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Dancouga is a Super Robot anime which tells the story of the Cyber Beast force (Juusenkitai). The Earth is under attack by the Muge Zolbados Empire and slowly, the Empire takes over Earth as they were able to acquire information about Earth's resources and strategies thanks to a traitor from the Earth named Shapiro Keats. The last line of defense for the Earth is the Cyber Beast Force, a squad of several soldiers riding several robots based on animals which lets them unleash the bestial rages of the animals which their robots are based on. The team includes:
- Shinobu Fujiwara, the hot shot, Hot-Blooded leader, who tends to act first before thinking. Rides the Eagle Fighter. That quote above is his Catch Phrase.
- Sara Yuuki. A Fiery Redhead who once loved Shapiro, now heartbroken at his betrayal, but seems to open up with Shinobu. Rides the Land Couga.
- Masato Shikibu. The youngest of the team, he tends to lighten the situation by cracking jokes, but is smart and skilled enough to be in the team. Rides the Land Liger.
- Ryou Shiba. Calm, cool, mostly lone member of the team. Knows Kung Fu and will use it very often. Rides the Big Moth.
Eventually, as the story advances, their machines are able to combine into one giant machine known as Dancouga. Together, they must defeat the Muge Zorbados Empire and liberate Earth.
Tropes associated with the series:
- A God Am I (Shapiro's motives)
- Back From the Dead: Shapiro in the Blazing Epilogue OVA.
- Also Muge Zolbados in God Bless Dancouga.
- Bittersweet Ending:In the Blazing Epilogue OVA:The Earth is saved but the Land Tiger is left to drift in space with Shapiro's dead body inside of it, as per Sara's wishes and her statement that she has no regrets.
- BFG (Dancouga is pretty much covered in them.)
- The full payload: 4 pulse lasers on its chest, two located at the hip and two located behind and above the shoulders. There's also the large Dankuu Hou cannon located on its back. The Dankuuhou Formation attack fires all of these at once. It also has a hand-held cannon that is made from the hand-held guns of its component units. The non-canon Final Dancouga gets another cannon by using Alan's craft.
- BFS (The Dankuu Kouga Ken, which takes Dancouga's regular Dankuu Ken sword and adds a ridiculously long satellite-transmitted beam blade.)
- Big Bad: Emperor Muge Zorbados, who is a nightmarish, Lovecraftion Physical God and Dimension Lord.
- Canon Immigrant (Dancouga's Mid-Season Upgrade, Final Dancouga in the Super Robot Wars games.)
- Catch Phrase (Shinobu's "YATTE YARUZE!!")
- Combining Mecha: A particularly illogical example, with the smaller robots forming a helmet and boots for the largest one (to show that Dancouga is "more than the sum of its parts"). And their first combination is in episode 16. Also, they had to do it twice before the combination was succesfully completed.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu / Holding Back the Phlebotinum - Integral part of General Igor's strategy. For a good reason too.
- Cute Monster Girl: Luna, the Emperor's servant.
- Deconstruction: Of a classic Super Robot plotline. Only unlike many other deconstructions, this one manages to a work interesting and entertaining enough on it's own that you hardly notice the deconstructing. Points addressed in particular:
- "Why does evil alien empire fool around with Monster of the Week trying to take down lone mecha instead of launching a full-scale invasion right away?" - Show premise.
- "How would a hot-blooded pilot actually fit and cooperate with military" - see Nice Job Breaking It, Hero and more than one other occasion.
- Also touches on how hard it would be for four people, each one Hot-Blooded to some degree and confident in their individual piloting skills, to control a Combining Mecha which requires all its pilots to operate in sync. The first transformation took place after a quarter of the show had passed (after the pilots got the hang of the transforming mechanics and their Beast forms), and it actually failed since they have yet to learn how suppress their ego and work effectively as a team.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty General Ross Igor
- Elaborate Underground Base - CBF base of operations. will turn into Cool Ship around halfway through the series
- Eldritch Abomination Death Gaia's mechs of Deathgrome and Zan-Gaioh
- Evil Knockoff Emperor Muge's creation of False Dancouga near the end of God Bless Dancouga
- Fiery Redhead Sara
- Five-Man Band
- Glass Cannon: Pretty much a way to personify Gil Dorom's plans. They involve tricking people and causing in-fighting. But he only uses about a hand-full of fighters or a weak monster so the actual physical problem is solved very easily once they figure the ruse.
