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Brave Express Might Gaine (勇者特急マイトガイン Yuusha Tokkyuu Maito Gain?) was the fourth Brave Series produced by Sunrise, Might Gaine aired in Japan in 1993, with a total of 47 episodes. Unlike prior shows in the Brave Series, Might Gaine's robots were created by humans, as opposed to having more extraterrestrial or supernatural origins.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Might Gaine is set in the near future, when the world's reserves of fossil fuel have almost run out; cars are powered with recharageable electric batteries, and long distance trade is handled by surface ships such as trains. Also made possible are the construction of powerful mecha, some of which are used for criminal ends.
Opposing them is the Brave Express Team, lead by by the teenaged industrialist Maito Senpuuji. He is assisted by his own team of transforming mecha who have been given life due to an advanced AI program. The episodes are fairly stand-alone for the first part of the series; it isn't until Maito's rival Joe shows up that there is really any connecting thread between the episodes. The main enemy isn't even hinted at until further on.
- Maito Senpuuji - 15 years old at the start of the series; celebrates his birthday during one episode. A multimillionaire, he is the head of the largest shipping corporations on the planet. Plays a role similar to Roger Smith from Big O. He is very intelligent, in good physical condition, and is devoted to the idea of justice. Also tends to make introductory speeches when entering battle.
- Aoki - Maito's butler, who also served Maito's father and mother. Very even tempered.
- Izumi - Maito's secretary/assistant. Also makes sure that he completes any business related matters that he would otherwise have put off.
- Hamada Mitsuhiko - Maito's best friend, an aspiring manga-ka and gifted mecha designer; helped with the construction of the mecha of the Brave Express Team.
- Yuujiro Senpuuji - Maito's crochety and eccentric grandfather.
- Sally Yoshinaga - A schoolgirl who quickly falls for Maito. One of the running gags in the series is that she is hiolding a different job in every episode that she appears in. Has a younger brother, Tetsuya, and a father who is in the hospital for much of the series. Her younger brother idolizes Might Gaine but has no idea of who the pilot is.
- Officer Oizawa (sp?) - Bills himself as the greatest police officer in Nouvelle Tokyo. Also idolizes Might Gaine, as well as Senpuuji Maito, although he has no idea that Maito actually is the leader of the Brave Express Team.
Intelligent Mecha of the Brave Express TeamEdit
- Gaine - the first mecha introduced in the series; able to transform from robot to bullet train. Armed with an energy gun, is very fast in humanoid mode. Also forms Might Gaine's left arm and shoulder. After the Locomoriser is rebuilt, Gaine is able to control it and the Might Wing remotely. Like the other intelligent mecha, Gaine is powered by a super AI that gives him sentience and his own personality as well as the freedom to act and think on his own. Only the Brave Express team has mecha that use this highly advanced AI.
The Bombers/Beast Express TeamEdit
A team of three (later expanded to four) mecha that can transform between humanoid robot, animal, and bullet train modes. They include:
- Leo Bomber: Green, has a lion beast form.
- Dino Bomber: Blue, Tyrannosaurus Rex beast form.
- Bird Bomber: Red, has a bird beast form.
- Tri-Bomber: The combination of the three Bombers. Specializes in hand to hand attacks. Eventually defeated by Joe and Hiryu.
- Horn Bomber: Black, has a Triceratops beast form. Also equipped with a missile launcher in beast form.
- Battle Bomber: The combination of all four Bombers. Has Horn Bomber's rocket launcher on it's left shoulder.
A team of four mecha units which specilaize in rescue operation. Like the bombers, each Diver has three forms: bullet train, rescue vehicle, and humanoid mecha, in addition to their combined form:
- Fire Diver: Red, has a fire engine vehicle mode.
- Police Diver: Black, has a Police Car vehicle mode.
- Jet Diver: Greenish Black, has a jet vehicle mode.
- Drill Diver: Orange, has a drill tank (Similar to Drill Gao, but with only one drill) vehicle mode
- Guard Diver: The combined form of the Divers; possesses a beam rifle and two shoulder mounted Tidal Cannons.
