hydro Blazer while the show's theme plays.
    • A nice one for the Puncher Grind attack. When Daiya first uses it, he fires it off without warning, Wrong Genre Savvy in his belief that it'll return using propulsion and guidance like any other Rocket Punch. The first time he uses Giga Puncher Grind as Gaiking The Great, it misses Proist completely, who doesn't expect that it has Raiking's wind power and can thus fly through the air with ease (and hit her on the return trip)
  • Breather Episode: A whole lot of them take place after Proist becomes The Dragon.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • No reference is ever made to "Giant Robot", "Mecha", or "Super Robot" in-universe. The only term used is "Giant of Fire".
    • The Darius world version of the mosquito is called pelps. Daiya is especially sensitive to pelps bites.
  • Calling Your Attacks: It is a Super Robot show, after all.
  • Come Back Wrong: Though Protist was already batshit crazy. After she's brought back she losses what little sanity she had left.
  • The Cassandra: Daiya (see below at Cassandra Truth).
  • Cassandra Truth: At the start of the story, nobody believes Daiya about the monster he saw five years ago when his father was lost at sea.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the first episode, when Naoto grabs Daiya's Gridder, it burns. This seemingly is because enemies are approaching, or because the Daiku Maryu entered the human world again. The real reason turns out to be that Naoto has a flame JUST AS HOT as Daiya. This would come in handy later when Rongo is unable to pilot Daiku Maryu, as he is the only other person capable.
  • Chest Blaster: The Hydro Blazer and the Zaul Geyser.
  • Combining Mecha: Gaiking, Vulking, Raiking, and Gaiking the Great.
    • Gaiking can also combine with its three support bots (Stinger/Superior Stinger, Serpent, and the Crab Bunker) to form Sky, Buster, or Marine Gaiking, can combine with any number of them (namewise, a combination would be something like "Sky Buster Gaiking"), and can combine with all three to form Triple Gaiking. The Maryus also technically combine with their respective robot in that the robots chest is the "head" of the Maryu (except for Tenku-Maryu - Raiking's chest is on Tenku-Maryu's chest area as well). And finally, Superior Stinger can combine to form a second head for Daiku Maryu.
  • Coming of Age Story: Going hand-in-hand with the Down the Rabbit Hole setting. There's a strong theme about becoming independent from your parents; Garis requests that all the Daiku Maryu crew members are adults - not necessariily in terms of age, but in terms of responsibility, and Daiya has to make the step to part with his mother, not knowing if he'll be alive to see her again. Several characters' arcs involve growing independent from their parents, most notably Proist, who represents a negative aspect of independence - she emotionally depends on her father, and when she kills him accidentally, she loses what little sanity she had left in her grief.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The battle between Chou Maryuu Dvorak and Gaiking the Great. Proist doesn't even get a single hit in, and is not only badly beaten but horribly humiliated as well.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Subverted. Face Open appears to be this at first, but it's not forbidden, per se - they just hadn't installed the restraint mechanism to turn it off before Daiya collapsed from heat exhaustion. After this, it becomes a standard Super Mode.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: the black flame of the Darius is not inherently wrong or evil, although Proist's was potent enough to kill her father without even noticing
  • Darker and Edgier: It always is a blend of dark and light, and that never really leaves, but in the late 20s (Episode 27 comes to mind) it starts darkening quite a bit.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Face Open at first. During his first time using it, Daiya had no way of turning it off and was exhausted of all possible strength. It wasn't until later that an emergency shut-off was installed.
  • Designated Hero: Double-subverted in-universe. Daiya finds out fairly quickly that the people on Darius view the Daikuu Maryuu as invaders and he has to face the fact that technically they are the bad guys. And then we find out they're just helping out a pre-existing rebellion that got started by inhabitants of Darius anyways and the Darius Empire isn't as noble as the citizens think.
  • Distant Finale: One that combines with the Here We Go Again! ending.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: An unusual example given that, instead of a single child, as in the Trope Namer Alice in Wonderland, or a group of kids, as in Digimon Adventure, a full La Résistance fly down the rabbit hole.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Chouryuu Dvorak is a lesser version of one, but it's still overpowered
    • Its head is also a Shout-Out to the original Gaiking, as it matches the "Face Open" mode found there and in SRW.
  • Empathic Weapon: the various machines respond to certain people's "Fire", which is why Rongo is the only person that can steer the Daiku Maryu even though he's not the strongest.
  • Eye Beams: The Despair Sight on Gaiking. On Raiking and Gaiking the Great, they are stored in the fingers.
    • Actually, both Raiking and Gaiking the Great HAVE Eye Beam Despair Sights. Raiking only uses it one time (under enemy control), and Gaiking the Great never chooses to use it.
  • Fastball Special: The Shinryu Hydro Blazer (and its Death Fire Combination Attack) is a variation. While Daiya doesn't exactly throw an ally at the opponent, he does throw a ball-shaped Hydro Blazer either directly at an enemy or towards Dick to launch back at the enemy.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Proist generally maintains a cool, regal air about her person, masking her ruthless nature with a persona of elegance. The illusion shatters whenever she loses face and succumbs to her inner rage.
  • The Flame of Life: "Flame" is a power which everyone possesses, and which can be used in large quantities to power Humongous Mecha. Notably, Convection, Schmonvection does not apply here, meaning that a pilot can be knocked unconscious by the heat of their own strength.
  • Gratuitous English: Duh, this is a Super Robot series.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Ruru. Becomes a minor plot point later on
  • Heel–Face Turn: Vestanuu, Nouza, and all their subordinates, including Kain.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Prof. Sakon until episode 23..
