(#MechaMarch2023) The Brave of the Sun Fighbird

No Legitimate Localization

To balance this talk of localization talks, Fighbird has had no legitimate effort to be put into the west at all. Is this just an excuse to post about another brave series for Mecha March for the third time in a row? Yes, yes it is. But at least I think this excuse has some weight. Localizations matter and you can tell why that is the truth. Who knows what the brave series is? Most anime fans in this day and age don’t know that the Brave series exist. This was something that lasted for nine years in Japan and was a massive influence for a long time, but it feels like an ancient, hidden secret from the 90’s. 

From what it seems like, the only people who know something about any of the Braves series are those who either actively searched for them, searched for something new to watch, or were introduced by someone else who knows about them. That’s it. I say that as a person who didn’t even know that the Brave series existed until four or so years ago. I also say this as someone who actively searches for older mecha shows to watch and share for Mecha March or otherwise on my blog. I didn’t even know that the J9 trilogy existed either and now I own a blu-ray copy of one of the series because I couldn’t grab the others before they went out of print. People won’t love things unless they know they exist first.

Fighbird’s General Story

This is a series that is instantly felt as being sophomoric from its first Brave’s series, Exkaiser. It takes up a lot of similar things that Exkaiser did in being an episodic story and featured living and breathing giant robots. The difference this time is that one of the spirits from space moves into a human body. So there can be good robot action AND some cool hand to hand action. There is now a character on the ground helping to defeat the enemy and save human beings personally. Something which makes the story feel a bit more dramatic in some ways from Exkaiser who you would always expect to have the same kind of fight and curts of animation to end on. 

Fighbird takes place in the then future of 2010 where the evil Drias comes to Earth, joins with the evil scientist Dr. Jango, and plots to slowly destroy the entire. Unfortunately for them, the space police follow them. Each one of them takes up the spirit of one of transforming robots from Japanese Scientist Amano’s lab. One even takes the form of the humanoid being and is the living and breathing person who takes on Drias and his evil plots before they destroy the world itself. So it is clearly good guys versus bad guys featuring Kenta, a young boy, from time to time too so that means we have a classic class of good and evil which is fun in its own right.

A Little Messy At Points

I’m moving back into Exkaiser again, because that was a simple series where you know who the good guys and bad guys are based on visual aesthetics. Good guys: vehicles, bad guys: dinosaurs. Fighbird doesn’t have that for the most part. The heroes are still vehicles of some kind, but the villains are a lot more classic super robots in nature perhaps. There isn’t any kind of clear dynamic between the acts at all except a very simple one. The dynamic itself is between Kator/Fighbird on the good side and Zol (smarter) plus Shura (big guy leader) who worked for Drias because those three always are going at it on the ground before mecha combat. 

There is also a battle of scientists in the background of each episode too. Another classic sort of super robot kind of thing because mad scientists are always behind the building of mecha and inventions. Drias has the just standard evil scientist, Dr. Jango, who just wants to destroy the world for some reason. Then there is Dr. Amano with the space police force who is the classic genius when it comes to the things he builds, but really sucks at everything that involves other people or social interactions. Mainly because the guy is very quirky and energetic. There is a bit of an arms race when Dr. Jango comes up with a scheme and Amano has to find a way to fix it or the reverse. Another aspect that is a lot of fun from one episode to another. 

An Ensemble Piece

The best part of Fighbird, in my opinion, was the fact that this anime is a massive ensemble piece. Exiakser was a show focused on Exkaiser and Kouta interacting and sharing lessons back and forth between each other while the rest of the cast brought a bit more entertainment in the fold. In this show, the relationship between Kenta and Fighbird/Katori is alright but it doesn’t go anywhere interesting. It is usually Kenta going with Katori in a battle or making fun of Katori’s goofy antics that does get a little bit stale sometimes before going into complete badass mode once again. It works well enough, but it doesn’t feel like there is anything else. 

