Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gaiking III

So the Gaiking (1976-1977) series had been rewritten and reworked into a connecting three film epic beginning with Gaiking I, Gaiking II and culminating in Gaiking III. There are some wonderfully penciled and inked stills that are simply a delight to the eyes. The DVD release may not contain the entire series, but at least we have something. Enjoy the Gaiking love people. This is the third and final post complement to the previous Gaiking (here) and Gaiking II (here).

For our final entry we look at the mecha of Gaiking itself and the magnificent ship dubbed the Daiku Maryu.

We also notate the actual series episodes from which the images selected for these posts were taken from. The episodic information is extracted directly from the end credits.

Gaiking itself was gifted by its creators with a vast array of weaponry. That arsenal included:

the double laser blazer
the hydro blazer
the horn paralyzer
face missiles
the counter punch (you actually see the fists return in one episode)
counter cross swords
eye beams
death fire
sharp blades up the spine when required

The Daiku Maryu had its own assortment of defenses which included:

dragon missiles
dragon cutters
dragon fin missiles
dragon blazer laser
dragon cannons
thunder eyes
neck drill
hand drills
miracle drill
all of the laser weapons associated with Gaiking's actual body when attached as the Space Dragon's head
spinning defense mode for the entire craft

It also had a kind of fetal defense mode and can curl up its tail a la Godzilla from the 1960s Showa era films from Toho.

Oddly, the Space Dragon, despite its focus on its primary crew of roughly nine key players actually had a much larger crew below decks working the great space beast's engines much like the crew of the Argo or Yamato (in Japan) from Star Blazers (1979). And how interesting was the design of the Daiku Maryu? How many space ships in science fiction defied aerodynamic designs like this great machine? It was simply awesome to behold. It was adorned with so much character. It was indeed a very unusual  and well-designed ship. Perhaps it was even more unusual than the space-worthy Argo to be sure.

The film release borrows footage for its three film release, setting up an invasion of Earth by Zela three times from the following episodes.

Gaiking I excerpts from the following:

Episode 1, Riddle Of The Black Hole
Episode 2, Sanshiro's Magic Ball
Episode 3, Death Of A Rebel Against Darius The Great
Episode 22, A Trap Of The Underground Kingdom
Episode 23, Encounters On The Moon.

Gaiking II includes:

Episode 25, Life Or Death Battle In Antarctica
Episode 9, The Mystery Of The Nasuka Plain
Episode 12, Answer Me Midori!
Episode 13: Gaiking In A Crisis
Episode 14, The Space Dragon Counter Attacks

Gaiking III includes:

Episode 17, Battle In The Sea
Episode 24, Guardian God Of Megalith Island
Episode 33, God Himira's Appearance
Episode 43, Phantom Castle On Mars
Episode 44, Go! The Last Great

The DVD set is comprised of 15 of the original 44 episodes.
Oh well. Now if we could just get a second and third collection to complete the series even if it wasn't as intended.
And finally a terrific Gaiking poster from the web. Loved it. And below Gaiking: Legend Of Daiku Maryu (2005-2006) for a new generation.

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