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In the year 2065, the world's two superpowers fight over the control of the Space Elevator. Fighter pilot Kei Katsuragi and his friend Olson are assigned to just blow the damn thing up, providing escort for engineers using a new "dimensional" weapon of mass destruction - the Space/Time Oscillation Bomb. However, everything goes wrong when the bomb goes off, hurling Kei into another world ...or is it? As it turns, out the world he ends up in is Earth; however, it is an Earth that is made up of many different dimensions... many alternate Earth's squashed together (on one of these for example, dinosaurs evolved into a sentient species). Kei ends up on the Emaan flying ship Glomar, joining its crew of gypsy-like traders.
Not as popular, but more imaginative, than its older brother, Orguss is the second show in the "Super Dimension" series, preceding The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross.
A six-episode sequel OVA, Orguss 02 done by J.C.Staff (of Slayers fame), was released in 1993. The story is set in a completely different world; at first, the only ties to the original series are the Orguss and Nikick mecha buried around the world, along with the ruins of the orbital elevator where everything started. The kingdoms of Rivilia and Zafrin have both learned how to rebuild the ruined "armors" (or "Decimators" in the English dub) using their World War II-level Schizo-Tech, and the cold war between them is on the verge of igniting. But more of the original story resurfaces as young Rivilian mechanic Lean is sucked into the conflict between the nations, and meets Nataruma, an escaped Zafrin agent with strange powers, a chip on her shoulder, and an unusual heritage...
Super Dimension Century Orguss contains examples of:
- Ace Pilot: Kei's pretty skilled and can at least stay alive when he's hopelessly outnumbered. Super Robot Wars Z puts him nearly on level with Chars Counterattack-era Amuro!
- Angst? What Angst?: Kei is told fairly early on that the Emaan get over death very quickly. And by "very quickly" we mean "within two minutes"
- Another Century's Episode: R (coincidentally alongside about 5 other shows that were in Super Robot Wars Z).
- Back for the Dead: Poor, poor Sley.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The Emaan with their head-tails.
- Brick Joke: the woman Kei was sleeping with at the start of the first episode would end up being pregnant and having a daughter, one who would go on to become Kei's rival when he returned, and is first shown eleven episodes after the start of the series.
- Conservation of Ninjitsu: Mu attack robots seem easier to kill the more of them are present.
- Christmas Cake: It's even worse for Emaan women. Their bodies start undergoing a change when seventeen years old and develop a painful fever. Then anywhere from half a year to one year later, they become barren and aren't even viewed as women anymore. Captain Shaya is already past that age, and Mimsy's pretty damn close.
- Expy: Many of the characters resemble those from the previous "Super Dimension" show, Macross. Which isn't too surprising seeing as how it's the same character designer. Mimsy in particular looks like Minmei but with Misa's hair color.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sley early on, and then Mohm and Tai leading up to the final moments of the series where Olson and Kei kill their past selves and die in the process to correct the damage to the Earth
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Kei is voiced by Sho Hayami who also voiced Maximilian Jenius, Klein Sandman, Bern Bunnings, the OVA version of Devilman, Gavlet Gabare, Ginias Sahalin, and a lot of other guys, actually. Makes sense, doesn't it?
- Idiot Hero: Lampshaded by Shaya, leaving Kei wondering whether it's a compliment or an insult.
- Implacable Man: The Mu combat androids are nearly indestructible. Oftentimes two or three infantry go into fights with hordes of enemy mecha. And win.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Sley, in spite of his dislike of Kei, genuinely cares for Mimzy and grows to respect her interest in Kei
- Kudzu Plot: What happens by the end of the series. The Mu robots are deciding to kill everyone, the Chilam still have some scheme to control Kei and Olson when they repair space-time, it's heavily implied the Emaan have something up their sleeves too, the Great Idiosyncratic Point is about to be destroyed by a meteor... the plot really does spiral out of control and we end up with a rather unsatisfying end.
- More like a Gainax Ending; when Kei started the whole mess by fiddling with the Space=Time Oscillation Bomb, he ended up turning the space-time of the entire planet into kudzu. Killing his past self before he could start fiddling was basically Cutting the Knot - instead of a single mishmash Earth, every timeline began flowing separately, making all possible endings true.
- Latex Space Suit (The pilot suits)
- Lolicon: Mohm wants Kei to love her in this way. Tragically for her, Kei flat-out states he's not a pedophile.
- Macross Missile Massacre: The Orguss is literally armed with nothing but missiles. Even it's hand held gun shoots missiles. Taii is also armed to the teeth with missiles in his torso, although he only uses them on other machines, not life forms.
- Somewhat Truth in Television for Orguss as far as fighter planes are concerned, which is what Orguss basically functions like.
- Made of Explodium: Ishkicks, so much so as to having their legs bump into each other being enough to trigger explosions; multiple times no less. Amazingly, the reconnaissance versions called Ishfons qualify more for Cannon Fodder than the regular versions.
