Japanese Anime: Tristia of the Deep-Blue Sea


Tristia of the Deep-Blue Sea (2004)

The OVA ( Original Video Animation) series continues with these first two episodes from TRISTIA OF THE DEEP-BLUE SEA. Based on a popular computer game, this Animé has proved to be highly popular among fans of the genre. A Dragon Attack has left the city of Tristia in a woeful state of disrepair, and the citizens must regroup and rebuild. Fortunately a highly gifted girl is on hand to help, building some incredible inventions to aid in the recovery effort. A competition is also devised, with contestants aiming to build a robot designed to help with mundane household tasks.

Tristia of the Deep Blue Sea

Japanese Anime: Angelic Layer

Angelic Layer is a manga series released by Clamp (an all-female Japanese mangaka group). The manga is published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten, and in English by Tokyopop.

The manga was adapted into a 26-episode anime series titled Battle Doll Angelic Layer which aired on TV Tokyo from April 1, 2001- September 23, 2001. Seven volumes of videos were released by ADV Films on VHS and DVD in 2003. It was re-released in 2005 as a five volume box set.

Angelic Layer is related to Clamp's later work Chobits, and like it, deals with the relationship between humans, human-created devices, toys, and godlike power. Several characters also appear in Clamp's Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle including most of the main characters as well as the angel Blanche.

The main character of Angelic Layer is Misaki Suzuhara, a seventh grader who just moved in to Tokyo in order to live with her aunt, Shouko Asami. After arriving in the city, she watches the battle doll Athena on a big screen television outside of Tokyo Station and becomes interested in learning about the amazingly popular toy called Angelic Layer, a game in which players (called Deus) buy and custom-design dolls known as Angels. Angels can move by mental control when on a field called the "layer". Layers are very expensive, and most people pay to use them by the hour in establishments resembling cybercafes.

An eccentric man wearing a white lab coat and glasses, calling himself "Icchan" (Itchan), encourages Misaki to purchase and create her own angel. She names the angel Hikaru, after Hikaru Shidou from Clamp's Magic Knight Rayearth which she was reading on the train to Tokyo, because she wants the angel to be "a short girl, but strong and happy" like Hikaru and herself (Rayearth is a manga in Angelic Layer's world, and Misaki identifies herself with Hikaru). Even though she's clueless about the game, Misaki soon begins to compete in tournament, and is assisted and watched carefully by Icchan. Later Icchan's identity is revealed as Ichiro Mihara, the co-creator of Angelic Layer.

Misaki also begins studying in the Eriol Academy, an educational institution which includes grades from kindergarten through high school (it seems to be named after Eriol Hiiragizawa from Cardcaptor Sakura). There she becomes friend with Hatoko Kobayashi, a very intelligent kindergarten girl who is also a famous Deus and an expert about Angelic Layer. Her incredibly fast angel Suzuka is a favourite contender in tournaments. Misaki also befriends Hatoko's older brother Koutarou Kobayashi and his friend Tamayo Kizaki, a girl fascinated by martial arts. Both turn out to be Misaki's classmates.

Misaki pursues her ultimate goal of finding her mother, whom she has not seen since preschool. Eventually she learns that her mother assisted in the development of Angelic Layer in her quest to develop a perfect prosthesis for her multiple sclerosis, which has confined her to a wheelchair. Her mother is also the Deus of Athena, and the champion of Angelic Layer.

The manga series is set a few years before Chobits, a Clamp work in the same universe as Angelic Layer. In the manga, Icchan plays an important role in Chobits' storyline, but this connection was reduced to a single scene in the Anime. Icchan has a brief cameo but is not mentioned by name in the Chobits anime. Kaede's younger brother Minoru is also a Chobits character. In the manga series, Misaki's mother does not have multiple sclerosis, nor is she depicted in a wheelchair. The ending to the manga also has different couplings.
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Japanese Anime: Angel Sanctuary, Part 7

Mad Hatter (Belial/Beliel)

One of the Seven Satans, "Pride", and the Court Jester of the lowest layer of Hell, Sheol. Her real name is Beliel, and was formerly a member of the order of Virtues and the deputy of Raphael. (She was the reason why Raphael disliked women, due to her ways.) The Mad Hatter searches and chooses Lucifer's brides, because she loves Lucifer herself. However, she does not long for him to love her back because if he does her love will die and she will hate him. She (like all angels) was born sexless, but when her gender started to manifest she took pills to stop it so that she could be the best of what God had intended for her to be: "Worthless." Thus, while technically female, she has the flat chest and slim hips of a young man, and is in fact mistaken as a male by Kurai. She has a tattoo of a butterfly on her upper-thigh, which also gives her the nickname "The Mad Butterfly." She also has a habit of taunting Setsuna and his friends, particularly Sakuya, for he has another identity which he doesn't know: Lucifer, Ruler of the 9 Hells. Later, after Setsuna's destruction of YHWH, she was to withdraw the forces of Hell away from Heaven, thus forming a truce between the two realms.
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Japanese Anime: Angel Sanctuary, Part 6

The Demon Lord of Hell, his angelic name is Lucifel/Lucifael, varying according to translation. Just when he was exalted to the position of Morning Star, he was told by God that he was born with only one reason - to become the Prince of Darkness and rule the evils and demons. When he heard this, he grew angry. In order to enact reveng, he decided to rape Alexiel. But he did this because in Heaven, it was believed that Alexiel was actually God's "beloved daughter". The reality was that God actually hated her and wanted her out of the way so she could not ruin his plan, but Lucifer had no way of knowing this. But he fell in love with her when he found out she was not the cold emotionless woman everyone believed her to be, but a woman who possessed an all encompassing love that extended to everything. He fell in the love with the "woman with the same eyes as him" and leaves Eden after kissing her on the cheek in order to continue his rebellion against God.

When he and his comrades fell, they found that hell was a barren land incapable of supporting life of any kind so he rooted his body to Hell's ground. Thus when Hell's earth breaks, it is his blood that gushes out. He also returns to Eden a second time to free Alexiel from her God-made prison and thus assisted in bringing forth the second rebellion, which Alexiel staged.

