Heavy Metal L-Gaim (重戦機（ヘビーメタル）エルガイム Jūsenki (Hebī Metaru) Erugaimu?, literally Heavy Military Strategy L-Gaim) is an anime television series, begun in 1984, which was directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Its characters and mecha were designed by Mamoru Nagano, who would later go on to create Five Star Stories. L-Gaim takes place in the Pentagona System, a solar system made up of five planets. Oldna Poseidal, the legendary emperor from the planet Gastogal leads his 24 Temple Knights from planet to planet until all have fallen under his control. His final victory is on the planet Mizum in 3975 when he defeats Kamon Walha V, ruler of the Yaman Clan. Kamon hides his heir, Kamon Myroad on the planet Mizum with the legendary white mecha, L-Gaim. Fifteen years later, now grown up and known as Daba Myroad, he leads a rebellion to free the planets of Pentagona from Poseidal's grasp.
- Daba Myroad: The protagonist of the show, pilot of L-Gaim and later, Mark II.
Beginning: The White Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal L-Gaim begins in the wastelands of the planet Koam. Daba Myroad, traveling with his friend Mirao Kyao encounters a group of thieves led by Miyama Lilin, who seeks to sell the L-Gaim for a lot of money. The thieves' initial attack ends in failure and one of them, a teenage girl named Fanneria Amu defects after falling in love with Daba. When Daba makes a promise to one of the dying thieves to deliver a cash card to a man named Amandara Kamandara, the three of them head to the city of Prearmo, where the thieves continue to chase them. It is here where Daba meets Lillith Fuau, the last remaining fairy in the Pentagona world. Lilin is eventually killed by one of her own subordinates, and Gavlet Gablae, a man who seeks to join the Poseidal military becomes their new leader. While Daba and the others have a hard time finding Amandara Kamandara, Gavlet finds him himself and gets a recommendation to join the Poseidal military, where he's placed under Chai Char, one of the military's 'Elite 13'.
When Amandara Kamandara leaves Koam and heads to the planet Mizum, Daba is dedicated to following him so he can return the cash card. Along with Amu, Kyao and Lilith, Daba steals a space shuttle and heads to space. Brought along by accident is Gaw Ha Leccee, a high ranking female officer of the Poseidal military. Their ship arrives on Mizum under pursuit by Gavlet and are saved due to the large rebel factions on that planet. When Leccee falls in love with Daba and defects from the military, Nei Mo Han is sent to Mizum to defeat the rebels by her lover, and head of the Elite 13, Giwaza Lowau. Teaming up with Gavlet and Chai, Nei attacks the rebels multiple times but is unable to defeat them. Meanwhile Daba and the others have teamed up with the rebels on Mizum, led by Stella Coban. Heading through Mizum and finding the now wiped out civilization of the Yaman Clan, Daba finally meets Amandara Kamandara face to face and angrily returns the cash card after all the trouble its caused. Amandara, a wealthy trader who provides arms to the military gives the rebels a tremendous amount of funds and weapons. When the Ape, Poseidal's personal ship approaches Mizum, Daba heads out to encounter her only to find a hologram in her stead. The rebels, who have started to mass produce the L-Gaim are attacked relentlessly by the military and even though Chai Char is killed, the rebels are massacred and Stella is killed. Daba, Kyao, Leccee and Lillith return to space while Amu decides to stay behind on Mizum.
Upon reaching space, Daba and Kyao head to Theart Star, an independent asteroid base in Pentagona that's not controlled by Poseidal. Populated entirely by women, the asteroid base is led by the mysterious Full Flat. Gavlet meanwhile is given the planetary bomber Slender Skala by Giwaza and pursues our heroes, forcing them out of Theart Star and attacking them multiple times. Desperate, Daba launches an assault on Sveto, capital of Poseidal's empire on the planet Gastogal. Hopelessly outnumbered, Daba and the others are saved when Amu shows up with the Turner, a ship given to her by Amandara Kamandara. Heading to the planet Trydetol, they encounter Daba's half-sister, Quwasan Olibee, who has become a puppet controlled by Poseidal.
