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Anime / Kotetsu Jeeg

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Kotetsu Jeeg (鋼鉄ジーグ, Kōtetsu Jīgu), more commonly known as Koutetsu Jeeg, Steel Jeeg or even "El Vengador", is another classic Humongous Mecha anime created by Go Nagai in cooperation with Tatsuya Yasuda. The anime TV series was produced by Toei Doga. It was first broadcast on NET in 1975. The series lasted for 46 episodes. Steel Jeeg also ran as a manga in several children's publications.

Essentially a Combining Mecha Henshin Hero series, it told the story of Shiiba Hiroshi, a car racer who's reconstructed as a cyborg by his father after being mortally wounded in an accident. As a cyborg, Hiroshi's capable of transforming into the eponymous Kotetsu Jeeg, a steel robot head that combines with a variety of external parts to form a giant robot and fight the minions of Queen Himika, leader of the Jamatai Kingdom.

The series received a sequel, Kotetsushin ("Steel God") Jeeg (sometimes just Shin Jeeg) in 2007, taking place in another continuity, fifty years after the original and featuring both new and classic characters.

The original Kotetsu Jeeg features examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: Miwa, who pilots the Big Shooter jet.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The Jamatai Kingdom. It slightly subverts the trope, since they used both advanced technology AND magic.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Orochi, a flying fortress shaped like the mythological beast. It has several serpent-like heads that can move and attack independantly.
  • Arm Cannon: The Jeeg Bazooka. It returned in the sequel, transformed into a BFG.
  • Anti-Villain: Flora and Takeru.
  • Badass Biker: Hiroshi Shiba not only is this with a Cool Bike but also he is an amateur racer.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: A subversion. In the ending credits, Jeeg blocks a downward, vertical swing... by crossing its forearms above its head. Of course, given that Jeeg is a robot, hence it is not made of flesh, it is not worried about the weapon slicing it, and the blade shatters upon impact.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: And so can Hiroshi, although slightly justified since he's a cyborg.
  • Battle Couple: Hiroshi and Miwa.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Jamatai Kingdom were a subterranean civilization. They had attempted to conquer Japan in ancient times but they were defeated and fled underground. Big Bad Queen Himika definitely harbored a grudge afterwards and longed for revenge.
  • BFG: The Jeeg Bazooka is larger than Jeeg itself in both series.
  • Big Bad: Queen Himika, until the second half of the series where she is replaced by the Dragon Emperor (aka Ryuu Teio).
  • Boss Subtitles: Done with the Haniwa Phantom Gods.
  • Brain Uploading: The Prof. Shiba who, before his death, transfer his consciousness and memory into a computer.
  • Butt-Monkey: Don in the original series.
  • Calling Your Attacks: It is a Super Robot show, after all
  • Chainsaw Good: The Earth Parts give Jeeg chainsaw arms.
  • Chest Blaster: The "Spin Storm", Jeeg's ultimate weapon. Emitted from a hole in Jeeg's belly region, a large red/black electromagnetic whirlwind crashes into the targeted enemy, often completely obliterating it.
  • Combining Mecha: An interesting version: Hiroshi is a Cyborg who transforms into a giant head, which then combines with man-made parts to form a Humongous Mecha. In the Revival-slash-AlternateUniverse sequel Koutetsushin Jeeg, a transforming motorcycle forms the head of the titular mecha, which otherwise functions exactly like its precursor.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Hiroshi appears to have been designed after Elvis Presley.
  • Cyborg: Hiroshi was turned by his father into this.
  • Detachment Combat: Given that Jeeg is able to use magnetism to pull its body parts together or replace them, it also can use them like weapons separately or shoot them (sometimes it did that with just its head!).
  • Disappeared Dad: Dr. Shiba, who emotionally disappeared at first (he and Hiroshi are on really bad terms since Hiroshi can't forgive him for always being away from home), then physically disappearing when The Empire he's been researching about comes back and says "He Knows Too Much". A badly wounded Shiba barely manages to reach his home and dies in Hiroshi's arms. In a subversion, his mind is uploaded in the series's main computer, thus he still can act as The Professor. (Though he does get called out more than once by his aidés, and once epically by his wife/widow/Hiroshi's mother. which he takes, openly admitting he's not the best dad..)
  • Do-Anything Robot: Jeeg is very modular: it can detach and reattach its parts like Lego bricks. Therefore, as long as they can get the right parts to the battlefield, Jeeg can change form to meet any situation.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Queen Himika.
  • Expository Theme Tune: "Just you watch, the Haniwa Phantoms will be completely destroyed. Run forth, Banban Baban! Big Shooter, swifter than the wind. Build up!"
  • Expy: Himika looks an awful lot like Sister Jill. Mecha Don is essentially Boss Borot on a formula 1 car.
  • Formula One: With Hiroshi and Don being race car drivers they did drive these in the original series.
  • Gratuitous English: BUILD UP! and CHANGE CYBORG!
  • Heroic BSoD: Hiroshi suffer this several times. From wanting to be a normal human to being afraid to die fighting the Dragon Emperor in the last episodes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice / Suicide Attack: In the last episode, the computer-Shiba launches an attack with his personal airship against the Orochi flying fortress. Unfortunately the Dragon Emperor escapes before the explosion.
