Discotek days are some of our favorite days. The boutique licensing company never disappoints with its combination of classic titles and forgotten classics. Fans were especially excited to hear that they license-rescued GaoGaiGar: The King of Braves. This capstone on Sunrise’s yuusha series is beloved for good reason.
If you’ve seen it already, you know why. If you’ve missed it until now, and you love mecha anime, here’s why you’ll need it in your Blu-ray collection:
If you’re a fan of series like Aim for the Top! Gunbuster and Gurren Lagann, then GaoGaiGar will be right up your street. The series follows the Gutsy Geoid Guard: an organization deploying giant robots to keep the planet safe. Leading the charge is cyborg Guy Shishioh, an ex-astronaut who survived a collision with a robot space lion. With me so far? Good.
Guy combines with Galeon (the aforementioned lion) and three Gao Machines to become GaoGaiGar, whose focus over the course of the series is fighting the Zonder. These alien invaders possess Earthlings and become horrifying monsters. Equipped with explosive weapons and attended by combining AI mecha, Guy fights through seemingly impossible odds.
Speaking of Gurren Lagann, it shares a few voice actors with GaoGaiGar. Guy himself is voiced Nobuyuki Hiyama (the voice of Viral) at his shouty best. Katsuyuki Konishi, the voice of Kamina, appears as the ninja robot VolFogg. And the late Kiyoshi Kobayashi, best known as Jigen in Lupin the Third, narrates every episode.
The extended cast of robot characters has some fantastic voice acting turns as well. Shinichi Yamada singlehandedly voices four separate mecha and the four combined mecha they can become. And theme singer Masaaki Endoh provides the singing voice for Mic Sounders XIII. The list goes on; you’ll likely hear at least a few familiar voices as you watch!
Sunrise’s yuusha franchise was, to be frank, initially a way to sell toys to kids. And GaoGaiGar still sold toys. But, while there are child protagonists, much of the story focused on older heroes: 20-year-old Guy, his love interest Mikoto, and the rest of GGG. And what starts as a fairly simple monster-of-the-week series pivots sharply at the halfway point. We won’t even hint at how: it’s an intense turn, and it’s worth seeing it for yourself.
There’s also a sequel OVA, GaoGaiGar FINAL, which will apparently be getting a release as well. We can’t wait to see what’s on Discotek’s “kitchen sink” release and revisit the King of Braves after all these years.
Need more mecha anime? Here are some suggestions for Gundam: The Witch from Mercury fans.