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Manga / Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai

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Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai also known as Galaxy Warring State Chronicles, Galaxy Warrior Rai or Thunder Jet is a space opera manga created by Johji Manabe note  for serialization in KADOKAWA's Comic Comp and later Dengeki Comic gao! running from 1989 to 2001 for 27 volumes. Rai would later receive an anime adaptation by E&G Films in 1994 which ran for 52 episodes on TV Tokyo.

After the collapse of the Sacred Galaxy Empire, a battle for control of the Milky Way Constellation breaks out among the War Lords. From the chaos of outer space emerges a young courageous warrior, Rai Ryuuga is a fearless warrior to his foes but to others, he is a gentle soul, dependable and loyal.

Two powerful forces aspire to reign over the entire Galaxy, Danjou Higi of the Northern Milky Way and Queen Masamune, ruler of the Southern Region.

Rai Ryuuga sees the ensuing battle and ponders the ultimate goal. Is it power and glory these rulers seek or a peaceful Milky Way under one rule? Rai Ryuuga realizes the importance of this battle and the purpose of his destiny. One day Rai Ryuuga will bring peace to the Milky Way.

In short, this series is essentially what would happen if you took Space Battleship Yamato, Legend of Galactic Heroes, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the Sengoku Period and put them all in a blender.

Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime is more or less an abridged version of volumes 1-24 with many elements and characters excised or changed entirely as well as an anime original ending as the manga was far from finished at the point the anime stopped.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Rai is a more straightforward hero in the anime compared to his manga counterpart who is a more complex and tragic character, but ultimately still well intentioned.
  • Anti-Villain: Except for Gen'i and Houmei, just about everyone Rai faces is this.
  • Art Major Physics
  • Babies Ever After: In the manga, Rai has a child with Reira named Botenmaru AKA Ryuuki, another with Youshouka named Shoujimaru AKA Ryuuhakuga and thanks to a secret affair with Masamune, he has another son named Jamuka who's the main charcter of the sequel, Ibun
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space : Despite being a space opera, no one wears a space suit, in fact, the concept of space suit is unknown to everyone in this series. On the other hand, the most memorable fights are sword fights with giant stars as backdrop, so a space suit would detract from the intended aesthetics.
  • Big Brother Mentor : Rouha to Rai.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows : Rai, to go along with his Hot-Blooded Sideburns and '80s Hair.
  • Bittersweet Ending : In the anime The Epilogue narrates that despite Rai's efforts to unify the galaxy and all of its kingdoms the task is not complete until 50 years after his last climatic battle - by the son of one of his adversaries. The manga however has a much happier ending.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer : Shishin, Rai's strategist. Mostly in the manga though.
  • Cat Folk: Garer and his brothers are 7 foot tall Tiger Men.
  • Chinese Mythology : The Four Warlords are modeled after the four Gods of Heavens, the Tortoise, Phoenix, Dragon, and Tiger
  • Cool Big Sis : Rouha to Rai, initially.
  • Cool Ship : Each General has their own Cool Ship, but Rai's Kongo takes the cake.
  • Dragon with an Agenda : Gen'i and Houmei for Danjou, notable is that each has their own agenda, which includes bringing the other dragon down as well.
  • Dub Name Change: Enoki Films has alternate names for the characters on their site and most dubs go with these names while making alterations of their own depending on the dub.
  • Duel to the Death : Despite being a space opera, some of the most memorable fights are more often sword fights between generals, most often on top of one of their ships, while engulfed in flames.
  • Eldritch Abomination : Gen'i's true form.
  • Face Death with Dignity : Rouha, after being defeated by Rai, she gives him some encouraging words, then jumps off her ship and falls onto a star to die a fiery death.
  • Feudal Future
  • Four Is Death : The Heavenly Four: Houmei, Rouha, Gaira and Gen'i
  • Heroic BSoD : Rai has to deal with two, when he killed his friend and mentor, Rouha; and when he found out about the death of his first wife Shimon.
  • Hot-Blooded : Rai
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes : This anime is so rare that its virtually impossible to find a subbed episode in English; in fact, most of the episodes you might find if you look hard enough are either dubbed in Arabic or in Spanish, subbed in Chinese, — or really really bad Chinese to English subs.
  • Mundane Made Awesome : Feudal China/Japan wars at a galaxy level using battleships reminiscent of naval battleships in space! — Let alone the swordfights with a giant star as a backdrop.
  • Ramming Always Works : Justified in part as there are infantry units inside every ship that will board other enemy ships after impact.
  • Recycled In Space : Feudal China / Japan Wars IN SPACE!!!
  • Second Love: After Shimon dies, Reira effectively became this in the manga, even having a child with him and he later has a third wife named Youshouka who he also has a child with.
  • Self-Made Man : A Military Example, Rai started as an infantry man and by the end of the series he was basically the general and ruler of half of the galaxy.
  • Space Is an Ocean : Space is treated mostly as a 2D space where naval fights break out.
  • Space Is Noisy : Basically for Rule of Cool
  • Space Opera : Feudal Space Opera at that.
  • Spanner in the Works : Rai, for just about everyone trying to take control of the whole galaxy.
  • Standard Starship Scuffle : How fights usually happen in the series.
  • The Starscream : Houmei and Gen'i. They actually try to sabotage each other while trying to advance their own agendas.
  • The Strategist : Just about every major General has one. Rai has Shishin, Rakou has Kyoushishou, Gaira has his younger brother Gaien.
  • Wave-Motion Gun : Lampshaded and played straight with Kongo's main cannon — which fires an artillery shell of huge proportions, and about as destructive as a proper Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Worthy Opponent : Rai and Rouha.

Alternative Title(s): Thunder Jet