  • Heroic BSoD: Nouza does NOT handle the fact he's just spare parts for Proist to claim if she ever gets injured very well, though at the time it's more of a Villain BSOD
  • Hot-Blooded: Daiya broke the record for youngest hotblooded mecha pilot at 13 years old. This is the kid who lifts CITIES with his hotbloodedness.for a fire giant so young he has That white hot molten fire burning deep within his soul with the indomitable will power and unstoppable heroic spirit to defy the most insurmountable of odds in making the impossible possible through sheer force of will and unrelenting determination. he throws himself Headfirst into the worst situations imaginable and comes out on top through sheer force of will using the power of guts, determination, and badassitude. If any one could live up to the example set by the king of braves, it's this kid.
  • Important Haircut: Ruru after becoming the Daiku Maryu's Captain.
  • Improbable Age: Daiya's piloting a Super Robot at the age of fourteen. His best friend ends up piloting the Cool Ship, Daiku Maryu, and The Captain has his equally-young daughter fill in for him after being gravely wounded.
  • In Name Only: Aside from Daiya's last name, the Daikuu Maryuu and Gaiking themselves (which both use the same attacks) and the names "Darius" and "Death Cross", this series has no other connections to the original series.
    • It shares a lot more than that. Kill Jaguar bears the same animal theme of the original Gaiking support robots (that is, based on an animal), Death Fire is thrown around a lot more (it used to be a Gaiking exclusive attack, in Face Open mode at that), some attacks used by the originals were moved (The Miracle Drill and Giant Cutter were moved from the Daiku Maryu to the Daichi and Tenku Maryus respectively), and at one point Gaiking uses a Combination Attack with the Daiku Maryu reminiscent of the Fire Wheel Cutter (for that matter, the shield on the Volution Mode of the Daiku Maryu is reminiscent of that same attack).
  • Instant Expert: Downplayed. When Daiya first gets into Gaiking, he knows how to run, jump and fight, but doesn't know how to use any of Gaiking's special attacks.
  • Jerkass: Dick and Puria. Dick proves to have Hidden Depths and is still rather trustworthy, Puria eventually mellows out somewhat, and both are at worst a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Jack of All Stats: Gaiking and the Daikuu Maryuu, of the three sets of Combining Mecha, are considered the most balanced of the three.
  • Jumped at the Call: Daiya becoming the pilot of Gaiking and member #47 of the Daiku Maryu's crew was a chance to find his father, and he jumped at the oppurtunity to do so.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The Shinryu Hydro Blazer.
  • Kaiju: Suspage's Demon Beasts.
  • The Legend of X
  • Made of Explodium: The Kaiju cause the dock to explode with every step they take in the first episode.
  • Meaningful Name: "Puria" is a subversion; she's not exactly pure in personality.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Superior Stinger (Puria) and Vulking (Lee). Nouza also gets a power up when he turns good in Raiking (far stronger than anything he had as a villain). Daiya gets three, technically - one when he unlocks Face Open, one when he figures out the mechanics of Lee's martial arts style (leading to the Shin Ryu Hydro Blazer), and one with Gaiking The Great.
  • Monster of the Week: Follows this format for the first few episodes, before Darius start attacking the Daiku Maryu with armies of Kaiju and Robeasts.
  • More Dakka: Vulking's ultimate attack involves it firing all of its cannons at once. Fittingly to the "Fire" theme and to the attack, it's known as Endless Burn.
  • More than Mind Control: Proist convincing Ruru not once, but twice to attempt to kill her father
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Mecha variation. Puria is one of the very few people who refers to the Crab Bunker by its actual name. Everyone else pretty much uses Daiya's nickname for it, "Kani Tank", which pisses off Puria. Daiya takes the nickname further when the Crab Bunker docks with Gaiking by calling the new combined form "Kaniking".
  • Pocket Dimension: The land of Darius is one located inside the Earth.
  • Punch Catch: Episode 31 has Gaiking The Great do this to a Humongous Mecha several times its size. Daiya then asks if that was Proist's best punch, then say that if it was, then she's lost, just before crushing Dborak's fist and part of its arm.
  • Rocket Punch: A Discussed Trope. As soon as Daiya learns that Gaiking has a move like this, he fires it off immediately. It doesn't come back, before Ruru radios in to tell him that it doesn't have a mechanism to return to Gaiking, and that he should only be using it as a finisher move to avoid leaving him without an arm. He later improvises a return mechanism by using the grappling dart technique, Zecter Hook, to snatch it back from the air.
    • And when he's in Gaiking The Great, it can return on its own because it has Raiking's turbines on it.
  • Robeast: Daiku Maryu and Vestaanu's Mechanical Beasts.
  • Serial Escalation: Face Open increases the power of Gaiking's Flame Power by eight. Gaiking the Great has ten times the flame of regular Gaiking. The Final Battle gives us Face Open: The Great, which is Gaiking the Great using Face Open - eighty times the Flame Power of regular Gaiking!
  • Spell My Name With An S: Due to the show having no definitive dub, translation, or even Egnlish license, all the character names are taken from various fansub groups... and from Hulu's official sub of questionable quality. As such, many character names have no standard spelling, such as Ruru/Lulu, Suspage/Saspezi, and so on.
    • Daiya has the habit of mispronouncing Puria's last name, Richardson, as "Richard-san". Puria does not like it at all.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: It turns out that, when something you're holding if shot and explodes, a lot of dust gets in your eyes, and will probably blind you for a significant period of time.
  • True Companions: The crew of the Daiku Maryu, even going so far as to remember every single member by the order in which they joined - for example, Daiya is member #47, Dick is member #42, and so on.