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Not even justice, I want to get truth!
In Space Century (SC) 152, the planet Deloyer, Earth's only colony, is home to a growing independence movement. The Fang of the Sun are a small team of guerillas fighting against Earth's occupation. To counter Earth's Combat Armors, they have a lone Combat Armor of their own: Dougram, a CA specially built for Deloyer's environment -- and piloted by Crinn Cashim, the rebellious son of the leader of the Earth government on Deloyer.
Fang of the Sun Dougram is a 75-episode Anime series that aired from October 23, 1981 to March 25, 1983, directed by Ryousuke Takahashi. The show was part of the first flourishing of Real Robot stories. A considerable chunk of Dougram's DNA comes from Mobile Suit Gundam, which several of the staff, notably the mechanical designer and the scriptwriter, also worked on.
Dougram is noted for its ground-level approach to action: Combat Armors are powerful, but infantry and air support play an important part in most of the battles. (Dougram itself has to be hauled to the battlefield on a flatbed truck.) The series also has a fairly involved political landscape. Several members of the Earth Federation lend some support to the rebels, while the occupying forces themselves are divided between hardline and moderate officers.
The story's tone is cynical but not extremely so. War is terrifying and ugly, but not without moments of happiness and comedy. The Federation's rule is oppressive, but there are sympathetic Federation characters. Death is permanent, and usually random and futile -- but on the other hand named characters die at a surprisingly slow rate. And, unlike Mobile Suit Gundam, Dougram doesn't threaten the characters with superweapons which might end civilization at a stroke.
Fang of the Sun Dougram contains examples of the following tropes:
- Ace Pilot - Crinn
- Anti-Villain - Rick Boyd
- The Captain - Rocky leads the Fang of the Sun in combat.
- The Chessmaster - Lecoque
- Combat Pragmatist - Crinn starts off as a green rookie prone to panicking in combat, but once he gets some experience piloting Dougram he becomes an amazingly dirty fighter, with few to none qualms about shooting enemies in the back, tackling them to the ground before blasting them, aiming for the cockpit, or even destroying mecha while their crews are still climbing on them.
- Child Soldiers - Several members of the Fang of the Sun must technically qualify. No one mentions it, though.
- Cool Bike - The Fang of the Sun starts out life as a biker gang of sorts, and for a while they use some of their bikes as supplementary transport.
- Bittersweet Ending: The rebellion is ultimately put down, but Deloyer is liberated.
- The Engineer - Heckle (Hercule?), who keeps Dougram running.
- Falling Into the Cockpit - Mildly subverted: early in the story just as it seems Crinn is about to fall (or be pushed) into the cockpit, the Federation steal Dougram.
- The Federation - The Earth Federation. In Dougram this appears to be an actual federation of seven distinct states, with their own economies and interests, but -- at least on Deloyer -- one unified military.
- Gundamjack - Initially averted, as the rebels built Dougram themselves. But possibly then played straight, as the Earth Federation steals Dougram, and the rebels have to steal it back.
- Hot-Blooded - Hotbloodedness is usually the downfall of the various guerilla groups: when they try to take on the Federation forces toe-to-toe rather than asymmetrically, counting on elan to carry them through, they tend to lose.
- Killed Off for Real
- La Résistance
- Mecha Expansion Pack - The 'turbopack' backpack attaches to Dougram to add a large, over-the-shoulder 'linear cannon'.
- Minovsky Physics - The X Nebula, within which Deloyer's solar system is located, interferes with communications. The X Nebula's effects aren't terribly clearly defined, but this is more because it's rarely mentioned than because the plot uses it in a hand-waving fashion.
- Obfuscating Stupidity - Nanashi's generally the clown of the group, but he's actually quite perceptive. One episode opens with a shot of him reading a book by Guevara.
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catchphrase - (Spoken in English. Or Engrish.) 'Not even justice, I want to get truth!'
- CAN YOU SEE THE TRUTH
- Real Robot - Combat Armors require repairs, refuelling and transport. They also struggle in terrain they're not designed for and can be destroyed even by the intelligent use of heavy man-portable weapons, if infantry can get close enough.
- Rebel Leader - The independence movement has one in the form of Professor Samalin, though he's a surprisingly un-badass, overweight thinker rather than a fighter.
- Reporting Names - Not within the series, but many of the mecha are far better known in the west by their BattleTech names
- Spider Tank - Desert Gunner and Blizzard Gunner. They are much better at moving in their prefer terrain than humanoid models.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified - Mostly played straight. While the independence movement has connections with shady, selfish business interests from Earth, and there are a number of sympathetic characters in the Earth forces, most of the time the rebels are heroes.
- True Companions - The Fang of the Sun.
- Walking Tank - Crab Gunner and Tequila Gunner, literally.
- Zeerust - The few bits of technology designed to look futuristic, such as the Combat Armors, the FTL jumpgate and its associated passenger spacecraft, now look dated. The rest of the technology is decidedly late-twentieth-century: coin-operated telephone boxes are still used, for example.