Matchless Raijin-Oh

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Matchless Raijin-Oh
絶対無敵ライジンオー
(Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh)
Genre Adventure, Mecha, Magical boy
Anime television series
Directed by Toshifumi Kawase
Written by Hideki Sonoda
Music by Kohei Tanaka
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by United States Anime Midstream
Network TV Tokyo, Kids Station
Original run April 3, 1991March 25, 1992
Episodes 51
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

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.

The plot[edit]

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.

Characters[edit]

Earth Defense Class (地球防衛組 Chikyuu Bouei Gumi?)[edit]

Jin Hyuga (日向 仁 Hyuga Jin?)
Voiced by: Rica Matsumoto

Jin Hyuga is the main pilot of Raijin-Oh.

Asuka Tsukishiro (月城 飛鳥 Tsukishiro Asuka?)
Voiced by: Rie Iwatsubo
Koji Hoshiyama (星山 吼児 Hoshiyama Kouji?)
Voiced by: Mari Maruta
Maria Shiratori (白鳥 マリア Shiratori Maria?)
Voiced by: Konami Yoshida
Kirara Haruno (春野 きらら Haruno Kirara?)
Voiced by: Kyoko Minami
Akira Imamura (今村 あきら Imamura Akira?)
Voiced by: Kyoko Minami
Reiko Ikeda (池田 れい子 Ikeda Reiko?)
Voiced by: Saori Suzuki
Miki Mano (真野 美紀 Mano Miki?)
Voiced by: Saori Suzuki
Hiroshi Takamori (高森 ひろし Takamori Hiroshi?)
Voiced by: Mami Matsui
Orie Ishizuka (石塚 織絵 Ishizuka Orie?)
Voiced by: Mami Matsui
Yoko Kuriki (栗木 容子 Kuriki Youko?)
Voiced by: Rie Iwatsubo
Yoshiaki Ogawa (小川 よしあき Ogawa Yoshiaki?)
Voiced by: Tomoe Sato
Tokie Sakai (坂井 ときえ Sakai Tokie?)
Voiced by: Tomoe Sato
Hidenori Kondo (近藤 ひでのり Kondo Hidenori?)
Voiced by: Konami Yoshida
Tsutomu Kojima (小島 勉 Kojima Tsutomu?)
Voiced by: Bin Shimada
Daisuke Sato (佐藤 大介 Satou Daisuke?)
Voiced by: Kozo Shioya
Yu Izumi (泉 ゆう Izumi Yuu?)
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara
Aiko Shimada (島田 愛子 Shimada Aiko?)
Voiced by: Ai Sato

The Robots[edit]

Ken-Oh (剣王 Ken-Oo?)[edit]

  • Specs
    • Height: 15.4 meters
    • Weight: 10.0 tons
    • Top Speed: 420 kilometers per hour
    • Power Output: 5,500 metric horsepower (4,000 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.

Hou-Oh (鳳王 Hou-Oo?)[edit]

  • Specs
    • Length: 35.7 meters
    • Weight: 15.5 tons
    • Ground Movement Speed: 80 kilometers per hour
    • Top Flying Speed: Mach 9
    • Power Output: 38,000 metric horsepower (28,000 kW)

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.

Juu-Oh (獣王 Juu-Oh?)[edit]

  • Specs
    • Length: 30.5 meters
    • Weight: 28.5 tons
    • Top Speed: 640 kilometers per hour
    • Power Output: 99,000 metric horsepower (73,000 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.

Raijin-Oh (ライジンオー Raijin-Oo?)[edit]

  • Specs
    • Height: 25 meters
    • Weight: 54 tons
    • Ground Movement Speed: 880 kilometers per hour
    • Top Flying Speed: Mach 10
    • Power Output: 200,000 metric 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.

Bakuryu-Dragon (バクリュウドラゴン Bakuryuu-Doragon?)[edit]

  • Specs
    • Length: 58 meters
    • Weight: 70 tons
    • Ground Movement Speed: 130 kilometers per hour
    • Top Flying Speed: Mach 20
    • Power Output: 380,000 metric horsepower (280,000 kW)

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.

Bakuryu-Oh (バクリュウオー Bakuryuu-Oh?)[edit]

  • Specs
    • Height: 27.5 meters
    • Weight: 62 tons
    • Ground Movement Speed: 800 kilometers per hour
    • Top Flying Speed: Mach 14
    • Power Output: 320,000 metric horsepower (240,000 kW)

Bakuryu-Dragon's humanoid form. As strong as Raijin-oh, its arsenal includes a cannon and a shield.

God Raijin-Oh (ゴッドライジンオー Goddo Raijin-Oo?)[edit]

  • Specs
    • Height: 41 meters
    • Weight: 116 tons
    • Ground Movement Speed: 1,200 kilometers per hour
    • Top Flying Speed: Mach 22
    • Power Output: 830,000 metric horsepower (610,000 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).

Cultural Impact[edit]

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.

Episode list[edit]

Original Airdate Episode number Title
04/03/1991 1 Raijin-Oh arrives!
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
06/12/1991 11 Cookie's nightmare
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
11/27/1991 35 Vanished Commander
12/04/1991 36 Jaaku beast is an ally of justice!?
12/11/1991 37 Graffiti revolt
12/18/1992 38 Psychic Jin
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!
02/05/1992 44 Decisive micro-battle!
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!

OVA List[edit]

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

Game Appearances[edit]

The series first appeared on Sunrise Eiyuutan for the Dreamcast. Later on, it was included on Super Robot Wars GC for the Nintendo GameCube and again in Super Robot Wars XO for the Xbox 360.

Raijin-Oh is again included as an entry in the Super Robot Wars series of video games, beginning with Super Robot Wars NEO for the Wii along with the other 3 Eldran robots.

It also appeared in New Century Brave Wars on the PlayStation 2 in Japan to establish the first official connection between the Eldran and Yuusha series, following the merger of Takara and Tomy.

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.

There also exists a Game Boy fighting game published by Tomy in 1991, which has been translated into English through a fan-made patch.

External links and references[edit]

Preceded by
Matchless Raijin-Oh
1991–1992
Succeeded by
Genki Bakuhatsu Ganbaruger