Super Robot Red Baron (スーパーロボット レッドバロン Sūpā Robotto Reddo Baron) is a Super Robot Tokusatsu series that aired in 1973. In the early 21st century, an evil organization called the Iron Alliance steals giant robots built all over the world from an exhibition and kidnaps their creators, with an ultimate goal of taking over the world and enslaving humanity. Predicting their invasion, Scientist Kenichiro Kurenai passes on the titular robot, Red Baron, to his younger brother, Ken, a member of the paramilitary group SSI (Secret Science Investigation). He uses the Red Baron to aid the SSI's efforts in thwarting the Iron Alliance and saving the world.
It also has a sequel titled Super Robot Mach Baron\There's also an Animated Adaptation done in the year 1995 by TMS Entertainment which changes the story drastically, titled only Red Baron, that ran for 49 episodes.
In 1986, a Taiwanese company acquired the rights to the show and edited them into an 86-minute standalone movie, titled The Iron Superman. It's one of the most incoherent and unintentionally hilarious shows ever made.
This series features examples of:
- Applied Phlebotinum: A special oil that keeps Red Baron's joints lubricated. This poses a problem when the Iron Alliance attacks the depots and refineries across Japan where the stuff is made...
- Back from the Dead: Ken's father Kentaro, who was converted into a cyborg by Giras Q's forces for the express purpose of building robots.
- Black Dude Dies First: Subverted by Black Masai, the robot from Kenya; it's the third Iron Alliance robot to be destroyed by Red Baron.
- Calling Your Attacks: Inevitably, since it's a Super Robot show.
- Cool Car: The SSI has a sports car, outfitted with a machine gun that's deployed on its roof.
- Death by Origin Story: Ken Kurenai's entire family, up to and including his brother Kenichiro Kurenai, has been ruthlessly killed by the Iron Alliance. More specifically, Ken spends the entire series trying to avenge Kenichiro by becoming the pilot for Red Baron, his brother's masterwork.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Happens in some episodes, usually whenever something comical happens to Inspector Kumano.
- Follow the Leader: Mazinger Z's influence on this show is pretty obvious. Props for temporarily trouncing the former's anime adaptation in TV ratings, though.
- Strangely enough, several episodes of Super Robot Mach Baron were chopped up and re-edited with new footage into Mazinger: El robot de las estrellas, a Spanish-language dub of a Taiwanese movie.
- Also the fact that two of the main characters are named Daisaku and Mari seems to be a play on two of the main characters from the Live Action Giant Robo Toei made several years prior.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Giras Q, until the final episode.
- Internal Reveal: In episode 24, it's revealed that the Iron Alliance has an outer space branch established on Mars. The SSI doesn't find this out until two episodes later.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Inspector Kumano, despite providing comic relief for a good chunk of the show. Only when the situation calls for it, however.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: When Ken finally encounters Giras Q, the latter is revealed to be a computer brain with a high-pitched voice. He understandably takes it out without any trouble (although it got replaced with a new one afterwards).
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Red Baron progressively receives upgrades to counter the Iron Alliance's robots, including the Arm Missile and the Drill Arrow. Eventually, its Baronium metal is replaced by Super Baronium and the Space Wings are added, in order to combat space robots.
- Monster of the Week: More like Mecha of the Week, but still.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Professor Deviler. With a name like that, it makes you wonder how he was accepted into the scientific community in the first place.
- No Export for You: Subverted, as the first series eventually was released as a complete DVD set by BCI Eclipse. The second series and the Anime at the time of this writing play this straight. (The anime, however, having aired in the States on Spanish-language channels.)
- Off-the-Shelf FX: The Giras Q invaders seem to be wearing Frankenstein Halloween masks painted silver.
- Our Vampires Are Different: The short-lived villain Dracuman, who plans to turn all of humanity into vampires via a virus.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: The Mecha-robos. Not that they're particularly amicable.
- Robotic Reveal: Happens alarmingly often, due to the Iron Alliance's nature. Deviler himself is revealed to be a cyborg after Daigo kills him.
- Shapeshifter: The Mecha-Robos have this ability, to easily allow them to infiltrate human society.
- Shoe Phone: The Inspector's bulletproof umbrella/machine gun/cane sword, and his bike pump/machine gun.
- Supporting Leader: Daigo. As a matter of fact, he is the one to personally fight Professor Deviler face-to-face, while Ken has to deal with the latter's King Deviler robot.
- Threatening Shark: Implied with Sky Shark, the name of Angel Killer's robot. It certainly lives up to this, considering that Red Baron's Baronium metal had to be upgraded because of its fearsome Acid Fire weapon.
- Trash the Set: Averted. Near the end of the first story arc, Professor Deviler finally raids the SSI's command center with some Mecha-Robos, only to find that all of the equipment and furniture has been removed.
- Underwater Base: The Iron Alliance has one as its Earth headquarters.