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Anime / GaoGaiGar

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This is the story of the Brave men and women note  who fight to save the human race!
I'll show you... the power of true courage!
"Cyborg" Gai Shishioh

The King of Braves GaoGaiGar (勇者王ガオガイガー / Yuusha-Oh GaoGaiGar) is 1997 Japanese televised Super Robot anime and the final installment of the Takara/Sunrise Brave Series.

In the most patently awesome version of the Delivery Stork trope ever, a giant robot lion delivers a human-looking baby to an unsuspecting couple in the middle of a snowstorm, who name the baby Mamoru. Eight years later, in the far flung future of 2005, Mamoru is on a school trip to a garbage island in order to have demonstrated to him the importance of recycling, only to awaken a giant Robeast. He and his classmates are trapped on said robot, and all hope seems lost as the military bombards it with fighter jets, only to have them shot out of the sky. But what's this? A mysterious cyborg swoops in to save them, then jumps into the giant robot lion from eight years ago, turning it into a large robot man. When this proves not enough to save the kids, he fuses it with a bullet train, stealth bomber and drill tank and basically rips its heart out. Just as he's about to crush it however, Mamoru suddenly starts to glow green, wings of light spread from his back, and he flies towards the robot, begging the robot not to destroy the core.

Thus goes the first episode of GaoGaiGar, an anime made in the aftermath of Neon Genesis Evangelion that continued the Hot-Blooded spirit of the Brave Series, gleefully revisiting the old-school Super Robot style of Giant Robot Combining Mecha made up of all manner of animals and vehicles that launch brute-force attacks while declaring each one by name with all the straight-faced seriousness of its Darker and Edgier contemporaries in the Mecha Show genre. The first 26 episodes are Monster of the Week action - someone gets turned into a Zonder, they attack the city, GGG launches to fight it. New technologies and characters get introduced at a constant rate and you get the occasional glimpse of what's to come. Then, after the half-way point all hell breaks loose and GGG have to try twice as hard as they were just to stay alive. Courage, friendship and sacrifice, it's everything a growing boy needs. The show was later dubbed by Media Busters, however only half of the episodes were dubbed in English and the other episodes were released subbed on DVD. After years of being in licensing limbo, it was rescued by Discotek Media, to be released in 2023.

It proved so popular with the Periphery Demographic that it received a Darker and Edgier OVA called The King of Braves GaoGaiGar: FINAL, which elevated the sheer Over-The-Top-itude several times over, as well as providing a lot more explicit Fanservice. FINAL would later be edited into The King of Braves GaoGaiGar: FINAL Grand Glorious Gathering, a thirteen-episode television version of FINAL made to strengthen the series' ties to sister-show Betterman and promote the upcoming next installment of the Brave Corps series, which would have been a sequel to FINAL.

Unfortunately by this time, interest in the franchise had waned significantly, and the sequel never came to pass. Another sequel, codenamed Project Z, was also ultimately dropped due to said lack of interest. In September 2016, Sunrise formed a light novel publishing branch called "Yatate Bunko", with one of the projects released alongside it being The King of Kings: GaoGaiGar vs. Betterman, a novelized version of Project Z that would go on to have a Comic-Book Adaptation and become one of the storylines in Super Robot Wars 30.

The series has also continued to have various merchandise even decades after going off the air, with Kotobukiya designed Cross Frame Girl gijinka of GaoGaiGar and D-Style Super-Deformed versions of the suit, Bandai Candy Toys releasing numerous models of robots from the series starting in 2017, and the Bandai Spirits model kit division creating GaoGaiGar and GoldyMarg kits in their premier Real Grade line for the series' 25th anniversary.

Compare to Gunbuster, Diebuster, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann for more examples of COURAGE AND GUTS! Be sure to also visit GoLion and Voltes V who could very much be GaoGaiGar's spiritual grandparents.

Now also has an under construction character sheet.

This program provides examples of:

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  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: Genesic GaoGaiGar has these, and they have the destructive properties of the Goldion Hammer.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The main heroes are brave and loyal all the way through, since they're based on trustworthy people or GGG had the sense to socialize with them before sticking them into combat machines, but both the Zonder Metal and the Sol Eleven are runaway programs. The unusual factor, however, is that the Zonders and Sol Masters aren't acting outside of their programming, merely following it to its logical extreme without care as to the consequences, while the GGG AI all have full autonomy but still choose to be heroic.
  • All There in the Manual: How did Kaidou make it to Earth in the first place? How did the GGG members first meet? What happened between the first series and FINAL? A ton of stuff that isn't quite explained in the series is fleshed out in the various sourcebooks, mangas, and CD Dramas which came out in Japan. Naturally, none of it is available in English.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Twice. The Zonder that hacked into the base computer, and later the seven Primevals' raid on the Orbit Base.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Zonuda disabling all working mecha leads GGG to form GaoGaiGar by placing the minds of Chouryujin, Gekiryujin and Volfogg into the GaoMachines.
  • Animal Mecha: Galeon is a giant mechanical lion.
    • The Genesic Machines, which alongside Galeon, compose Genesic GaoGaiGar, include SpiralGao and StraightGao, a pair of moles with drill noses, which form Genesic's lower legs, GadgetGao, a condor which composes its back, tail, and forearms, BrokenGao, a shark, and ProtectGao, a dolphin, who form Genesic GaoGaiGar's shoulders and upper arms.
  • Animal Motifs/ Animal Theme Naming: Lions. Lots and lots of lions. Anywhere and everywhere possible.
    • The lion motif runs directly in the Shishioh Clan, including Gai's father Leo, Uncle Liger, and cousin Renais. Even Gai's Greek zodiac sign is Leo. To cap it off, Shishioh literally means "Lion King."
    • Rabbits for Mikoto, she calls her hairstyle "The Bunny," and gives a locket with a sticker photo of her with bunny designs to Gai as a love token.
    • Then there's the Ushiyama family with the surname meaning of "Ox Mountain".
    • Swan and her brother Stallion has the names of...a swan and a male horse.
    • Commander Taiga's surname is, like many names, a valid word in kanji... but it also sounds like the Japanese spelling of "tiger". Ditto Hyuuma, who is very close to the spelling of "puma".
  • Anime Hair: A lot of our core cast get in on this. Mamoru, Gai, and Mikoto are probably the big standouts, but quite a few of the cast have some degree of this going on.
  • Anime Theme Song: GA GA GA, GA GA GA, GAO GAI GAR!
  • Arc Words: "The Legacy of Cain," and its counterpart "The Curse/Disaster left by Abel."
  • Artistic License Physics:
    • "WELL NO CRAP", you might be tempted to say. But! Aside from a lot of the super robot heroics and the creative and hilarious violations of physics they come up with to push said heroics along, there's a few places where the writers generally take some liberties in the name of being cool:
    • In episode 10, Mamoru and Hana are trapped in a Zonderized deep-sea sub which merges with a military sub and then proceeds into a deep sea trench, and the military sub in particular begins "leaking" from the pressure. Good visual language for ratcheting up the tension, but the problem is, even if the Zonder-sub somehow maintained overall hull integrity despite leaking, and even if it didn't flood enough to outright drown Mamoru & Hana, the resulting air pressure differential from water displacing the air still would've seriously injured the kids - sub leaks are no joke.
  • Attack Reflector: Protect Shade/Wall can repel most attacks, and if it catches energy attacks it sometimes bends the projected energy into the shape of a star.