As his punishment for assisting Alexiel's escape from heaven, God imprisons him in the extremely powerful seven-bladed sword, Nanatsusaya Mitamanatsurugi. His soul was imprisoned in the sword for so long, that all of his memories were lost. A number of people tried to wield the sword and failed until Alexiel came along. He allowed her to control him, because she was the woman that held all his memories in her hand. As Nanatsusaya, Lucifer hated Alexiel because he was helpless as she knew more about him than he did and she would never reveal his past to him. When Alexiel was captured by the angels and sealed in the Angel Crystal, Nanatsusaya followed her through all her reincarnations. He deludes himself into thinking that it is because he hates her and wants to see her suffer, but in the end his actions prove otherwise.


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Japanese Anime: Angel Sanctuary, Part 5

The 13th and last princess of the Gehennan Royal Family, and believes herself to be the only survivor of her family. She is master of the Shinryuu, three dragon oracles and various dragon "gods" who protect Gehenna. The master is declared heir to Gehenna's throne, regardless of the fact that Kurai had older brothers who could have inherit the throne instead. She believes Arachne is her cousin, though in truth he is her older brother. Kurai is in love with Alexiel for saving her and helping her kingdom in the war against Heaven. She later loves Setsuna. After Setsuna's return to Earth, she resolved to be a good queen to her people.


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Japanese Anime: Angel Sanctuary, Part 4


Setsuna Mudo
The current human incarnation of the Organic Angel, Alexiel. Alexiel retains many of her high astral powers and Setsuna is almost impervious to injury. Like all of Alexiel's reincarnations, Setsuna will be doomed to live a miserable life, tragic love, and die a slow, very painful death. However, the cycle is partially broken when Nanatsusaya kills Alexiel's previous incarnation. It is then completely destroyed when Setsuna's younger sister, Sara, dies in his place. He is hopelessly in love with Sara, and hated by his mother. He also has no memories of his previous incarnations, and at first resents his role as the chosen "Savior," wishing only to protect his and Sara's happiness. He matures as the series progresses, eventually surpassing Alexiel herself. Setsuna is headstrong, rebellious, and impulsive, but he has a good heart and is fiercely loyal to his friends.

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Japanese Anime: Angel Sanctuary, Part 3

The Inorganic Angel Rosiel is the younger twin of Alexiel. Originally, he was wise, kind and benevolent, but knew he would eventually lose his sanity and become destructive. He asked Alexiel to kill him before this happened, but her feelings prevented her from doing so and she sealed him within the earth instead. He is also obsessed with his beauty; because everyone calls him beautiful (save for Alexiel), he frequently asks if he is beautiful when he has gone insane. In fact, he clones many of his facial features from Alexiel's, which explains his resemblance to his sister. The reason behind this obsession is because Rosiel was born as an old, hideous creature. His body doesn't age; instead, it becomes younger and younger as time went by. Rosiel's most loyal follower Katan secretly uses forbidden black magic to break the seal and brings Rosiel back. By this time, Rosiel has already lost his mind.

Even with his determination to have Alexiel, he acknowledges on a subconscious level that he loves Katan more than anyone else in the world and occasionally shows this. In the final volume, Rosiel dies after killing his beloved servant Katan in a fit of madness. In his last moments, Alexiel awakens with Setsuna's help and helps Rociel return to a temporary state of sanity. She reveals to him that she loved him as a brother all along. Rosiel realizes it is time he died and joined "the one he truly loves", Katan. He accepts death gratefully, but before he dies, though, he passes his powers onto Setsuna, giving three more wings to add to the three Setsuna already had, making a total of six, which only the "perfect" Holy Hermit Adam Kadamon has.

He is the first of the creator's attempts to split the powers of the Seraphita, and thus classifies himself as a classic Kaori Yuki archetype, the villain who is revealed in the end to be an innocent victim.

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Japanese Anime: Angel Sanctuary, Part 2


The Organic Angel Alexiel is the twin sister of Rosiel. One of the most powerful angels in heaven, she has three wings. Alexiel was loved by many, including Uriel and Lucifer.Alexiel was the older of the twin angels, her inorganic counterpart being her brother Rociel. When Alexiel and Rociel were born, only Alexiel possessed a full fledged body, being the Organic Angel. Rociel being the Inorganic angel, was a soul with no body. Alexiel, who loved her brother as if he were own flesh and blood made a pact with God so that he would allow her to give Rociel a body. In return, God decreed, she would never talk to her brother, never willingly go near him and never show her true feelings (her sisterly love) for him. She agreed to these commands and Rociel was given a body, though Alexiel was imprisoned in Eden.

Later Lucifer the Morningstar rebels against God and in the process, frees Alexiel from Eden. Once free, Alexiel is able to realize just how warped her homeland has become in her years of imprisonment. Disgusted by the corrupt practices of heaven, Alexiel rebelled against God and joined forces with Princess Kurai of the Evil Kingdom. Though she loved Rosiel, she sealed her dangerous, insane brother within the earth. It is shortly after this that Alexiel is imprisoned by the heavenly army and put on trial for her actions. In punishment for her treason, Alexiel's soul is separated from her body, doomed to be endlessly reincarnated into a human on Earth; each of her lives are to be miserable and end in a painful death. Her current incarnation is Setsuna Mudo.

It was revealed in the final volume that God went to such extents to stop Rociel and Alexiel from joining each other, because of the power that they would possess when they fused their powers together. They are both direct descendant from the Holy Hermit Adam Kadmon so their combined power would be enough to destroy God and his plans to dominate every aspect of the Universe. He thought he'd found a way to keep them apart by imprisoning her in Eden but that plan was ruined by Lucifer.

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Japanese Anime: Angel Sanctuary, Part 1

Angel Sanctuary is a manga and anime series created by Kaori Yuki. This 20-volume series was originally serialized in Hakusensha's Hana to Yume. The manga was adapted as a three-episode OVA series that loosely covers the first story arc; it was intended to be an introduction to the manga rather than a complete story, and thus ends on an abrupt cliffhanger. Both the manga and anime feature mature content.

The manga is available in English, published by Viz Communications and in Brazil and Italy by Panini Comics. It is also available in Chinese, published by Tongli Publishing, and in Spanish, published in Spain by Mangaline and in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid.

A series of drama CDs based on the other story arcs was also released.

Setsuna Mudo is a problematic delinquent high school student, who is in love with his sister. To add to his problems, he is also a reincarnation of a fallen angel, which gets him caught in a messy war between heaven and hell.

