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Anime / God Mars

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Six God Combination Godmars was a 64-episode anime series that aired in 1981 to 1982 in Japan, Hong Kong and Italy. Other loosely translated names are "Hexademon Symbiote Godmars", "Six God Union Godmars", "Six Gods United As One Being". It is very loosely based on Mars, a 1976 manga by none other than Mitsuteru Yokoyama, of Sally the Witch, Giant Robo and Gigantor fame.

In the year 1999, humanity begins to advance beyond the known Solar System. The small planet Gishin, led by the Emperor Zuul, who aims to conquer the galaxy, runs into conflict with Earth. He targets Earth for elimination and to do this, he sends a male baby called Mars to live among humanity. Accompanying the baby is a giant robot named Gaia, which utilizes a new power source strong enough to destroy an entire planet. As planned, Mars is expected to grow up, where he will activate the bomb within Gaia to fulfill his mission of destroying the Earth. However, when Mars arrives on Earth, he is adopted into a Japanese family and given the name Takeru Myoujin. Seventeen years later, Takeru has grown up with a love for humanity and refuses to detonate the bomb as ordered by Zuul. However, if Takeru was to die, the bomb within Gaia would explode anyway...

Takeru possesses psychic powers, letting him pilot Gaia with his mind. He decides to join the Earth defense forces and becomes a member of the Crusher Squad (an elite space defense force), where he and his friends take a stand against the Gishin's attack. Oh, and there's also the relationship of Takeru with his older brother Prince Marg, which fate would have it, pitted the two against each other in the war.

Unknown to the Gishin, five other robots - Sphinx, Uranus, Titan, Shin and Ra - were created in secrecy alongside Gaia by Takeru's father and sent with Gaia to protect Takeru. Whenever Earth is in danger, Takeru is able to summon the five other robots to combine with Gaia to form the giant robot Godmars.

The God Mars robot is the basis for the Mighty Orbots, at least in combined form; the original God Mars toy was planned to be retooled and released as an Orbots figure, but a lawsuit ended that plan (though prototypes were made and featured in toy catalogs).

For viewers in the US, it's available at Hulu.

The series has the following tropes:

  • Actually a Doombot: Takeru's first few battles with Emperor Zuul result in the latter being seemingly killed, only to be revealed as a clone of the real one.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: What Takeru does at the end of the series. Possibly.
  • Battle of the Still Frames: Every battle, which carries over to Super Robot Wars Z2 (and popularized the meme of Godmars being so powerful it doesn't even need to move or get animated a lot to kick ass). The robots jump between poses instead of actually being animated. This changes in the second arc, with Godmars occasionally moving its arms a bit.
  • Becoming the Mask: Having been raised in Earth, Takeru comes to love the planet and its people.
  • Big Bad: Emperor Zuul
  • Big Frigging Cool Sword: The Mars Flash, which comes from the emblem on God Mars's belt-buckle thing.
    • Not to mention it looks like the love child of a chainsaw and a machete, giving it a fairly well justified Absurdly Sharp Blade look.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: Which goes as far as calling God Mars the king of space.
  • Chest Blaster: God Fire, though it shoots from something that looks more like a belt buckle.
  • The Chew Toy: Poor Takeru is a terrific example. In each episode Emperor Zuul sends out assassin after assassin to kill him and he's beaten, burned, frozen, zapped, electrocuted, asphyxiated to within a centimeter of his life, at which point the title robot arrives to save him. In the third and final arc of the 64 episode series, he's even stuck with a psionic device which drains part of his Life Energy if he attempts to use his powers. It doesn't get much worse than that. Oh and, he knows that, if he does die, the super-bomb in his guardian robot will blow up the planet. YEOWCH.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Marg's first love, Victorious Lulu, from the OVA. Sadly, he wasn't able to save her.
  • Cool Ship: The Frontier.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Wahl, Zuul's second-in-command, schemes to advance his own power right up until Zuul abandons him to die in battle against Takeru.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Fantastic Racism: The conflict between plus and minus espers on Mamelo is all because one guy came to power with the agenda of exterminating the minus people.
  • Finishing Move: FINAL GODMARS! Can pretty much be summed up as a powerful slash with the Mars Flash. A lot of the time, though, it is preceeded with Godmars using God Fire to internally damage the enemy mech (usually immobilizing them), which is how it is presented in Super Robot Wars Z2.
    Takeru: Zuul! I'll show you everyone's anger! This is the final fight! I'll put everything on the line!
    (God Mars turns golden while church bells ring in the background)
    Takeru: MARS FLASH!
    (God Mars summons the Mars Flash)
    Takeru: FINAL GODMARS!
    (God Mars performs a vertical slash and jams the Mars Flash into Zuul's gut)
  • Gainax Ending
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Second arc villain Gihron is advised and practically commanded at times by a mysterious voice that claims he is destined to rule the Galaxy. This voice sounds an awful lot like Zuul and the last episode of the arc is in fact titled "The Return of Zuul."
  • Human Aliens: Whether from Gishin or Mamelo or wherever, all the aliens encountered in the series look perfectly human. In OVA, Gishin is shown to be nearly identical to Earth in terms of infrastructure and technology, even having military transports and cars similar to those on Earth. The only difference is that the noble/ruling class elite all wear fantasy-esque outfits with capes.
  • In Name Only: The only thing this anime has in common with the manga is that they both have a protagonist called Mars, and they both share 6 giant mechas known as Gaia, Sphinx, Uranus, Titan, Shin and Ra, and that's about it.
  • Invincible Hero: When Godmars actually did fight, the battles were almost all brutal curbstomps with no sense of real tension because Godmars hardly ever took damage, and when it did said damage was minor (guess they weren't kidding about the "god" thing).
  • Kicked Upstairs: Kenji is promoted at the beginning of the 2nd arc and takes command of Ceres space station, taking him away from Crusher Squad and most of the action.
  • Leap of Faith: Whenever Takeru enters Gaia on a planet he does this.
  • Meaningful Name: Namida. Given the parental situation he's been having before meeting Takeru, it's no wonder.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Godmars has this: even volcanic magma is shrugged off.
  • Physical God: Emperor Zuul. The only person to top him would soon come in Super Robot Wars Z.
    • And now that Godmars is slated to appear in Z2...
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: There's very little relation between Godmars and the original Mars manga. The boy is named Takeru instead of Mars, the six gods combine with Gaia instead of being the enemy robots, the story isn't as hopelessly bleak, etc. The primary thing kept is that if Gaia is destroy or Mars/Takeru commands it, a bomb inside will go off and destroy the earth.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The Manga's Downer Ending sees Mars trigger Gaia's Earth-Shattering Kaboom. The Anime's far-more optimistic ending sees Mars/Takeru saving the Earth by destroying Zuul.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Emperor Zuul/Zul/Zule/Zure, depending on the source. Rose/Roze/Rosee and Cosmo Crasher/Crusher aren't as bad in comparison.
  • Spider-Sense: Due to his Psychic Powers, Takeru can detect incoming danger and identify any assassins disguised as humans.
  • Spoiler Title: Episodes sometimes have titles that are a bit too on the nose like Akira's Girlfriend is a Female Soldier and Marg Dies on Earth.