  • Batman Can Breathe in Space:
    • At least four characters were shown in space without having space suits to protect them with no problem. Then again, by FINAL, everyone who has survived is justified by having powers and abilities far beyond the human norm.
    • Justified with Gai. He's a cyborg who doesn't need lungs. He does, however, need air, and carries a limited supply just in case - it's enough to survive a few minutes in a vacuum.
    • Not so much justified with Hyuuma, being able to survive only wearing his standard uniform and a helmet. He doesn't wear a full space suit. Only the helmet.
    • Meanwhile, Mamoru and Kaidoh appear able to create "air pockets" with their vaguely-defined telekinetic abilities, allowing them to carry air from places with actual atmospheres into a vacuum. This even allows others to "ride along", which is how Mamoru saves his friends in episode 41 and how Hana discovers he's an alien.
  • Beak Attack: The Will Knife used by Genesic GaoGaiGar, which removes the head of the avian GadgetGao, places it on Genesic's hand, and folds a large blade out of the head.
  • BFS: Really, it's a Big Fucking Hammer, two, actually, but the principle applies. Also, in a potential subversion, Gai's personal weapon is a main gauche-sized Will Knife it's fairly big for a knife, but it's still a dagger-size weapon with a blade not even a foot long. Granted, it also gets stronger as Gai's willpower also gets stronger.
    • Genesic GaoGaiGar receives one in the form of the Will Knife.
  • BGM Override: The GaoGaiGar combining theme gets spliced in between that of King J-Der in #42.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Pretty much sums up Choryujin's whole personality. You can't really argue this point about someone who will put themselves in the path of an apocalyptic asteroid, not to mention your opponent's Finishing Move, without a moment's hesitation.
    • Also? Mamoru in episode 40, bursting through the floor of the Main Order Room while riding Galeon to rescue the GGG bridge crew from the Ear and Nail Primevals. He'd mostly been the Tag Along Kid up until that point.
    • Before either of those, the Big Entrance of Soldato J and his massive warship. They utterly dominate the first three Primevals (who had just delivered a Curb-Stomp Battle and No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on GaoGaiGar) and purifies two of them.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The first use of the Broken Magnum plows straight through EI-02's face, forcing it to take a moment to pull its head back together...just in time to get socked right in the jaw! Seen in Kajetokun's "0ver 9000!" video here.
  • Boring Yet Practical: For a given definition of "boring", the Broken Magnum runs on this. Because it spins in two different directions (except Genesic's version, which only uses the hand spinning one way, rather than including the forearm which spins the other way), it can bore a hole through any Zonder, destroying its barrier in the process - and softening it up for a Finishing Move.
  • Brought To You By The Letter G: Every single official thing starts with G.
    • A looser variation, everyone whose names starts with a P (except for Papillion) is on the wrong team.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: GGG. All of them.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Equip, Fusion, Final Fusion, System Change, Symmetrical Docking, among others. The "Perfect Yell" version of the main theme is basically the double full-version song featuring all the major examples of the trope in the series.

  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Whenever the Goldion Hammer is used, Gai lets out a hellacious HIKARI NI NAREEEE!!!!
    • Gai's initial finishing move is prefaced with a roar of "HELL AND HEAVEN! Gemu giru gan go gufou! VITAS!"
  • Chest Blaster: The Japanese Dragons' Chest Thriller and Warmer. The Chinese Dragons, though having chest controls for their Feng Dao Dan and Lai attacks, do not actually attack via their chests. The French Dragons have Explosive Overclocking generators in theirs instead, which disqualifies them from the trope.
  • Colony Drop: Primeval ZX-06 - the brain satellite - tries to drop several asteroids on the Earth.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: ZX-10, the Eye Primeval, can predict enemy movement with great accuracy and speed; since the Eye lacks offensive capabilities of its own, it relies on its kin, such as the Arm Primeval, to act on those predictions.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When you sucker-punch your enemy before he's had a chance to recover from putting his head back together (and in the first episode, no less), any claims to fighting like a gentleman go right out the window.
  • Combining Mecha: As the combined mecha mostly act and are treated as separate entities than the combinees, maybe the mecha account for half the cast.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Mic Sounders. He's a silly character who speaks in Gratuitous English and is the most childish member of the cast. He looks like a giant wind-up toy, or possibly a walking vending machine, and doesn't seem to have any attacks. And he doesn' his Cosmo Robo mode, at least. When he System Changes to Boom Robo mode, he gains access to The Power of Rock, with different music discs giving him different powers. Disc M interferes with electronics using microwave beams, while Disc P boosts the power output and efficiency of nearby GS-ride systems. And then there's Disc X. Disc X allows Mic to access his Solitary Wave system, which basically causes destructive resonance on a molecular level. It can be 'tuned' to only destroy a specific type of matter, such as Zonder Metals, but otherwise it simply destroys everything. Basically, the disc system and Cosmo Robo only exist as safety interlocks that prevent the Solitary Wave Risers from being activated without several confirmations, lest Mic cause an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • Cuckoo Nest: ZX-06 tries to trap Gai in an illusion that the entire series to date was All Just a Dream. It lasts for about a minute before he snaps out of it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: GaoGaiGar vs EI-14, Gai/Renais/GaoFighGar vs. Gimlet/Gimlet Empereur, and on the flip side, the first 3 Primevals vs. GaoGaiGar, which is then replaced by King J-Der wiping the floor with said Primevals with minimal effort.)