Angel Sanctuary is one of Kaori Yuki's most celebrated works. Among other things, it discusses the morality of incestuous relationships, the nature of God, and other philosophical topics.

Great Angel Sanctuary site:
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Japanese Anime: Angel Links

Angel Links ("Angels of the Stars: Angel Links") is an anime series. It was aired across WOWOW and the anime television network Animax.

Angel Links is about a 16 year old girl, Meifon Li, who becomes the head of a corporation dedicated to saving transportation companies in outer space from pirates for free, as per her grandfather's dying wish. As the series progresses, she learns a terrifying secret about her grandfather and the reason for his wish. The anime is produced by Sunrise and is released in the U.S. by Bandai, and is based on a novel by Hideaki Ibuki. It is considered a spinoff of the anime series Outlaw Star and takes place in the same universe. The characters Duuz and Valeria are from an episode of Outlaw Star titled "Law and Lawlessness," and now work for Meifon, although there are several differences in their character and personalities between the two shows.

Several characters from Outlaw Star make cameo appearances in this series. Fred Luo can be seen as one of the party guests along with his bodyguards during the first episode. Also, during the 5th episode, the bartender Clyde and the waitress Iris make a brief appearance.
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Japanese Anime: Amazing Nurse Nanako

Amazing Nurse Nanako is an anime OVA series released in Japan. There were 6 episodes. It was released in January 2003 in a DVD box-set in the United States through Pioneer. It combines humor and ecchi.

The series details the life and history of Nanako Shichigusa, a 16-year-old who works as a maid in Dr. Kyogi Ogami's hospital. Strong, busty, and ditzy, Nanako is the continuous target of many outlandish scientific experiments and organizations. Many times she lands herself into trouble with Dr. Ogami with her ditzy persona.

In the beginning, Nanako was the subject of a cyborg experiment conducted by Dr. Ogami for one of his most powerful robots. Through rigorous training, Dr. Ogami trained Nanako to withstand the pain. However, he made her too strong, and the plan ultimately failed. However, recent developments between the Pentagon and the Vatican to resurrect Jesus for the Second Coming have landed Nanako as the subject of an operation in which she will give birth to the new Jesus.

Throughout the series, we learn that Nanako is, in fact, the third clone in a series of clones cloned from the original Nanako. The original died from a mysterious illness, and an experiment to clone her was successful. However, around the age of 20, each Nanako clone dies of the same mysterious illness that claimed the life of the first Nanako. It has been Dr. Ogami's quest to cure the "Nanako illness" ever since he promised the second clone that he would heal her before she died when he was young.

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Japanese Anime:Amaenaideyo!!

Amaenaideyo!! is an anime that runs on TV Tokyo's anime satellite channel, AT-X. It is based on the manga of the same name by Sogabe Toshinori that ran in Comic Gum.

It is a comedy/ecchi/harem genre of anime that is similar in nature to the show Tenchi Muyo. The protagonist of the series is the lecherous Ikkou Satonaka, who transforms in to a super-monk (being able to perform mass exorcisms) by his lust for the girls he lives with (Note: In the anime, he transforms from seeing a naked girl). He lives in the Saien Temple as a Buddhist priest in training with six other nuns: Haruka Amanogawa, Sumi Ikuina, Hinata and Sakura Sugai, Chitose Nambu and Yuuko Atouda, each of whom represents one of the bosatsu of the six lower realms of the traditional Buddhist cosmology. Chitose is the other main character and has a strange relationship with Ikkou; he seems to be in all the wrong places at all the wrong times, but they really care for each other in all actuality. A side effect of Ikkou using his ultimate power is that immediately afterwards he turns into an even bigger pervert that he normally is. The series is about Ikkou's self-destructive power and his attempts to control his own super-sensual sphere/powers.

A second season, Amaenaideyo!! Katsu!!, was shortly released and introduces a new antagonist character, the fifteen year old girl, Kazusano Kazuki

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Japanese Anime: Akahori Gedou Hour Rabuge

Akahori Gedou Hour Rabuge

Plot Summary: Rabuge flips back-and-forth following the tribulations of two groups of women: Ayumi and Kaoruko, AKA "Love Pheromone," a pair of heroines who fight for justice but always cause more chaos than good, and the Hokke Sisters, five girls who make up the Gedou Otome-Tai, bent on spreading evil throughout the world, but end up helping others instead. Both Love Pheromone and Gedou Otome-Tai struggle through poverty while attempting to reach their goals, be they becoming the world's greatest evil, or to become a popular comedy group and have legions of fans.

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Japanese Anime: Air Gear

Air Gear is a shōnen manga and anime by the mangaka Oh! great.

Air Gear has been serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine since 2002. Currently, 16 tankōbon have been released in Japan by Shounen Magazine Comics.

The Air Gear manga was licensed for release in the United States by Del Rey Manga and the first volume was released on July 25, 2006. Subsequent volumes will be released every three months.

ADV Films announced over the October 20, 2006 weekend at Oni-Con, that they had licensed the Air Gear anime for release in the USA. The first volume was released on February 6, 2007. Surprisingly, they will be releasing the Japanese home video version, or the uncensored edition. On January 3, 2007, IGN released a special sneak peek of Episode 1 of the English Dub.

The series has also been made into a musical called Musical Air Gear, which made its debut on January 7, 2007 and ran until January 21, 2007. The musical is loosely adapted from the manga and is similar to the Prince of Tennis musicals in that all female roles are eliminated from the plot. The cast featured Kenta Kamakari, KENN, and Kenjiro Tsuda reprising their roles from the anime respectively as Ikki, Kazu, and Spitfire with Masaki Kaji (who had also starred with Kenta and KENN in the Prince of Tennis musicals), RUN&GUN, etc. as their co-stars.

Due to the success and popularity of the musical's first run, the musical will have a rerun in May 2007 titled, Musical Air Gear vs. Bacchus Super Range Remix with the entire cast reprising their roles.

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Ai Yori Aoshi

Ai Yori Aoshi is a manga by Kou Fumizuki, first serialized in 1998 in Hakusensha's Young Animal, a magazine for young men. The original manga series ended its run in 2005.