  • Home Base: The Build Base for the heroes. An Elaborate Underground Base for the villains.
  • Hot-Blooded: Hiroshi is very emotional and passionate. In fact Go Nagai actually wrote him to be even more hot blooded than Ryoma and Koji themselves, which isn't hard. Afterall Hiroshi doesn't need to breathe air.
  • Hot-Blooded Sideburns: And the sideburns, of course, go without mentioning.
  • Humongous Mecha: Partially averted. Jeeg's surprisingly short for a Super Robot - comparable to the average Real Robot, in fact.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Many baddies manage to stop Jeeg from forming, only to realize in horror that Hiroshi doesn't NEED to form Jeeg to kick your ass. CHAAAAAAAAAAAAANGE CYBOOOOOOOOORG!!
  • Ice Queen: The Princess of Snow from episode 10.
  • Kid Hero: Averted. Hiroshi is twenty-five years old and looks his age, if not even older.
  • Kryptonite Factor: In the original series Steel Jeeg was weakened when making contact with electricity as it affects the magnetic power that binds his body together. Episode 5 also reveals that strong magnetic storms like solar flares prevent him from combining (at least until they made a special coating spray).
  • Like Brother and Sister: The relationship between Hiroshi and Miwa.
  • The Lost Lenore: At some point in the series, Himika revives a very badass Yamatai general named Takeru, whose wife had died years before he did. Then, Takeru met Miwa and was shocked to see that she looked exactly like his beloved. Unsurprisingly, it ended in tears.
  • Lost Technology: Dr. Shiba finds several ancient mysterious magical artifacts and hieroglyphs during an archaeological expedition. His findings provide evidence that the ancient lost kingdom of Jamatai that thrived in the south of Japan has survived, and its Queen Himika is preparing to invade Japan. Of course, his reaction was using that lost technology to get a countermeasure ready (i. e., turning his eldest son into a cyborg capable transforming into a Humongous Mecha when said son has a life-threatening accident)
  • Made of Iron: The series name is "Steel Jeeg"
  • Magic Skirt: Miwa has a very short skirt (especilly her pilot uniform), but never Panty Shot.
  • Married to the Job: Hiroshi didn't know why his father was always working. After several years, he decided he didn't care. When he learns his reasons, he kind of forgives Prof. Shiba, but his mother still called her husband out.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Jeeg had first the Jeeg Drills, a set of weaponized rockets that doubled like This Is a Drill, and later it had the Earth, Marine and Sky parts, three sets of armor let the Humongous Mecha fight on land, sea and air, along with transforming.
  • Mecha Show
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Happened twice with the same person. Professor Shiba is murdered in the first episode. However he had the foresight to make a backup of his personality in a computer in order to help and guide his son Hiroshi and then it committed a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Meta Mecha: In Super Robot Retsuden — a Ken Ishikawa Affectionate Parody / Crossover of several Go Nagai Mecha ShowsMazinger Z, Great Mazinger, UFO Robo Grendizer, Getter Robo G AND Kotetsu Jeeg rode a ridiculously, impossibly, massively huge Transforming Mecha in the Final Battle.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Dr. Shiba. He was an archaelogist, but he could also heal his son's scarred body, make a cyborg, build giant robots and flying vehicles, and transfer his mind into a computer.
  • Orochi: Used as the main antagonists' flying fortress in the original series with a cameo in the new series. It doubles like Cool Airship and Airborne Aircraft Carrier.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The mechanical horse Antares allows Jeeg to become a powerful centaur armed with a drilling Lance. The module is launched by Big Shooter, once launched the horse retacts its head to allowd to connects directly to Jeeg. The module can act independently and is able to fly in the air.
  • Parental Neglect: Prof. Shiba was so committed to building Jeeg he neglected his family.
  • Promoted to Parent: Hiroshi looked after his mother and little sister after his father's death.
  • Power Fist: Their fists are also reinforced to cause bigger damage.
  • Razor Wings: The Sky Parts.
  • Robeast: The Haniwa Phantoms
  • Rocket Punch: Dynamite Punch and Knuckle Bomber, the latter using both fists clasped together
  • Sculpted Physique: Asamo's body seems done from brown, angled rock, with crystals jutting out of his head and back.
  • Shout-Out: Don and Pancho appear to be named after, and, to a degree, based off of the eponymous protagonist from Don Quixote and his sidekick, Sancho Panza, as Don is a tall and skinny fellow whose convinced he's far better and cooler than he actually is, yet Don is far less delusional than his namesake is, and not nearly as surprisingly skilled and competent. Ironically, he's one of the few people to know that Hiroshi Shiba is Jeeg, and hell-bent on exposing the truth about him because of this, and Pancho is a short, squat man whose a Big Eater, much like Sancho is commonly depicted as.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Sometimes romanized as "Steel Sieg", which does make a bit more sense.
  • Tagalong Kid: Mayumi, Hiroshi's little sister. She was more endearing and more lovingly naive than her counterparts in other Go Nagai works.
  • This Is a Drill: The Mach Drill, a pair of rockets Jeeg attaches to his arms so he can fly to his enemy and drill through them.
  • Volcano Lair: Queen Himika's Home Base was inside a volcano.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Hiroshi's mother, who gets a CMOA for openly calling out Dr. Shiba in his treatment of Hiroshi