But the rest of the cast are given a lot more room to grow. None of them are left in the dark to allow the show to happen. The Space Defense Force gang actually grows in size from the supposed characters that seem like one offs until they show up more and more to create a really fun atmosphere. Officer Satsuda is made fun of a lot for being the show’s Zenigata who is very close to getting everything right except blaming Dr. Amano instead, but he does join the group in the end and it’s great. Same with the news reporter Momoko who eventually figures it out despite her really annoying nature or the ever mature Doctor Kunieda who figures out who Fighbird is on her own. I really like this heroic ensemble cast. 

Quirky Nature of the Show

Normal Reporter Activity

I think that everyone knows about the “is this a pigeon” meme. If you didn’t know already, that meme came from Fighbird. Yeah, this show. The fact that many people don’t even know that isn’t even the funniest part of this scene. That should tell you about the really goofy nature of Fighbird for most of its run. There are a lot of silly characters just doing some really silly moments throughout the entire run. The pigeon meme is just an attachment to a police officer asking this weird guy, who is Fighbird, what he knows nothing about Earth life and the police officer eventually gets his car “stolen” because his car is another part of the space police. 

So yeah, there are a lot of goofy gags featured around Fighbird/Kotori because he is an alien to the Earth. He doesn’t know about the rules of living on Earth, what animals are called, or anything like that. Part of the show is him learning about those things and finding out how much he loves the Earth he protects. Some of that comedy can be tiring sometimes. The mad scientist humor around Amano never stops making me laugh though because while he does create things which save the day and are amazing he also creates a lot of useless things that no one would ever want to have or just causes more ruckus and I love those bits of comedy here and there.

Larger Stakes

The stakes behind this show just grow to world shattering events where entire nations are thrown into the balance. Draidus is not playing for his game of taking over the Earth. When the entire United States fell for a two episode arc. Or just the enslavement of human beings for Draidus’ control. There are just a lot of frightening moments in what you would expect from what was a kids show with a goofy protagonist leading the show around. But It is cool and well placed elements on cool degrees for them here too. It helps the heroes feel larger than life as they fight the evil people who seek to enslave the entire Earth.  

Visual Madness

As a show that has a lot of hand to hand combat and cool mecha fights, there is a lot of choppy animation here and there. Especially with the action choreography being good, it feels like a lot of the frames are missing or something. Still an enjoyable experience watching these characters fight though. Though I have to admit, as one would expect from a super robot show, that the stock footage of every episode is still the most action packed and energetic moments during the entire show. All the transformation sequences and finishing moves are always full of hype. Which leads to all the unique enemy mech designs being pretty cool and the hero units just having a lot of fun being pretty exciting and interesting. So in this mess of a paragraph, I suppose the visuals get a passable grade.

For the show itself, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I do have to admit that I checked out at points, but the overall experience was pretty fun. I love seeing heroes join together to fight evil and seeing every main character contribute. Even the supposed joke characters became someone who helped fight for the freedom of Earth and that isn’t something that I really expect in a lof of anime series. While there was some depth missing from the anime’s central sort of relationship, or maybe I am comparing it too much to Exkaiser, the character interactions were great and I love a lot of this show’s ideas and concepts. In that case, it was a pretty big winner for me even if there are some smaller issues here and there. 


  1. … I don’t typically believe in coincidences but of all things, Instagram finally told me about Fighbird and showed the entire clip of the “Is this a pigeon?” meme, and now you’ve posted about it too! So I guess I need to start believing in that sort of thing, and I guess this is my sign to watch Fighbird??

    It also just sounds like the series in general is most importantly – fun! Thanks as always for posting about these seemingly forgotten gems!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to say, that is utter insanity that these coincidences keep happening like this. Maybe you should try watching Fighbird though take it a little bit at a time. Also, thank you. I’m glad you are enjoying these posts :).

      Liked by 1 person

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