The title was taken from a quote from the Chinese philosopher Xun Zi: Blue comes from indigo, yet is bluer than indigo . The phrase is used in Japanese to mean that, although a person is molded by their teacher, they surpass that teacher through their own efforts. The name of the main character, Aoi may be a reference to this phrase.

Ai Yori Aoshi was made into an anime in 2002 and video games were released for the PlayStation 2 and Windows 98. The anime series was completed when its second season, under the title Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi , was completed in 2003. The anime was released in North America by Geneon and in Singapore by Odex. The manga was released in English by TOKYOPOP. Also, a drama CD series was produced, with slight differences in the voicing cast as compared to the anime.

The series is sometimes referred to as a halfway point between a harem anime and a magical girlfriend story. It is also referred to as "Wasei Rabu Hina" as the story is similar to Love Hina, but in a more traditional Japanese style.

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Oh My Goddess!/Ah! My Goddess

Oh My Goddess!, also known as Ah! My Goddess, is a seinen manga series by Kosuke Fujishima currently serialised in Kodansha's monthly Afternoon magazine first published 1988-08-25 (was the September issue however). Originally a typical magical girlfriend romantic comedy, over time it has grown to feature more action and the latest variant has had a greater focus on developing the mystical aspects of the world in which it is set. Since the manga was first published there have been four anime offshoots.

The manga tells the story of college freshman Keiichi Morisato, who, because of his pure heart, has been chosen by Yggdrasil, Heaven's computer system, to receive a single wish. The angelic "goddess" Belldandy is sent down to Earth to ask for his wish, and tells him that he can potentially wish for anything that he wants, from becoming a billionaire to destroying the world in an instant. First, Keiichi thinks that this entire meeting is a prank being played by his senpais, but during their short meeting, he soon realizes that she's the only person who truly understands and appreciates him. Being enchanted by her, Keiichi wishes if her offer is truly valid, for someone like Belldandy to stay with him forever (not knowing what he wished for, was going to become). The manga/anime follows their relationship as they become closer to each other.

The varying anime series feature the main characters and are based on the same basic plotline as the original manga, but each has taken a unique interpretation on this concept and, as such, should be considered separate canons. The only exception to this is the more recent TV series, which follows the plot of the manga closely.

Being a mechanical otaku himself, Fujishima frequently bases whole chapters, or even story arcs, around mechanics, focusing especially on motorcycle mechanics. Most notably, readers discover that Keiichi Morisato is a member of his college's motor vehicle club, which is always under threat of being put out of commission by a rival motor club. There are also several story arcs related to racing found earlier in the manga; the concept of racing is also a significant plot device in each of the anime canons. Both Keiichi and Belldandy are exceptionally gifted at racing (Keiichi because of natural ability and Belldandy because of her ability to "talk" with the machines). Most of the other main characters have exhibited some degree of skill in racing and/or mechanics, making the idea of mechanics a significant device for character development and growth.
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3×3 Eyes

3×3 Eyes (pronounced Sazan Eyes in Japanese) is a manga created by acclaimed mangaka Yuzo Takada, and is his most successful series. It spans 40 volumes, beginning in 1987 and finally ending in 2002. It was serialized in Young Magazine.

There are also two anime OVA series based on 3×3 Eyes. They were first released in 1991 and 1995. They were relatively short, only comprising four 30-minute episodes and three 45-minute episodes. The storyline goes up to volume 5 of the manga.

The English-language manga was being published by Dark Horse Comics, but was canceled before the release of volume 9 in 2005. Two versions of the English adaptations exist; one published by Streamline Pictures and another released in 2001 by Pioneer LDC, now known as Geneon Entertainment.

3x3 Eyes follows the adventures of Pai, the last remaining Sanjiyan Unkara and her new Wu (an immortal companion), Yakumo, as they desperately try to find a way to make Pai human so that she can forget her troubled past. In some Chinese dubs Pai is pronounced "Pui" and her name is a reference to Parvati, a beautiful Indian mountain goddess reputed to inhabit the Himalayas. Yakumo can again become mortal and end his constant need to protect Pai because if Pai dies, then so will he. Along the way, they encounter many followers of the now-dead demon god Kaiyanwang, all of whom wish to kill Pai or siphon off her power in order to resurrect their deity and/or gain immortality.

Sazan is the Japanese word for 3x3 as in multiplication tables. It's also the phonetical equivalent for the English word southern, and Takada's favorite music group happens to be Southern All Stars.
Volume 40, the last volume, has been published in two versions, one of which includes a PC game.
Various games came out based on the 3x3 Eyes manga on the Japanese Super Famicom, Playstation and the Game Boy. They featured new characters, music and artwork.
The songs from 3x3 Eyes are by the Takada Band. Their music is released separately.
So far many music albums have been made: Two original soundtrack cds, the 3x3 Eyes - Seima Densetsu Matsuei Fudanshi 2 Original Soundtrack, the Takada Band vocal album, the 3x3 Eyes Dai-ichi Shou Original Soundtrack, a 3x3 Eyes Image Album 3 - Earth Chapter and the 3x3 Eyes Seima Densetsu Matsuei Fudanshi 1 Original Soundtrack.
A TV series was being considered at around the time the manga ended in 2002. However, due to the then-recent Japanese censorship laws, it wasn't made.
The original voice actresses for Pai and the Sanjiyan in the Streamline Pictures English language adaptation are also the same voice actresses for Robotech's Lynn Minmay and Lisa Hayes, respectively. (Rebecca Forstadt and Melanie MacQueen).
The voice actress for Pai is Megumi Hayashibara in the original Japanese language version.
The music composer for the animes is Kaoru Wada.

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Yakitate!! Japan (meaning "Freshly Baked!!") is a manga, authored by Takashi Hashiguchi, serialised in Shogakukan's Shōnen Sunday, which has been adapted into a television anime series by Sunrise. The manga has spanned 25 tankōbon volumes, as of January, 2007, while the weekly serialization of the manga has recently ended as of January 10, 2007. The anime series, broadcast on TV Tokyo and other local stations from October 2004 to March 2006, spanned a total of 69 episodes. The series won the 2004 Shogakukan Manga Prize for best shōnen Manga. The manga series was later licensed by VIZ Media for North American distribution.

