Overman King Gainer

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Overman King Gainer (in Japanese, OVERMAN[オーバーマン]キングゲイナー) is a 2002 anime series released by Sunrise Studio, created by the legendary Director Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of Mobile Suit Gundam, and with mecha/character designs by Akira Yasuda, better known as legendary Capcom illustrator Akiman. The series can be considered a return to his 1982 Xabungle in which comedy is much more emphasized than his normal dramas (Translation: Don't worry, Tomino doesn't kill everyone...or anyone, for that matter.)

After an environmental cataclysm, the humans went off to live in giant dome cities called Domeopoli to give the Earth time to recover. The domes are governed by London IMA, and are supplied by private firms like the Siberian Railroad company. Although the domes are nice enough places to live, people want to return to the homes of their ancestors - they believe the earth has healed enough to support habitation once more, and thus set out on massive pilgrimages known as Exodus. London IMA and the private firms attempt to stop them, refusing to lose their massive customer base.

A large population of one dome wants to go to Yapan, and so in preparation hire Exodus specialist Gain Bijou. As part of his plan, Gain gets captured, meeting expert gamer "King Gainer" Sanga (the latter being arrested during class due to the two having similar names). Together they escape prison and find the Overman that Gainer names after his gamer title. They also kidnap Ana Medaiyu, the daughter of the dome's leader, Duke Medaiyu. Ana turns out to be a willing hostage, going with them to see the outside world along with her tutor Lioubov Smettana. As whole parts of the dome's city are pulled by huge Silhouette Mammoths, Gainer finds out that his friend Sara and teacher Mamado are a part of the Exodus, and he must protect them as they go to Yapan.

Sent to stop the Exodus are the members of Siberian Railroad (first lead by lovers Yassaba Jin and Adette Kistler) and later London IMA's Saint Reagan, represented by Asuham Boone. While the Siberian goons are simply doing their jobs, Asuham has a personal grudge against Gain, who left his sister heartbroken years before.

The series is also noteworthy for being made after Tomino recovered from his infamous Creator Breakdown, the result being a lighthearted series that has remarkably little death (only around a dozen people die, most of them villains) compared to his previous Kill'Em All forays.

Has nothing to do with that other sort of Overman.

Tropes used in Overman King Gainer include:
  • Ace Pilot: Gain, Gainer, and Cynthia. Sara and Adette come close, as well.
  • Adult Child: Adette, as Gainer states at one point.
    • Yasaba is a milder one. He can be competent and composed at times, but is prone to crying fits.
  • After the End: Most of humanity fled to out of the way places like Siberia and Deserts to live in domes to allow Earth to heal.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: Two types: the relatively primitive Silhouette Machines and the almost biological Overmen.
  • An Ice Person: Overfreeze grants this, and it's a plot point.
  • Angst: Attacked. It's noted that angsting over things, justified or no, is unproductive at best and running away from the issue at worst.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Subverted by Gainer, who wants nothing to do with fighting Giant Robots in real life, and Cynthia, who can't seem to tell the difference between games and reality for most of the series when she does learn the difference, it hits her hard.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Attack of the Overman-sized Overdevil-controlled Gainer!
  • Badass: Gain Bijou.
  • Base on Wheels: The city of Wulgusk is carried on a train of Silhouette Mammoths.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Asuham.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Gainer, Sara, Cynthia and Gauli, all under the Overdevil's control.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Most Overskills are called. Hughes Gauli also does it whenever he uses Ninpou.
  • The Casanova: Gain
  • Chainsaw Good: King Gainer's Chain Gun.
  • Char Clone: Cynthia--Ace Pilot, (a fast) Red Mech, her online avatar is even blonde.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The Golem's Overskill.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The King Gainer is an Overman sitting in Wulgusk's museum that was seemingly hijacked simply to assist in facilitating the Exodus. But later, it turns out that it's part of the Overdevil family of Overmen, and can utilize Overfreeze, the Overdevil's primary power.
    • The Overman arm on Gain's Gotchko also counts. At first it just seems like an in-field modification to give Gain an advantage without actually having an Overman. Turns out, it used to be attached to Brunhilda, Early Meeya's Overman, and can utilize Brunhilda's gravity and light powers, making it key in defeating the Overdevil later on.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the first episode, the audience is introduced to Cynthia Lane, Gainer's online rival and friend. It isn't until much later in the series that the audience learns that she's the Siberian Railway's ace pilot.
  • Cool Big Sis: Adette, after her Heel Face Turn.
  • Dancing Theme: "King, King, King Gainer/Metal Overman King Gainer!" (Everybody, do The Monkey with me!) Becomes a Theme Tune Cameo, complete with the dance moves, in the final episode.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Asuham and Jaboli have their moments.
    • Subverted in how completely and utterly useless and incompetent they usually are despite this, Jaboli even more so than Asuham.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Averted - the interview in manga note how Tomino originally want to has characters travel on Trans-Siberian railway. But when he realized that he must spend days on it (impossible for his tight schedule in Russia), he decide to remove this part.
  • Dirty Coward: Kashmir.