Our heroes reach the planet Trydetol, where they continue to fend with the military and are forced to defend themselves against Lilin's vengeful daughter. The third OVA movie, Full Metal Soldier, presumably takes place during this time. In this short film, a radical member of Posidal's army attempts to ambush Daba with his bizarre Heavy Metal, which is controlled with an electric keyboard. Although the Daba and the L-Gaim are nearly defeated, Daba manages to somehow defeat him. Gavlet is given countless number of Heavy Metals in his pursuit but when he is given the prototype Heavy Metal, Amon Duule Stack he performs very poorly. During a battle Kyao steals the Stack and its creator, Mesh Maker. Sympathizing with the rebellions' efforts, Mesh decides to help. Kyao and himself highly modify the Amon Duule Stack and correct its problems by studying the L-Gaim's inner workings, turning it into the powerful L-Gaim Mk-II; an upgrade from L-Gaim in every sense with transformation ability, a self learning bio computer (that fans of the Five Star Stories will recognize the sillouhette of.), and a powerful generator capable of firing its main weapon, the Buster Launcher with almost none of the energy drain the weapon usually has on Heavy Metals. Upon its initial launch, it easily defeats a number of Heavy Metals including Nei's Auge with but one single shot of its powerful main weapon. Although Daba's new A-Class Mk-II outclasses almost all current Heavy Metals, a major threat to even Auge, the rebellion's progress is still troubled. Upset with what seems to be hopeless efforts against the military, Leccee leaves our heroes. Meeting up with rebel leader Semuj Shato, Daba continues to build up the rebel's power as they plan an assault on Gastogal. Meanwhile Poseidal decides to promote Olibee over Giwaza, upsetting him so much that he decides to gather the Elite 13 and rebel against her, taking over Pentagona for himself. The rebels return to the planet Mizum and meet back up with Leccee, whose taken command of the ship Whale. After numerous battles with the military there, Daba returns to space where he once more encounters Olibee, who is still in Poseidal's grasps.
Upset over Full Flat providing assistance to the rebels, Giwaza sends Nei to Sveto to inform Poseidal. Meanwhile he manages to take Daba captive and brings him to Full Flat, who has ambitions of her own and decides to team up with Giwaza for the time being. It is here where it is revealed that Poseidal and Full Flat have eternal youth, bestowed to them by Amandara Kamandara through the mysterious power bio-relation. Daba eventually escapes from Full Flat, who directs Theart Star towards Gastogal. Semuj is revealed as Full Flat's spy, but as a valuable and loyal ally, Daba decides to forgive him. Meanwhile Leccee, whom has just recently rejoined the rebels with additional reinforcements (not to mention a new powerful Heavy Metal for herself, the Novel D'ssart.), heads to Sveto and encounters Poseidal. There she finds Nei whom has been Posidal's captive since being abandoned there by Giwaza earlier, and gives her to orders to assassinate Giwaza. Upset over him abandoning her, Nei tries to kill him but ends up finally losing her life.
The rebels decide to advance the Star Dust Plan, an attack which features launching hundreds of asteroids around Gastogal towards Sveto. Giwaza meanwhile continues to advance his forces towards the planet as well, and takes Olibee captive. Gavlet, who has fallen in love with her and Daba try repeatedly to save her to no avail. All the factions converge around Sveto and the attack begins. During the assault Full Flat encounters Poseidal and tells her to recall the truth, that she is nothing but a puppet for the real Poseidal, Amandara Kamandara. The battle continues to escalate and Flat is killed when the L-Gaim Mk-II falls on her. Afterwards, during the heat of Star Dust's initial outing, Daba and Gavlet board Giwaza's ship for one last attempt to rescue Olibee, and after a daring duel with Giwaza Olibee is finally rescued as the two make their escape.
As Sveto is being bombarded, Posidal struggles with her broken memories, and works at a computer console in an attempt to regain her memories, when Amandara himself finally makes his appearance and confronts Posidal, whose real name is Mian. Amandara, the real Posidal, is ready to retake his position. Having finally rescued Olibee, Daba is sent a message by Amandara in order to lure him in to kill him, thus ending any opposition to his rule. Daba sees right through this; however, Olibee, who bonded with Mian, feels that she is in danger and Daba agrees to go save Mian and finally take his family's revenge while Amu in the L-Gaim and Lecee in her Novel D'ssert aid the rebellion's efforts around Svet. Daba has quite a fight entering Sveto, but eventually he and Olibee make their way in. Meanwhile, Mian, angered by Amandara's manipulative and malevolent ways, turns the tables on him with her personal guard intervening. Although Amandara tells them that he, not Mian is the true Posidal they choose to remain loyal to her regardless. Daba then breaks into the conflict armed, and attempts to rescue Mian. They almost flee when Amandara quickly takes Mian hostage as his own personal guard Amon turns the tables once more. Before Amandara can have his way however, an explosion breaks up the conflict and Amandara flees deeper into Sveto with Daba in pursuit. Mian tells her bodyguards to help her to the Lachesis, the control center which helps keep the eternal youth of Amandara and herself active. Although it will kill Mian as well, it is the only way to stop him.
