Brave Reideen (Yūsha Raidīn) is a Super Robot anime series. Produced by Tohokushinsha, Asahi News Agency and Sunrise, it aired on NET (now TV Asahi) from 4 April 1975 to 26 March 1976, with a total of 50 episodes. It has also been loosely translated to Heroic Rydeen.
After a slumber of 12 millennia, the Demon Empire returns to seize control of the Earth. Reideen, the giant robot-like protector of the lost continent of Mu, senses the evil presence and awakens within its golden pyramid, revealing to young Japanese boy Akira Hibiki that he is the one descendant of the ancient Mu people who must help Reideen save Earth.
He was assisted by his friends, token girl Mari Sakurano (daughter of a scientist fighting the Demon Empire) and several members of his high school soccer team.
The Brave Reideen series is renowned in Japan as the first to include a giant machine of mysterious and mystical origins. Reideen is in fact portrayed as a sentient being. Also, the inclusion of the Mu myth would be imitated in other anime, such as Super Atragon, and more recently in RahXephon. It was also the first anime mecha work of anime director and writer Yoshiyuki Tomino, better known as the creator of Gundam. The latter half was directed by Tadao Nagahama, and may be seen as a predecessor to his famous Romantic Trilogy, consisting of Combattler V, Voltes V and Daimos.
This series was the second collaboration between writer/director Yoshiyuki Tomino and artist Yasuhiko Yoshikazu. The first work to feature both men was Wandering Sun (Sasurai no Taiyō) (1971). The two would later team up again for both Mobile Suit Gundam and Gundam F-91.
The series is also considered the first super robot anime to reach a large US audience directly. It was shown on the New York Japanese community channel 47 with subtitles produced by Hawaii's Kiku TV. The series first appeared on US television in June 1976, Sunday nights at 8:00 P.M. on San Francisco, CA's KEMO TV-20. Later in 1976, the series began running on KMUV TV-31 in Sacramento, CA . The show was also distributed to Japanese-American television stations in Los Angeles and Chicago, and was sponsored by Honolulu-based Marukai Trading Company, who distributed Japanese-produced merchandise to local retailers in localities airing Raideen - according to author August Ragone.
In the 1990's the series was remade as Reideen the Superior (Chōja Raidīn), directed by Toshifumi Kawase.
According to RahXephon director Yutaka Izubuchi, the similarity of designs and powers of the title robots and the basic plots of RahXephon and Raideen are intentional.
The original toy figures of Reideen (renamed "Raydeen") were introduced to the U.S. market as part of the Shogun Warriors during late 1970s under the Mattel brand. Raydeen was one of the robots featured in the licensed comic book based on the toys.