was a Super Robot mecha anime
series produced by Toei Animation, credited as an original idea by Akio Sugino
. However, in reality the original idea was of Go Nagai
. Toei deliberately took Nagai out of the credits in order to avoid the payment of royalties. Because of that, Nagai sued Toei and stopped further collaborations with Toei for a long time. The legal battle lasted more than 10 years. Nagai himself confirmed that he was the creator of Gaiking in the Comicon 2007 in Naples, Italy.
It ran from April 1976 through January 1977 and consisted of 44 26-minute episodes. Gaiking was notable for being one of the few super robot series to take place in real places outside of Japan, and for being the first Super Robot series to have a mobile carrier for the chief robots. Gaiking was part of Jim Terry's Force Five anthology series.
The story chronicled the battle between the crew of the semi-transformable carrier Daikū Maryū (also called the Kargosaur) and the Super Robot
Gaiking against an invading race of aliens from the planet Zela, whose home planet is facing destruction by a black hole
. Notable aspects of the series include the dinosaur-based designs of the Daikū Maryū and its support machines and the use of part of the carrier to form the main robot. The robot Gaiking
was piloted by a baseball
star named Sanshiro Tsuwabuki (Sanshiro's name was changed to Aries Astonopolis for the English version of the show with the carrier being called the "Great Space Dragon", a literal translation of "Daikū Maryū". Likewise, for the Latin America version the main character was called Brando Drummond and the carrier "Gran Dragon del Espacio"). It is most easily distinguished from other mecha
by its skull-shaped golden torso, formed from the head of the Daikū Maryū, and its golden horns.
The leader of the alien villains was named Darius, and all of their ships and mecha were fish-shaped, which most likely inspired the Darius series of video games.
Gaiking: Legend of Daikū Maryū (2005-2006)
A sequel to the original series was aired in TV Asahi
from November 12, 2005 to September 24, 2006, lasting in a total of 39 episodes. This version features a completely different story and main character. However, some of the names are very similar to the original series.
Both Daikū Maryū and Gaiking have similar designs to the originals; Gaiking's torso is still skull shaped and the support machines come from Daikū Maryū and the open face form of Gaiking is a tribute to the old Gaiking. There's also the introduction of two new mechs: Raiking and Balking which can combine with Gaiking to form Gaiking the Great.
Five years ago, the main character Daiya Tsuwabuki was on a fishing trip with his father when giant monsters attacked. Daiya was saved by the crew of Daiku Maryu. In the present, Daiya believes that his father is still alive but no one believes him, not even his own mother. But when the same monsters attack the city, Daiya becomes the pilot of Gaiking and joins Daiku Maryu as they go to the world of Darius to stop them from taking over the earth.
Despite the similarity in family name, Daiya and Sanshiro from the original Gaiking are NOT related at all.
- Gaiking (Appeared in both the original and Legend of Daiku-Maryu versions)
A mysterious mecha with a Daikū Maryū's head on its chest. The unit was piloted by a baseball star named Sanshiro Tsuwabuki in the original version and by Daiya Tsuwabuki in the Legend of Daikyu-Maryu version. In the Legend of Daiku-Maryu series, it can combine with both Raiking and Balking to form Gaiking the Great.
- Daikū Maryū (Appeared in both the original and Legend of Daiku-Maryu versions)
A gigantic Dragon-shaped robot that protects the earth from the invaders from Planet Zala. In the Legend of Daiku-Maryu series, it came from an underground world and saved Daiya from Darius's monsters.
Daikū Maryū Gaiking
Gaiking: Legend of Daikū Maryū
Gaiking is Toei Animation's first super robot series not based on an existing manga (the company's previous super robot anime Mazinger Z
, Getter Robo
, etc. were based on manga series by manga artist and writer Go Nagai
). It was shown in English internationally as part of Jim Terry's Force Five
lineup, and was also broadcast in Latin America as "El Gladiador" as part of a 4 anime mecha show called El Festival de los Robots
(with the other 3 being "Starzinger
", "Magne Robo Gakeen
" and "Kotetsu Jeeg
", known as "El Galactico", "Supermagnetron" and "El Vengador" respectively).
Daikū Maryū Gaiking was aired also in Italy, on the local networks, under the name Gaiking
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, there was a gunmen similar in appearance to Gaiking in episode 15.
- In the second episode of Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu, Daiya uses Gaiking's attack Puncher Grind, which is similar to Mazinger's Rocket Punch. But unlike Mazinger's Rocket Punch, once the forearm is fired, it does not return to the robot. When Daiya uses the attack, he found out from Lulu that the forearm does not return to Gaiking. He then says "But don't these things usually come back?", a reference to Mazinger's Rocket Punch.