  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • About a third of the way through the series, it's revealed that the Once an Episode Finishing Move Hell and Heaven puts too much strain on Gai to be used safely, and they start to use the Goldion Hammer instead, and Hell & Heaven is restricted to only the most desperate situations (in which case it usually fails.) In FINAL, Hell and Heaven goes back to being the Finishing Move after episode 3, when Goldymarg is destroyed by Repli-GaoGaiGar.
    • Projectile X is also revealed to be one of these during the final battle with EI-01. While giving the Braves the power to overcome and ultimately destroy their (presumed to be, at the time) ultimate foe, they knew very well that they had next-to-no-chance of surviving the use of it.
  • Determinator: Actually written into the bylaws of the Gutsy Geoid Guard. "Article 5, Section 120: ... Under no circumstances must a GGG member ever give up."
    • Exemplified by ChoRyuJin MULTIPLE times. Getting GaoGaiGar out of the Grand Nova, stopping the Dino-Killer Asteroid from hitting earth about 65 million years late, using himself to shield Tokyo University from a high-powered cannon shell, putting himself right in the path of Repli-GaoGaiGar's Hell And Heaven...yeah, like I said. Multiple times.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: The Zonuda shows up practically out of thin air in the final episode with little foreshadowing. The "almost" is only there because the last On the Next hinted that the fight wasn't over just yet.
  • Disappears into Light: Trope Namer: HIKARI NI NAREEEE!!!!
    • Subverted quite often, actually...usually the core gets ripped out for purification, leaving the hammer's target to survive while Robo-form makes the grand exit from reality. This doesn't apply if you're the Big Bad at the time, however. Not by a long shot.
  • The Dreaded: Implied with King J-Der, who the Primevals refer to as 'the Disaster Left By Abel' and gave a threat level of 100 when he arrived.
  • Drill Tank: DrillGao.
    • StraightGao and SpiralGao could also qualify, though they're more of mecha-moles than actual drill-tanks. They serve the same main purpose, though: To become GaoGaiGar's feet and be destroyed in combat.
  • Drop the Hammer: GaoGaiGar uses the Goldion Hammer, which is longer than GaoGaiGar is tall and weighs a good 300 tons.
  • Dwindling Party: In episode 47, when flying through the Z-Master, each Brave Robot stays behind to fight a Primeval, eventually dwindling down to GaoGaiGar.
  • Dynamic Entry: Two epic examples occur practically back-to-back in episodes 39/40. First, Soldato-J inadvertently saves Gai by riding a missile through a wall to fight the Arm and Eye Primevals. In the opening sequence of the very next episode, Mamoru bursts through the floor of the Main Order Room riding Galeon to rescue Mikoto and the GGG bridge crew from the Nail and Ear Primevals.
    • Soldato-J's first appearance in the anime was a hell of a Dynamic Entry. The first 3 Primevals stand over the tattered, defeated remains of the titular mecha, seemingly invincible...and then a single volley of the J-Ark's lasers completely frags one of them. J even comments that said volley may have been too much.

  • Elemental Powers: The Dragon siblings all have contrasting elemental powers. HyoRyu and EnRyu have ice and fire, FuRyu and RaiRyu have wind and lightning, and KoRyu and AnRyu have light and darkness.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: THE POWER. Of course, the villain gets to use it too...
  • Engrish:
    • A fair bit used throughout the series, especially for the stock sequences and weapon summons/approval sequences. Swan and Mic do it as well, and there's one episode beginning, taking place in America, where the actors are all speaking very bad Engrish instead of Japanese.
    • Now the written English is a different story. All technical information (like statistics) is written in English and is surprisingly good. It's easier to use the Roman alphabet on digital screens than kana, as seen in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Words like "DANGER", "EMERGENCY", "READY", "GO", "STOP", etc. are well-known enough to most native Japanese, including the core audience of kids. However, there are a few slip-ups such as "Ultra Technorogy Laboratory" and "Projejectile-X" in the eyecatches.
  • Emotions Versus Stoicism: The show explicitly runs on the idea that "courage erases the first two letters from 'impossible'" and Gutsy Geoid Guard has "never give up" written into their bylaws, but no one's silly enough to allow a 30 meter tall robot run around Tokyo without a really good plan behind its actions.
    • And then there's Hyoryu and Enryu's argument over which one of them would be better at guarding Mamoru in public, which sounds like a textbook example of the trope.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: The first half can be rather bad about this, particularly when Pasder and the Zonderians are engaging in their Omniscient Council of Vagueness shenanigans. You will notice, however, that the flashing effects go away to a significant degree during the course of the show's run, and vanish entirely for the finale. This is due to an interesting bit of historical serendipity - GGG, you see, was a broadcast contemporary of the original Pokémon anime and "Electric Soldier Porygon" aired toward the end of the show's run. There had already been concerns raised about flashing effects (you can see them gradually drift away during the show's run, probably due to viewer feedback about the show itself) and then, for the finale, you can almost see the points where there were likely hasty edits made to the Z Master and Zonuda fights to comply with the massive public backlash.
  • Evil Knockoff: In one episode, a Zonder absorbs several spare GaoMachines and becomes an evil GaoGaiGar.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Near the end of the series, the G-Stone supposedly turns both Gai and his girlfriend Mikoto to the "final evolution of humanity", called "Evoluders." Both their new powers are quite vaguely defined, in any case.
    • At the end of FINAL, Gai was taken even further. After performing Final Fusion between Genesic Galeon and the Genesic Machines to create Genesic GaoGaiGar, he became a Genesic Server, with circuits of white flashing across his body at regular intervals, leading to his eyes - every time a pulse traveled along his body into his eyes, the pupils would flash with a G symbol. And this actually was defined as being his link to Genesic's systems - when Gai activated one of the Gadget Tools onboard GadgetGao a pulse would flow out of his eyes and along his body just before the tool activated.
  • Expository Theme Tune: And how...
  • Evolving Credits: Every few episodes of the original series they re-cut new characters and devices in. Even moreso in FINAL, where every episode has a slightly different opening.
  • Expy:
    • Pizza is a clear homage to Cyborg 009's Jet Link/002. To drive the point home, his full designation is Soldato J 002.
    • One could also argue that Liner Gao is a shout-out to an older Braves series, The Brave Express Might Gaine, in which the entirety of the team could transform into trains, primarily Shinkansen-style ones. Interestingly, that series' protagonist, a 15-year-old train magnate billionaire, was voiced by the same person who later voiced Gai Shishioh in this series.
    • Some of the robots look so much like Generation 1 Transformers they're often mistaken for Autobots by those not familiar with the series. For good reason, though about the only thing missing is the red insignia and the 5-tone transformation sound.
  • Eyecatch: Combined perfectly with Schematized Prop, telling you anything and everything you could want to know (unless it's classified) about everything from Swan's mini-bus to the titular mecha to the Orbital Base...even a number of the villains! Carried over to FINAL as well.