The story focuses on Kazuma Azuma, a boy on his quest to create Ja-pan, a national bread for Japan itself. He initially heads to Tokyo to expand his bread-making horizons at the bread-making chain Pantasia; the story continues with Azuma's exploits with his other coworkers.

The title of this series itself is a play on words; Yakitate translates to "freshly baked", but Japan has a double meaning. Besides referring to the country of Japan, "pan" is the Japanese word for "bread". Ja-pan is a pun for this series. This mimics the style of the names of other varieties of bread in Japanese, such as "furansupan" (French Bread), "doitsupan" (German rye-based bread), "itariapan" (Italian bread), etc.

Besides the desire to create his Ja-pan, Azuma also possesses the legendary Solar Hands (known as "Hands of the Sun" in Viz's translation). These hands are warmer than normal human hand temperature, and allow the dough to ferment faster. This gives him some advantage at the beginning of the series, but his innovation and many Ja-pans are his greater talents.

Although the story has baking as its main theme, the parts that generate the most interest are the outrageous puns in the story. Especially notable are the "reaction" based puns made by the judges, who go to great lengths to prove a single point about the bread that they had tasted. The series in general also pokes fun at the shōnen genre's tendency to be melodramatic over mundane tasks.

While the characters might create the most extreme breads, most of them are actually real, or are at least based on real bread. Hashiguchi employs a bakery consultant, Kouichi Uchimura. Uchimura creates bread similar to the bread in the manga, and some of the bread in the manga are actually his invention. Uchimura runs a bakery called Pan no Mimi in Kyoto.
In Episode 25, during Kawachi's afro training, there's a parody of the famous novel, dorama and movie Sekachu, where Kawachi has a reaction and appears on top of a bread whose crust looks a bit like the Ayers Rock (this reasoning is backed up by the fact that there are kangaroos on the crust), shouting "afro no chushin De ai wo sakebi" ("Crying out afro in the center of the world").
Episode 29 includes a Gundam parody, featuring the Black Tri-Stars and their traditional Dom mobile suits, as well as the Nobel Gundam from G-Gundam, piloted by Yukino, who appears to be wearing the uniform of Sayla Mass.
Episode 44 contains an Initial D parody
In episode 47, there is a parody of Detective Conan where Pierrot disguises himself as Conan for his reaction.
In episode 51, there is a parody of Galaxy Express 999 when Pierrot goes to outer space for his reaction.
In episode 55, there is a parody of Dragonball Z where Kuroyanagi becomes Super Kuroyanagi (super saiyan) as a reaction from trying Takumi Tsubozuka's Super Toro Aburi bread. He then later turns into Super Kuroyanagi two and Super Kuroyanagi three after trying Azuma's Urchin-roe Chawanmushi bread.
In episode 56, there is a parody of One Piece where Kuroyanagi turns into a "Tenobi Man" as a reaction from trying Azuma's Japanese-Style Ja-pan dumpling. To this effect, he dons a straw hat and starts stretching his arms like rubber to unbelievable lengths a la Monkey D. Luffy.
Tesshou Iwashiro and Dog, from the manga Wild Life, make a minor appearance in episode 38 and a longer appearance in episode 58.
In episode 59, there is a parody of Naruto where 'Naruto' and 'Sasuke' are fighting.
Episode 68 is a Lord of the Rings parody.

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Agent Aika

Agent Aika, anime, japanese

Agent Aika is an anime OVA series which stars a Japanese woman named Aika Sumeragi (voiced by Rei Sakuma) who works as a salvager for companies that hire her, but gets caught up in a plot for world domination. This OVA anime series is available in North America from Central Park Media.

Tokyo has sunk into the ocean, along with most of the world, during a land subsidence. Aika Sumeragi is a salvager who works for a small company run by a father and daughter tandem. Alas, the company isn't exactly successful, and money is needed desperately. Thus, Aika accepts the very dangerous job of acquiring an artifact called Lagu for a hefty sum. The boss' daughter Aida Rion joins Aika on this particular mission, and the two set off. Later on, Aika and Rion are captured by Rudolf Hagen -- an effeminate but over-sexed man who wants Lagu and Aika (and just about every pretty girl) for himself. Hargen commands a huge battleship manned exclusively by droves of cute girls in mini-skirts (the source for what is often called "fan service"). Alongside Hargen is his obsessive sister Nena, who is jealous of Aika, as well as another salvager named Gusto, who's also after Lagu and has a crush on Aika as well. When Aika's special bustier is activated, she becomes a " superwoman" who can take on whole armies by herself.

The automatic rifles shown and used throughout the series are German StG45(M), a weapon which historically never went past the prototype stage.
The planes Aika flies resemble Russian MiG-21 (episodes 1-4) and MiG-25 (episode 6).
There is about one panty shot every 20 secs in the Agent Aika anime (the first episode alone has about 122 panties in more or less plain view), even more, if you count group-scenes as more than one.

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Banner of the Stars

Banner of the Stars (literally Battle Flag of the Stars) is a series of science fiction novels written by Hiroyuki Morioka, which serve as sequels to Crest of the Stars. The series is ongoing. Three of the four novels in the series have been made into anime.

As of the present, there are four novels in the Seikai no Senki series. These are:

Seikai no Senki I "Kizuna no Katachi" (Battle Flag of the Stars I "The Form of Bonds")
Seikai no Senki II "Mamoru Beki Mono" (Battle Flag of the Stars II"That which is to be Protected")
Seikai no Senki III "Kazoku no Shokutaku" (Battle Flag of the Stars III"A Family Dinner")
Seikai no Senki IV "Kishimu Jikuu" (Battle Flag of the Stars IV"Cacophonous Space-Time")

So far there are TV anime adaptations of the first two books and an OVA anime adaptation of the third book was released within the second half of 2005.

Among fans, Banner of the Stars is a title used to describe all anime except Crest of the Stars (which Hiroyuki Morioka has said was not intended as the main idea of the story, but just an introduction to how Ghintec and Lamhirh met). Currently there are two series and an OVA released.

