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Anime / Robot Romance Trilogy

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The three robots of the trilogy: Combattler-V, Voltes-V and Tosho Daimos

The Robot Romance Trilogy is a Thematic Series of three Super Robot television anime produced by Toei and animated by Sunrise that were aired during the late 1970s.

All three shows were credited to "Saburo Yatsude" (a collective pseudonym for Toei's staff) and directed by Tadao Nagahama. Yoshiyuki Tomino collaborated in at least two of them.

The trilogy is notable for presenting more complex storylines than those of most other Super Robot shows at the time, and indeed, the idea behind the trilogy was to create something that wasn't simply an overly long toy commercial. They also showed up fairly often in the early days of the Super Robot Wars video game series, although Combattler V and Voltes V have appeared more often than Daimos (an easy explanation of this is that the two used the same energy source, "Super Electromagnetic/Choudenji", which makes for easier crossover implementation).

Voltes V and Daimos in particular are very famous in the Philippines, as anime used to be Banned in the Philippines under the Ferdinand Marcos regime. Due to both shows dealing rather heavily with civil wars and/or resistance of some sort or another, they became movement mascots against Marcos isolationism, with Voltes in particular becoming a genuine Filipino cultural icon, far more famous there than in Japan.

Has a sequel manga.

If you want to watch how most of the tropes used in the trilogy were born, watch the Mazinger saga (Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer) and Getter Robo. If you want to watch how those tropes are deconstructed, watch Zambot3, Space Runaway Ideon and Neon Genesis Evangelion. If you want contrasting how those tropes are used in other kind of Humongous Mecha shows, watch Mobile Suit Gundam -and other series of the franchise- and Patlabor. Watch Raideen to know about their immediate forefather and GoLion (or Voltron) to learn about their most famous heir. If you want to see how the Super Robot Genre is made nowadays, watch GaoGaiGar and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Lastly, if you are interested in more Yoshiyuki Tomino shows, watch Daitarn3, Aura Battler Dunbine, Xabungle or Overman King Gainer.

The Robot Romance Trilogy series are:

The Robot Romance Trilogy provides examples of:

  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier:
    • Combattler V: Several of them: Graydon's was The Dragon Garuda's personal aircraft, and its specs included slave monster production, missiles from its top, levitation even while underwater, an underside tractor beam, teleportation, a buzzsaw hidden in one of six wings, and a pink heat ray; Bromber, Warchamides' attack saucer could levitate even underwater, an underside tractor beam, yellow eye lasers, and missile launchers at the midsection; and Santomagma, Big Bad Empress Janera's warship used in the final episode. It was heavily armour-plated and its capabilities included tornadoes from its underside, spike missiles from the carapace, mouth flamethrower, freezing wind from front and side mouths, launch-able front and side heads, fangs strong enough to break a Made of Indestructium Humongous Mecha, and laser beam bolts from all four heads.
    • Voltes V: Boazanian Flagships, Zeltan and Sugoshin Godor, all of them equipped with formidable weapons and even Deflector Shields.
    • Daimos: Guranrol and Cobrard. Both could carry around combat troops and several Mecha Soldiers. The first was equipped with giant missiles and four giant blades that could be turned into giant spinning cutters. The second was equipped with four-headed cobras that fired green lasers and a turret shot tinier missiles.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The Dragon of each series is always pitiable, well, after a fashion, as opposed to the Big Bad, who is always a despicable bastard.
  • Alien Invasion: It happens in all three series. Subverted in Daimos, since the Baam-Seijin had not planned on invading our planet and they intended to negotiate to settle peacefully. Too bad the Big Bad had other plans.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted or averted. The Campbellians attacking Earth were only a tiny rebel faction. The Boazanians were not evil, but they were led by a corrupt ruling class and a greedy emperor. The Baam-Seijin were no more good or evil than your average Earth inhabitant.
  • Arm Cannon:
    • Combattler-V is the king of this trope among Humongous Mecha. He is equipped with Atomic Burner (its hands withdraw inside its arms and are replaced with a flamethrower), Rock Fighter (it shoots missiles from its fingers), Battle Guleggar (Combattler releases a chain with metal collar from the arms, used for grabbing opponents by the neck) and Magne Claw (Combattler's wrists shot a spiked, square projectile).
    • Voltes-V's Voltes Bazooka. The entire weapon is hidden in his right arm, and is deployed by tilting the right hand downward (which also becomes the weapon's grip held by the left hand) allowing the barrel to telescope out of the arm.
    • Daimos has the Daimos Chain Shark, two chains with a hook shoot from above Daimos' hands. They can be used to deal damage or to drag the enemy.
  • Armed Legs:
    • Combattler-V has Battle Returns, a pair of frisbee that launch from the ankles to reach farther distance enemies.
    • Daimos has a retractable spike on each foot to simultaneously kick and stab Robeasts with.
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: Everybody, after transformation.
  • Bell-Bottom-Limbed Bots: All three animes have them. Voltes V, Daimos, and Combattler V all have forearms and legs that are armored with armlets and greaves.
  • Big Bad: Empress Janera, Emperor Zu Zambojil and Great Marshall Olban.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Combattler V is pretty much the only trilogy entry to have a relatively happy ending (Garuda's final fate aside).
  • Calling Your Attacks: The main characters kept that proud tradition of Super Robot Genre:
  • Char Clone: Inverted: The three series' main blonde antagonist (Combattler V's Garuda, Voltes V's Heinel, and Daimos's Richter)—particularly their characterization, Noble Demon traits, and connection to the main pilots of the opposing team—would serve as the basis for Char Aznable and his subsequent iterations.
  • Character Development - Humans Are Flawed: The three series touched on serious themes like Parental Abandonment (explored very seriously in Voltes V) and all kinds of racial-based prejudices (especially the Fantastic Racism in Voltes V and Daimos).
  • Chest Blaster:
    • Combattler-V has the Grand Light Wave Rail and Grand Dasher, where it forms a tangible energy trail from its chest, turns into a tank-like vehicle and rams down its opponents.
    • Voltes-V has the Voltes Laser and Choudenji Wave from the yellow orb on his chest, and the Grand Fire from where is "belt buckle" is. They are just minor weapons though. His BFS, the Ten Kuu Ken, on the other hand, is sheathed on his chest.
    • Daimos has Double Blizzard, where the torso of the robot opens and launches throws two freezing tornadoes at its enemies. Later it got upgraded to Fire Blizzard.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Most of the parents of the heroes are dead or missing (and in the case of Erika, her father dying broke off the war).
  • Cool Airship: The aerial bases of the alien invaders.
  • Cool Helmet: All three shows, though the Combattler crew's helmets had inbuilt computers to help pilot the mech.
  • Dub Name Change: The names of the characters were changed when they were broadcast in the Philippines and USA.
  • The Evil Prince: Garuda, Richter and Heinel. Although the last one rather was not quite evil... but irrational and misled.
  • Falling into the Cockpit:
    • Combattler V played it straight with the main characters. The first time they deployed Combattler, they handled it reasonably well in spite of the fact Chizuru was the only pilot could be expected having got basic training. It was justified later: there is a computer built into each one of their helmets, and it help them to pilot it.
      • And it was deconstructed, too. In one episode, a child sneaked into the cockpit, thinking he could use Hyoma's helmet to drive Combattler. As a matter of fact, he could not, and he almost got himself -and everyone else- killed.
    • It was apparently played straight but quickly subverted in Voltes V: When the Voltes team was roughly shoved into their vehicles, Kenichi protested they didn't know how to drive them. Then his mother reminded him flatly they HAD got training to pilot aircrafts.
    • Daimos justified the trope: Kazuya was a space pilot but nobody had taught him to pilot Daimos before shoving him into the cockpit. However, his Motion-Capture Mecha was piloted through a mental interface, allowing him to pilot it and use his martial arts to fight (and still in the first battle he needed to be informed of Daimos' weapons).
  • Fantastic Racism: Boazanians look down on hornless races. Miwa thought Always Chaotic Evil applied to the Baam-Seijin.
  • Finger Firearms:
    • Combattler-V's Rock Fighter.
    • Voltes-V's Finger Missiles.
  • Finishing Move: Combattler uses Choudenji Tatsumaki and Chodenji Spin straight after (it paralyzes the enemy with a stream of electro-magnetic energy and then rams through it with the drills on its hands while spinning); Voltes uses V-no-Jigiri (it uses its sword to slice the enemy mecha with a V-shaped slash, later powered up by first paralyzing the enemy with the Choudenji ball); and Daimos uses Double / Fire Blizzard (It shoots twins tornadoes from its Chest Blaster)
  • Flying Brick: The three mechas are are strong, tough and despite being hundreds of feet tall are very capable of flight.
  • Hot-Blooded: Hyoma, Kenichi and Kazuya are virtually burning on it!
    • Hyoma Aoi simply can't stay calm or quiet. He is so Hot-Blooded that, when The Dragon shot his arms off, he still tried to crawl to his vehicle's cockpit, demanding to be allowed to pilot.
    • Kenichi Go outdoes Hyoma. You only have to watch the scene where he and his brothers finally learn about his father's past. He swears loudly to defeat the enemy while shedding plenty of Manly Tears.
    • Kazuya Ryuuzaki. His emotions are not like a flood; they are like a bloody tsunami. When he is infatuated, he walks over with a silly, fond smile. When he is upset and sorrowful, he sobs loudly, cries Manly Tears and even punches walls. When he is pissed off... don't bother writing a will. There will be nothing left of you after he is through with you. And God helps you if you make Erika upset...
      Kazuya: The Baam-Seijin are not monsters, Miwa... YOU ARE!
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: Out of all heroes, Kenichi sports the most magnificent pair.
  • Home Base:
    • The Nanbara Connection, located in the coastline and protected by a Beehive Barrier.
    • The Falcon Camp, located on a bird-shaped pennisula and secretly doubling as a Cool Starship.
    • The Space Daimobic, which has multiple functions of The Battlestar, Space Base and Mission Control).
  • Humans Are Bastards: Plays with the trope, mixing it with...
    • Rousseau Was Right: In a nutshell, many characters -on both sides- think humans are scum and they are not worthy of anything... but there always are good people that makes them reconsider.
    • Professor Yotsuya bluntly says he hates humanity in the SECOND episode of the first series. Still, he got forced to follow his friend's last will and help the Combattler team fight the Campbellians. He managed to regain his faith on humanity in the process, even if his newfound faith was often tested.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: Battle Marine and Volt Frigate, the machines that form the Combattler and Voltes' legs respectively, are able to swim and fly (and Battle Marine also carries around the Battle Tank, that cannot fly on its own).
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: All robots were equipped with energy-based weapons, but more often than not, they used missiles, flamethrowers, or blunt and bladed weapons. Kazuya, of course, used Daimos' fists and legs mainly.
  • Once per Episode:
    • Combattler-V: To combine their vehicles -needless to say, it happened every episode-, the team yelled "Let's combine", and if they were ready to combine correctly, Ropetto authorized the combination repeating: "Combine OK". And then you have the Finishing Move ("Choudenji Tatsumaki" and "Choudenji Spin") that were used every episode.
    • Voltes-V: Again, the team every episode yelled "Let's Volt In!" to combine in Voltes-V. And every episode they killed the Monster of the Week with the V-Slash.
    • Daimos: Every episode, to transform and activate Daimos, Kazuya yelled "Daimos, Battle Turn!", -pretty uselessly- as performing a kata with his arms.
  • The Professor:
    • Dr. Nanbara and Dr. Yotsuya from Combattler V.
    • Dr. Kentaro Go from Voltes V (who also was: the Dragon's Disappeared Dad), along with Dr. Hamaguchi and Dr. Sakunji (who bordered on Sadist Teacher)
    • Dr. Shinnichirou Izumi from Daimos, also Kazuya's foster father after the guy's dad (Dr. Ryuuzaki, another professor) is murdered when he's a child.
  • Recurring Element: Cast-wise, each of the trilogy will have Miyuki Ueda cast as the heroine of the series (Chizuru, Megumi, Erika) and Osamu Ichikawa cast as blond-haired villainous right hand man that serve as a recurring enemy (Garuda, Heinel, Richter)
  • Red Is Heroic: Hyoma Aoi and Kenichi Gou wear red, Kazuya's civilian outfit is red (although his piloting suit is majorly white, with some red tints). Likewise, all titular robots are partially red.
  • Robeast: Slave Beasts and Magma Beasts in Combattler; Beast Fighters in Voltes; and Mecha Soldiers in Daimos.
  • Robot Buddy: In at least two of them. Combattler team's buddy was named Ropetto. Voltes has Takko-chan, built by Hiyoshi.
  • Rocket Punch: The trilogy gives us several variants:
    • Combattler-V is equipped with Battle Guleggar (Combattler releases a chain with metal collar from the arms, used for grabbing opponents by the neck) and Magne Claw (Combattler's hands withdraw into its arms and its wrists shot a spiked, square projectile).
    • Voltes-V, very similarly to Neo Getter Robo, has the Chain Knuckle, a Rocket Punch on a chain, but swapping the fist out for a nasty-looking mace.
    • Daimos has the Daimos Chain Shark, two chains with a hook shoot from above Daimos' hands. They can be used to deal damage or to drag the enemy.
  • The '70s: The three series were made in that decade.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: Let's Combine! Let's volt in! Daimos Battle Turn!
  • Transformation Sequence: Daimos has one of the most infamously long ones, helping pioneer the "transfer from little vehicle to larger one" system seen in other series such as GoLion.
  • Transforming Mecha: Daimos is one of the first examples that did it regularly, but Combattler V also had the Grand Dasher attack later on in the series.