  • Fauxlosophic Narration: Taken to rather funny levels when in the middle of a battle it will pause to do this, explaining the battle moves over a Theme Music Power-Up.
  • Fanservice: Swan White, the American member of GGG, starts to pick up a fanservice role around the same time the show matures. FINAL also has a good deal more fanservice than the regular series, with several of the female characters wearing skimpy clothing or being depicted nude-with-hair covering certain areas at various points. Not to mention the fact that one of the major antagonists of FINAL is very explicitly a dominatrix... It also had another bit of French foreign fanservice in form of Renais.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Zonder Metal was invented as a method to control negative emotions. After an accident, it became a device that fed off of negative emotions, turning the victim into a bio-technological lifeform in the shape of the source of their distress, or whatever vehicle/device they integrated into their form.
  • Graceful Landing, Clumsy Landing: HyoRyu and EnRyu, respectively. Carries over to FuRyu and RaiRyu as well, since they were built based on the former pair's template.
  • Grand Finale: Three, actually-two in the series, then one in FINAL.
    • The show itself is one to the Brave Series.
  • Gratuitous English: "Goldion Hammer! Safety Device RELIIIIIEVE!!" Also Gratuitous French, by Renais. The entirety of NASA speaks in heavily accented English. Mic Sounders the 13th, being a product of NASA, lapses into English quite often.
    • Inverted into Gratuitous Japanese in the dub, where Mic Sounders' power-boosting song is changed into Japanese when he normally speaks exclusively in English.
  • Gravity Master: The Arm Primeval's gravity shockwaves, and the similar blasts used by P-Vater of the Planetary Masters in FINAL.

  • Healing Shiv:
    • ChoRyuJin's Eraser Head is a missile...that dissipates energy. Used repeatedly in Big Damn Heroes moments to negate would-be nasty explosions or techniques.
    • Also, the Dividing Driver is a giant screwdriver that compresses space so that the ensuing giant robot battle will not destroy a large chunk of the city.
  • Heroic BSoD: Subverted with Mamoru partway through the series. You'd think that having his ability to sense and purify Zonders being useless against the Primevals would be a huge downer for him, but his reasoning and reaction to it in his classroom comes off more as relief, even though he'd still like to be able to help his GGG friends. Galeon and Cain take care of that problem a few episodes later.
    • Played straight a few episodes later, when he finds out that he's an alien. Screws him up somewhat worse for a while, until he decides that, regardless of what he is, he's gonna protect the people important to him.
  • He's Back!: Big Damn Heroes + this trope = Episode 34. After being put practically into stasis from their battle with EI-01 and having their base annihilated by the first 3 Primevals, Volfogg, HyoRyu, EnRyu, Goldymarg, and the King of Braves himself all come roaring back and show the new Big Bads that messing with the Gutsy Galaxy Guard was a HUGE mistake.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Gai delivers an EPIC one in the final battle against the Machine Kings:
    Gai: Hey Pizza! HIKARI NI NARE!!!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This happened prior to the series to the people of the Purple Planet. The Zonder Metal was originally intended as an anti-depressant and stress-reliever. And it would've worked, if they hadn't made it sentient too.
  • Hot-Blooded: All of them...All Of Them.
    • At the beginning of FINAL, we are introduced to hot blood king Koutarou Taiga's replacement as GGG chief, Yaginuma. He existed so that Taiga could make a dramatic return at the appropriate moment while still having someone to approve GaoFighGar's Final Fusion and Goldion Hammer, but... did they have to make him slow, quiet, understated, and analyzing? The contrast is genuinely shocking.
  • Human Aliens:
    • As made clear from as early as episode 3, Mamoru and Kaidoh are so biologically similar to humans in their regular state that, even under close scrutiny, they are indistinguishable from Earthlings. Whatever generates the fairy-like wings or makes their hair react to Zonders is evidently not immediately identifiable. The wider series never really tries to explain why they're so massively similar to humans.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Pinchernone's laugh note , the amount of vocoding used by the mecha members, and pronunciation of names note  vary between episodes in the English dub.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Kotaro Taiga has a golf club that he calls the Taiga Wood. Yeah.
  • It's Personal:
    • It was personal from before the beginning of the series, after EI-01 slammed into the shuttle Gai was piloting, nearly killed him, and did kill his girlfriend's family.
    • Forty-eight episodes later, after the force behind the Zonders has been destroyed...Mikoto is forced to become the next evolution of Zonder-esque machine lifeform.
  • The Juggernaut: Goldymarg.
  • Leitmotif: Pretty much every robot (and several villains) has one, including Gai, Renais, Mamoru, Arma, and Soldat J.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Linked with the Sorting Algorithm of Evil. As the Zonders got progressively more powerful over the course of the series, GGG started busting out bigger and flashier tech to counter them. This gets taken to its logical conclusion in FINAL with the debut of the Goldion Crusher, a weapon specifically designed to kill planet-sized enemies like the Big Bad of the TV series.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: In episode 23, when Mic Sounders 13th's Big Damn Heroes moment... isn't.