- Heroic Sacrifice (Ross, and later his son Alan)
- Captain Gerald;_;
- Grand Finale: "Requiem for Victims".
- Post Script Season: "God Bless Dancougar" and Dancougar: Blazing Climax"
- Holding Back the Phlebotinum: General Igor never told the pilots about the transforming mechanics, Beast forms, and the ability to combine until they felt the pilots are ready for it. He also doesn't want to go into space to strike the enemy. With good reason. The Gundor can only stay operational for a set amount of time before its power supply ran out, so he has to wait until the pilots fulfill their greatest potential before setting off in order to give them the best chance at victory.
- Hot-Blooded (Shinobu)
- In the Name of the Moon - "The love in our hearts will slice through evil's darkness! DANKUUKOUGAKEN! YATTE YARUZE!!"
- Kaneto Shiozawa (Ryou's voice)
- Meaningful Name (The sword of Dancouga was named by Ryou as "A sword that severs evil space" Dan Kuu Ken, people get the context wrong and try to dub the sword and cannon as Dancou)
- Mid-Season Upgrade - first Humanoid Change for CBF mechs followed by Dancouga itself. Both of them happen pretty early, though it took surprisingly long for the titular Super Robot to show up. There's also the Flight Booster late in the series and Gundor, their flying mecha-dragon base.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero - In episode 4, Shinobu manages to screw over a gigantic US weapon stockpile.
- It sure seems like the pilot was pulling a kamikaze and the what the base couldn't close the door or maybe put in safety measures for enough weapons that when blown up at once to try to add a few safety features?
- Norio Wakamoto (Shapiro's voice, which makes even this kind of character very enjoyable.)
- Not Quite Dead (Both Muge Zorbados and Shapiro turn out to be this way in the OVA sequals.)
- Off-Model: A recurring flaw in the TV series.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Shinobu seems to like wearing a long pink shirt when out of uniform, pray no one is dumb enough to call him a sissy for liking pink.
- Shinigami Emperor Muge Zorbados in a nutshell
- Shirtless Scene (Ryou, anytime he decides to kick butt with Kung Fu, inside a mecha)
- Shout-Out - Eagle Fighter launches through a hidden hangar door in the dam.
- Sixth Ranger (Alan Igor, Ross' son)
- Slap Slap Kiss (The Shinobu-Sara pairing. With literal slaps!)
- Smug Snake (Shapiro)
- Spell My Name with an "S" (Input Code D A N C O U G A and people got the r to make it Dancougar from thin air)
- Stock Footage You'll notice it, Sara's beast machine sure likes to bite her enemies in the same area. Also it's become clear why the fodder bad guys are the same machines or fighters.
- Suicide Attack: Kuzard's role in God Bless Dancouga
- Super Robot (Four piloted machines, all animals, with their own humanoid forms, that combine, and grow stronger with their pilots rage, that's four checks right there.)
- Despite this, the setting is quite Real Robot-esque, between the Cynicism and the fact that the individual machines are not useless.
- Super Robot Wars (Quite a staple entry, including an additional upgrade that is Final Dancougar, which is accessible because they usually spared Alan from death)
- It recently made a notable appearence in Z2, alongside its successor. In this game, it is said that Dancougar Nova and R-Daigun are based off of Final Dancougar, which Earth Will rescued after it and its pilots were stuck in Muge's dimension after defeating him. Also, apparently Moon WILL calls his machine Original Dancougar because he considers his the first true Dancougar.
Moon WILL: I have no use for a Dancougar that needs humans.
- The Strategist (Shapiro on the Muge side)
- Transforming Mecha (All mechas have humanoid, vehicle, and bestial forms - except Eagle Fighter, since its bird form is already vehicle enough.)
- Tsundere (Sara is a type A version.)
- Villainous Breakdown (Shapiro has an absolutly epic one when The Muge abandon him to his fate, going out raving and laughing like a total mainac as only Norio Wakamoto can do.)
- Woman Scorned (Sara, actually a heroic example, because the one who dumps her is evil)
- Zerg Rush Death Gaia's main tactic, really noticeable when Gil Dorom takes over using minimum warriors.