(Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh)
|Genre||Adventure, Mecha, Magical boy|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Toshifumi Kawase|
|Written by||Hideki Sonoda|
|Music by||Kohei Tanaka|
|Licensed by||Anime Midstream|
|Network||TV Tokyo, Kids Station|
|Original run||April 3, 1991 – March 25, 1992|
Matchless Raijin-Oh (絶対無敵ライジンオー Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh?, lit. Absolutely Invincible Raijin-Oh) is a 51 episode Japanese anime television series, and the first series produced for the Eldran franchise funded by Tomy and produced by Sunrise. It aired in Japan from April 3, 1991 to March 25, 1992. The story revolves around a group of elementary school children who are given command of a mecha named Raijin-Oh and their efforts to defend the Earth from the evil Jaaku (evil) Empire.
There is also a four episode OVA sequel.
Anime Midstream, Inc. announced in December, 2008, that it acquired the license for and planned to release the anime series Matchless Raijin-Oh in the U.S. sometime in 2009 as their first anime release. The company began selling the first volume of the series direct from their website, as well as several other online retailers as of late December, 2009. The first volume contained episodes 1-5. The second volume, containing episodes 6-10, was released in September 2010, and translated the title beginning with this volume (and current printings of the first volume are now also marketed under that title). The third volume was released on July 12, 2011, containing episodes 11-15. Each volume contains English and Japanese audio, as well as special features such as music videos, clean openings/closings, voice bloopers, and the third volume contains an audio commentary with several of the English voice actors.
- 1 The plot
- 2 Characters
- 3 The Robots
- 4 Cultural Impact
- 5 Episode list
- 6 OVA List
- 7 Game Appearances
- 8 External links and references
The Jaaku Empire (literally "Evil Empire") comes to Earth with intent to conquer and despoil it. From their fortress they launch a missile that will flood the world with Akudamas, eggs of darkness which hatch into monsters called Evil Beasts based on things that annoy or frustrate humans.
The "guardian of light" Eldran appears, an Ultraman-like entity who is sworn to protect the universe and Earth in particular. Using the heroic robot Raijin-Oh, Eldran attempts to thwart the Evil Empire by preventing the missile from striking Earth. What happens instead is that the missile detonated against Eldran, throwing Raijin-Oh down to Earth. The robot crashes into a Japanese elementary school.
Eldran must leave to continue protecting the Earth, so he leaves the duty of defeating the Evil Beasts to a classroom full of children in the school where he crashed. He entrusts the children with Raijin-Oh, granting each child a different role to perform in either operating or supporting Raijin-Oh. Eldran also transforms their school itself, so it can transform into a command center when Raijin-Oh is needed. Jin, Asuka and Koujii are chosen to lead Raijin-oh, but every day they live lots of amusing experiences in the school. Jin does not want to study, while his friends do and force him to do it by tickling him.
Jin Hyuga is the main pilot of Raijin-Oh.
- Height: 15.4 meters
- Weight: 10.0 tons
- Top Speed: 420 kilometers per hour
- Horsepower: 5, 500 horsepower (370 kW)
Ken-Oh (literally "Sword King") is a humanoid robot, piloted by Jin, the leader of the trio. It has a sword called the Ken-Oh Blade, which protrudes from the shield on Ken-Oh's back when needed. It forms the torso of the Raijin-Oh.
- Length: 35.7 meters
- Weight: 15.5 tons
- Ground Movement Speed: 80 kilometers per hour
- Top Flying Speed: Mach 9
Hou-Oh (literally "Phoenix King") resembles a phoenix. It is piloted by Asuka, and is the fastest of the trio. Hou-Oh forms the arms and wings of Raijin-Oh.
- Length: 30.5 meters
- Weight: 28.5 tons
- Top Speed: 640 kilometers per hour
- Horsepower: 99,000 horsepower (74,000 kW)
Juu-Oh's (literally "Beast King") appearance is that of a lion, and is controlled by Kouji. It forms the legs of the Raijin-Oh and the lion head is used as a shield which contains the Raijin Sword. Juu-Oh is the strongest of the trio.
- Height: 25 meters
- Weight: 54 tons
- Ground Movement Speed: 880 kilometers per hour
- Top Flying Speed: Mach 10
- Horsepower: 200,000 horsepower (150,000 kW)
If the enemy becomes too powerful for the trio to handle individually, all three robots will combine, and they form into Raijin-Oh, a large humanoid robot with wings. In the early parts of the series, Raijin-Oh will trap its opponent with a beam from the Raijin Shield and finish it off with the Raijin Sword.
- Length: 58 meters
- Weight: 70 tons
- Ground Movement Speed: 130 kilometers per hour
- Top Flying Speed: Mach 20
After the evil commander Belzeb (short for Beelzebub or Satan) was given a giant crystal robot named Jaaku Satan by Emperor Warza (literally "evil emperor") to assists the Jaaku Beasts in destroying Raijin-Oh, the Raijin-Oh soon realized that it was unable to defeat its enemies alone. At the brink of defeat, the Earth Defense Class managed to uncover one last robot, Bakuryu-Dragon bears the appearance of a dragon but can transform into a humanoid robot, Bakuryu-Oh.
- Height: 27.5 meters
- Weight: 62 tons
- Ground Movement Speed: 800 kilometers per hour
- Top Flying Speed: Mach 14
Bakuryu-Dragon's humanoid form. As strong as Raijin-oh, its arsenal includes a cannon and a shield.