  • Magical Particle Accelerator: The Goldion Hammer, a giant toy hammer-shaped weapon that uses a massive artificial gravity well contained within to accelerate any enemy it hits to the speed of light, instantly turning every last particle of it into pure photons.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Inverted in the second half of the series when the seven most powerful villains show up to challenge the heroes. The fan translation of the series even refers to them as the "Magnificent 7 Machine World Primevals".
  • Manly Tears: At the end of the TV series, as Mamoru and Galeon leave Earth, Hyuuma's salute cannot hide these.
  • Meaningful Name: Gai Shishioh means "Triumph/Victorious" and "Lion King" respectively, while his superhero identities (Cyborg Guy and Evoluder Guy, respectively) play off the sound of his name for a Pun. Soldato means "Soldier". Mikoto means "command" or "prince", and can be read as "inochi", meaning "life", And the episode in which Mikoto is turned into the New Machine Species, Zonuda, is actually titled "Inochi".
    • And, as his father points out late in the series, Mamoru means "to protect".
    • All the dragon siblings' names mean "Elemental Power + Dragon."
      • And the dragon-gods' names, "Super Dragon God" (ChouRyuJin), "Attacking Dragon God" (GekiRyuJin), "Phantom Dragon God" (GenRyuJin), "Mighty Dragon God" (GouRyuJin), and finally "Heavenly Dragon Goddess" (TenRyuJin).
  • Merchandise-Driven:
    • Like all the Brave Series shows, GGG started out as this. Its second half becomes markedly less so (although there's still a bit of time given over to making the J-Ark and the second set of Ryu twins look cool to sell their part of the toy line) due, seemingly, to the decision to end the franchise overall, giving the production crew the latitude they needed to (ironically) etch the show's place in history in stone.
    • Most notably, a few of the early episodes are clearly much moreso. To wit:
      • The "Gao Brace" that Gai can use to call Galeon to his side was sold as its own separate toy, and the early episodes make sure it gets used Once per Episode, Stock Footage and all, to show it off. As soon as the focus on the toyline advertising moved on to other items, the writing team promptly proceeded to ignore the Brace's existence most of the time, since narratively it just made more sense for Galeon to, y'know, deploy right alongside Gai, rendering the idea of having to "call" him moot.
      • As noted on the trivia page (and as you can see in the linked video below), the Gai action figure was... odd, with partially translucent armor and a bit of a focus on Gai's "Machine Heart" and the ability to open his chestplate to show it off. Episode 2 gives us an obligatory look at Gai mid-conversion, using the translucent body shell, and the first episode shows off the Machine Heart when he opens his left chestplate to check his energy levels... and the show then goes right back to using his usual armored design, and he typically opens his right chestplate for utility functions, quite sensibily keeping his goshdang heart well-armored.
    • There's also some weird aversions, possibly because Takara was unhappy with the initial sales and decided to scale back the merchandise plan once the initial numbers came in. The biggest is the Pliers: you know how they get multiple episodes to show off? How they get a transformation sequence that's used, like, twice in order to show kids how to make them form the Dimension Pliers? No toy whatsoever during the show's initial run. They would only get collector-focused toys years later. Also, you know how StealthGao eventually gets an upgraded version, with the iconic big engines with the rings that's an obvious upgrade for your GaoGaiGar toy, sold separately? Nope, actually not for sale! That was another one that would only come in via collector-focused diecast toys in the new millennium (which was, in fact, much-trumpeted).
      • Also, in a likely oddity for Americans (who might think of something like GI Joe or Lego with all their location toys), there were basically no "playsets" released for the show. Despite the Bay Tower Base and Orbit Base being iconic to the show and the various detachable service ships being highly recognizable and potentially toyetic, none of them were released as toys over the run (or even since). Granted, this is partially down to scale concerns (the DX GGG sets during the run were pretty big on their own), but even the rest of the cast lacked action figures scaled to Gai. The only "playset" was a print cardboard Big Order Room that you could mail in for with enough "Brave Points" from the boxes of the other toys.
    • It's also worth noting that there were no toys made of the villains at all, which is part of why their designs can get so wild and varied, especially in the second half.
    • If you're curious, you can find an archive of the toy commercials contemporary to the show's run here!
  • Narrator: Kiyoshi Kobayashi narrates the series.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!: Over and over and over. Koutarou Taiga kicks it off in the first episode with the iconic line, "With courage, even 1% becomes 100%!"
  • No Indoor Voice: You could retitle this series "Yelling: the Anime". Almost everybody in this entire goddamn series at some point either screams and/or shouts like they're trying to break the sound barrier.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Good work hoarding all the Primeval cores, Soldato J! It's not like the enemy can take them all back in one fell swoop.
  • Ninja: Volfogg. That is all.
    • Also his Sol Master counterpart in FINAL.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Volfogg is a robot ninja.
    • Meanwhile, his rival Penchinon is a pirate robot.
    • The Zonders in general can be thought of as a kind of zombie-robots.
  • No Ontological Inertia: The mechanization of earth immediately reverses itself after Z-Master is destroyed.
  • On The Next Episode Of Catchphrase:
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: When the Primevals use a portal to send an asteroid that could mimic the one that killed the dinosaurs, ChouRyuJin's Heroic Sacrifice causes him to push the asteroid back up the portal and back in time, so that it DOES kill the dinosaurs.

