Bagani is a Fantasy TV series from the Philippines that draws inspiration from the country's various myths. In the beginning, the world of Sansinukob was made from a twinkling light in the heavens blessed by Bathala. So blessed was it that Bathala's most powerful creatures, the brother deities Apo and Sarimaw, were tasked to guard it.
Sansinukob is divided into five regions, each ruled by a clan:
- The Taga-patag (plains people): Farmers that keep the plains alive.
- The Taga-gubat (forest people): The hunters of Sansinukob.
- The Taga-laot (sea people): Skilled fishermen unmatched at sea.
- The Taga-kalakal (traders): Known as the richest, biggest, and most powerful clan.
- The Taga-disyerto (desert people): A clan of warriors infamous for their lack of honor and the poorest of them all.
This series contains the following tropes:
- A Taste of Power: The first scene of the series has Lakas fighting a dragon but it took ten episodes to show how he actually got empowered.
- All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats: Some of the Taga-Patag.
- The Atoner: Lakam
- All the Other Reindeer: Lakas was discriminated against by his playmates as a child because he's viewed as the son of traitors.
- Call to Agriculture: After Agos was crippled, he tried to grow produce in the desert with limited success. When Lakas became leader of the Taga-disyerto, the rest of the tribe tried again with the farming techniques he learned from the Taga-patag but subverted in that they still haven't given up as warriors.
- Culture Chop Suey: The five groups are loosely based on a composite of different Filipino indigenous groups, which is done deliberately so as not to malign a specific tribe.
- Et Tu, Brute?:
- Alab was killed by his son, Dakim. Before that, Alab was also on the receiving end of it from Agos when he confirmed his son's participation in the assassination of the Taga-kalakal leader.
- Ganda was devastated to learn that Lakas is a desert dweller spy.
- Just about every decent person in Sansinukob when Lakam sided with Sarimaw.
- The Exile: The group of Taga-Disyerto came to be when Lakas' parents, Agos and Lila (a royal heiress), were banished from the land of the Taga-Kalakal along with several others that followed them. This could have ended through a father and daughter reconciliation yet they were ambushed by Dakim's group.
- False Flag Operation: It's the M.O. of the ruling class of the Taga-Kalakal to send attackers disguised as people from another clan to sow disorder among them.
- Henshin Heroes: The five Bagani. Subverted later on when they kept their costume even outside of battle after Apo permanently gave them their powers before dying.
- Hijacked by Jesus: The interrupted wedding between Lakam and Ganda has more in common with a Christian wedding, emphasized with Ganda walking down the aisle with a western-looking wedding gown. The building where the ceremony takes place also has stained glass designs on the windows like several other Taga-kalakal buildings shown prior.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Taga-Gubat do not interact much with the other clans, very rarely so that Lakas' disguise of hailing from them was immediately called to question. Later on, there's also the Taong-Lobo (Wolf-People), who were even more reclusive.
- Love at First Sight: Lakas was smitten with Ganda the first time he turned his head to her when one of her arrows saved his life.
- Odd Name Out: Lakam's Bond Creature is Bernardo Carpio, named after a Folk Hero from the Spanish colonial period. There's also Gloria, the babaylan.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: The Magindara lure people with their song and eat them but decided to spare Lakas and Ganda because of their pure hearts, at which point they resorted to playing Shipper on Deck instead. Unfortunately, it was post-betrayal and there already was a rift between them though they later reconciled.
- Patchwork Map: The barren desert is right next to the abundant plains of the farmers.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Taga-Disyerto subverts this by having no delusion of honor and had to rely on less savory ways to survive. After Lakas became the leader, he works to have them play this straight.
- Stealth Pun: It might be unintentional but most of the Taong Lobo have rounded figures, with the notable exception of a reformed Dakim, who was turned into one of them, because the Filipino words for wolf and balloon sound and are spelled the same.
- Shout-Out: Dumakulem's friend Ula is a reimagined version of the titular character played by Judy Ann Santos in the 1988 TV series Ula, Ang Batang Gubat (lit. "Ula, The Forest Child").
- This Is a Work of Fiction: ABS-CBN was forced to put up the following disclaimer in response to historical societies and indigenous groups who took offence at what they deemed to be a misrepresentation of their tribes and the use of the term "Bagani" on a Fantasy Counterpart Culture heavily based on pre-colonial Philippine societies (the line shown below is announced by the network's announcer, Peter Musñgi):"Ang kuwentong inyong mapapanood ay kathang-isip lamang at kumuha ng inspirasyon mula sa ibat ibang alamat at mitolohiyang Pilipino. Itoy hindi tumutukoy o kumakatawan sa kahit anong Indigenous People sa Pilipinas." ("The story you're about to watch is a work of fiction and is inspired by Philippine mythology and folk legends. It does not refer to and is not representative of any Indigenous People in the Philippines.").
"Ang mga Bagani ay totoong mandirigma na mula sa kultura ng Indigenous Peoples." ("The Bagani are real warriors from the culture of Indigenous Peoples.")
- A new line preceding those was added:
- Training the Peaceful Villagers: Lakas agreed to train the farmers against invaders. Prior to that, some of them were trained in archery by the Taga-Kalakal.
- Waxing Lyrical: When Lakas first arrived in the land of the Taga-Patag, he happily enumerated the vegetables in the Filipino folk song Bahay Kubo with a Lyric Swap from linga/sesame seed to gulay/vegetable itself.