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Anime / Tekkaman Blade

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Whoever said that angst hinders badassery?
"Someone's wounded heart is burning in the lonely sky..."
— first (and oddly appropriate) OP

Space Knight Tekkaman Blade is a 1992 anime series by Tatsunoko Production, re-imagining their 1970s series Tekkaman the Space Knight. The setup for the series is that the Earth is being invaded by parasitic aliens known as the Radam (Venomoids in the English version). The Radam are led by mysterious armored warriors called Tekkamen (Teknomen in the English version). The Earth military and the Space Knights have been unsuccessful at fighting the invading aliens (and at cooperating with each other) until the arrival of a mysterious young man known as D-Boy, who can transform into the powerful armored warrior Tekkaman Blade. Together with the small, but elite team called the Space Knights, D-Boy must fight tooth and nail for the future of Earth and humanity.

Tekkaman Blade was dubbed in English under the name "Teknoman" in two versions. The American dub from Saban, which only lasted 26 episodes on UPN (as part of their launch lineup in 1995) and the International Dub, which lasted 43 episodes and was shown everywhere else besides America and Japan. The DVD American release is of the International Dub.


A sequel series, Tekkaman Blade II, takes place ten years after the events of the first series. The Radam are invading yet again, and the expanded Space Knights train a team of new Tekkamen to fight them. The first half deals with the continuing Radam war and focuses on Yumi Francois/Tekkaman Hiver, a clumsy mechanic who is nonetheless recruited into the new team. The second half details the appearance of Tekkaman Dead and his struggle with Space Knight David Kruegel/Tekkaman Sommer, as well as with Blade himself.

Though its premise is more like an armored super hero, it still made its way to Super Robot Wars (J and W). Go figure. And if superheroes (and Capcom) are more your cup of tea than giant robots, then you can check out Blade's playable appearance in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars.


A character sheet is constantly in-progress.

Tekkaman Blade provides examples of the following tropes:

  • After-Action Healing Drama: Takes place after most of the larger-scale battles.
  • After the End: The second half of the series, after Miyuki self-destructs in an attempt to destroy the other Tekkamen, which also destroys the Space Knights base. Earth was barely holding on even before that.
  • Air Jousting: Tekkamen fighting with Tek Lances generally fight like this.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: We're dealing with aliens that wanted to terraform every planet inhabitants they came across and eventually setting themselves as the ruler of the universe. May be subverted come II when some of them are shown to be genuinely mourning for their fallen comrades... but of course, as Aki had to remind the new Space Knight Tekkamen, they are still hostile forces against humans.
  • Alien Kudzu: The Radam trees/tekkaplants, which engulf the Earth and slowly terraform it. Their true purpose is to capture people for conversion into Tekkamen.
  • Alien Invasion: The Radam are trying to take over the Earth.
  • Alliterative Name: "Ringo Richards," "Star Summers" and "Mac MacElroy" in the dub.
  • Alleged Lookalikes: Takaya and Shinya. Sure, they're simmilar, but not nearly enough for one to pass for the other.
  • Alternative Calendar: The series begins in United Space Calendar Year 192.
  • Always on Duty: Pretty much everyone defending Earth.
  • Always Identical Twins: The Aiba twins, Takaya and Shinya, AKA D-Boy and Tekkaman Evil. In-universe at least.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Blade II's ending counts as both this and a Bolivian Army Ending.
  • Angst: Turning into an alien monster and having to fight and kill your family members and closest friends (Goddard was practically family, and Fong would've been his sister-in-law if the Radam had snared the ship a day later) who still seem to be mostly themselves (they have their personalities and memories, their loyalty is just to the Radam over the human race) is a pretty tall order no matter how you slice it. Add on the fact that he's deathly afraid of getting close to anyone ever again because of it, the fact that if he goes overtime in his Tekkaman form he could become an out of control threat potentially worse than the Radam (and does), the fact that early on he is at best mistrusted by the others and at worst hated and treated like a monster... especially considering his general emotional response is to just run on sheer anger and hate for the Radam and the wangst only comes up when he's out and out overwhelmed, as anime leads go, Takaya's emo moments are pretty damn justified. Which make his amnesia as the side effect of the Blastor Form more of a blessing than a misfortune, really.
  • Ascended Fangirl/Hero-Worshipper: Yumi really idolizes Blade.
  • Asteroid Thicket: During their meeting with the convoy from Io, the Blue Earth flies through one of these.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Generally possible with Tek-lancers.
  • Artificial Gravity: The Orbital Ring is stated to have this.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Blastor Mode, which is stated to shorten the lifespan of a Tekkaman who uses it and seen to consume D-Boy's memories.
  • Badass Normal: Most of the Space Knights, although the most notable example here is O'Toole. He not only managed to survive against the Radam for a REALLY long time, he also managed to catch a Tekkaman off-guard, something that is downright impossible for normal humans.
  • Band of Brothers: The Space Knights.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Radam monsters and Tekkamen often break through walls and doors.
  • Batman Cold Open: Blade begins with D-Boy's attack on the Radam occupying the Space Ring, in contrast to Teknoman's Villain Opening Scene.
  • Battle of the Still Frames: Most battles are portrayed this way in the series; not so much in the OAV.
  • Being Human Sucks: At least the Radam Tekkamen think so.
  • Blade Lock: Since Tek Lances can't cut each other, a lot of Tekkaman fights wind up with them in a clinch.
  • Big Fancy House: That looks more like a Big Fancy Castle; the Space Knights stay in it for at least two days.
  • Bio-Augmentation: By way of Imported Alien Phlebotinum.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Radam are defeated and humanity is rebuilding, but all of Takaya's/D-Boy's old friends and family are still dead. Furthermore, Takaya loses all of the memories of his old life because of the stress that his Blaster Mode put on him. However, this gives him a new lease on life by removing the burden of losing his old family and friends and is living with Aki by the end of the series.
  • Body Horror: Saying that D-Boy's transformation in the OVA "Twin Blood" special looks incredibly painful is a gross understatement.
  • Body Snatcher: The Radam are actually worm-like parasites that can control larger hosts like human Tekkamen; they presumably enter fairly late in the process since Blade and Rapier were freed with nearly full power before getting implanted.
  • Bug War: The Radam are giant arthropod-like creatures that turn into alien trees after burrowing into the ground, for a slight variation on the usual queen and hive structure.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Shortly after D-Boy arrives on Earth and is discovered by the Space Knights, Noal repeatedly tries to antagonize him with probing questions about what he is and whose side he's on. This is after he's seen D-Boy assume his Tekkaman form and effortlessly cut through the Radam's Spider-Crabs, which until now have been virtually unstoppable.
    • How the plot of II pretty much kicks into gear.
  • But Sir, It's Not Ready: Said nearly verbatim in the dub; Colbert sends the Sol-Tekkamen out anyway.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Tek-Setter!" In Teknoman, "Tekno-Power!"
  • Cain and Abel: Teknoman actually renames one of the brothers "Cain." The second episode of Tekkaman Blade II includes the biblical Cain and Abel story in its title crawl.
  • Came from the Sky: Blade/D-Boy, who falls from the Orbital Ring and crashes near Aki and Noal in the first episode.
  • Call-Back : The end of series speech Blade made to Dead to live on and let Tekkaman Dead to die is a Call-Back to the end of the first series where he state that Takaya Aiba is dead before defeating Omega.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Only Blade calls all his moves, but it seems no Tekkaman can resist shouting "VOLTEKKAAAAA!" at least once.
    • Out of all the 12 tekkamen introduced in the two series, all but four use it (Omega, Dagger, Rapier and Scarlet). Of the remaining eight, Axe and Sword are the only ones who don't call it.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique/Deadly Upgrade: In the beginning of the first series, the main character's incomplete transformation allows him to retain his free will, but has a side effect; his constant transformations into his superpowered form are destroying his central nervous system. The upgrade to Blastor Mode fixed this problem, but caused transforming to burn up his memories instead—he even forgets how to transform at one point. And dialogue by the arch-villain, in the Australian dub at least, implied that this Super Mode upgrade would cause a Teknoman to burn out and die within a few months, though this doesn't come to pass.
  • Darker and Edgier: The original Tekkaman was already pretty grim, but Blade throws Idealism into deep space and (space) lances it. Just to compare on how much darker it is... let's compare the protagonists:
    • Jouji lost his father against an invading alien force (Waldastars) which set him on a path of hatred against aliens, but he always had his friends to reel him in and he eventually learned to put those feelings aside in order to protect mankind that's mostly welcoming of his efforts. When he's in Tekkaman form too long, he put a strain on his body but the worst he got was just severe pain everywhere (although still life-threatening enough to be taken seriously).
    • D-Boy lost his entire family and most of them got completely assimilated to the alien force (Radam), and only barely escaped. When he returned to Earth, he's not exactly welcome there, some forces were trying to use him for their own ends while he still has to worry about beating down the aliens in the name of much more justified revenge (though he did have friends to reel him in). Oh and if he stays in Tekkaman for too long, he risks on losing control of himself and will kill all his friends in a frenzied state and when he gets a power up, he risks on getting his memory wiped slowly (and it DID happen). Also said assimilated family return to spearhead the invasion of Earth, and D-Boy, despite his attempts to persuade them, had no choice but to kill them all. Yikes.
  • Divided We Fall: The Space Knights and the Allied Defense Force are at odds over who gets control of Tekkaman Blade.
  • Double Weapon: The SPACE LANCE, er, Tek Lancer.
  • Downer Beginning: The Radam have seized the Orbital Ring and are using it to bombard the Earth, conventional weapons are useless against them, and the Radam trees are taking over much of the land.
  • Dramatic Shattering: Blade's Tekset crystal when he tries to transform while caught in a trap that suppresses his power. It's sorta fixed a couple episodes later.
  • Drinking Contest: O'Toole goads D-Boy into one in their first encounter and easily wins, gaining D-Boy's cooperation in the Orbital Elevator operation.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Actually a "he." Just goes to show how much Aki cares for D-Boy... And leading her to Converse with the Unconscious.
  • During the War: Focuses on the Space Knights and their attempts to stop the Radam invasion, and later resistance to the occupation.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The new Tekkaman team in the OVA are a deeply screwed up group, with most of their issues centered on the Hayato/Jumi/D-Boy/Aki/David love polygon and a common tie to Prague.
  • Earth Is a Battlefield: The Radam are landing everywhere, and fighting takes place across the entire Earth, most of it going badly for humans.
  • Escape Pod: Takaya's father puts him on one when the Radam attack their ship.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The series starts with Blade fighting the Radam, and barely slows down from there.
  • Everyone Can See It: Between Aki and D-Boy; or so Noal claims.
  • Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Inverted subversion: Yumi is clearly Japanese, but she has a French surname... and she's the cute ditz instead of the "sexy" (that title goes to the Russian Natasha).
  • Evil All Along: In an episode on season 1, D-Boy mentioned how the Character of the Day is mysterious and might have something he hid. Later on, he apparently abandoned his mission and seemingly go in the same direction as the Radam. Subverted, he did that to do a suicide attack to make sure he can fulfill his mission of delivering the supply that he escorted to earth.
  • Evil Is Visceral: Moreso in the "Twin Blood" OAV, though.
  • Exposition Diagram: During most of the many briefings conducted during the series.
  • Eye Scream: Tekkaman Dagger has this happen to him after ironically causing a similar injury to Blade.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Sometimes crosses over into Family-Unfriendly Death.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Primary Bodies (people partially converted by the Radam pods with a semi-armored form) get subjected to this in Tekkaman Blade II. It eventually escalates into a rebellion that ends in Prague getting nuked.
  • Fetal Position Rebirth: Anyone being made into a Tekkaman, at least in the first series.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Nearly Once an Episode, with the Blue Earth.
  • Final Battle: One of the episodes is even called this in the English dub.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Crush/Crash Intrude, which sometimes also counts as Hot Wings.
  • Foreshadowing: If you watched the series carefully there is TONS of hints that hinted that yes, D-Boy's life really sucks, and he's nicer than he appears to be, particularly episode 10.
  • Four Is Death: Tekkaman Dead, the fourth introduced new Tekkaman in Tekkaman Blade II. And he starts out evil, too.
  • General Ripper: Galt/Colbert, who's obssessed with destroying the Radam and constantly tries to kill D-Boy despite his being on the human side..
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Aki "Bright Slaps" D-Boy at one point.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Radam mooks are generally arthropod-shaped with tentacles and acid spit.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Spider-crabs, and Tekkamen when they're transformed.
  • Gratuitous English: Freeman's Catchphrase, "Blue Earth, Go!" In Tekkaman Blade II, the phrase is inherited by Aki and mocked by Yumi.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Absolutely no one feels bad about killing off the Radam's hordes; the Tekkamen... not so much.
  • Had to Be Sharp: Every one of the survivors; the Space Knights in particular.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The enemy Tekkamen, considering D-Boy knew them all for years because they were either family members or close friends.
  • Henshin Hero: Blade, of course. Also Rapier, technically. And of course, everyone in Blade II. To say nothing of the Radam Tekkamen.
  • Here We Go Again!: In the second series, the Radam come back.
  • Heroic BSoD: Blade suffers one of these over several episodes as a result of a temporary Face–Heel Turn.
  • Heroic RRoD: Blaster Mode eventually consumes all of Blade's memories except his hatred of the Radam, leaving him in a catatonic state at the end of the series.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In the TV series, Miyuki/Shara, already dying, blows herself up in battle with the Tekkamen attacking the Space Knights' HQ at the end of the first season. However, in the second season, it turns out that the evil Tekkamen survived. Also a scientist from earlier episode and Barnard O'Toole.
    • In the OVA, Dead End, as his first act of atonement for the Space Knights after being beaten by Blade and told to live a new life, jumped to space and destroyed a nuclear missile, sparing Aki from the job and seemingly destroyed himself in process. Unlike Miyuki, however, turns out Dead survived that and he then joined the Space Knights in their war against the Alien Radams.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: The ones that the Space Knights wear.
  • Hostile Terraforming: Played with. People believe the Radam intend to terraform Earth into their newest colony. This is far from the case. They don't care about Earth whatsoever, they're bio-forming us.
  • Hour of Power: D-Boy can't stay in his Tekkaman form for more than thirty minutes, or he'll go into an Unstoppable Rage that will supposedly culminate in a permanent Face–Heel Turn.
  • Humans Are Special: Humans just make better Tekkamen. Even when Tekkamen made from other alien races appear, complete human Tekkamen are still leagues above them.
  • I Am Who?: D-Boy/Takaya, when his amnesia becomes especially pronounced.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: D-Boy directly asks Milly to make sure the Space Knights kill him if his Hour of Power is over and he goes into Unstoppable Rage.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Shinya / Evil has paler skin and finer eyebrows than Takaya / D-Boy.
  • I Have the High Ground: Tekkamen really like standing in tall places to look down on their foes.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Blade sometimes tries to get through to his former friends and family who've been brainwashed into Tekkaman. Sure, it never works, but it shows how much he still cares.
    • Made all the more crushing when he finds out near the end of the series that each Tekkaman is only evil via a Radam parasite, and that he could've gotten through to them if only he'd known to kill the parasite first somehow.
  • Ill Girl: Miyuki/Shara is a pretty tragic example.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The dub is full of these. Leads to a bit of Mood Whiplash, as Blade will go from joking around to deadly serious in the span of 5 minutes.
  • I Need No Ladders: All Teknomen are capable of leaping at least their own height.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Radam cannon-fodder.
  • Invisible President: Only shown from the top of the nose down.
  • Karma Houdini: In II... General Pablochiva, Natasha's dad, practically got away scot free for dropping a nuke, killing many innocent Primary Body Tekkaman just to kill off several rebelling Tekkaman who rebelled as a retaliation to Fantastic Racism subjected upon them, and dropped ANOTHER just to stop Dead, despite the possibility of creating another "Black September of Prague" like when it happened during the first nuke drop, overruling Aki's pleas not to do the second one and requiring Dead to make a Heroic Sacrifice to stop it. Also, he was responsible in arresting and possibly executing Noal for attempting to stop the first nuke drop. By the end of the OVA, he still retained his position instead of his bigotry biting him in the ass like Colbert in the TV series, and the Space Knights concentrated more in facing the Alien Radam that just came. All this guy got for all these is probably just strained relationship with his daughter.
  • Kill Sat: The Orbital Ring... which just happens to be under the control of the Radam.
  • Kung-Shui: Tekkamen battles always rearrange the local landscape.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Double Subversion: D-Boy apparently has amnesia at the beginning of the series, but it turns out he's lying. Then near the end, he starts losing his memory for real.
  • Lighter and Softer: II is a lot lighter, with younger Tekkaman group that was prone to teenager antics and some humorous cliche like Face Fault. Even so, there were still some dark elements in II, including Fantastic Racism, nuclear strikes, bloody battles, although when you compare with the first series' litany of how much Blade's life, past and present, sucked... those seemed lighter.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: A Tekkaman's lancer has never been shown as capable of cutting another one.
  • Limited Wardrobe: We rarely see characters out of their signature outfits, and even then mostly in flashbacks.
  • Living Ship: The Radam travel in these.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: David, who is shown constantly flirting with mechanics and staff at the base and picking up a one night stand on vacation.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Aki/D-Boy/Yumi, with Hayato having unrequited feelings for Yumi. Also D-Boy/Aki/David, with David eventually establishing some sort of Ho Yay with Dead.
  • Magical Particle Accelerator: A couple episodes focus on the defense of a large-scale particle accelerator in Texas note  that produced Fermion Cannon ammunition for the Sol-Tekkaman suits.
  • Mangst: Despite all the endless and very angst-inducing problems D-Boy seems to have, he doesn't even TALK about them during practically the entire first half of the series, instead focusing all his efforts of kicking the Radam's ass. Pretty damn manly way to deal with angst.
  • Meat Moss: The Aiba family's ship after the Radam remodel it into their base, as well as the alien ship they found near Jupiter, though Radam tend for a more vegetalbe look.
  • Made of Indestructium: The Radam Tekkamen, and of course D-Boy when he's transformed.
  • Melancholy Moon: D-Boy spends a lot of time staring up at it.
  • Metamorphosis Monster: The Spider-crabs, who eventually transform into Radam trees.
  • Mildly Military: The Space Knights.
  • Mission Briefing: Quite a few, mostly from Freeman.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: A scene in II where Alien Tekkamen mourn the death of one of their own.
  • Monstrosity Equals Weakness: Played with: the monsters that the Radam use as shock-troops are fully capable of destroying normal military vehicles and weaponry, but the Tekkamen are far stronger than they are, and quite a bit more humanoid.
  • Monumental Damage: Quite often; one of the episodes had a shot of the Coliseum exploding, another has a shot of Big Ben covered in Radam foliage.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: D-Boy, after he attacks Milly.
  • Mythology Gag: In one of the later episodes of the first series, during the evacuation to the Orbital Ring, we are treated to a child being picked up by a rescue worker, whom the scene lingers on while they talk. The worker answers the child's concerns with "As long as we have Tekkaman, we'll be fine". Watching the "History Of Tekkaman" featurette on the DVDs, and the appearance of the rescue worker is a dead ringer for Joji Minami, the original Tekkaman from 1970s series.
    • Moreover, the kid's mother who came later to the scene looks like Hiromi Amachi, the heroine of 1970s series. And when the scene cuts to the Space Knights, one of the crews there had the appearance of Andro Umeda, Joji's lancer and best friend.
  • Naked on Arrival: Blade, in a crater, covered in blood.
  • Neck Lift: Lance does this to a few soldiers when he's hunting Blade during the latter's Deadly Upgrade.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: At the end of the series.
  • Not of This Earth: The Radam trees.
  • Nuclear Option: It fails due to Blade's sheer power and durability.
  • Ominous Walk: Seems to be a staple of Radam Tekkamen.
  • One-Woman Wail: The Thorny Garden song from the Japanese soundtrack of the anime.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: "Brush away those tears underneath your mask!"
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: Looking out to the sunset in the first series.
  • Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame: Used for dramatic moments like Miyuki's death and ensuing destruction of the Space Knights base.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Aki in II, going from The Chick to The Captain and a Tekkaman herself!.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: "Tekkaman Blade!" "Tekkaman Sommer!" "Tekkaman Vesna!" "Tekkaman Hiver!"
    • Aki notably doesn't do this in the sequel, simply posing silently at the end of her transformation. In fact she doesn't have a Tekkaman name at all during the actual show. Side material and SRW would dub her "Tekkaman Aki" mostly out of needing to call her something.
  • Touched by Vorlons: How all of the Tekkamen get their powers.
  • Transformation Sequence:
    • A rare example of a male nude transformation sequence.
    • There's also the typical female versions, which can double as a Fanservicey aversion of Nipple and Dimed (for some, anyway).
  • Transformation Trinket: The Tek-set system is composed of a single crystal whose appearance varies between each individual Tekkaman. When Takaya's is shattered, it's later installed in his Humongous Mecha, Pegas. And somehow regenerated in the sequel without explanation.
  • Tragic Villain: Pretty much all of the evil Tekkamen.
  • Transhuman: All of the Tekkamen, with those on the Radam side engaging in Transhuman Treachery.
  • Twin Telepathy: Takaya and Shinya/Tekkaman Evil. Mildly subverted in that it's actually part of their Tekkaman powers.
  • The Unfavorite: Shinya/Cain in the Burning Clock special. He felt that his father viewed him as weaker than his older brother and blamed him for his mother's death. It doesn't help that even though Shinya often won the matches, races and other competitions he had with Takaya, his more outgoing twin would unintentionally overshadow him most of the time.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Takaya is forced to murder his way through the members of his family to protect the Earth.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Voltekka, used my nearly every Tekkaman on both sides.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Levin—changed to a female, Maggie, in the dub.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Once you think about it, Tekkaman Blade shares a lot of simmilarity with Kamen Rider BLACK.
  • Wrench Wench: Levin... sorta. Really sorta. Also Yumi Francois, who started the OVA as a Blue Earth mechanic but quickly got upgraded to the first half's main character.


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