  • Power Crystal:
    • G-Stones actually convert positive emotions, most notably courage, into energy. The J-Jewel, being a replicated version of the G-Stone, probably works similarly.
    • Zonder Metal counts too: it converts stress and other negative emotions into energy.
  • Power Glows: Using the Goldion Hammer not only makes GaoGaiGar shine golden, but Gai's armor and hair turn yellow inside the mecha when he performs the attack.
  • The Power of Friendship: The series finale with the GaoMachines driven by the minds of ChouRyuJin, GekiRyuJin, and Volfogg, and then used to form GaoGaiGar also counts.
  • The Power of Love: It's what turns Gai and Mikoto into Evoluders.
  • The Power of Rock: The entire identity of Mic Sounders the 13th.
    • Also Percurio, who fights with the Power Of Big Band.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Soldat J.
  • Precision Gratuitous English F Strike: Yes, they did this in a children's anime with Swan and Mic.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The 11 Planetary Masters of Sol, who all have analogues in members of GGG.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: GAO! GAI/FAI! GAAAAAARRRR!!!!
  • Punny Name: As also listed in meaningful Name above, how "Gai" sounds in Japanese is the same as how "Guy" sounds in English, thus the staff used this for a theme pun where Gai uses that for his superhero name in the series, becoming literally "the Cyborg Guy". in FINAL, this is changed to "Evoluder Guy". This has resultantly caused a Fan Dumb argument over mistranslation of Gai's name ever since, despite Media Blaster's original translation quantifying which spelling of the word was used when.

  • Ramming Always Works: Yes, the J-Phoenix is technically covering the J-Ark in a flame when doing so (basically burning its Generating Armor), but it doesn't change the fact that the technique was essentially just ramming them.
    • Also Hell and Heaven to a degree, since it's basically just smashing into an opponent fists-first.
    • DaiKaiTen-DaiMadan also falls under this category, since it's basically just Big Volfogg putting on a full-strength Mirror Coating and then charging through an opponent.
    • Hyuuma has a bad habit of resorting to this tactic way too quickly after the Primevals show up. The first time he wants to go for it, he's cut off by the series' ultimate He's Back! moment, aka the triumphant return of the Mobile Unit, while the second just plain doesn't work.
    • This + Explosive Overclocking + Volfogg's avoided Heroic Sacrifice = How the Multidimensional Super-Intelligence Submarine took out Penchinon.
  • Recurring Riff: Yuusha-Oh Tanjou is the backbone of the FINAL soundtrack. Everything else is a remix from the original series.
    • And then there's the famous Tower Bridge Riff, straight from Power of Desire.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: EnRyu and HyoRyu; Mamoru and Ikumi/Alma; Gai and Soldato-J.
    • Mamoru and Gai to Ikumi/Alma and Soldato-J is ironic, since the ones who glow red are the Blue Onis while the ones who glow green are the ones who should be the Red Onis.
  • Red Shirt Army: The Mic Sounders brigade exists mainly to be brutally destroyed. Several times. Funnily enough, the only one of them that is red is part of the main cast and is the only one to make it to the end..
  • Reflecting Laser: EI-01 uses massive numbers of computers under his control to calculate the angles to fire beams at pieces of metal so that they always strike a target dead-on. TenRyuJin's Dance of Light and Darkness uses a similar principle, though she finds the calculations awfully tedious.
  • Robeasts: Zonder Robos, and a number of the Earth-bound Primevals.
  • Robot Hair: Galeon's normal form is a Lion with a mechanical mane facsimile, which is expanded by StealthGao/GadgetGao's landing gear during Final Fusion. Genesic GaoGaiGar actually has flowing hair made out of strings of batteries.
  • Rocket Punch: Broken Magnum and Phantom - what would a Reconstruction be without one?
  • Rule of Cool: But only if it doesn't conflict with logical consistency.
  • Running Gag: Several, such as EnRyu never being able to land properly.
    • Anytime Hana's walking that oversized dog of hers, shit happens.

