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GaoGaiGar

 

King of Braves GaoGaiGar

 

The last and most popular of Sunrise's "Brave Saga" series of the 1990s, King of Braves GaoGaiGar returns to the roots of mecha. Released in 1997, the series focuses around an astronaut-turned-cyborg named Guy, and a young boy named Mamoru. When the alien Pasdar attacks the Earth by transforming people into metal-assimilating Zonders, Guy fuses with a sentient mecha lion and the vehicles known as Gao Machines to become the protector of mankind, GaoGaiGar. It is on the first day GaoGaiGar is brought into action that Mamoru finds himself doing things he never knew he could, and in turn becoming a vital part of Earth's defense. GaoGaiGar saw a great success in Japan, appealing to older audiences than the past Brave series. This is thanks to many things, including mecha designs by Kunio Okawara, who gave the super robot stars a very hard, realistic feel to them. The mecha also each had their own personas, complete with facial features. The series was directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani, who went on to work on Betterman afterwards, which is considered part of the same universe as GaoGaiGar. With this and a very anti-collateral damage approach, GaoGaiGar garnered enough popularity to get an OVA sequel, GaoGaiGar Final, which appealed to its more mature fanbase. The TV series has been released on DVD in the U.S. by Media Blasters, but GaoGaiGar Final hasn't.

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