Rumble Garrandoll is a 2021 mecha anime series animated by Lerche, directed by Masaomi Andō (Astra Lost in Space and School-Live!!) with the script written by Makoto Uezu (KonoSuba and Yuki Yuna is a Hero) and character designs by Akio Watanabe (Bakemonogatari). It airs in Japan via Tokyo MX, BS11, AT-X and Yomiuri TV. Funimation licenses it for North/South America. Wakanim airs it in French, German and Russian-speaking territories.
The anime takes place in alternate world where Japan, by 2019, did not usher in the Reiwa Era. Instead, a mysterious portal was opened from another world via an Imperial Japan known as Shinkoku Nipponnote , which has been in the Showa Era. Imperial Japanese forces defeated the Japanese Self-Defense Forces through Garan mechs and Genmu gas-based weapons. By 2029, Real!Japan has been dubbed as Genkoku Nipponnote , SN's Puppet State. Through its State Sec forces present to maintain order with the Three True Army Generals in command, all popular culture materials are deemed to be national security threats with arrests mandated to anyone who dares to object. Popular culture is dead, but a major resistance force known as Arahabaki is secretly formed to fight back.
Hosomichi Kudo, a guy who works in a host bar in GN's Special Zone Kabukicho, is stuck at the job to raise enough money to ensure the debts under his parents are paid off. But when he and Anju Munakata, his boss, stumbles onto an empty cockpit of a Garrandoll after it seemeingly collapsed, Hosomichi wears a pair of VR googles to control it. Together with a Battery Girl named Rin Akagi, he fights against SN security forces and agrees to pilot the mech, known as Shark One, as a new avenue to pay for his debt with the rest of the Arahabaki.
See the Japanese website here.
Provides examples of:
- 20 Minutes into the Future: The series takes place a decade after the True Army's invasion of Japan.
- Abusive Parents: Kudo's Freudian Excuse as to why he's so unenthusiastic about his part in Akihabari. His father created the robot anime and video game that Rin and Misa enjoy, while ignoring his son or his dying wife. Then he straight up disappeared and left Kudo with all his debts, which Kudo's been trying to pay off ever since.
- All There in the Manual: The Japanese website has a glossary page that allows viewers to understand the terms used in the anime. As noted below however, it does not cover much of the backstory of what happened between the True Army's invasion and 2029.
- Alternate History: Real!Japan didn't get past the first year of the Reiwa Era in 2019 since SN opened a portal and invaded it.
- Ambiguous Situation: Exactly what happened between Real!Earth and their reactions to the True Army invading Japan is left unexplained in the backstory, and isn't brought up in the show proper.
- "I Mean, I'm an Idol (No Matter What Anyone Says)!" hints to what could have happened when one of the True Army's three generals, Musashi, tries to blow up Arahabaki forces with an experimental mecha. Boasting that nothing in the world can stop her. This seems to suggest that either Earth's governments did take notice and tried to retaliate, but were forced to leave Japan at the mercy of their invaders; or the True Army forced the other governments to surrender and accept them as Japan's new leaders over fears of total domination or all-out war.
- More mysterious is the Alternate Earth the True Army hails from. Details such as if the Army are the only ones who act this way in their world, if they've already conquered the world and is serving as its one political power, or if their world as a whole is a Crapsack World, and are simply the first ones to start branching out to other realities aren't brought up. How they managed to acquire the technology to invade other dimensions is also glossed over. Like with the above, these questions remain mostly unanswered by the end.
- The fate of Japan's cabinet of 2019 is never shown, though it's heavily implied they were executed offscreen.
- Animal Motifs: The Garrandoll's base form is modeled after a shark. Its alternate forms are based on a rabbit and cat, corresponding with the motifs of their girls. The True Army also houses mecha based on wolves.
- Big Bad: Akatsuki Shinonome, the head of the True Army's Japan branch. While he answers to higher up members within the True Army, he is the main threat against Akihabari.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: “I Want to Believe in You (This Time)!” has Hosomichi and Munakata driving away and leaving Arahabaki, but after seeing a message from Rin, Yuki, and Misa pleading for their return, Hosomichi returns when his Garanndoll activates on its own for the final battle, with Munakata eventually following suit.
- Colony Drop: The True Army's final plan to destroy Akihabari is to drop the archive full of the forbidden anime and games onto Akihabara. Akatsuki's superiors decide to drop it sooner than he anticipated, with him and entire platoon in the middle of the conflict as punishment for their continual failures.
- Disappeared Dad: This is how Misa became a shut-in, with her dad leaving one day and never returning. To this day she's uncertain if he's even alive.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The True Army's policies are very similar to that of Nazi Germany. This is justified since they are basically based on the Katanas of the Rising Sun.
- Falling into the Cockpit: Hosomichi and Anju enter the cockpit of Shark One because it mysteriously collapsed after the mech did a In the Name of the Moon sequence to the Komainu Guard Dogs.
- Giant Mecha: The Garanndoll itself, which even in its default Super-Deformed state stands roughly 2-3 stories tall. The mecha piloted by the True Army are much taller by comparison.
- Greater-Scope Villain: In "The (Hilarious) Akiba Apocalypse Revelation!", Akatsuki is shown reporting to higher-up leaders of the True Army who tell him to use more desperate tactics against Arahabaki after constant failures.
- Heel–Face Turn: After Akatsuki’s own bosses try to kill him and his forces during the final battle. He surrenders to Akihabari and the two sides team up to take the fight over to the alternate Earth.
- La Résistance: Arahabaki is the anti-SN resistance force formed to combat them with Garrandoll mechs.
- The Man Behind the Man: While Akatsuki is the Big Bad, he answers to a cabinet who encourage him to use more desperate tactics after one too many failures.
- Market-Based Title: It's known as Gyakuten Sekai no Denchi Shōjo in Japanese or World-Twisting Battery Girls.
- Near-Villain Victory: Arahabaki nearly falls twice to the True Army, with their survival only hinging on the failures of the Army's mecha.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A drunken Munakata reveals to Akatsuki about Kudo's affiliation with Arahabaki, putting both it and Akihabara as a whole at risk of being destroyed in "The (Hilarious) Akiba Apocalypse Revelation!". The following episode has him and Kudo steal the Garann in attempt to pay off their debt by selling it to the True Army. Seemingly forgetting that he outed himself and Kudo as part of Akihabari and will more than likely be executed instead of getting paid.
- Occupiers Out of Our Country: Or rather, alternate Imperial Japanese military forces out of Real!Japan.
- Only Sane Man: Out of an organization consisting of a hot blooded crew and his often drunk former boss desperate for money, Kudo is the only one who has his head on his shoulders. Which proves to be a problem when the Garann requires the power of positive energy. Turns out the way he acts the way he does is as a painful reminder about his no-good father abandoning him and leaving his debts onto his son.
- Puppet State: Real!Japan aka GN is a client state under the SN by 2029.
- Real Robot Genre: SN forces have mechs know as Garrans, having themes of dogs/wolves as its humanoid face. The Garrandoll was based on the Garrans, but it's a super robot since the mech is powered by a pilot/battery girl's nerdiness.
- Samus Is a Girl: Tanaka’s true identity.
- Serious Business: The SN government doesn't want anyone in GN to possess any popular culture materials or risk arrest, detention or even execution.
- The ban on popular culture material is the reason why Arahabaki is formed.
- Skyward Scream: Rin does this at the end of "I Mean, I'm an Idol (No Matter What Anyone Says)!" after she is left alone at sea.Rin: That jerk is the worst! THE WORRRRRRRRRRRST!!!
- State Sec: SN military forces stationed in GN also act as state security meant to mandate the enforcement of popular culture materials being banned.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: The True Army invades Japan, with their focus in particular on the destruction of Akihabara.
- Truce Zone: Kabukicho was declared a special zone after 2019 when SN forces conquered Real!Japan. But by 2029, its status was revoked after SN State Sec troops made several arrests linking the area to forbidden popular culture material. This ultimately results in the True Army torching the place to ashes with no regard to the lives of the people in the area.
- Urban Warfare: The first appearance of Shark One consisted of it fighting Komainu Guard Dogs in the streets of Special Zone Kabukicho in "I'd Like to Turn the Tables With You (If Possible)!".
- Wham Shot: In The Stinger for "Look at That! Turning the Tables (of Treachery)!", the Big Good of Arahabaki is revealed to be a little girl. Hiding her appearance inside the Mascot suit.
- Would Hurt a Child: As the Battery Girls are all young girls, the True Army don't shy away from wanting to wipe them out along with the rest of Akihabara. It's implied they also killed a lot of children during their initial invasion of Japan.
- Wretched Hive: Kudo and Munakata's place in Kabukicho serves as this to the populace. The True Army also treats Akihabara as this.