So, I’m doing an article called 7 Anime shows that made Doggie cry, and this was the second idea that I had on the same day. At first, I wanted to add in video games, calling it “rivals from games and anime” but I felt like it would require more time as I can only think of a few. Plus, the term “robot genre” isn’t that loose. You may think Megaman (and MMX series, you can drive robots) or you may think a military drama or a space-sci-fi like ZONE OF THE ENDERS.
In Japanese anime, or rather internationally, if the primary function of battle is using a robot, especially to protect or defeat something then this is what I’m putting focus on. In most cases, there is an extraterrestrial setting or war ends up in space. Therefore, the article is about not about the main character of a show in this genre, but rather the rivals that oppose them stubbornly.
Also, it is very important to me that this rival is in battle with the protagonist in more than one or two occasions.
Let’s start. No spoilers and in no particular order.
HAOU TAIKEI RYU KNIGHT (覇王大系リューナイト; high king history RYU KNIGHT)
Galden is THE RIVAL of Ryu Knight TV Series and the pilot of Dark Knight Steru. While Aduu Waltham trains to be a knight, gathering a group of friends from various adventures, they meet up a really troublesome fellow in dark armor. He’s at the pinnacle of rivalry, crossing swords with Adeu and his friends, increasing his strength (And vengeance), evening putting the hero group in a very desperate, near-death corner at one point. This is through the majority of the 1st half and even a part of the 2nd half.
Galden’s C.V is Tsujitani Koji, so we have nobility and gentleman with perfection. Galden made the show entertaining with his sense of pride.
The robots in this series are called “Ryu” and I’ll leave out of the spoilers of their significance. They are considered magical and function as “Super robots” of different variety. As Galden drives a black knight Ryu swordsman and Adeu drives a white knight Ryu swordsman, isn’t it perfect?
Photo of MACROSS ZERO Vol 4. From bandaivisual.
Calling the Variable Fighters or VFs “robots” might be pushing it a bit. It is a machine, it does transform into a “battroid” human-like form; real and super robots can transform, and the VFs are included in video games based on robots such as Super Robot Taisen and Another Century’s Episode.
The lover of D.D, and with a magnificent C.V, the ever-so-fun Takayama Minami, Nora is the pilot of a red SV-51γ (Gamma). The gamma is used for ace pilots; SF might mean “Space Variable” in reference to the first Macross ship the SDF-1 (ASS-1), as the SV followed after the variable fighter prototype. Nora’s battles with Shin Kudoh are highlights in ZERO, but then again, when are the dogfights aren’t? The first battle completely shows the difference in technology and ability of both pilots and their machines (VF vs a naval F-14), and lays the setting of Zero. The second is similar, even with Shin’s new machine, and the third shows Shin’s guts facing desperation. Whether it’s her hate for the Earth forces or she’s just plain cold, Nora took a liking in facing Shin.
You’re probably wondering – why not Isamu and Guld in Macross Plus? They are the main protagonists and are actually friends even with a strained past. Their affiliations are the same as well; it is more of a rivalry between the significance of man and machine. Only on one occasion has their rivalry became personal.