Daba is led to the heart of Sveto, where Amandara reveals his own Heavy Metal, the Original Auge (Or Aug). Powered by the population's energy through the bio-relation, the system keeping him eternally young, he is virtually invulnerable. Although the formiddable L-Gaim Mk-II puts up quite a fight, Amandara's Aug grows more powerful with each second and Daba finds himself in a losing duel. When Mian deactivates the bio-relation, their eternal youth is no more and they immediately age to their deaths as Daba takes this opportunity to deal a crippling blow to the now vulnerable Aug and is further aided by the timely arrival of Gavlet in his Bat-Shu Heavy Metal. Giwaza's forces are annihilated by the rebels and the Slender Skala, and with the death of the true Posidal announced the rebels are finally able to declare themselves victorious. Giwaza however, attempts one last escape in an armed shuttle and in desperation attacks Daba and Gavlet. Before he can escape however, Daba fires one last fateful shot of the Buster Launcher and incinerates Giwaza once and for all. After the battle, Daba decides to return to Koam to live the rest of his life. There, he will take care of Olibee, who was brain damaged due to Poseidal's control. Gavlet, Lecee, and Amu all bid farewell to them, although they are all heartbroken having to say goodbye to the two.
L-Gaim and Five Star Stories
- Due to the similarities between Tomino's L-Gaim and Nagano's later work Five Star Stories, many have speculated that Five Star Stories is more than 'inspired' by L-Gaim. Nagano confirmed this during his appearance as guest in Anime Expo '93, stating that he "started drawing Five Star Stories because (he) was so disappointed in L-Gaim," although he failed to specify what aspect of L-Gaim he was disappointed in.
- Some of the similarities include:
- The designs of the Mortar Heads are directly inspired by earlier designs in L-Gaim, some even keeping the names of their original designs. Particularly of note are the Junchoon which is heavily inspired by the L-Gaim in story and motif (although Junchoon is considerably more powerful), Vashtu the Dark Knight which is inspired by L-Gaim's own Bat-Shu, Machine Messiah Auge has inspiration from Original Auge, and the Knight of Gold, Cloudshatze, and Wundershatze space fighter are all inspired by the L-Gaim Mk-II.
- Many locations are inspired by L-Gaim. A location known as the Float Temple is an extravagant redesign of Sveto, and the Pentagona star system shares many similarities to Five Star Stories's Joker system.
- One particular story arc of the Five Star Stories greatly resembles a revamped retelling of L-Gaim's story. A story arc which takes place in the year 4100, almost 1200 years after the manga's beginning. The rebellion, as well as the overtones of a copy emperor being used in place of the real one were all present. The descendant of Colus, Colus VI who reawakens the legendary white Mortarr Hedd Junchoon and its fatima Clotho, is extremely similar to Daba. There are many parallels to the series in this famous story arc although there are notable differences too, such as the real Amaterasu (the emperor) not being nearly as malevolent as the real Posidal. Although Amaterasu, in the guise of Ladioss Sopp, does help the rebellion in a very similar fashion which Amandera helps the rebellion in L-Gaim, but for more benevolent reasons than Amandara. The final duel between the L-Gaim Mk-II and the Original Auge very closely parallels the final battle between Final Junchoon and Patrishique Mirage(An impostor mech to Amaterasu's personal machine, the Knight of Gold.) in Five Star Stories as well.
- One often overlooked contribution L-Gaim made to Japanese animation, mecha in particular, is that it was the first anime to depict giant robots that appeared to have loose fitting armor fit over an inner skeleton. Although it sounds like a very minor contribution, it has actually influenced a great deal of future mechanical designs including future Gundam series.
- In Combat Mecha Xabungle, there is a female character named Gavlet Gablae.
- Thankfully for the cast, this series was spared Tomino's "Kill 'em all" style. Tomino is infamous for having many of his series end with a great deal of the main cast dying in the final episode(s). The majority of L-Gaim's cast, except for the villiains, survive.
|Daba Myroad||Hirokazu Hiramatsu||Fanneria Amu||Chieko Honda|
|Mirao Kyao||Houchu Ohtsuka||Gaw Ha Leccee||Maria Kawamura|
|Lillith Fuau||Maria Kawamura||Oldna Poseidal||Saeko Shimazu|
|Amandara Kamandara||Ryuichi Horibe||Full Flat||Mika Doi|
|Gavlet Gablae||Sho Hayami||Quwasan Olibee||Yumi Kinoshita|
|Giwaza Lowau||Tomomichi Nishimura||Nei Mo Han||Harumi Takeuchi|
- "L-Gaim -Time for L-GAIM-" (エルガイム-Time for L-GAIM- Erugaimu -Time for L-GAIM-?) by MIO
- "No Reply from the Wind" (風のノー・リプライ Kaze no Nō Ripurai?) by Mami Ayukawa
- Insert song
- "Wounded Jealousy" (傷ついたジェラシー Kizutsuita Jerashī?) by Mami Ayukawa
- "Starlight Shower" (スターライトシャワー Sutāraito Shawā?) by MIO