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.hack//Tasogare No Udewa Densetsu

.hack//Tasogare No Udewa Densetsu
Studio : Bandai Visual Co. (USA), Inc.
Also involved: BeeTrain Production, Inc.
Licenced by : Bandai Entertainment
Length : 12 Episodes
Year : 2003
Genre : Science-Fiction - Fantasy - Adventure - Action

Synopsis :
Twin Siblings Shugo and Rena are the winners of a contest held within the game The World and win the rights to play using special character skins based off of Kite and Black Rose, the Heroes of The World. What new adventures await them? What plans does Arua have for Shugo by giving him a legendary bracelet that allows him to modify the source code of The World? Will Shugo be able to get back into the swing of playing an online game and level his character up to impress and protect his sister?

Additional Notes: Taking place four years after the conclusion of the .hack//Liminality and PlayStation 2 games, .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu continues the adventures of the .hack universe with a new soundtrack, and comic based animation style.

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AD Police

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AD Police is a manga series written by Tony Takezaki and illustrated by Senno Knife, which was adapted on screen in an anime science fiction series, composed of the 12-episode long AD Police: To Serve and Protect TV series and the 3-episode long AD Police Files OVA series. AD Police is a spin-off of another anime series: Bubblegum Crisis. The AD in AD Police is short for Advanced, although there are some mistaken translations as Armored Division.

The AD Police are an elite group of highly trained and specially equipped police officers who have been formed to deal with terrorist activities and Boomer robot crimes in the city of Megatokyo. They are more heavily armed and equipped (including power armors like the K-11 and K-12) for a normal police force, but too lightly for a military organization.

The AD Police are offered a great deal of leeway in their activities, often blockading large sections of the city and causing great amounts of property damage in the course of fulfilling their duty. Despite their dedication to their jobs, however, the citizens of Megatokyo tend to dislike and distrust members of the AD Police, seeing them as corrupt and ineffectual.

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Heidi, Girl of the Alps

Heidi, Girl of the Alps was a very popular anime series released by the animation studio Zuiyo Eizo (which later became Nippon Animation) in 1974. It was directed by Isao Takahata and features scene design and layout by Hayao Miyazaki. The series is based on the Heidi children's book, which Swiss author Johanna Spyri wrote in 1880.

The Heidi anime was an extremely popular TV series in many countries all over the world, but was not dubbed in English until 2001.

The Heidi, Girl of the Alps anime has been dubbed in several languages. The TV series was able to reach major stardom in Europe, Asia, and South America where the anime was dubbed in multiple languages.The only incarnation of the Heidi series to reach the United States was an English dubbed version of the 1979 feature-length movie adaptation of the TV series, released on video in 1985. Most fans of the series in North America saw it first in other countries.

Heidi is one of several World Masterpiece Theater titles produced around the "classical children's literature period" (1974-1997), based on classic tales from around the world.
The opening credit roll was animated by Hayao Miyazaki, except for two scenes by experienced animator Yasuji Mori. Assigned to animate a ring dance of Heidi and Peter, Mori wanted to analyze a movement of two real people, so Miyazaki and animation director Yôichi Kotabe did a ring dance in a parking lot next to their studio, and Mori shot them with an 8mm camera for reference.
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Hana no Ko Lunlun

Hana no Ko Lunlun is a magical girl manga by Shiro Jinbo, focusing on a theme of flowers in its stories. It was adapted into an anime by Toei Animation in 1979, and the anime was greatly successful in the West -specially in Latin-America- as well as in Japan.

Long ago, plant spirits and fairy-like creatures lived in harmony with mankind, but gradually humans began to rise toward greed and cruelty and the plant spirits immigrated to another world they dubbed the Flower Star. However, their legacy remained in people who truly knew the meaning of love and kindness. A talking dog and cat pair, Nubo and Cato, were sent to Earth to find one such person to find a magical flower, the symbol of the Flower Star's ruling family, so that a new ruler could ascend the throne.

They find her, Lunlun, in France. They travel all over Europe in search of the flower, helping people every step of the way. They are followed by a bumbling pair of villains who want to steal the flower and rule the Flower Star, and a mysterious photographer who gives the people Lunlun helps packets of flower seeds which symbolize the lesson they've learned in the "language of flowers." For instance, thistles, which signify independence, when the son of a farmer vows to follow his own dreams and leave home. These people all send flower seeds to Lunlun's grandfather, and in the end the magical flower is found growing in his garden from the kindness of all the people. The photographer turns out to be the prince of the Flower Star, but secedes the throne to his brother so he can live on Earth and marry Lunlun.

Lunlun is gifted at the start of the series with a magical pin from the King of the Flower Planet. This pin, when a flower is reflected in its mirror gives Lunlun a new outfit fit for the purpose, such as mountain climbing. About halfway through the series, the pin is broken when Lunlun falls from a branch overhanging a waterfall whilst trying to attract attention after being caught in the Dark Wind (The Princesses main form of attack). Whilst she is lost in the river, a new pin is given to her in the shape of the royal crest, with the warning that if it is ever lost of broken, her life on Earth will end and she will be unable to return to the Flower Planet. The words to activate this pin are "Fu Flay Lu Fey Lora"

In ZIV International's feature-length English-dubbed adaptation of the series (titled simply Angel and made up of bits of various episodes) - Angel, Lily (cat), Periwinkle (dog), the villains were Princess Wysteria and Ragweed, and the Prince was Stefan.

In other European dub versions, Lunlun's name was easily Westernized into "Lulu," "Lily" or "Lydia," or other variations thereof.

The largest difference falls between the English Movie and the original series. In the movie, Angel goes to Lumia where she learns she is to marry the prince. The King relents and lets her return to Earth to her family and Stefan -although you see her in the coach with a Prince who doesn't look the same as the one she was supposed to marry. In the original series, the King passes the crown to his eldest son (in the English movie you only ever see one prince), who it emerges is Stefan.

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Haikara-san ga Tōru/Smart-san

Haikara-san ga Tōru , also known as Smart-san, is a Japanese shōjo manga series by Waki Yamato, which was serialized in Kodansha's Shōjo Friend from 1975 to 1977, later adapted into a 42-episode anime TV series produced by Nippon Animation, which premiered across Japan on TV Asahi from June 3, 1978 to March 31, 1979. The anime series was also later aired across Japan on the anime satellite television network Animax and NHK satellite channel BS2. The title literally translates into English as Here Comes Miss Modern, Here Comes Miss High-Collar ("haikara" being the Japanese version of the English phrase "high collar"), or Fashionable Girl Passing By.

