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The main character, Gon, is a diminutive Tyrannosaurus Rex who was forgotten by time. Unlike certain other creatures, Gon is a Silent Protagonist. In fact, despite there being no humans whatsoever, and a notable amount of communication occurring in every story, there is absolutely no dialogue whatsoever, by any of the animal characters.
Typically, each story tells of Gon encountering some more modern animal species, how the individuals react to him, and for those where he's sticking up for the weaker, he uses their natural abilities with his own brute strength for some rather unique battles. Examples include a ball of hedgehogs rolling over an assaulting dingo (Gon acting as propulsion) and the dinosaur using a kangaroo's pouch to give a kick some extra wallop.
For some reason, he appeared as a hidden character in Tekken 3. We're still not sure what to make of that, besides the fact that he's utterly Game Breaking (despite being considerably weaker than in the manga).
A 50 episode CGI series premiered in Japan on the 2nd of April. A kid friendly video game and a manga aimed at a younger age set will accompany this new series. Fans of the old school Gon aren't completely left out, thankfully: as the original manga is set to continue in March in the seinen magazine Kodansha Afternoon.
This series provides examples of the following:
- Anthropomorphic Shift: In the anime, animals known for standing on two legs for brief periods in real life move and emote exactly like humans, and almost never go to all fours.
- Art Evolution: Gon was originally far more realistic and tyrannosaur-like than the cute and cuddly monster we all know and love, and lacked the spikes on his back.
- Abusive Parents: Gon may seem like this when he raises Ho (biting him, eating all but one of the fish he's caught, giving the rest to Ho), but one must realize he's raising a wild animal, and in order to survive in the wild, you'd have to be tough.
- He also apparently has no idea there's a nest on his head and inadvertently exposes them to all sorts of trauma. The birds do get out of it tough-as-nails, though.
- Animals Lack Attributes: Averted in the original manga.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever/Big Creepy-Crawlies: Underground animals are huge...
- Badass Adorable: Gon. Oh, Gon...
- Big Bad: Most of the stories have one. Gon Underground has the huge tarantula, a story about Gon raising wolves in the wilderness had a tiger, while a story about Gon with penguins in the Arctic has the Great Auk.
- Cowardly Sidekick: The Albatross in the penguin story.
- Cowardly Lion: The Dingo mother, who would be extremely brave if it wasn't for Gon organizing the local wildlife into an anti-dingo army. Boy, does she try.
- Darkest Africa: Gon wanders through this twice, and ends up here after the events of "Gon Underground".
- The Drifter: Almost Roninlike in a way, Gon will oftentimes introduce himself to a pack or flock, brutalize predators and help raise the newborns (though sometimes, he has to raise recent orphans), all while eating his fill. He'll part ways with his new families as soon as they can fend for themselves.
- Everything Is Worse With Bears: Most bears don't learn...
- The first Gon comic revolved around Gon kicking the shit out of a grizzly and stealing his fish, then using him as a cuddly bed.
- Subverted with Ussu in the anime.
- Eye Scream: Gon and his companions in "Gon Goes Through the Underground" bite down on the eyes of a giant spider as retribution for it cocooning a dingo's pup.
- Gentle Giant: The Orangutan Mother and Orangutan King. Averted with the underground dwellers in Gon Underground, who are violently destructive - especially the giant tarantula.
- Guest Fighter: His appearance in Tekken 3.
- Humiliation Conga: That poor bobcat in Gon Goes Flying. Several other predators besides.
- Lighter and Softer: The new CGI adaptation is this to the sometimes graphically violent original series, the same goes for it's accompanying manga.
- Nominal Importance: Ho the Albatross is the first character apart from Gon to get a name, and he continues to appear in the rest of the stories in the volume.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Gon himself.
- Pokémon-Speak: Gon in the CGI adaptation. Everyone else speaks normally.
- Scenery Porn: Oh god, yes! This is part of the reason why the Gon comics aren't getting out now - Tanaka exhausted a lot on drawing the scenery, and insisted on working alone, taking up to months or years between updates.
- Seldom-Seen Species: There's a giant anteater and an auk of all things featured in these stories, among others.
- Silence Is Golden: There is no speech or onomatopoeia at all.
- As such, one could call Gon an embodiment of Show, Don't Tell.
- Silent Scenery Panel: A good portion of the panels.
- Suddenly Voiced: The CGI adaptation has Gon voiced by Motoko Kumai, with a cast of speaking animals as opposed to the original manga's silent ones.
- Tsundere: Type One. Grumpy little thing that smashes things at the slightest provocation, but enjoys cute things and will murder anything that threatens his friends/adoptive family.
- Wicked Weasels: A bunch of mustelids in the first episode of the anime.