The Yushu (Brave) series hasn’t really had much exposure in America. After the Transformers went dormant (at least with Vehicles as their basis), the company behind them, Takara worked with Sunrise to create the Brave series and introduced a series of Super Robot Animes to the world. Unfortunately, the mainstream fans were kind of sick of all robots until Neon Genesis Evangelion came along. This is a shame because there is a lot of great shows during this period which don’t get the attention they deserved because of it. A prime example of this is the King of Brave: Gaogaigar.
Mamoru Amami is a young boy who was delivered to Earth by a robotic lion called Galion. Raised as an Earthling, Mamoru’s world is interrupted when an alien presence known as the Zonderians have come to make the inhabitants of Earth their hosts. It is up to Mamoru’s ability to heal those possessed by the Zonders with help from The Cyborg Guy and the organization which supports him, GGG to save the world. When things get out of hand, Guy pilots Galeon and combines with the other the Gao Machines to create the King of Braves: GAOGAIGAR!!!!
The good guys of this show really are memorable. Cyborg Guy is the definitive hotblooded, justice will prevail type of mecha pilot. The need for the kid aspect of having Mamoru around actually serves a purpose with how he can heal the humans who were turned into Zonders. The rest of the GGG team lends their own special talents to help save the day and no one character is essential useless because of it. I’d be faulted if I didn’t mention Chairman Taiga, who you look forward to every episode giving the approval for the final fusion which will allow Galion to become Gaogaigar.
The villains on the other hand are weird looking and have odd names. The first group of villains has names like Pizza, Penchinon and Polonise. Think that’s weird? Well the second team has characters named after body parts such as Ear, Eye, and Spleen. Despite their very odd sounding names, they are menacing and formidable. Actually its more their plans and the destruction they intent to cause which is truly menacing. The characters themselves, not so much but they trying to transform all of humanity into hosts for their parasitic forces so they set the endgame bar pretty high.
The mecha of this series is the real appeal. Gaogaigar itself is an impressive piece of hardware on its own. The base robot Galeon is a mechanical lion who transformers into a robot and has an aura of nobility about him. When combines with the Gao Machines he becomes Gaogaigar, a force which truly dominates the battle field. Gaogaigar is also backed up by some very handy sentient allies. These include the Ninja Volfogg, two sets of twins (HyoRyu, EnRyu, FuRyu, and RaiRyu) and the comical Mic Sounders the 13th. All of these mecha have their own unique skills and abilities and can easily hold their own in a fight.
GaoGaigar is a show no one really gave the chance it deserved when it came to America despite the fact it was successfully released. Probably wasn’t added by the fact the show never got a proper run on any major network. If you are a fan of the combining robot genre then you owe it to yourself to track this gem down and understand just how much fun it to had from hearing the approval for the Final Fusion.