- In an ironic twist, the toy versions of the Ishkicks made by Takatoku are notoriously fragile - especially the legs.
- Meaningful Name: A double-instance of it with the same character. Athena was the Goddess of War in Greek Mythology, and serves as Kei's rival. His rebuilt Bronco 2 is dubbed "Orguss", named after the God of War from Jayviet's dimension. Then it's revealed that Athena is Kei's daughter with his girlfriend Tina. Due to Japanese phonetics, Athena's name would be pronounced "Atina"
- Merged Reality: The setting of the story. An inversion of the usual trope as the characters' goal is to undo the merging.
- Mildly Military: Justified. The Glomaar is a merchant ship, not a military one.
- Names to Know In Anime: Hirotaka Suzuoki voiced Olson D. Verne
- Narm: The Emaan recognize Kei as a "tokuiten" soon after his arrival. The word can be translated as "singularity"; Imagin Asian used "Idiosyncratic Point". US Renditions, the original English-language licensee for Orguss used... "Differentiated Idioblast" -- a translation choice that would live in infamy.
- Nuclear Weapons Taboo: semi-averted. They are mentioned earlier on along with biological and chemical weapons, but the real big weapon in the wars before the reality war is the Space-Time Oscillation Bombs.
- Planet of the Apes Ending: subverted. Within six episodes, Kei knows he's still on Earth when he sees a guy driving a jeep.
- Kei finds out later on though that the Chilam are in fact the humans from his world, however.
- Really Gets Around: Kei, at least before he's sent into the future. Our first scene with him is in a girl's bed, and his rival is actually his daughter, all grown up
- Robot Girl: Mohm
- Robot War: The Chilam are fighting one against the robot forces of Mu.
- Romantic False Lead: Kei essentially wows Mimsy while her boyfriend Sley starts becoming more and more like a Romantic Runner-Up. In an unusual case, Kei tells Sley become more assertive and do more to protect Mimsy and seems to have a positive effect on the guy. Not to mention when Sley decided to marry Mimsy and have a child before she lost her fertility, Kei was happier about it than Sley and flat-out admitted they were a better match.
- Shout-Out: If similar character designs weren't enough, some Macross characters make cameos, among them Minmei, Shammy, Vanessa and Misa.
- Mimsy and Jabby's names are Jabberwocky references.
- Super Prototype: Averted with Orguss. From what we can tell, there's no noticeable difference or advantage the original Orguss has over the mass-produced Orguss 2 machines created in the latter part of the series.
- Super Robot Wars: Orguss's Space/Time Oscillation Bomb detonation is what unites all the various worlds together at the start. Debuted in Z and appears in the game's long-awaited sequel.
- Surprisingly Good English: The opening and endings themes, though that should be obvious when remembering that the singer Casey Rankin, while he lived from Japan from 1971 until he day he died, he lived in America until he was 25.
- The Captain: Shaya's one, but it a fairly lax individual more concerned with traveling around, finding markets, and protecting Kei than imposing discipline
- Trapped in Another World: A world made up of many other worlds.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Six words for you: Episode 25. Slow-motion bread tossing. That is all.
- What Measure is a humanoid Non-Human: Of all the people in the series, those that treat Mohm the most like a useless piece of junk are her own kind, one robot deriding her as an outmoded maintenance robot that should be replaced. Compare that to how pretty much every human treats her as someone with her own thoughts and feelings.
Orguss 02 contains examples of:
- A Mech by Any Other Name: As mentioned above, the salvaged mecha are called "Armors" (or "Decimators" in the English dub.)
- The Constant: At first, just the space elevator (and Kei's old Orguss which gets salvaged and refurbished in the first episode). Later, the Mu "Captain(Tai'i)" shows up, with a field promotion to "Colonel".
- Enigmatic Minion: Manning.
- Falling Into the Cockpit: Lean in the first episode, when he has to fight off an attacking mecha to save the cargo plane carrying Manning and his mentor Zante. (Manning was a qualified pilot, but his first plan was to just take the Decimator and run; this way, he can land the plane.)
- Not with the Safety On, You Won't: After Lean breaks into his country's torture chambers to rescue Nataruma, holding his mentor Lt. Manning at riflepoint, Manning casually mentions that Lean needs to load a bullet in the gun's breech to fire -- after he's already tied up. When Lean asks why he didn't... mention... this earlier, Manning just explains that "he's a whimsical man."
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Prince Parion feigns idiocy for the first few episodes of the OVA - until he orchestrates the murder of his half-brother and the Evil Chancellor who killed his father, assuming the throne himself. He then goes on to attempt a global omnicide using a Humongous Mecha.
- Sphere of Destruction
- That's No Moon: Prince Parion's island retreat is actually the resting place of an incredibly powerful Decimator in mint condition.
- Weaponized Exhaust: Lean ends up resorting to this when he Falls Into The Cockpit for the first time.