Yuusha-Oh GaoGaiGar ( —EŽÒ‰¤ƒKƒIƒKƒCƒK[ ) Sunrise/Nagoya TV/Victor Entertainment, 1997-1998 U.S. Distributor Pending. (What? No one's licensed this yet?! ) Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani (Betterman, Brigadoon). Not Rated (Suggested 13-Up). Contains graphic violence and mature situations. In the year 2005, a race of evil aliens called the "Zondars" emerge from underneath the Earth's surface and stage numerous attacks on Tokyo with their robot monsters designated as "E.I." (Enemy Invaders). To combat this threat, the 3G (Gutsy Geoid Guard) bring out the cyborg hero Guy and the mechanical lion Galeon (once combined, they become the humanoid robot GaiGar). But when an EI is deemed too tough to control, 3G approves "Final Fusion," where GaiGar merges with DrillGao (a drill tank), LinerGao (a bullet train) and StealthGao (a stealth bomber) to become Earth's ultimate line of defense - the mighty robot GaoGaiGar. Story: A At first, GaoGaiGar can be dismissed as a kiddie anime, but underneath the hokey premise and the first episode intro that is so Superman, GaoGaiGar has everything you want in an super robot anime - colossal mecha action, over-the-top heroes and extremely sinister villains. As a matter of fact, the Zonders would become a major inspiration for other anime villains like the Invaders in Gate Keepers. Kids will idolize the show's main heroes Guy and Mamoru, while guys will be hooked on the show's hot chicks and cool mecha. GaoGaiGar is loads of fun for everyone. Animation: A- For a TV series aimed at kids, Sunrise threw everything and the kitchen sink in animating GaoGaiGar. The animation itself is groundbreaking by its own right, using a perfect blend of 2D cel art with 3D computer effects. The character designs by Takahiro Kimura (Betterman, Brigadoon) have everything from slick outfits to really hot female characters like 3G's Mikoto and Swan or the evil Zonder chick Primarda. (My co-worker even thinks Mamoru's foster mother is hot.) Kunio Okawara's (Mobile Suit Gundam, Betterman) design for GaoGaiGar is his best work ever. With weapons and tools like the "Broken Magnum" (a Rocket Punch on steroids), "Dividing Driver" (a giant screwdriver used to create a battlefield to keep the fights away from the city) and the "Goldion Hammer" (you have to see this to believe it), GaoGaiGar puts most other Super Robots to shame. Soundtrack: A Ga-Ga-Ga! Ga-Ga-Ga-GaoGaiGar! Ga-Ga-Ga! Ga-Ga-Ga-Ga-GaoGaiGar! The show's soundtrack ain't no slouch, either, as the opening theme "Yuusha-Oh Tanjo!" is the most energetic robot theme song ever recorded. In addition, Kohei Tanaka (Gunbuster, Sakura Wars) supplies an outstanding orchestral score that mixes perfectly with the action. Cast Yuusha-Oh GaoGaiGar features Nobuyuki Hiyama (Shiro in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Yushiro in Gasaraki) as Guy, Maiko Ito (Atsuko in Boogiepop Phantom) as Mamoru, Tomoe Hanba (Lucciola in Last Exile) as Mikoto, Koji Ishii (Kimura-sensei in Azumanga Daioh, Oji in The Legend of Black Heaven) as Taiga, Hisao Egawa as Hyuma/Goldy Marg, Miki Narahashi as Swan/Reiko, Kenichi Ogata (Genma in Ranma 1/2, Myoga in Inu-Yasha) as Leo/Pasdar, Hiroaki Ishikawa as Kazuo/Sueo, Tsutomu Kashiwakura as Entouji/Takayasu/Penchinon, Shinichi Yamada as Hyoryu/Enryu/ChoRyuJin/Rairyu/Furyu/GekiRyuJin, Katsuyuki Konishi (Samurai Deeper Kyo, Louie the Rune Soldier) as VolFogg, Mitsuo Iwata (Kaneda in AKIRA, Itsuki in Initial D) as Mike Sounders, Konami Yoshida (Metal Fighter Miku, Umi in Magic Knight Rayearth) as Hana, Yuri Sa as Mamoru's mother/Ikumi, Kohzou Shioya (Majin Buu in Dragon Ball Z) as Mamoru's father/Polonaise, Miho Yamada (Miki in Magic User's Club) as Mamoru's teacher, and Kiyoshi Kobayashi (Jigen in Lupin III, Delaz in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083) as the narrator. The Bottom Line Non stop mecha action, awesome animation and a killer soundtrack to boot. No wonder GaoGaiGar is the King of Braves. This Gao's for you.