Gaiking

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Daikū Maryū Gaiking
Gaiking.jpg
大空魔竜ガイキング
Genre Mecha, Adventure
Anime television series
Directed by Tomoharu Katsumata
Studio Toei Animation
Network Fuji TV
Original run April 1, 1976January 27, 1977
Episodes 44
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Divine Demon-Dragon Gaiking (大空魔竜ガイキング Daikū Maryū Gaiking?) is a Japanese Super Robot mecha anime series produced by Toei Animation.

It ran from April 1976 through January 1977 and consisted of 44 26-minute episodes. Gaiking was notable for being one of the few super robot series to take place in real places outside of Japan, and for being the first Super Robot series to have a mobile carrier for the chief robots. In the USA, Gaiking was part of Mattel's popular Shogun Warriors import toy line of the late 1970s and Jim Terry's Force Five anthology series. In 2005, a remake titled "Gaiking: Legend of Daiku-Maryu" was produced. In 2009, William Winckler Productions produced three all new English dubbed movie versions edited from the original series. Producer William Winckler, known for Tekkaman the Space Knight, wrote, produced and directed the English films, which are seen on broadband in Japan.

Legal issues[edit]

Toei Animation credited the show as being based on an original idea by Akio Sugino. However, in reality the original idea was of Go Nagai.[1] Toei deliberately took Nagai out of the credits in order to avoid the payment of royalties.[2][3] Because of that, Nagai sued Toei and stopped further collaborations with Toei for a long time.[4][5] The legal battle lasted more than 10 years.[3] Nagai himself confirmed that he was the creator of Gaiking in the Comicon 2007 in Naples, Italy.[6][7]

Plot[edit]

The story chronicled the battle between the crew of the semi-transformable carrier Daikū Maryū (also called the Kargosaur in the US version, and also known as The Great Space Dragon) and the Super Robot Gaiking invented by Dr. Daimonji (Prof. Hightech in the English-language version of the show) against an invading race of aliens called the Dark Horror Army from the planet Zela whose home planet is facing destruction by a black hole as their population starts to mutate (the fact that their giant bearded ruler now wears his mouth on his forehead is considered only a minor mutation). Notable aspects of the series include the dinosaur-based designs of the Daikū Maryū and its support machines and the use of part of the carrier to form the main robot. The robot Gaiking was piloted by former baseball star named Sanshiro Tsuwabuki (Sanshiro's name was changed to Aries Astronopolis for the English version with the carrier being called the "Great Space Dragon", a literal translation of "Daikū Maryū". Likewise, for the Latin America version the main character was called Brando Drummond and the carrier "Gran Dragon del Espacio") who was drafted for the job because his latent psychic powers made him the only one capable of doing so, all other similarly empowered candidates having been assassinated by alien agents with he himself having been injured in an attack that ended his sports career. Gaiking is most easily distinguished from other mecha by its skull-shaped golden torso formed from the head of the Daikū Maryū and its golden horns.

The leader of the alien villains was named Prince Darius, and all of their ships and mecha were fish-shaped, which most likely inspired the Darius series of video games.

Mecha[edit]

Gaiking[edit]

A mysterious mecha with a Daikū Maryū's head on its chest. The unit was piloted by a baseball star named Sanshiro Tsuwabuki, known as Aries Astronopolous in the English version, and as Brando Drumont in Latin America. It is launched when the Head of Daikū Maryū while Daikū Maryū launches Parts 1 (Arms and Chest) and 2 (Torso, Legs and Feet), combining it to form the mecha. The unit has a powerful feature called "Face Open", which utilizes Gaiking's hidden weapons. However, this machine's origin and why it is made remains a mystery.

Daikū Maryū[edit]

A gigantic Dragon-shaped robot (known as The Great Space Dragon or Kargosaur in the English version) that protects the earth from the invaders from Planet Zala. It houses a lot of weapons and the needed Weapon Parts for Gaiking.

Nesser[edit]

A miniature robot located inside the Daikū Maryū that looks like a Plesiosaur (called Dynatar in the English version). It is used for aquatic reconnaissance missions. It could fire lasers or fire from its eyes.

Skylar[edit]

A miniature robot located inside Daikū Maryū, which resembles a Pterodactyl. This is used as an aerial scout, and is armed with missiles. In the English version, its name remains the same.

Bazolar[edit]

A miniature scout robot located inside Daikū Maryū, which resembles a Triceratops. (Called Rhinatar in the English version) It was used for scout missions on land. Very fast on land, it used lasers for attack.

Cast[edit]

Production notes[edit]

Daikū Maryū Gaiking was Toei Animation's first super robot series not based on an existing manga (the company's previous super robot anime Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, etc. were based on manga series by manga artist and writer Go Nagai). It was shown in English internationally as part of Jim Terry's Force Five lineup, and was also broadcast in Latin America as "El Gladiador" as part of a 4 anime mecha show called El Festival de los Robots (with the other 3 being "Starzinger", "Magne Robo Gakeen" and "Kotetsu Jeeg", known as "El Galactico", "Supermagnetron" and "El Vengador" respectively). The first 26 episodes of Gaiking were aired also in Italy during the Japanese super robot craze of the early 1980s, under the name Gaiking. In the late 1990s the whole series was released in Italy in dubbed DVD boxes. Two episodes from Jim Terry's Force Five Gaiking series would be redubbed as an episode of Robo Formers.

Game appearances[edit]

The original Gaiking first appeared in Shin Super Robot Wars for the PlayStation and later in 2nd Super Robot Wars Alpha and 3rd Super Robot Wars Alpha, both for the PlayStation 2.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gaiking" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  2. ^ Davide Castellazzi. "I robot giganti negli anime - Parte seconda: Dal successo di Mazinga Z alla nascita di Gaiking" (in Italian). Japan Animation.it - DeAgostini. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Serie TV - Gaiking - Curiosità" (in Italian). The Megarobots.it. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  4. ^ "News Go Nagai - un uomo un mito" (in Italian). Dom Simone.net. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  5. ^ "INTERVISTA A: Federico Colpi - (direttore d/visual Incorporated)" (in Italian). nippofan - magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  6. ^ "Go Nagai al Comicon: annunci dalla giornata di sabato" (in Italian). AnimeClick.it. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  7. ^ "Notizie Nagaiane" (in Italian). Italymanga. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 

External links[edit]