The sequel Kotetsushin Jeeg features the following tropes:

  • Alternate Continuity: Kotetsushin Jeeg presents significant differences with the original story. For example, the presence of a still living Senjiro Shiba, the father of Hiroshi. Also, the return of Himika who is not dead as narrated in the first series. The new series ignores the existence of the Dragon Emperor.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Build Angels, a trio of women who act as recon pilots, air support, and additional muscle for Build Base.
  • Badass Normal: The Build Angels again, and many, many more.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The Build Angels, consisting of Mitsuko Yagyuu, Tatsuko Mido, and Monko Saotome respectively. Yagyuu is the most traditionally feminine and soft-spoken, while Tatsuko Mido is shown to be the smartest and most well-educated out of the three, and Monko Saotome is the physically largest and most visibly muscular, and carries a lot of pride in her strength.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Monko of the Build Angels.
  • Crossover Cameo: This being a Go Nagai title, there are at least a few.
    • Notably, Kouji Kabuto and others are visible during a scene in episode 13 of Kotetsushin.
    • Also, Kouji is seen in the first episode amongst the cheering crowds.
      • To go into more specifics, multiple characters from all of Go Nagai's works appear in the crowd, such as Daemon Abashiri and his sons, Kichiza and Goemon Abashiri from the Abashiri Family, Violence Jack, as well as Jim Mazinger, complete with him with his version of Kouji Kabuto riding on his shoulders, Higegojira and Old Man Umbrella from Shameless School, Taikyokuken from Guerilla High, the eponymous hero from Henchin Pokoider, and even Go Nagai's own Author Avatar, among others.
  • Cool Bike: Kenji's motorcycle from Kotetsushin, which transforms into the head of the new Jeeg.
  • Deface of the Moon: The final battle leaves the moon with a debris ring orbiting it.
  • Distaff Counterpart The Build Angels are often considered a gender-swapped version of the Getter Team.
  • Doing In the Wizard: In Kotetsushin, we find out that Himika and everybody that's presumably mystical are really aliens. The Bronze Bells were the reactors for an ancient ship. The Dragon Emperor isn't mentioned at all, either.
    • Although possibly a subversion in that the Jama Kingdom are still said to derive their powers from sorcery.
  • Expository Theme Tune: "Shapeshifting demonic evil, an evil presence approaches. / No need for questions, no need for pity. End this at once! Miraculous power, a soul of light / with the storm, with the lightning / Transform! Become a God!"
  • Expy Coexistence: Goemon Abashiri makes a cameo in the crowd at the very first episode, but later on there's a soldier whose an expy of him, with the only difference being his slightly darker skintone and buzzcut, as well as wearing green military fatigues. Likewise, his brother, Naojiro Abashiri also cameos alongside Goemon with their father Daemon, but a much older version of him is a seperate character as well.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Subverted: Kenji's forced to take control of the new Jeeg when a Haniwa Phantom God attacks, but in the next episode it's revealed that he had been intended to be the pilot all along — the attack simply forced the New Build Base crew to put him into the robot sooner than planned.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: (Early on in Kotetsushin, Kenji decides to use one of Jeeg's arms to bludgeon a Haniwa Phantom God to death)
  • Home Base: In Kotetsushin, a Volcano Lair.
  • Lady of War: Captain Yagyu of the Build Angels.
  • Legacy Character: Kenji, the successor of Hiroshi.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Kenji is the target of this... from Monko, much to his dismay.
  • Miko: Tsubaki's part-time job, since her grandmother Miwa "Micchi" Uzuki has become a Shinto priestess.
