Although it has been over 30 years since the original series aired, Raideen continues to have followings amongst the anime crowd. It might be said that it was Raideen that truly started the "Super Robot" genre which followed, although there was Go Nagai's "Mazinger Z" and Mitsuteru Yokoyama's "Testsujin 28 go (a.k.a. Gigantor)" before it. It was Raideen that first transformed it's shape into another mechanism (God Bird), which paved the way into other transforming robots of the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Created by Soeisha of Japan (current Sunrise Inc.), Raideen was the first "archeological weapon" which ancient race has developed and was rediscovered in the contemporary age (preseding plot of Stargate by 20 years). It was also first to sport a light saber (also preseding the Star Wars).
Raideen is a super weapon designed by the ancient race of Mu to protect the earth from invaders. It was discovered at the same time the Demon Empire awakens from their 12000 year sleep. Raideen is the only weapon man kind has that can defeat the monster robots of the Demon Empire, but Raideen can only be piloted by Akira Hibiki who has genetic ties to the Mu race.
Designed by toy manufacturer Bandai's Katsushi Murakami, Raideen's form based on King Tut's mask, and Japanese samurai's armor is still considered one of the most elegant anime robot design.
In the '70s Marvel and Toei made a license agreements that they can each use other's characters for 3 years and market them in their own country. Which led to introduction of Raideen as Raydeen in Marvel's Shogun warriors series, and Toei's making of Japanese version of Marvel's Spiderman which sported a super robot called Leoparudon Spiderman pilots.
The two directors who've directed Raideen Yoshiyuki Tomino, and Tadao Nagahama went on to create other famous animated robot series. Tomino became the creator of Gundam series, and Nagahama went on to create "Combattler V", "Voltes V", and "Tosho Daimos" which is now known as "Nagahama Romantic Trilogy".
Raideen's name was taken from the legendary sumo wrestler "Raiden Tameimon (1767 - 1825)" of Edo period. Raiden means lightning in Japanese.
Another version which does not share the original plot line called "Chojya Raideen" consisting of 38 episodes was made in 1996.
Yet another version called "REIDEEN" has been airing in Japan since March of 2007.
Anime RahXephon (2002) is an homage to Reideen according to its director Yutaka Izubuchi's own words.
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