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Anime / Gravion

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Soldiers of the Gran Knights, Combine!

Chōjūshin (Super-Heavy God) Gravion is a 13-episode Super Robot series directed by Masami Obari and released in 2002 by GONZO. Think GaoGaiGar loaded with maids instead of Hot-Blooded Autobot Expies, while the titular robot follows the Combining Mecha formula with Five-Man Band, which has been perfected with the likes of Combattler V and Voltes V (and with more ladies too, there's only two male pilots).

The Earth's about to come under attack by an alien race called the Zeravire. However, a mysterious billionaire named Klein Sandman has prepared for the invasion with God Gravion, a Super Robot that uses the power of gravity to fight. The protagonist is Eiji Shigure, a young man who infiltrates Sandman's St. Germain Castle in search of his missing older sister Ayaka, and is recruited as part of the Gran Knights. The story is given a different slant: although Eiji is the main character, he's effectively The Lancer of this particular Six Man Band, piloting the G-Attacker, the God Gravion's right leg, rather than being the main pilot.

The series seems to come to an abrupt end, but is concluded in the 12-episode sequel Gravion Zwei, which answers many of the series' major mysteries and finally promotes Eiji to the actual lancer seat of the Sol Gravion.

Some of the characters make cameos in Dancougar Nova, the remake/sequel to Dancougar, and some viewers consider it to be the unoffical "third season" of the show.

Most definitely not to be confused with Gravitation.

This series provides examples of:

  • Cool Sword: God Gravion has the Graviton Sword in its chestplate, subverted in that while it's used as a finisher the first time, every other Zeravire is basically immune to it and thus it only gets used a small handful of times. The White Steel Fang definitely qualifies, though.
  • Expy:
    • Compatible Kaiser and G Compatible Kaiser of the Original Generation sub-series bears striking similarities and attacks to the God Gravion and Sol Gravion respectively. It helps that Masami Obari, Gravion's director and character/mecha designer, was tasked by Banpresto to redesign the Kaiser.
    • Sandman is like taking Masaki Andoh, Shu Shirakawa, and Ryusei and smashing the result into a single character
  • Fanservice: A signature of any work by Obari.
    • Just to give you an idea: The cover for the DVD release features the main female cast at the beach, with Faye and Luna taking each other's bikini tops off. God Gravion is faintly in the background, as if to assure you that this show is in fact about giant robot fights.
  • Foreshadowing: The fact that Mizuki is an EFA spy has been given some hints within the series before the reveal, although it may take some rewatches to notice:
    • In the final episode of season 1, there are several:
      • When the EFA's newest weapon after researching got destroyed, somehow Mizuki felt extra down, though she dismissed it as working overnight. Of course she would feel that way because the Zeravire just crushed her hard work on leaking information to the EFA in instant.
      • After the Zeravire is defeated, the President namedropped a certain "Lt. Tachibana". This refers to Mizuki, whose last name is Tachibana, not just some random same-named agent.
      • And likewise, Mizuki also sported a rather sorrowful face despite the joyous celebration on beating that 'final' Zeravire. This is because she's about to begin her phase of Becoming the Mask, genuinely caring for her fellow pilots, but being torn with her old duty as a spy.
    • During the ping-pong table, Mizuki picked up her partner, Alex, a member of the EFA, out of random pick in a lobby, and they got along really great. They wouldn't be as such, if Mizuki wasn't a spy from Alex's side.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Ayaka as Raven, whose breasts are hidden by the top she wears as Raven.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Raven snaps Sandman out of his BSOD; Eiji does likewise for Touga.
  • Gratuitous English: Notably Faye Xin Lu's Catchphrase: "Jack Off", which the dub mercifully avoided.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Eina; she gets better.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Hugi manages to get multiple hoistings in the same scene: The failsafe device that shuts down the Genocidron System, upon seeing Leele, causes the core of Goma to stop functioning and get destroyed. His Ridiculously Human Robot clone of his dead sister stops him from killing Sandman due to Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!, and since he was also plugged into Goma's core it weakens him enough for Sandman to cut him down. Add in the fact he revealed himself the Big Bad just to lure Sandman out to fight...
  • Human Aliens: Sandman, Leele and Hugi, as well as the population of Selias and Llambias.
  • Idiot Ball: Gravion episode 10. Hey, Eiji, you don't want to the captured Cecile to be killed when Gravion is forced to make it's attack? How about running in and getting her out of there instead of standing around and yelling for Touga not to attack? Okay, good, you've reached and freed her. Now it's time to run away as fast as—why the hell are you pointing a gun at Gravion?! Move! Get off the giant monster!
  • Idiot Hero: Touga takes this to the point of Genius Ditz.
  • Latex Space Suit: All pilot's suits, which has fanservice for both sexes.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Sandman is Leele's.
  • Male Gaze: Other than pilot Alex, it's completely inverted; it's generally the girls who stare in awe at Klein Sandmann.
  • Marshmallow Hell: When crowding in a narrow vehicle, Mizuki puts Eiji's head between her boobs.
  • Maid Corps: Klein Sandman has a decent amount, as you can see here. What stands out is that they all look different and have outfits specific to their tasks (more typical servants, but also engineers, guards, nurses), and run the whole gamut from Token Mini-Moe adorable to mature and sexy.
  • Meido: A big number of the cast are hired as maids by Klein Sandman. They run the whole ganmut
  • Missed the Call: Faye missed the call, though not for lack of jumping; but Sandman chose Touga as Gran Kaiser pilot at the last minute.
  • The Mole: Mizuki's actually a spy for the EFA.
    • Welcome Back, Traitor: Though admittedly, she's just broken Luna out of the EFA base.
    • Necessarily Evil: Mizuki knows that betraying the Gran Knights was not a moral act and she came prepared with the Knights not forgiving her. But she didn't regret her actions, considering that leaking information to the government enabled them to catch up with the Gran Knights technology-wise and be of help during the battle against Zeravire.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mizuki is one of the shining example of Masami Obari's tendency to draw super sexy women pops up. She's REALLY busty, and also a mature and attractive blonde. And has a sexy voice too in either Japanese or English version.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Sandman's at least 400 years old and implied to have lived for millennium.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Played straight when Hugi dies and we find his excesses were powered by Cybernetics Eat Your Soul; subverted when Sandman tries it and gets talked down.
  • Red Herring: Early in Zwei, Eiji encounters a picture where Raven is shown to be together with Ayaka, so they must be two different entities. Raven is Ayaka, however, because the Raven mask will make anyone take on the Raven identity, and Ayaka is his latest host, the one who wielded it when the portrait was taken was most likely Luna's father.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Eina and the present-day 'Lufira'.
  • Robeast: Warrior-class Zeravire.
  • Rocket Punch: Gravion's Graviton Pressure Punch and Sol Gravion's Graviton Tornado Punch.
  • Say My Name: Occurs often, but "Hugi-niisan!" probably takes the cake.
  • Shout-Out: Gravion is losing badly against an enemy, when a new robot piloted by a mysterious person comes out of nowhere and saves the day. Mecha fanboy Alex immediately nicknames the newcomer "Great Gravion", effectively pointing out the reference to the last episode of Mazinger Z.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Mostly invoked in the first season and justified accordingly - The Zeravire was constantly learning and evolving, so the subsequent Monster of the Week adapts to the previous weapons Gravion had used to finish off its predecessors. It evolved to the point that when the final opponent of the first season was sent to Earth, it did not bother to attack anything else but ominously settled down, clearly waiting for Gravion's arrival since it was designed purely to counter all of Gravion's attacks. All except for the ultimate weapon White Steel Fang, which Sandman had yet to reveal at that point in time. This continued into the second season Zwei, where even the White Steel Fang struggled to beat the Zeravire.
  • Super Prototype: Gran Sigma, though the God Gravion itself is a prototype.
  • Spy Catsuit: Mizuki wears an extremely Stripperific version, particularly noticable in ''Zwei'''s OP.
  • This Is a Drill: G-Driller and Geo Javelin. Geo Javelin's is a drill on fire.
  • Token Mini-Moe: This series has three of them. Anya is a genki Curtains Match the Window Fiery Redhead with Girlish Pigtails. Brigitta is just as genki and has odango hair as well as purple eyes. Cecile is a Raven Hair, Ivory Skin beauty, has Curtains Match the Window black eyes with elegant hair and acts proper if a bit shy. All of them are Meido in Sandmann's castle. And at least the first two are quite obsessed with Eiji's "physicals". Make of that what you will.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: Sandman always wanted to do it once: He gets to.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Gran Troopers get the jet/robot modes.
  • Victory Is Boring: Once Mizuki finished her spying job for her government, she retired to her own private resort island... and it takes about one episode to bore her with her luxury and decides to get back in action... this time on the side she was spying.
  • Wham Episode: Episodes 6-7 plunges the Gran Knights into one big Darkest Hour little by little and pretty much sheds away that this was just a cookie cutter super robot anime, showing its true colors. First, Mizuki openly left the Gran Knights and revealed that she was a spy for the government. Then Leele fell into a comma after learning about her true identity as Sandman's daughter and also her relations with the Zeravire, partially due to Touga's No Social Skill upbringing escalating, which caused Eiji to lash out and Touga lost concentration in the next battle, causing Eina to commit a Heroic Sacrifice and in the ensuing blast, Luna went MIA, actually captured by the government. Because of this, Touga ends up on a massive Heroic BSoD and even Sandman for once fell into his own Heroic BSoD. Basically, at that point, the Gran Knights were seriously undermanned. For one final wham that surprisingly isn't making things worse, we get to see Raven's identity: at the moment, it's Ayaka Shigure, Eiji's sister.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Touga winds up in a dress more often than you'd think, and he never seems to mind.