The Brave Express Might Gaine has been a labor of love on my part. I started watching it because of diehard support from a few /m/en, found out that it wasn’t what I expected, but held on until the end.
[This post contains no spoilers]
First of all, Might Gaine is very different from its more popular sibling, GaoGaiGar. There are no epic story arcs here–in fact, the main plot is resolved in less than 10 episodes–the majority of the show is episodic. Instead of evil alien Zonders, we have criminals with giant robots of their own. The world of Might Gaine is particularly special because trains and railway systems have become ubiquitous, overthrowing cars as the main method of land transporation.
This is the third time I’ve written about it, but I can’t stress the lolness of the HK subs that I’ve watched the show in. However, I watched with my brother, so there was the relief that I wasn’t alone in laughing at Battle Dynamite Warehouses. So my tip for increasing bad sub tolerance is: get somebody to watch the show with you, preferably one with a sense of humor.
Aside from the subs, the episodic nature of 98% of the show’s episodes was a real chore to tolerate. It’s because of the filler that I couldn’t marathon this series at all, being totally out of this world.
Allow me to list some:
– Episode 8: The natto episode. If you have to watch only one episode of this show, it is THIS ONE.
– Episode 10: Good Samaritan ninjas with ulterior motives.
– Episode 13: A Might Gaine western.
– Episode 16: An (supposedly) evil imitation of Might Gaine ends up with the same justice-loving heart as the original.
– Episode 17: Mad scientist folds up, and earns an honest living working at the hero’s factory. Valuable lessons in villainy included.
– Episode 30: Yet another villain forced into bankruptcy tries to make ends meet by starting an honest-to-goodness ramen business!
– Episode 32: Enter Cyborg Golgo 13!
– Episode 37: Starring a kunoichi seductress with a heart of gold.
– Episode 39: Toy commercial in the guise of an in-series talk show episode.
However, I still give credit to the writers for a lot of fun-filled scenarios. Where else can you get an entire episode dedicated to the protection of natto from evil natto-hating criminals?
The only real complaint I have is with the ending (scroll down to the Might Gaine entry). From a production standpoint, it is a hilarious troll from Sunrise to Takara, but it makes absolutely no sense at all for regular watchers like you and me. It just came out of nowhere with no buildup.
As far as a Brave Series show goes, the animation budget is low, but still pretty consistent. No atrocious shots of QUALITY here. There is extra love and care devoted to the stock gattai sequences. I especially adore the train motif for the Brave Express, steam exhausts and all.
I like the cast a lot. Maito is spiritually closer to Bruce Wayne (billionaire crimefighter) than, say, Roger Smith (who’s got the aesthetics nailed down). His parents are DEEEEEAAAAAAAD, but at least he’s not grimdark about it. Sally is lovely (and gets to wear really cute costumes while doing different part-time jobs per episode), and even sidekick Hamada gets some awesome episodes. The Brave Robots have their own personalities, though maybe not ChoRyuJin level.
There’s also the criminal factions, who did some awesome things in the end. It’s refreshing to see the bad guys fight amongst themselves, and while their scheming isn’t all that complex, this is unprecedented for a kid’s show about transforming, talking robots. My favorite has to be Joe, who controls his plane-transforming mech with a goddamn steering wheel.
So, does this mean I will watch more shows from the Brave Series? Maybe. Da Garn looks promising, since it shares GaoGaiGar’s penchant for long-running story arcs. But for the meantime, I’ll have to rest my brain from all the headaches that HK subs have given me.