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When the earth is invaded by winged invaders, a super-powered truck,
by a teenage astronaut, transforms into a karate master of a robot, and
as earth's last line of defense.
When Daimos first appeared in the late '80s, it acquired a cult following. The advance features of the robot (compared to the bland look of its contemporaries)made it an instant favorite.
Add to it a Romeo and Juliet storyline wherein the Daimos pilot and the princess of the winged invaders fall in love became an involving subplot.
All-in-all, the series is quite exceptional, if you can overlook the '70s feel.
Although it's been 35 years since the show aired, I've never seen a
better looking transforming robot before or since. Everything about
this excellent anime series is over the top. The cool robot, star
crossed love triangle, and crazy violent commander of the defense
The story is set in 1999. Space fairing race called the Baamians (Baam Seijin in Japanese), were looking for a permanent home. Their talks with the earth delegation goes horribly wrong when Baamian leader Leon (Rion in Japanese) gets assassinated by his second in command. But the assassination is blamed on the earth delegates. Leon's son Richter (Rihitel in Japanese), starts to attack earth with his robot army. Standing in their way was giant transforming robot Daimos that's piloted by Kazuya Ryuzaki. Kazuya is a karate expert, and uses his skills to control Daimos with his karate moves. He finds a girl with amnesia in the battlefield. Soon they fall in love, but what Kazuya didn't know was that she (Erica) was Richter's sister.
Daimos is a dual purpose robot/ trailer that was designed by Daimobic for the purpose of extra-terrestrial planetary development. It's usually hangared within Ryujin rock near Dymobic. It turned out to be the ideal defense weapon against the invasion of Baameans. When Kazuya calls "Justeen !", Daimos opens the bay to take in Kazuya's vehicle (Triver75S), and when he calls "Daimos, battle turn !" the trailer Tranzer transforms into Daimos.
I won't go into the well known Nagahama Romantic Robot Trilogy aspect of this show. Output of Robot themed Japanese anime went into decline in the '90s because licensed products weren't making as much money in the view of toy manufacturer (like Bandai who now owns Sunrise, the company that made this series along with Tohoku Shinsha). So this series truly is from the golden age of Japanese robot anime that started with Mazinger Z, and Raideen.
The robot Daimos' design was done by Katsushi Murakami. It's sleek line, beautiful transformation sequence, and karate movement that was traced from the actual martial arts director's movement all translates to one bombastic package.
The other outrageously cool thing about this anime is it's opening music composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi (Lyrics by Saburo Yatsude, sung by Isao Saki, and chorus by Columbia Yurikagokai). There is no better robot anime theme song than this one. Strangely enough, although it's sung in Japanese, many international audience seem to agree with this comment, so there must be something that goes deep into person's heart about this song.
This series was cut short, and only 44 episodes were made. Nagahama's original idea was that earthlings, and Baamians eventually come to understanding, and Baamians leaves earth to terraform Mars. Kazuya, and Erica also goes to Mars to terraform Mars into a habitable planet. But due to numbers of episodes being cut, the ending became very different from Nagahama's original idea.
A series that deserves the adjective "The Greatest" in every way is this series from Japan. DVD set containing all the episodes is only available in Japan, and is difficult to obtain, but this is one series that's worth watching despite the difficulty of getting a copy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Battle Commander Daimos is a Japanese anime television series produced
by Sunrise. Daimos is the third installment of the "Romantic Trilogy",
following Chōdenji Robo Combattler V and Chōdenji Machine Voltes V. It
ran from April 1978 to January 1979 and consisted of 44 episodes. The
name Daimos is derived from Deimos, one of the two moons of Mars. Tadao
Nagahama directed the series.
After the destruction of their home world, the survivors of the planet Baam head towards Earth with the goal of negotiating the purchase of land for emigration. Unfortunately, during the negotiations, the Baam- seijin leader, Leon, is assassinated by his second in command, Georiya, and the delegation from Earth is framed for the murder. In the ensuing chaos, Doctor Isamu Ryūzaki of the Earth delegation is shot and killed. Shortly after the disastrous end of the talks, the Baam-seijin begin a campaign of terror against Earth, led by Leon's son, Admiral Richter, who deploys a variety of "Mecha Soldiers" against the planet's defenses. The only thing standing between the Earthlings and annihilation is the transforming, karate-using super robot, Daimos and its pilot, Kazuya Ryūzaki. But that changes when he meets and falls in love with a mysterious girl named Erika, who turns out to be Richter's sister. Over the course of their struggles to reunite, Kazuya and Erika each learn that the other's people are not all evil and that their own people are not all good.
This is probably one of the best anime I have ever seen.Despite of being outdated especially the production quality used compared to present times,it remains entertaining at present.Also,the love story between Kazuya and Erika makes it even better as the viewer won't be only interested in the action sequences but also in the romantic angle as well.
In the closing scene Kazuya is carried to safety where he is finally reunited with Erika. "Oh Kazuya, I love you!" thinks Erica with tears in her eyes as he closes his. And so the excitement comes to a somewhat abrupt and inconclusive end.But nevertheless,I still give it a 10 out of 10 rating despite its ending.
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