In 2017, the mecha anime fandom is fairly familiar with The King of Braves GaoGaiGar. The Sunrise series with a heroic theme by Masaaki Endoh, a shouty hero voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama, and a cavalcade of transforming and combining robots is a favorite of fans of series like Gurren Lagann.
But GaoGaiGar isn’t the king of braves for nothing.
Back in the 1990s, Takara was trying to recover from the eventual end of its Transformers line, enlisting the help of Sunrise designer Kunio Okawara to create designs for a new Transformers-ish franchise. The result was Sunrise’s yuusha series, an annual offering of heroic kids, epic robots, and lots and lots of merchandise.
While the primary units tended to be new, some support or enemy robots were recognizably Transformers repaints. But as time went on, the franchise got popular enough that it became entirely its own creature — until the late 90s, when one final series sent it out with a bang.
Are you ready to meet GaoGaiGar’s fellow braves?
Brave Exkaiser – 1990
Schoolboy Kouta gets a nasty shock when he discovers that his family car can talk! Not only that, but it’s apparently named Exkaiser,