The Bombers and the Divers can also combine to form single express trains for rapid transport, and can split apart into their individual forms on arriving at the scene of a battle.
- Might Gunner - The last of the Express Team to be introduced. Has a humanoid and a more traditional steam engine appearance. Might Gunner's torso is also an accurate beam cannon. It transforms into Great Might Gaine's shoulder mounted cannon, referred to as the Perfect Cannon. He can also be carried as an oversized rifle by Great Might Gaine.
Non Intelligent mecha of the Brave Express TeamEdit
- Might Wing - Maito's primary mode of transport; can be either a bullet train, or a jet. Forms Might Gaine's right arm and shoulder. Later controlled by Gaine once the Kaiser Express/Might Kaiser is introduced.
- Locomoriser - Forms the legs, torso and head of Might Gaine and Great Might Gaine. Controlled by Maito (Later Gaine, as noted above). Destroyed by Joe during one of his and Maito's duels.
- Might Kaiser/Drill Express - Built to replace Locomoriser after it had been destroyed. Only vaguely resembles a train in vehicle mode, and has a jet alternate mode. Carries five controllable vehicles in a seperate carrier. However, the vehicles are never used in the series outside of their role as forming parts of Might Kaiser/Great Might Gaine. Might Kaiser is the combined form of the Drill Express, and emphasizes speed and flight. Finishing attack is the Drill Crusher, and it also mounts several other lesser weapons (Kaiser Hurricane, Kaiser Vulcan, shoulder-mounted drill).
Might Gaine/Great Might GaineEdit
The primary mecha of the series. Formed from a combination of Gaine, Might Wing, and the Locomoriser. Not capable of extended flight, and has limited ranged weapons. Control of his movements goes to Maito when he sits in the cockpit. After Locomoriser is rebuilt, Gaine is able to transform into Might Gaine on his own and fight independently when Maito is using Might Kaiser.
- Primary attack: Dou-Rin-Ken - Sword attack
- Signal beam - Energy blast emitted from Might Gaine's head piece.
- Might Slasher - Shuriken like weapons that can be thrown at an opponent
Great Might Gaine is formed from Might Gaine and the various parts of Might Kaiser; it gains Might Kaiser's flight ability, and a powered up Dou-Rin-Ken (Great Dou-Rin-Ken), which projects a massive energy beam from the sword blade.
Once Might Gunner is introduced, he can combine with Great Might Gaine to form Great Might Gaine Perfect Mode, and can use the Perfect Cannon as its finisher attack.
In episode 42, all of the Brave Express teams can combine together to use the Joint Dragon Fire attack. However, this is only used once.
Enemies of the Brave Express TeamEdit
- Professor Wolfgang - A mad scientist who creates numerous giant robots. Eventually goes bankrupt from his failed schemes. Shows a kinder side to his three loyal henchmen, and it is implied in one episode that he had a more normal job. Is forced by Exeve to build robots for him, though he turns on him upon discovering that Exeve's master - Black Noir - had a hand in the death of Joe's father, who was a respected scientist. Also discovers the 'Innocent Wave', which can weaken Black Noir's power. Wolfgang isn't portrayed as evil per se; he seems to be motivated primarily by pride in his vendetta against the Brave Express Team. His decision to fight back against Black Noir seems to be more driven by outrage at the murder of a fellow scientist.
- Hoi Kow Loon - A Chinese mafia boss, and has a devoted sidekick, Chinja. His operation is taken over in a coup orchestrated by Purple, who is part of Black Noir's organization. Hoi Kow Loon and Chinja are reduced to working in a noodle truck, trying to make enough money to rebuild their empire.
- Shogun Mifune - A demented criminal who wants to return Japan to more feudal times, believing that modern society and technology has corrupted the traditional Japanese way of life. Usually dresses as a shogun, and has a retinue of servants. Primarily an episodic villain.
