As the second post of Mecha March, I am going to see how far I am stretching the term of Mecha in this March once again. Yeah, I am pushing it from people piloting robots to just robots. I did it two years ago and I am doing that now. Why? Because the Braves series was influenced by the Transformers franchise. The robots are alive and have very distinct personalities. The good robots also have a connection with one particular kid as well which, as far as I remember from the OG franchise and what I remember from vague Transformers television shows, there has always been that relationship. I’m just going to admit it now, I am not a Transformers fan so the last few sentences are awful and probably wrong. Everything else is correct though.
Brave Exkaiser is a show that is absolutely a show that kids would love the hell out of. The space criminals and treasure thieves called Geisters inhabit the bodies of statues in Japan leading them to being dinosaur robots. As a response, the space police called Kaisers lead by Exkaiser and his friends inhabit motor vehicles like the young kid protagonist’s family sports car or trains or car or whatever it feels like doing. So basically, the entire premise of Exkaiser is dinosaur mecha vs vehicle mecha and what young child wouldn’t love that? It’s just so fun and this came out when I was one years old. I wish I grew up watching this show because it ran on the same level my child’s brain worked on. That is such a massive compliment to the entire show itself. Let’s start year two of a look at something from the Brave’s series.
From a structural level, Brave Exkaiser is a product of episodic adventurers. Basically, the first part of the episode features Kouta and his school friends or Kouta and his family interacting with some kind of object or are somewhere exciting, the Geisters show up to steal everything, Kouta calls Exkaiser so he and the other members of the robot police show up to save the day kind of. Sometimes they don’t and Kouta has to learn something about it and how it wasn’t important. A very kid friendly show that can get somewhat monotonous sometimes. Especially when the way this show has similar conclusions. Exkaiser powers up as much as possible, does an awesome attack against the robot the Geisters created, and then the Geisters run away to cause problems the next day. Yet, I love seeing this world and its characters evolve across the show.
The episodic placement behind the show really helps elevate a lot of Exkaiser’s world. Just normal kids or human beings doing normal day things until the incident happens. It can feel boring sometimes, but that is why you don’t watch all of Exkaiser at once or marathon it. Watching it slowly over time allows Kouta to hang out with his crush Kotomi and make fun of the too rich Takumi who only sees brands and money and nothing else. I also like seeing Kouta with his bratty older sister Fuuko because she is hilarious. His mom who is very not there by very lucky and his father who smokes too much and is a newspaper editor who is only home at specific moments really says a lot. These characters change over time and I can dig all of that as well.
With those relationships as a whole, the one between Kouta and Exkaiser are fantastic from how that changes too. The show just starts off with Kouta explaining Earth’s trends and aspects to an alien from another planet who knows nothing about anything on Earth. Very important for him to know about fighting for humanity’s technological future that the Geisters are trying to steal. Eventually, that relationship changes to Exkaiser putting in some fatherly advice to Kouta who needs to hear about it. I mean, it’s not like Kouta’s actual father is bad or anything but advice on how to grow up does help when it comes from a cool robot from space. The other space police like the train Raker twins or the Max team are as focused as much because they are just helping Exkaiser which is similar to what happens with the Geisters too.
I also love how absolutely dumb the Geisters are. They are like absolute kids and that is in with the tone of the show. For instance, there is an episode where they steal the entire concept of time away from the civilians in the city by taking all the clocks. Or when they take medicine away or flour so no one can bake bread anymore. Or there could be a space shuttle centered in the episode when Kouta and friends are at space camp and then suddenly, the Geisters want to steal it. Only kids would want to style those things. Or only kids would think of the idea of seeing kids using a thing and then wanting them to steal it. That level of escalation is just brought up quite a bit by having the kids being dinosaur robots who have no intelligence.
The Geisters are finally actually threatening when their leader Dino Geist takes the stage halfway through the show where the tension really ramps up. The Kaisers get their first loss from the episode Dino Geist appears in because of how overwhelming they are in. He had such a snappy design that none of the other Geisters had and it’s like “oh, the parent finally showed up.” Up until that point, the Geisters only got orders from Dino Geist’s minion to steal something. The tension of the relationship between Exkaiser and Dino Geist provides another form of tension because they clearly know each other and have fought many times beforehand. Two adults fighting each other in a world of robot kids. Big kids in a very breakable sandbox.
Brave Exkaiser’s action can be broken down to some patterns as well. The Raker Brothers can form Ultra Raker and the Max Team can turn into God Max to fight against the tougher enemies that the Geisters form. Same with Exkaiser showing up, getting over powered so the Rakers or Max can do something cool, Exkaiser can do his robot transformation or transformations to an ultimate form to do an amazing attack to end it all. The transformations are good, the in-between attacks can be kind of boring, and then the stock footage of the biggest attacks possible are some of the hypest moments possible. Especially with the founding of the giant sword Sunrise pose from this show. I love it. They get me every time even if I’ve seen them 48 times before. Seeing all of these cool vehicle forms merge together are great as well.
The way the different kinds of mecha combined together felt like a great way for the show to add even more personality to the show itself. Especially from what I’ve seen with GaoGaiGar, the villains in Brave seem to just merge from one form to another in combinations that don’t feel natural. There is something malignant and unformed in it that feels so awful and scary for it here. At the same time, the Kaisers transformations are classic super robots and just work great. I love the attention to detail to every scene and it places everything in so many cool ways as well. I mean, clearly the transformation differences are a way to maximize the attention to deal with them to save time, but the cross product is that feeling behind mecha transformations.
So yeah, at the end of the day I am going to give Brave Exkaiser the grade of good. It is a wonderful experience overall with so many great little details placed all over it that I liked. I love the characters, so many transformation sequences, battles, and so many interesting relationships out there for all the places detailed in it there. To me, its episodic nature kind of got me to check out from the show from time to time until Dino Geist appeared to add so much tension that I wanted in the show. The slice of life aspects of the show have always been great and our brave Kouta is one of the best children’s kid protagonists that I have seen so far and I know that the Braves series had a lot of good kids. Yeah, I highly recommend it as a good comfort watch.
Thank you for this article. Had come across the name Exkaiser a few times but never went deeper. Reading this now, Dino Robots VS Vehicle Robots may not be something I can watch now (never say never though) but this gave a really great insight into the show. Loved the bit about the sandbox. When you rewatch older anime so many of them have some very juvenile antics especially by villains.
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Yeah, it’s one of those titles that hit my five year old side. Still, I could only watch a little bit of it at a time because it can be very repetitive.
I also really do love the fun juvenile antics of older anime villains (if they aren’t creepy) because I just find them so fun.
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Yeah shows like this won’t be stellar storytelling but as a kid you would totally buy into all of that. Reading this I got reminded of Gigantor which is another “kid saves the world” anime from the 60s except in that the kid runs the robot. Been a while since I saw it but I think it does some silly stuff too. Mecha March seems fun. Looking forward to the rest.
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Well, you might be in for a surprise later on this month then 😁
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Noooo!!! I can’t wait! (Really hope something Gigantor-related is happening. I love that intro and all the stupid names! )
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