- Height: 41 meters
- Weight: 116 tons
- Ground Movement Speed: 1,200 kilometers per hour
- Top Flying Speed: Mach 22
- Horsepower: 830,000 horsepower (620,000 kW)
The Raijin-Oh and Bakuryu-Oh can further combine to form the ultimate robot, God Raijin-Oh. In the early parts of its appearance, God Raijin-Oh finishes off Jaaku Beasts with a cannon. Soon after the God Raijin-Oh Sword is discovered and is used since then to defeat Super Jaaku Beasts (Jaaku Satan combined with a powered-up Jaaku Beast).
Raijin-Oh was a tremendously popular series at the time of its release, spawning two similar sequels and OVAs. This led to waves of similar TV shows in the early 90s, where a child or children were made into the pilots of giant robots. This was a significant change of pace for the mecha genre, which usually pursued an older demographic and used teenage or adult characters as pilots.
To modern fans, Raijin-Oh is probably most notable for being the subject of the deconstruction manga series Bokurano. Bokurano contains many plot elements that directly parody Raijin-Oh's premise, characters, and especially its tone. Otherwise Raijin-Oh had little worldwide impact, despite some success in Southeast Asian countries like China and Taiwan.
Raijin-Oh was featured in the New Century Brave Wars game, along with several of the Yuusha series robots, also created by Sunrise at around the same time. The reason for this was likely to have been the similarities between the Yuusha series and the Eldran trilogy, that and both series were animated by Sunrise. The toy company which made the Yuusha series, Takara would later merge with Tomy and thus both companies had access to each other's toy ideas, hence why Raijin-Oh was part of the video game. However the other two Eldran series, Genki Bakuhatsu Ganbaruger and Nekketsu Saikyo Go-Saurer were not included; in fact a few of the Yuusha series robots were also left out of the game.
Raijin-Oh has only recently begun to appear in Banpresto's Super Robot Wars series of games. It has appeared in Super Robot Wars GC and it's remake, Super Robot Wars XO, and Super Robot Wars NEO. This is in part due to the fact that the Super Robot Wars series largely concerned itself with 70's and 80's series at the time the game series began in the early 90's. As of 2009, Raijin-Oh is nearly 20 years old and therefore old enough to be nostalgic to adult gamers. It is not clear why Raijin-Oh has only appeared in the 3D Super Robot Wars games that appear on Nintendo consoles, as opposed to the more popular 2D games that appear on PlayStation systems and Nintendo handhelds.
|Original Airdate||Episode number||Title|
|04/10/1991||2||We are the Earth Defense Class|
|04/17/1991||3||Test is how big an annoyance!?|
|04/24/1991||4||Protect the field of flowers!|
|05/01/1991||5||Decision! Unrivaled dragon tail|
|05/08/1991||6||Survive the traffic war!|
|05/15/1991||7||Taking care of drunkard|
|05/22/1991||8||Absolute union of friendship!|
|05/29/1991||9||Blowing away moldy feelings|
|06/05/1991||10||The town where gasoline vanished|
|06/19/1991||12||The pool is too hot|
|06/26/1991||13||Get back the baby!!|
|07/03/1991||14||Final match! Baseball|
|07/10/1991||15||Fly at Mach 9!|
|07/17/1991||16||Crash course in returning the shot!|
|07/24/1991||17||Teacher is a Jaaku beast!?|
|07/31/1991||18||Presentation! Earth Defense Class' secrets|
|08/07/1991||19||Seaside School is in chaos!!|
|08/14/1991||20||Maria has disappeared!|
|08/21/1991||21||The enemy is Raijin-Oh!?|
|08/28/1991||22||Departure! The invincible warrior|
|09/04/1991||23||Come forth! Absolutely Invincible Union!!|
|09/11/1991||24||Dog/cat panic plan!|
|09/18/1991||25||Getting the scoop!!|
|09/25/1991||26||Great African battle!|
|10/02/1991||27||Defeat the earthquake|
|10/09/1991||28||Garuma's competition of fear!!|
|10/16/1991||29||Appear! Super Jaaku beast|
|10/23/1991||30||Jaaku beast is a friend?|
|10/30/1991||31||Fierce battle! Channel war|
|11/06/1991||32||Adventure in the haunted house|
|11/13/1991||33||Terror! Dancing Jaaku beast|
|11/20/1991||34||Skiing is too cold|
|12/04/1991||36||Jaaku beast is an ally of justice!?|
|12/25/1992||39||The celebration is a troubling thing|
|01/08/1992||40||Belzeb's great approach|
|01/15/1992||41||Kidnapping of the absolutely invincible|
|01/22/1992||42||Protect the secret of the school!|
|01/29/1992||43||Super Giant Reiko Appears!|
|02/12/1992||45||Broadcast! Earth Defense Class facts!!|
|02/19/1992||46||Taida becomes an Earthling|
|02/26/1992||47||Adult to child chaos!?|
|03/04/1992||48||Transformation! Black Taida|
|03/11/1992||49||Appear! Jaaku Empire|
|03/18/1992||50||Defeat Emperor Warza!|
|03/25/1992||51||Our dream is absolutely invincible!|
|Original Airdate||OVA number||Title|
|08/26/1992||1||5 Nen 3 Kum 3 Memorial Page! (Room 5 Class 3?)|
|09/30/1992||2||Epic War for First Love!|
|12/16/1992||3||Story of the Nobori Castle Robot of Light Daydream|
|02/24/1993||4||Everyone is the Earth Defense Class|
It would later appear as one of the various Sunrise animated robots as a playable character in the RPG Battle of Sunrise, to celebrate the studio's 30th anniversary, released on the PlayStation 2.
- Matchless Raijin-Oh (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
Genki Bakuhatsu Ganbaruger