  • Older and Wiser: Micchi was a supporting member of the crew in the original series but has become The Captain by the time the sequel starts.
  • Red Shirt Army: Subverted in early episodes of Kotetsushin Jeeg. The JSDF -that usually is utterly useless in most anime shows- display competent tactics in their battle against Himika's Haniwa Genjin, and although Jeeg spearheads their attacks, he can't do it alone. They pay a high death toll, of course, but they are not completely exterminated.
  • Rip Van Winkle: Tatsuko Mido and Monko Saotome of the Build Angels were originally JSDF pilots who barely managed to escape when the Zone was forming in Kyushu, to discover that decades had passed. Later, after the Zone engulfs New Build Base, they discover the surviving JSDF forces found within the zone had only spent a few days there. Similarly, Hiroshi.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Kenji's Jeeg combines with Balba, its arrangement is vaguely reminiscent of Archduke Gorgon. The Haniwa Phantom he defeats in this form, Banshouraguu, also heavily resembles the Great General of Darkness, also from Great Mazinger.
    • Did anyone else get a stint of a certain slapping vibe when Kenji's Jeeg kicked Asano in the face?
      Asano: You kicked me! Not even Queen Himika has ever kicked me!
      • This is also a shout-out to the fact that Amuro Ray's seiyuu was the voice of Hiroshi in the original Jeeg.
    • In the final scene of the last episode, Kouji, Sayaka and Boss can be seen walking among the multitude.
    • In the final episode of Koutetsushin, one of the Build Angels remarks "Looks like we'll need a blade that smites evil spirits".
  • Silver Vixen: Micchi's facial features have hardened with age and her hair's changed, but she still looks great (especially when wearing her old pilot suit), and Hiroshi is quite happy to see her again after being unsealed.
  • Super Mode: The Koutetsushin Jeeg; overlaps with 11th-Hour Superpower, since it only appears in the final episode.
  • This Is a Drill: The Mach Drills, though the Earth Parts also grant Jeeg a pair of drill legs.
  • Time Dilation Field: One of these was used to seal evil in a can in the backstory for Kotetsushin, sealing the entire island of Kyushu within the "Zone" for fifty years.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: Kenji swiftly learns to shout "Koutetsu Jeeg!" after transforming.
  • Tsundere: Tsubaki from Koutetsushin is an example of the "Sweet" Tsundere, who doesn't hide her affection for Kenji, but also doesn't hide her anger when he does something stupid or perverted.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Kenji, Kyo, and Tsubaki in Kotetsushin; Kenji and Kyo are inseparable rivals despite their different social standings, and Tsubaki is close to both of them in different ways (working with Kyo at Build Base, while being Kenji's childhood friend and Tsundere minder).
  • Undying Loyalty: Queen Himika's generals, but Ikima in particular takes this above and beyond. In the final battle, not only does he survive the destruction of TWO warships, he also goes on to fight Kenji and Hiroshi man-to-man, and when that doesn't work he eventually self-destructs in a last-ditch effort.
  • Unknown Character: Miwa's husband doesn't appear, for no apparent reason.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 10 of Kotetsushin; Tsubaki gets possessed by Himika, who then extracts both Bronze Bells, Kyo reveals he (and the Jama Empire as well) is not only an alien, but also Kenji's uncle AND reveals that Kenji himself is half-alien, Tsubaki descends from a clan of priestesses that have protected Kyo's bloodline, and Build Base gets destroyed. To top it off, Kyo sacrifices himself so that everyone can escape.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Miwa, as she grew into a graceful and serene Miko and Captain who is very into the whole "core of steel" thing.

Alternative Title(s): Kotetsushin Jeeg