The Brave Series (勇者シリーズ Yuusha Shiriizu?) is a set of eight Super Robot shows that were created by Takara, in a partnership with legendary mecha anime studio Sunrise. The franchise was created to fill the transforming robot void left in the wake of Takara ending the Transformers series (also referred to as G1) with the OVA Transformers Zone. Though each show existed in its own continuity, they all had similar themes, mainly super robots and humans defending the Earth against attacks from (usually) some form of extraterrestrial threat. Like those of most Super Robot shows, the Brave Series robots were few in number compared to the attacking forces, but were far in advance of the existing technology available to Earth. Stock footage was frequently used for transformation and combination (gattai) sequences, as well as special attacks.
The story telling was fairly light compared to more serious shows; there were no secret agendas or less than heroic motivations on the part of the protagonists. The episodes usually started out as fairly episodic monster of the week stories, with more involved story arcs occurring later in the series. There was usually a rival to the main character, who wound up joining the hero in his fight towards the later part of the series.
- 1990 - Brave Exkaiser (Yuusha Exkaiser)
- 1991 - Brave of the Sun Fighbird (also translated as Fyvard sometimes) (Taiyou no Yuusha Fighbird)
- 1992 - Brave Fighter of Legend Da-Garn (Densetsu no Yuusha Da-garn)
- 1993 - Brave Express Might Gaine (Yuusha Tokyuu Might Gaine)
- 1994 - Brave Police J-Decker (Yuusha Keisatsu J-Decker)
- 1995 - Brave of Gold Goldran (Ougon Yuusha Goldran)
- 1996 - Brave Command Dagwon (Yuusha Shirei Dagwon)
- 1997 - King of Braves GaoGaiGar (Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar)']
Dagwon and GaoGaiGar both had OVAs set after their respective series ended.
There was a ninth series planned, Saint of Braves Baan Gaan (Yuusha Seisen Baan Gaan), but it was never produced; what parts of it were made were incorporated into one of the two Brave Wars games. 'Quantum Leap Rayserver', also showing up in the Brave Wars games, is not considered part of the 'official' Brave Series canon.
- In the same way that Hasbro repurposed several Japanese toylines to become the first waves of Transformers characters, the first series (Brave Exkaiser) featured robot characters that were repurposed designs from the tail end of the Transformers franchise. (ie the Geisters from Exkaiser being, essentially, slightly redrawn versions of the G1 Dinobots, J-Decker's Shadowmaru being a recolour of Sixshot, combiner teams, etc.) Kunio Okawara is credited with mechanical designs for all the Brave series.
- GaoGaiGar, the last of the produced Brave Series, takes a number of elements from prior series.
Wikipedia:The_King_of_Braves_GaoGaiGar#Influences_from_previous_Brave_series lists Wikipedia's notes on references.
- Media Blasters acquired the license for GaoGaiGar back in 2006, and has released 5 DVDs so far, having a total of 25 dubbed episodes. Currently, they are on hiatus, citing having to focus on the more labour intensive Voltron series. Early rumours hint that future releases will only be subtitled.
- Currently, none of the other Brave series have been licensed.
- Wikipedia Entry on the Brave series
- MAHQ's entry on the Brave series, plus reviews
- Anime News Network entry