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Episode 1: The King of Braves is Born!

 

Review by Arshad Adel Abdul-Aal

 

February 7, 2011

 

Eight years ago, married couple Isamu and Ai Amami are driving down a deserted snowy road. Ai sees a shooting star wishes for a child. Just then, a giant mechanical lion charges towards them and causes a snow drift that knocks the couple out of the van. As they lie on the ground paralyzed with fear, Galeon, the lion, lowers its head and opens its mouth, revealing an infant boy. Ai grabs the baby and Galeon lifts off and disappears into the night. The baby laughs and coos in Ai's arms just as a glowing green symbol appears on his forehead. In the present, overpopulation and overdevelopment has given rise to more pollution. Under Tokyo Tower, Zonderian Pasdar promises to show humanity his power. On an island full of trash, an elementary school class on a field trip is tasked by their teacher to write a report on waste management. As the students look around, eight year old Mamoru Amami's hair suddenly glows green and he senses something from a cavern made out of trash. He goes inside to find a wall of screens that start flashing with random images of strange looking people. Wires start slithering towards him and he runs out to tell the teacher. Suddenly a giant horse headed robot made of trash bursts out of the island. Elsewhere, Galeon breaks the chains binding him and roars loudly. In the 3G's (Gutsy Geoid Guard) main control room, computer operator Mikoto Utsugi receives an alert of Galeon's awakening and Kazou Ushiyama calls for an emergency meeting. Space Development Corporation president Koutaro Taiga receives the message on his pager and excuses himself. He runs back to his office and activates a switch that lowers his desk down to the 3G control room. Chief scientist Leo Shishioh also receives the message and flies off to the control room on his rocket powered skates. Everyone views Galeon trying to break out of his chamber and Taiga wonders why he woke up now after two years. A transmission comes in from operations advisor Geki Hyuuma who shows them a live feed of the horse robot and says Galeon probably wants to go there. Leo suspects the robot might be related to the incident two years ago. The robot assimilates the school class' boat, knocking off everyone but Mamoru and a few of his classmates. Taiga orders the Triple-decked Flying Carrier to launch and release Galeon, who promptly flies off to Garbage Island at top speed. Mamoru wakes up to find his classmate Hana Hatsuno about to fall off the edge of the boat and jumps after her, with his remaining friends forming a human chain to catch them. As the robot heads towards Tokyo, Hyuuma drags the teacher and remaining students back to shore. The Defense Force jets approach the robot, and it blows them out of the sky with a beam fired from the cluster of microwaves in its right arm. Galeon charges the robot but is knocked away by a barrier. The robot uses the cluster of refrigerators in its left arm to freeze Galeon solid on his second charge, and Mamoru thinks that he saw Galeon before.

 

Mamoru's parents watch the news and Isamu recognizes Galeon. Kazou tells Taiga that his little brother Sueo is one of the kids stuck on the boat. Taiga orders Mikoto to send in Guy. From a nearby rooftop, Guy enters Equip mode and summons drill tank DrillGao to obstruct the robot while he sneaks onto the boat. He kicks away the live metal trying to attack the kids but gets distracted and knocked out of the boat by the robot. Reaching a bridge, the robot turns into a train. 3G concludes that it's related to the earlier incident and dubs it EI-02. EI-02 speeds towards downtown with intelligence operator Kosuke Entouji tracking it and operator Swan White issuing evacuation orders to the areas in its path. Guy catches up to EI-02 in the LinerGao train, and elsewhere Galeon begins to thaw out. Taiga notices this and approves Fusion. EI-02 breaks out of the tunnel and reforms into a robot in front of city hall. Just as it's about to fire at the building, Galeon catches its attention. Guy fuses with Galeon to form GaiGar and dodges a shot from EI-02. Guy uses the StealthGao bomber to distract EI-02 long enough for him to slice the boat of its back. He deposits the boat and children safely on top of a building just before EI-02 grabs him with a tentacle. Guy requests permission to perform Final Fusion and Taiga approves despite the low chance of success. Guy slices free of EI-02 and fuses with the three Gao machines to form GaoGaiGar, repelling the former with a barrier. EI-02 fires a shot and Guy reflects it back with Protect Shade, but it's nullified by the former's barrier. A subsequent attempt by Guy's Broken Magnum proves more effective in damaging EI-02, but it quickly regenerates. Faced with no other choice, Guy uses his ultimate attack, Hell and Heaven, to tear into EI-02 and pull its core out. Guy tries to break the core, but Mamoru cries out for him to stop, sprouting wings and glowing green. As he lands on the core, Taiga wonders who he is.

 

GaoGaiGar kicks off to a breakneck start, barely introducing anyone beyond their names and ending with a cliffhanger and a ton of questions. Unlike the other brightly colored Brave robots, GaoGaiGar sports a predominantly sleek black color scheme and minimalistic weapons, lacking blades or any kind of firearm but making up for it by sheer brute force. It's difficult to discern any kind of plot elements from this episode beyond the fact that Mamoru is probably of alien origin. One interesting note is that despite Guy effectively becoming GaiGar and GaoGaiGar, he's still shown inside a bright void within Galeon so it's not exactly clear how he's controlling the mechanoids' movement. Overall it's a good starting episode.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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GaoGaiGar Episode 1 GaoGaiGar Episode 1
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Buy the Collection (eps 1-49) from Amazon
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