The manga was serialized in Kodansha's Shōjo Friend magazine in Japan from 1975 to 1977. It remains a popular nostalgia item in Japan to this day, considered a classic work from the same 1970s shōjo manga boom that gave birth to such popular titles as Candy Candy, and copies are still in print. The anime adaptation of the story, which aired across Japan on the terrestrial TV Asahi network from June 1978 to March 1979, spanned 42 episodes, was directed by Kazuyoshi Yokota (Spaceship Sagittarius, Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics), and featured character designs by future Ranma 1/2 director Tsutomu Shibayama.

Due to disappointing ratings, Nippon Animation was forced to end the series early and craft an ending to the anime that was different from that of the manga, cutting the story off after the arrival of Shinobu and Lalissa in Japan. In the final episode, Benio finds out that the mysterious Russian count is not Shinobu (Lalissa has a photograph of their wedding day to prove it), and the episode ends with Benio imagining a reunion with Shinobu and refusing to give up hope that he is alive. Up until this point, the anime had been a very faithful adaptation of the manga, even incorporating redrawn stills from Yamato's original work (although the anime portrayed Benio with reddish-brown hair, and Yamato's colorized drawings often showed her as blonde).

The anime has been discovered by new audiences in the years since thanks to the enduring popularity of the original manga (as well as a live-action movie version of the story released in Japan in 1987). In 2005, Haikara-san ga Tooru was listed at #95 in a TV Asahi poll of the top 100 animation series of all time, based on a nationwide survey of Japanese of all age groups. The anime has also been aired across Japan by the anime satellite television network, Animax, and the NHK satellite channel BS2.

Both the manga and anime have also enjoyed considerable success in the European market. The manga was released in Italy in the late 1990s under the title Una ragazza alla moda (A Fashionable Girl). The anime was successful on Italian TV in 1986 under the title Mademoiselle Anne, and a French dub of the series, Marc et Marie, aired on French TV in 1995. Nippon Animation's official English title for the anime is Smart-san.

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UFO Robo Grendizer

UFO Robo Grendizer is a mecha anime show created by Japanese anime artist Go Nagai. It was shown on Japanese TV in 1975 and lasted 74 episodes.

Grendizer is a fictional mecha from the anime and manga series of the same name, created by Go Nagai. Within the story, Grendizer was created by the Vegan Empire and stolen by the Prince of Planet Fleed, who piloted it under the guise of the masked warrior Duke Fleed.

The original concept was shown in a 1975 30-minute pilot movie War of the Flying Saucers. The movie had the same basic plot, with a few changes: Daisuke appears as the Professor's biological son, the enemy was Princess Teronna from Planet Yarban, and the robot's original name was Gattaiger (gattai = Japanese for "combine"). The series, which started later the same year, is considered another sequel to the Mazinger series, partly because of the inclusion of Mazinger Z's pilot Koji Kabuto, and having giant robots, which made it a "Super Robot" mecha anime.

A lot of speculation has been made about the two half-turns executed when the pilot passes from the ship mode to the robot mode. Once asked about it, Go Nagai answered that "Duke being suspicious, he always checks that no one is following him", but it can be assumed that he was joking, leaving the mystery unsolved.

The Grendizer robot and Daisuke have been included in two short Go Nagai cross-over features: UFO Robot Grendizer vs. Great Mazinger, and Great Mazinger, Grendizer, Getter Robo G: Decisive Showdown! Great Sea Beast..

Grendizer is best remembered as one of the first anime shows to have a huge success in Europe and Canada, particularly in France and Quebec (known as Goldorak), Italy and Malta (known as Goldrake), where it holds a strong following even today. Grandizer was also one of the most popular anime series ever shown in Arabic countries. (All the episodes were shown in these countries. It is interesting to note that the Arabic version was identical to the Japanese one, the names remained the same.)

Twenty-six episodes of Grendizer were shown on American TV as part of the multi-mecha show Force Five, out of the total of 74 in the original series. Many character's names were changed: Grendizer spelling was changed to Grandizer, Duke Fleed was Orion Quest, and then changed his name to Johnny Bryant; Planet Fleed's name was changed to Antares, and so on. This corresponds to the first season and story arc (ending with the death of one of the main villains, who is replaced afterwards). Although Mazinger Z was later imported to the United States, Kouji's character appearing in both Tranzor Z and Grandizer was not acknowledged.

While not created on Earth, Grendizer is considered to be part of the Mazinger canon mostly due to the fact of Koji Kabuto co-starring in the show. This is especially noticeable in the Super Robot Wars series, which gives them a Triple Mazinger attack whenever the three of them appear together. The Triple Mazinger Blade, Triple Mazinger Punch and Triple Mazinger Fire are some examples. Grendizer was also playable in the Mazinger Z arcade game.

Despite the hopes of many fans, Koji Kabuto never piloted Mazinger Z during the series. However, in the Grendizer VS Great Mazinger special, he pilots the Great Mazinger and helps Duke Fleed defeat one of the Vegan Empire's most dangerous officers. On a few occasions, Koji reminisces about his time with Mazinger.

Boss Borot makes a guest appearance in two episodes.

Duke Fleed has a younger sister named Maria Fleed, who he thought was dead (and likewise believed the same of him). She reappears later in the story, becomes the pilot of the Drill Spazer unit and incidentally develops a crush on Koji. In the Super Robot Wars series, it has become something of a running gag to have Maria clash over an oblivious Koji with his girlfriend of sorts since the Mazinger times, Sayaka Yumi.

Oddly enough, while Grendizer has fought alongside Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, Getter Robo, Getter Robo G and even Shin Getter Robo in the Super Robot Wars, it has never appeared in the same game as the ultimate Mazinger: Mazinkaiser. Some fans believe that this is because Go Nagai does not want to see either prove stronger but when either is in the game they are usually the most powerful Super Robots in the game.

Although all Go Nagai Super Robots vary in size due to "tech specs" in games like Super Robot Wars (ie. Mazinger is 18 meters tall while Getter Robo G is 50 meters tall), they have usually been shown in their own series and crossovers to be roughly the same size.

Grandizer was banned in the Philippines during the term of then president turned dictator Ferdinand Marcos around the early 1980's. Along with other super-robot-anime shows like Voltes V & Mazinger Z, it was banned citing reasons of its negative affects on young people (although he was actually afraid that the shows would make children rebellious of his reign).