  • Schematized Prop: One free in every Eyecatch.
  • Sensory Abuse: Several scenes, especially the ones involving the machine lords, involve constant flashing lights. This can make the series difficult to watch for those sensitive to such things.
  • Shared Universe: Strangely enough, the real robot horror series Betterman takes place in the same universe as GaoGaiGar.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Liver is the first of the Magnificent 7 Primevals to be purified.
  • Shout-Out
    • Several to Ultraseven. Ayame's custom phone is Dan Moroboshi's Ultra Eye henshin device, the scene in Episode 48 where Hana reveals to the class that Mamoru is the green-haired boy is almost line-for-line from Ultra Seven's final episode, as is Kaidou's conversation with Hana in Episode 3 of FINAL.
    • Episode 5 has the kids playing a handheld game on their school bus, and a look at Hana's screen reveals what looks a heck of a lot like a Koffing. (Making this even funnier is that the episode aired exactly one calendar month (March 1st vs. April 1st) before the first episode of the Pokemon anime!)
    • The Monster of the Week in Episode 14 is basically a Zaku.
    • Pizza's long nose and love of the sky is a shout-out to Cyborg 002. He also resembles Terry Bogard in human form and the Gatchaman symbol in Zonder form. Also, see Actor Allusion.
    • #25 has a pair of Zonder Angels, with appropriately nightmarish attacks.
    • #38 has Gai slip into a Lotus-Eater Machine, in a sequence involving Evangelion-worthy visuals and audio.
    • One of the Zonders, specifically the Evil Knockoff of GaoGaiGar, uses the Big Swing Rocket Punch.
    • Gai's civilian garb in #24 is that of Hayato Ichimonji/Kamen Rider 2, right down to the henshin belt buckle.
    • Also in the 14.5 scenario during the video game Blockaded Numbers, Gai's outfit is that of Ichiro from Kikaider 01.
    • At the start of FINAL one of Mamoru's friends can be seen on the bow of his parents boat shouting "DiCaprio!"
    • Mamoru and Kaido likely owe their evil-detecting-reactive-hair to GeGeGe no Kitarō.
    • King J-der's "main battery" guns are anti-meson cannons. This is the exact same type of weapon used by the Martians in the 1953 film version of The War of the Worlds.
  • Something Person: Gai's Superhero Identities of Cyborg Guy and Evoluder Guy.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The Zonders start out threatening to destroy city hall and move upwards from there; by the show's halfway mark GGG is warding off The Tokyo Fireball nearly every episode. The Primevals up the stakes yet again by threatening large-scale climate change, meteor impacts, and similar Apocalypse How nastiness before being one-upped once and for all by the Sol Masters and their plan to regenerate the Trinary Solar System by destroying our universe.
  • Space Whale Aesop: In the first episode. Filling landfills with excessive trash will cause Zonders to create a monster out of them! And throwing out perfectly serviceable microwave ovens and fridges give it destructive microwave and freezing attacks!
  • Spectacular Spinning: "Broken Magnum!" "Hissatsu! Dai-kaiten Madan!" GaoGaiGar can also spin the Goldion Hammer to deflect attacks, sometimes.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The series is actually generally very good about this, but there are a few examples.
    • First, Rune/Renee/Renais - more due to the difference between languages than anything. (They're all spelled exactly the same way in katakana.)
    • On one occasion, the subbed version has Pasder's name translated to "Pasta". This, of course, is the jokenote  but related materials usually keep his name as "Pasder" to make the joke slightly less obvious.
    • Guy/Gai can cause confusion, as detailed on his character page entry. It stems from his name being in kanji (gai) but being consistently romanized as "Guy" in official show materials...but those show materials all refer to his superhero Identity That is spelled in katakana (Guy) and not his given name, with each contextually spelled differently within the show. No translation of the series respects both, so the question becomes do you acknowledge the man, or the Hero more?
    • A more minor example is J - specifically, "Soldato J" or "Soldat J"? The confusion comes from both the fact that "ト" is often used as a solo T in kana transliteration in addition to being "to", meaning the name could be read either way... and the fact that either reading is still correct, as "soldato" is soldier in Italian, and "soldat" is the same in both German and French. It really comes down to which language you think the staff intended to reference.
  • Spoiler Closing: The ending theme song to the TV series actually foreshadows Mamoru's leaving Earth at the end of the series. There's even an image of him and Galleon on an alien world which must take place after the end of the series since he has his pendent, and the sequence ends with a shot of his parents waiting for him to come home.
    • There's a retroactive spoiler of sorts in the second version of the opening, as well. Thankfully, you won't realise it's always been there until around the final battle, and even then, it's pretty minor. During the first opening, the part where they're singing about the G-Stone uses the word "mamoru"("protect"), which is the name of a character. During the second opening, the part describing the G-Stone no longer uses Mamoru's name... but instead uses "kizuna" ("bond"). See the Fridge Brilliance page for more info.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Volfogg is fond of these. The fact he's a friggin' GIANT ROBOT and is able to pull them off is a testament of how mindblowingly awesome he is.
  • Stock Footage: A lot, but used intelligently for once. You really start to suspect Mic's motives when he's going through GGG's Zonder footage, for example.
    • On the other hand, one episode has ChoRyuJin fire more than 10 Eraser Heads. We don't have to see them all, though, but watching the same animation 5 times in an gets old.
      • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look closely you'll see that the Eraser Heads get progressively larger as the episode goes on.
    • Fusion, Final Fusion, System Change, Symmetrical Docking, and Sanmiitai all have their own stock-footage as well.
    • Just about every single attack ever used, even by some of the bad-guys.
  • Super Mode: Hyper Mode in Cyborg Guy's case. One tug of the battery-canisters on either side of his head and BAM, 3 minutes of high-octane ass-kicking. Demonstrated numerous times to be able to work on GaoGaiGar as well, especially at the end of FINAL, when we find out, via a split-second showing, that Genesic's "hair" is actually a few million of those same canisters.
    • Similarly, the G-Stone and J-Jewel can activate each others' Super Modes, demonstrated in FINAL with J and Renais.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: This series is one of the few Super Robot shows to examine the dangers of piloting a combining mecha. During the second episode, GaoGaiGar has to be disassembled carefully with each part needing to be cut off independently, and its revealed that the mech has received heavy internal damage due to the poorly-timed combining sequence. In fact, GaoGaiGar took more damage from the combining process than it did the Zonder!
  • Super Robot Genre: By the end of FINAL, about half the cast are robots. HyoRyu, EnRyu, Volfogg, Mic Sounders, FuuRyu, RaiRyu, Soldat-J (Cyborg, but close enough), Renais (also a cyborg), Galeon, Gai, KoRyu, AnRyu, GunGlue, GunDober (albeit the last two not having a single line throughout the entire series).
    • Gai may disqualify, since he's an Evoluder, and not a Cyborg any longer.

