“The King of Braves GaoGaiGar” is a Japanese TV anime series produced as the eighth and the last one of the Brave series, which is a robot anime series produced by Sunrise, Nagoya TV, and Tokyu Agency in 1990–1998. It was aired on TV in 1997–1998.
Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani. Animation produced by Sunrise. 49 episodes.
The story revolves around the two central characters: Mamoru Amami and Gai Shishioh.
On a winter day in 1997, a mysterious mechanical lion named Galeon came flying in front of Mr. and Mrs. Amami. It flew away, leaving a baby to the couple.
In 2003, a space shuttle, in which high school astronaut Gai Shishioh is a passenger, collided with the spacecraft of the Zonders, a life form of the Machine World (a mix of intelligent life and Zonder Metal). Despite being mortally wounded, he was rescued by Galeon, and his father Leo Shishioh revived him as a cyborg.
Two years later in 2005, the Zonders begin their invasion of Earth. They change an Earthian into a giant Zonder robot by fusing him with Zonder Metal, and make him attack Tokyo.
Gai Shishioh, who is the commanding officer of the mechanized unit of the anti-Zonder defense organization GGG (Gutsy Geoid Guard, commonly called Three G), becomes the giant robot (Heavy Mobile Super Mechanoid) GaoGaiGar by being fused with Galeon and other machines, and destroys the enemy.
When GaoGaiGar tries to destroy the enemy’s core, a green-haired boy with wings appears in front of it, and turns the core back into a human being by “purifying” it. He was the grown-up form of the baby raised by Mr. and Mrs. Amami, Mamoru Amami.
Mamoru joins the GGG as a special member, and the GGG continues to fight for the defense of the Earth.
The Brave series was originally started as a toy and anime franchise targeted at young children by toy company Takara, who had engaged in the “Transformers” series with American toy company Hasbro, and animation studio Sunrise, known for their “Gundam” and other “real robot” anime series, so the Brave series inherited the setting of humanoid robots, who transform and combine with each other, from the “Transformers” series.
The Brave series had played a key role in the reintroduction of the elements of the 1970s “super robot” anime in Japan in the 1990s.
While following the basic concept of the Brave series, “The King of Braves GaoGaiGar” incorporated science fiction style settings, detailed mecha depiction, and series drama, and fused the elements of “real robot” anime with the heroic and passionate storyline of “super robot” anime. Though it became unusual in the Brave series, it gained popularity among a wide range of people including hard-core anime fans.
This series consists of 49 episodes, and the whole is divided into three parts: “Zonders arc” (from the 1st to the 30th episodes) depicts the fight between the GGG and the Zonders, and “Machine World Primevals arc” (from the 31st to the 47th episodes) depicts the fight between the new GGG (Gutsy Galaxy Guard) and the new enemy called “Machine World 31 Primevals”. The last “Machine World New Species arc” (from the 48th to the 49th episodes) is the epilogue.
The TV anime series “Betterman” (1999), which was produced by the main staff of this series, shares the world setting with this series.
The OVA series “The King of Braves GaoGaiGar Final” (2000–2003) is the sequel to this TV series.