Grendizer has been dubbed into Arabic and has achieved great status in Arab countries.

A homage to the robot is made in the Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube game of Evolution: The World of Sacred Device through the gear of character Chain Gun. Her gear looks like the Spazer and even launches a "Spin Saucer" attack.
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Great Mazinger

Great Mazinger is the name of a manga comic book and anime television series by manga artist Go Nagai, made as a direct continuation of the successful Mazinger Z series. It was aired on Japan in 1974, immediately following the end of the first Mazinger series. It lasted for 56 episodes.

The story centers on Tetsuya Tsurugi, an orphan raised by none other than Kenzo Kabuto, the once thought dead father of Mazinger Z pilot Kouji Kabuto. Kenzo Kabuto is the creator of the new, improved version of Mazinger, made by refining his father's Chogokin Z (Super Alloy Z) into a new, stronger form, designed to fight against humanity's new enemy, the Mikenese Empire, led by the Great General of Darkness and his army of Warrior Beasts. Kenzo gives the Great Mazinger to Tetsuya to pilot, who is accompanied by a new token girl, Jun Hono (an orphaned half Japanese, half black girl), in her female robot Venus A. With the original Mazinger destroyed, Kouji went to America to study space travel and left Japan's defense in the hands of Tetsuya and the Fortress of Science. Both Great Mazinger's and Tetsuya's training are completed just in time to come to Kouji's aid as the Mycene Battle Beasts overwhelm Mazinger Z. Tetsuya battles the Mycene Battle Beasts and even their mighty generals, cumulating in a bitter final battle with the Mycene's military leader, Ankoku Daishogun (Great General of Darkness). After the Great General of Darkness' defeat, the Mycene forces are led by Dr. Hell, the villain from Mazinger Z, back under the guise of the Great Marshall of Hell.

The series also includes some cast members the original Mazinger Z show, like Shiro Kabuto (Koji's little brother), and comic-relief robot Boss Borot. The series was not as successful in Japan as the original, and it was never shown in the States (however, it was shown unedited and in its entirety, like Mazinger Z, in Mexico and some other Latin American countries with great success, and occasionally footage from Great Mazinger's sole appearance in the final episode of Mazinger Z would be shown in Tranzor Z). Actually, the Great Mazinger became famous in the U.S. when it was the first of the late '70s line of Mattel's Shogun Warriors toy series.

Great Mazinger was also the star of the short theatrical "team-up movies" features released in Japan like Great Mazinger vs Grendizer, Great Mazinger vs Getter Robo G, etc., based on anime crossovers of the manga creations of Go Nagai.

Tetsuya and the Great Mazinger are featured, along with Jun in the new Mazinkaiser OVA and movie Mazinkaiser: Deathmatch! Ankoku Daishogun. The characters have been also a mainstay in Banpresto's Super Robot Wars, a popular battle-simulation/RPG series of video games based on many anime mecha shows, including the original Mazinger Z and many others like Getter Robo, the Gundam series, and Neon Genesis Evangelion among others.

Power Source: Photonic Energy
Armor Materials: Chogokin New Z (New Super-Alloy Z)
Height: 25 meters
Weight: 32 tons
Neck Circumference: 6.2 meters
Chest Circumference: 18.5 meters
Arm Circumference: 6.5 meters
Leg Circumference: 7 meters
Arm Length: 9.8 meters
Leg Length: 13 meters
Foot Length: 4 meters (approximate)
Walking Speed: 70 km/h
Running Speed: 450 km/h
Swimming Speed: 25 knots
Flight Speed: Mach 4
Flight Speed (docked with Great Booster): Mach 5
Ceiling: 50 km
Maximum Jump Height: 30 meters
Maximum Dive Depth: 8 km
Output: 90,000 horsepower

Gowappā 5 Godam

Gowappā 5 Godam was an anime series aired in 1976. There were 36 episodes. It is also referred to as "Goliath the Super Fighter ", "Gowapper 5 Gundam", "Godam", "Go Wapper 5 Go Dam", "Gowappa 5 Gordam".

Five youths from Edo City explore a strange rocky island and discover the mecha that Dr. Hoarai had been creating in order to resist the impending attack by a race of subterranean rock people. Dr. Hoarai was ridiculed by the scientific community for his predictions that such an attack would take place. The youths decide to join the doctor (who was dead but had transferred his mind into a computer) in piloting the vehicles and protecting Earth. The Gowapper 5 Godam team is born! With the aid of the giant fighting robot Godam, the Gowapper team under the leadership of Yoko Misaki must face the hordes of the inhuman subterranean people.

Gowappa was the first super robot anime to feature a female as the leader and main character. This was done in an effort to increase the TV viewing demographic to both male and female youth.

Gowappa was released under the Magnemo toy label in Japan in 1976.

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Gordian Warrior

Gordian Warrior was a popular anime series aired in 1979 to 1981 in Japan. There were 73 episodes aired at 30 minutes each. It is also referred to as "Champion of Gordian" or "Gardian".

The Earth had become a wasteland of deserts as the survivors work to rebuild communities. Daigo Otaki is a young orphan raised by his uncle. Becoming an adult, Daigo discovers that Victor City was in fact planned by his father who was a genius scientist. Daigo's sister Saori had been managing it. She plead Daigo to take on the inheritance that Daigo's father left him, a super robot system known as Gordian. Daigo would join the Mechacon mechanic combat 18th regiment unit, an organization of law enforcers that defend Victor City against attacks from the Madokuta organization.

The pilot Daigo Otaki controls a small almost human-sized robot container named Protteser. Each time Protteser is in trouble, he jumps into the next biggest robot container named Delinger. Then finally the largest container is Garbin. The alternative names for the robots are Protessa, Deringer, Gadeen.

The original released toy set comes with all 3 robots and the human pilot. The 3 robots ranking from biggest to smallest, Garbin, Delinger, Protteser were respectively released as GB-11, GB-10, GB-09 by Popy pleasure. Their upper sternum is also numbered 3, 2, 1. Though these numbers do not appear in the cartoon at all.

Garbin, largest robot is 15 meters tall weighing 5 tons.
The mechanical leopard Clint is a tribute to Clint Eastwood.
Garvin was reappropriated as Baikanfū in Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos

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