  • Technology Porn: Where do we start? It's a highly epic toy commercial, so all the robots are made of this. On top of that, the Narrator also lovingly describes how every one of the Hero's devices operate.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The 31 Primevals.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "GA-GA-GA GA-GA-GA GAOGAIGAR!" Also, "Saikyou Yuusha Robo Gundan" for the rest of the team.
    • FINAL had Saikyou Yuusha Robo Gundan Ladies for the... well... Ladies
    • And lest we forget, the show plays the trope far straighter than anything has a right to: when Mic Sounders sings "Power of Desire," every robot in the main cast within earshot gets a powerup. No, really. He also uses it to help out Repli-Mamoru by knocking out Swan/Raiga/Stallion or riffing it out on the Tower Bridge to destroy Pericurio.
    • There's also "Yuuki aru Tatakai", which is pretty much the signal for the heroes to unleash hell (with the expectation that they won't survive it). Most notably used when Projectile X powers up everyone for a final showdown with Pasder and in FINAL during Genesic Gaogaigar's No Holds Barred Beat Down of Palparepa.
    • When Final Fusion starts playing, evil is about to be ass-beaten by the POWER OF COURAGE!!!
    • Done gorgeously with "Dividing Driver" during the last episode of FINAL.
    • There's J for when Soldat-J uses J-Phoenix in FINAL.
  • Theme Naming:
    • A lot of the villains' names begin with "P". Pasder, Polonaise, Pizza, Primada, Pinchernone, Pagliaccio, Palparepa, Pillnus, Pia Decem, Palus Abel, Pei La Cain, Pisa Sol, Percurio, P-Vater, Polturn, Puranus, Ptulone. Papillon and Piggy are the only exceptions.
    • Also, note the names of many of the good guys: Gai Shishioh, Leo Shishioh and his brother Liger, Kotaro Taiga, etc...
      • Swan White and Stallion White. A swan is a bird and a stallion is another term for a mount (typically a horse).
      • The Brave Robots also count. EnRyu, HyoRyu, FuuRyu, RaiRyu, KoRyu, and AnRyu's names mean (Element) Dragon. Volfogg's name is derived from the word "Wolf" and the word "fog". Mic Sounders... Well, Mic's the only one who doesn't qualify for this, as his name doesn't contain an animal.
  • Title Scream: Bokura no Yuusha-Oh... GAO GAI GAAAAAR!!!
  • Tokyo Tower: Pasder and the 4 Machine Kings hang out under here.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mamoru, of all people. At the start of the series this grade-school kid only has the power to purify Zonder Cores. By the end, he's not only strong enough to purify Primeval Cores as well, but take on Primevals directly, and was putting up a good fight against Zonuda with Galeon's help. And then, of course, he tops it all off in FINAL by taking on Pe la Cain and handing him his ass on a platter.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Mic's gear gets shown off during one of the eyecatches, and his hoverboard is labeled the "Gutsy Galaxy Guard" version... in episode 30, two episodes before the Galaxy Guard are introduced and even before the Wham Episode that could make you think the Geoid Guard gets completely annihilated. Interestingly, this was printed in English originally, so it's a little hard to know just how many people picked up on the spoiler in the original broadcast.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Not even close. The G-Energy tornado that GaiGar (yellow for GaoFar in FINAL) generates at the beginning of the Final Fusion sequence is made to serve as a defense against outside interference. In the very first Final Fusion sequence, the Zonder Beast immediately tries to stop the transformation, thus justifying the tornado. Later enemies, particularly EI-15, showed that it wasn't a perfect defense; if one can get through it, the titular mecha is a sitting duck. Add in the fact that performing Final Fusion at all requires authorization from the GGG command center, and it's about as far from a free action as you get.
    • That said, transforming often is a free action for the other mecha.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: Everyone. Braves, villains, minor side characters, everyone.
  • Transformation Sequence: At least two per robot, including combination sequences - Gai included.
  • Transforming Mecha: Over a third the regular cast could be mistaken for Autobots; which makes sense considering the franchise was made by the same people, and they even recycled a couple of designs from it throughout the various Braves series.
  • Trash the Set: The 31 Primevals destroying the GGG's old base in minutes.

  • Underwater Base: The Gutsy Geoid Guard's headquarters is the underwater "Harbor Reef Base" located underneath the Japan Aeronautics headquarters. Later, after the 31 Primevals trash both the Aeronautics headquarters and the base with their attacks, they relocate to an orbital space station base and become the multi-national Gutsy Galaxy Guard.
  • Villain-Possessed Bystander: This is the villains MO in the first 26 episodes, where the Monster of the Week is a human infected with Zonder Metal combined with nearby materials. The role of Mamoru Amami is to purify the victims, due to being a Human Alien designed to counter Zonder Metal. The later episodes reveal the true masterminds, and that their goals are an in fact an Assimilation Plot.
  • The Virus: Zonder Metal, which can corrupt organic lifeforms as well as cyborgs and sentient AI into mechanical monsters.

  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Solitary Waves used by the synchronized Mic Force demonstrate immense destructive force.
  • Weaponized Landmark: The Primevals end up possessing and transforming the Great Wall of China, the Sphinx and several Moai to do battle with the heroes. Later on, we see Weaponized Planetoids when they possess the moons of Jupiter.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Gai and Renais.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Whenever the Zonders didn't have a specific target, they always seem to attack wherever Hana happens to be at the time, even if it's miles away from anyone else.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Zonderians just want to relieve everybody's stress by turning them into machines, which can't feel stress, albeit who can't feel anything else as well.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 31, "Goodbye GutsyGeoidGuard".
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?/This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • Although they did find use for DrillGao and StealthGao regularly (as armaments for GaiGar), finding a use for LinerGao was usually an obvious attempt to make it useful outside of being GaoGaiGar's shoulders. The Pliers also fit, in that their specific ability of being able to pull apart dimensional disturbances wasn't exactly helpful when there weren't dimensional disturbances to pull apart... at least they managed to be helpful in using Goldion Hammer before Goldymarg was built. By the end of the series, though, they show what they're good for. Building stuff quickly, and disassembling a barrage of missiles headed towards the Orbit Base.
    • The Pliers manage to escape this trope entirely when they're upgraded to the ultimate construction force, the Carpenters. Even get their own moment of awesome when they charge headlong into a massive missile barrage and, almost nonchalantly, disassemble each and every one.
      • The Carpenters also get a moment of heartwarming when they rebuild the city after Gai and Mikoto/Zonuda's battle in the final episode.
    • This is the pretty much the best description of Mic's Cosmo Robo mode, since he can't fight his way out of a paper bag while in it.
  • World of Badass/World of Ham: It's a classic-style super robot anime. It's a wonder the footage doesn't have tooth marks.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The Green Planet's "two powers into one" spell, built into GaoGaiGar as Hell and Heaven. Also ChoRyuJin's FINAL attack, which uses massive bursts of fire and ice.
    • TenRyuJin's Dance of Light and Darkness is this in a way. Rather than manipulating opposed energies, TenRyuJin simply combines difficult-to-track Reflecting Laser beams with generating sensor-jamming smoke to prevent being targeted. Rather than a fusion of light and dark attacks, it uses light for offense and darkness for defense, and it combines perfect accuracy with perfect evasion.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Probably one of the most ridiculous examples in all of fiction, when the Dimension Pliers block Pizza's attack in episode 27, taking a beating but allowing GaoGaiGar to penetrate the Contra Fall in the process.


Video Example(s):


Geki's Billboard

Geki's strategy to catch the Zonder backfires when he bumps into a billboard that falls on top of him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BecomingPartOfTheImage

Media sources: