Brave Express Might Gaine was the fourth Brave Series installment produced by Sunrise. Might Gaine aired in Japan in 1993, with a total of 47 episodes. Unlike prior shows in the Brave Series, the robots were created by humans, as opposed to having more extraterrestrial or supernatural origins.
Might Gaine is set in the near future of year 2050 note when the world's reserves of fossil fuel have nearly run out; commercial planes can't fly anymore, cars are powered with rechargeable electric batteries, and long distance trade are handled purely by surface ships such as trains. Also made possible are the widespread use of affordable Mecha made for consumer convenience, in which a good portion of them became an underground trade used for criminal ends.
Opposing them is the Brave Express Team, lead by by the teenage industrialist Might Senpuuji. Given life by an advanced AI program, he is assisted by his own team of transforming mecha. The episodes are fairly stand-alone for the first part of the series; it isn't until Might's rival, Joe, shows up that there is really any connecting thread between the episodes. The main enemy isn't even hinted at until further on.
Tropes used for this series:
- Always in Class One: Might and Hamada are freshmens of the same high school, and enrolled together in Class 1-A.
- Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: The Senpuuji Concern is an example of a Mega-Corp that is actually benevolent instead of being a negative figure.
Butler Aoki: "Shall I calculate the losses, master?"Might: "Do you honestly care about that, Aoki?"Butler Aoki: *Beat* "No, not at all, sir."Might "Then, nah, don't worry about it."
- Big Fancy House: The Senpuujis owns approximately 1/3rd of Tokyo Bay solely to themselves and has a personal mansion that's built right on bay waters complete with island space big enough to be called "a district."
- Super Toughness: And so The Pink Cats was daring enough to break into Might's mansion and rob his arbitrarily large bank vault. What they didn't expect is the vault is as large as The Senpuuji Mansion itself, with its weight and toughness beyond measurable; just using a full sized super robot ain't gonna let you fly far. However, The Pink Cats were smart enough to use the vault as a weapon to curb-stomp Great Might Gaine to their advantage. Not that Mr. CEO cares. Might just casually orders Might Gunner to blast the vault open to let Miss Catherine Vuitton panic and finish her off; turning the savings in that vault of his to complete dust.
- Bland-Name Product: "SUNRICE Meals."
- Calling Your Attacks: GAINE SHOT! ICHIMONJI-GIRI!
- Central Theme: "Justice."
- Cool Train: MIGHT GAINEEEEE! Also, the Bombers and the Divers. Oh, and Might Gunner and Might Kaiser.
- To explain just how much Cool Train the Brave Express team is packing: Might Gaine is comprised of 3 trains, 2 of which can be stored within the larger. Might Kaiser and Might Gunner are 1 each. The Bombers and Divers are 4 trains each, which can combine into 2 larger trains. That's thirteen trains total, capable of combining into five larger ones. Oh, and those 5 can lock together to pull off their ultimate Finishing Move: Joint Dragon Fire. (Yes, their ultimate attack involves the opponent getting run over by thirteen Cool Trains.)
- Combining Mecha: Duh.
- Cowboy Episode: In episode 13, Might received a case to take out bad guys located within a western theme park in The United States, which he stayed a bit longer afterwards sporting a full Cowboy gear to enjoy the atmosphere.
- Fate Drives Us Together: Our commoner heroine, Sally Yoshinaga being from a low-income family technically would never have any chance to cross paths with the high-and-above all Might Senpuuji. But her courageous confrontation with an enemy one night changes the gears for her, as Might would take her to safety. Ever since that night, due to her Running Gag of switching jobs and engulfed in-between battles, Sally and Might get to know each other little-by-little during each encounter. Eventually, the two fall in love.
- Humongous Mecha: Great Might Gaine.
- Improbable Age: 15 year-old teenagers, Might can pilot a jet, while Hamada is allowed to drive a car without any adult supervision. note Realistically speaking, where as Might most likely can get away with it, having Hamada with privileges like that makes people wonder whether the age consent was overall looser in their world setting.
- Masquerade Ball: Episode 44 has The Senpuuji Concern host a masquerade/costume Christmas Eve party opened to the public. Which gave Might the opportunity to officially offer Sally his hand for a Dance of Romance. Of course, this also attracted the money thieves, Shogun Mifune and The Pink Cats into the mansion.
- Not Quite Dead: Several of sympathetic one-shot characters that seemingly died throughout the series turns out alive and well to attend Might and Sally's wedding in the end of the series, including Kiyomaru Kujou and Kochou/Luna Naitou. Unlike those two, however, Black Might Gaine stayed dead. Also, turns out that Joe survived his suicide run against Exeve, since he's also seen in the wedding.
- Primary-Color Champion:
- Might Gaine
- Might's battle uniform are composed with dark, teal blue inner garments note and a bright red vest. With his hair color as a bonus.
- Railroad Employee Roundhouse: Since the story revolves around the planet's largest railroad company, expect various employees of the Senpuuji Concern pop up for time to time.
- Recap Episode: Episode 39 is a full TV-show segment featuring (CEO) Might Senpuuji as one of six invited guests to have a panel discussion on topics regarding The Brave Express Team.
- Recycled Soundtrack: The 2nd ending theme, "Black Diamond" is a rearrangement of "Ame no Highway" from Idol Densetsu Eriko, both songs were composed by Nobuhiko Kashiwara.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Guard Diver is destroyed, Might and Might Gaine go on one of these against Purple. Battle Bomber is then destroyed. Maito and Great Might Gaine respond by bisecting the robot that did it, then killing Purple by blowing his battleship and army into oblivion with the Perfect Cannon. This probably extends to Exeve and Black Noir as well.
- Shout-Out: A little boy from a ridiculously wealthy family witnessed his parents' death at a young age, brought up by his butler, swears to fight to protect his city in the name of justice and revenge on whoever plotted his parents' death, and so, teamed up with his butler in using his mansion to build machines to fight against their enemies, does that even freaking remind you of somebody?
- Word of God confirms Might's surname and the name of Might Gaine were based on the 1959-60s Japanese movie series Ginza Senpuuji (The Whirlwind Kid of Ginza).
- In the episode featuring the Evil Twin, Black Might Gaine, its transformation sequence finishes off with the villain docking with it a la Mazinger Z.
- Targeting method and working of internal mechanisms of Perfect Cannon show it to be not just a Wave-Motion Gun but The Wave Motion Gun.
- The jewel thief Pink Cat has, at least once, used the alias "Marilyn Monroe".
- Sonic the Hedgehog makes a cameo in episode 19 as a key chain figurine.
- Theme Music Power-Up: Whenever Might Gaine is about to commence asskicking, an instrumental version of the opening, Arashi no Hero, starts up.
- Three Successful Generations: The Senpuuji Clan.
- First generation Yuujiro Senpuuji foresaw the extinction of fossil fuel and invested in the railroad production business. His business started slow due to his determination on emphasizing the safety and sturdiness of his products. Which in the long run, made his company the top selling brand for train products world wide.
- Second generation Akira Senpuuji took over his father, Yuujiro's railroad production line, and expands on international trades that went beyond railroad products. He also invested and merged in large amounts of high-tech electron technologies, communication, and finance firms as a way to secretly launch his Brave Express project underneath his father's nose.
- Third generation Might Senpuuji merges both his father and grandfather's businesses under one roof, then proceeded in earning his concern a whopping 200% increase of profit income by his first year as CEO all the while operating his Brave Express underneath the noses of the public; granting him the proper enlistment amongst the Fiction 500.
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: "The power of justice will summon a storm."
- Super Civil Services: The titular mech is part of the Brave Express Corps, a private emergency rescue service force that helps people in disasters through a variety of ways, all of which are handled by more mecha with Super AI that can also use their abilities for combat against the show's various criminals.
- Tournament Play: Might Gaine is one of the first anime series to introduce the cultural concept of the now popular eSports. Episode 15 has a "CG Robot Championship" where the contestants showcase their customized virtual robots by competing against each other in a 3D arena battle. The championship is large enough to take place in a public sports dome, and Might was an invited VIP to watch the competition with Hamada, Aoki and Izumi.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Played with in episode 42, where the Villain of the Week managed to succeed to prevent the combination of the individual Braves using robots Raijin and Jinrai, by firing an anti-combine magnet from a satellite base and having Raijin and Jinrai surround it to disrupt the combination. Luckily Might Gunner ended it by firing at the ship's antenna which provided the anti-combination mechanism, and the villain gets it. See Cool Train above on how the good guys payed him back.
- Transformation Name AnnouncementMight Gaine: "Carrying the hopes on silver wings, this green light signals for peace! The Brave Express Might Gaine, arriving on scene just in time!"
- Transforming Mecha: Do we really have to say it?
- Biting-the-Hand Humor / Take That!: The twist ending is commonly thought of as pushback by Sunrise against Takara over conflicts during the making of its predecessor. The sheer over-the-top degree to which villainous robots combine and transform, often for no reason and far in excess of how often they do so in other Brave Series shows, might be an extended example against the excesses of Merchandise-Driven shows in general, though of course Might Gaine is such a show itself.
- Wedding Finale: The final moments of the Series Finale is Might and Sally's wedding. With the credits playing over a painted animation cel of the newlyweds overlaid on a white background.
- The Worf Effect: Gaine is a pretty effective combatant in the first episode... and then after that he starts getting kicked around, having to hold out until the Locomoriser shows up to form Might Gaine. The same could be said for both Guard Diver and Tri-Bomber/Battle Bomber as well.