- Catherine Vuitton/Pink Cat - A female criminal with a large ego and over-inflated sense of self-worth. Her petty schemes are often centered around fulfilling the most whimsical of her fancies, often at the cost of others. Loves to steal valuable art pieces and treasures and other rare artifacts. Employs an all-woman gang as her lackeys. Definitely an episodic villain, does not really figure into the overall plot save in the most tangential way.
- Ace no Joe / Joe Rival (Sometimes translated as Steel King Joe or Driving King Kyo) - A mercenary and Maito's equal as a mecha pilot, specialising in ranged attacks as opposed to Maito's melee preference. Initially teams up with Professor Wolfgang, who uses data collected from Might Gaine to construct an increasingly powerful series of transformable mecha for him. Also teams with Exeve/Black Noir until Wolfgang learns that his father was killed by them. Joe's final robot, Goryu, is actually a repaint of Dai Atlas from Transformers: Zone, and his original mech, Hiryu, is a repaint of Sonic Bomber, also a Powered Master from the same series. Is able to defeat Tri-bomber and Might Gaine in single combat, and later kills Exeve by ramming Goryu's drill-equipped Jet mode into Exeve's mecha. Like Wolfgang, Joe does have a sense of honor, and will attack anyone he sees interfering with his duels with Maito.
- Purple (sometimes called Babylon or Purple Prince) - one of Black Noir's lieutenants. Is a popular rock musician in his cover identity and is attributed to two songs of his own in the series. Has a manager who also works for Black Noir, and oversees Purple's schemes.
- Exeve - Runs the business that is the front for Black Noir's operations. Was once a normal human before being 'possessed' by Exeve's power and transformed into his current appearance. Killed when he fought Maito and Joe and was impaled on Goryu's drill in the final battle.
- Black Noir - The ultimate enemy of the series. It's eventually revealed that he was the great threat that made Maito's father create the Brave Express team, and the one who killed Maito's parents as well as Joe's father. During the final battle, he reveals that he is an entity from the third dimension (which represents us, the viewers of this show and the world we live in), and that Maito's world is the second dimension. This is all part of a game that was created by a certain person for Black Noir to play. Black Noir refers everyone in Maito's world as "pawns" and calls Maito "a pawn that was given a role of a Hero." He is defeated when Sally, who can generate a powerful Innocent Wave, weakens it so that Might Gaine can finish him off with a double Dou-Rin-Ken attack. Appears as an energy being inside a giant chamber. As he dies, he realizes that he was also nothing but a pawn by the creator of the game to act as the final boss in this world, ironically.
- Innocent Wave - an energy field that all beings in the Might Gaine universe can apparently generate (Professor Wolfgang was able to create a device to project it as a weapon against Black Noir). Sally is able to call up the Innocent Wave several times during the fights with Black Noir's apparently indestructable mecha, rendering them vulnerable. Wolfgang sends a copy of the device to the Brave Express team, where Hamada wires it into Great Might Gaine, allowing it to destroy Black Noir's mecha. Hamada is also able to make a scanner that can detect the levels of Innocent Waves coming from a person. With the exception of Sally, everyone there has what appears to be minor amounts of the Wave.
There are a few nods to other Super Robot shows in the series; one is the gattai sequence of Black Might Gaine, one of the robotic foes created by Hoi Kow Loon; the ship he pilots resembles the Hover Pilder flown by Kouji Kabuto in Mazinger, and docks with Black Might Gaine in a similar manner. Might Kaiser also has a 'Kaiser Hurricane' which vaguely resembles the Rust Hurricane from Mazinger as well. Similarly, Great Might Gaine has the 'Might Fire' (that was used only once), a nod to the Breast Fire of Mazinger Z. The idea of Black Might Gaine was also used in Transformers for both Nemesis Prime and Black Convoy, as they are both clones of the main hero.
-  - Official site for Sunrise (Japanese website with English option)
- Might Gaine video clips on Youtube 
- Wikipedia entry on Might Gaine 
- MAHQ - has a section on the brave series, and several episode summaries of Might Gaine
- Hobbylink Japan's Might Gaine toys/items  - Note: almost all the toys are either sold out or discontinued.