If I don't fight, I can't lose.

  • Dual-Wielding: The King Gainer starts using two Chain Guns starting in episode 24.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Overdevil.
  • Everybody Lives: Aside from backstories and a crapload of poor mooks, only two people die - both of them bad guys, both of them non-sympathetic.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: Gainer, being pressured to multi-task, fights off a horde of Overmen controlled by the Overdevil in real-life and several enemies in his video games. AT THE SAME TIME.
  • Expy: Sorta, many can consider the love triangle between Gainer, Cynthia and Sara to be a more developed form of the Jiron, Elchie, Rag triangle from Xabungle
    • In fact, the whole SERIES can be considered "Xabungle in Siberia," not that this is bad mind you.
    • Sara has red hair, pilots a grunt mech alongside the hero, and is the hero's love interest. She and Sochie Heim should get together sometime. (They did.)
  • Fan Nickname the Gainer's multiple tubes attached at the back of its head are enough for many people to call it the Dreadlock Mech. (In-universe, it's called "the Overman with hair.")
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: Gainer uses King Gainer's hand to shield Adette at least once.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Cynthia, of the "immaturity" type.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Gain takes on all comers in boxing matches during episode 4.
    • And, later, gets the living piss kicked punched out of him by Asuham.
  • Gonk: A surprising number of secondary characters. Especially Kejinan, where it's commented on in-universe.
  • The Gunslinger: Gain.
  • Heel Face Turn: Adette, Yassaba.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: And Gainer wants Sara.
    • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Sara is on the cheer team in the sports festival episode. We later see that Gainer's photo of Sara is of her in that squad.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Asuham can best be described as in-between Zechs Merquise and Gym Ghingnham.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge: King Gainer vs. Blackmail in episode 5
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: One of King Gainer's abilities. Y'know it's Chainsaw-Sword Gun? It can fit in King Gainer's pocket, beside its ammo and pistol-propelled grenades. Must be seen to be believed.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Gainer and Cynthia learned how to pilot by playing video games, and both improve by playing them
    • Only Gainer is a Last Starfighter style videogame jockey turned ace pilot. Cynthia has been trained and experienced real combat from childhood. Likewise, Gainer's progress and skill have a lot more to do with the series' completely unexplained mystic abilities (Oversense) and the fact that he pilots what is arguably the most versatile and powerful Overman on the planet.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Gain. Justified in that he's a trained sniper with a lot of experience under his belt.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Hughes Gauli is a ninja in a futuristic mecha series set in Siberia
    • The model-only Overman XAN, which appeared in the SRW Z Special Disc, is essentially a Black-colored Ninja version of King Gainer.
  • Jerkass: Kejinan of the Terrible Trio.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Adette, easily. In the first episode after her Heel Face Turn, she steals her students' food ... then replaces it.
  • Karma Houdini: Asuham gets away with relatively little for all the crap he's pulled.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Asuham. The guy makes Lelouch Lamperouge look like an Aloof Big Brother!
    • Also deconstructed in that Asuham's obsession is the cause of much distress and even danger for everybody around him.
  • Large Ham: AsuHAM Boone
  • Latex Space Suit: Most notably Adette's suit
  • Master of the Mixed Message (Sara Kodama, we're looking at you!)
  • May-December Romance: Mamahd and Liubov
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: "Overcoats", which grant Overskills to their wearer
  • Manipulative Bastard: Kashmir, Asuham to an extent.
  • Meganekko: Liubov on the good guy's side, Jaboli on the bad guys' side.
  • Motive Decay: Asuham's tactics increase in harshness, eventually deciding to freeze the entire world - all because Gain had a one-night stand with his sister.
    • Asuham's whole "for my sister's honor" thing is very obviously an excuse to cover for his crippling inferiority complex and jealousy of Gain's skills, freedom, etc. This is hammered home when his sister shows up at the end and reveals to the audience that she got over Gain ages ago. Finding out how useless he is in the grand scheme of things, and how pathetic affairs of the world have gotten (as well as the general loopiness of the series and atmosphere) kinda has him go more and more off the deep-end as the series progresses, from a somewhat suave Char-esque expy to a raving lunatic and omnicidal, Freudian-Excuse driven maniac.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Adette, when she's shown in her skin-tight uniform.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Cynthia's freakout when she finds out that This Is Reality and that smacking around King Gainer causes Gainer himself to actually get hurt.
    • Reinforced in the next episode, when she realizes why her pilot-school classmates stopped showing up for class.
  • Oh God, Did He Just Hear That?: Kashmir's Overman Planeta's Overskill. Gainer makes it backfire by simply telling him about what's on his mind most of all: Sara. At length. The entire Exodus gets to hear it.
This gets played for greater laughs in Super Robot Wars Z, where Gainer is joined by Shinn Asuka (declaring his desire to protect peace and NOT his love of Lunamaria, to the latter's disappointment), Garrod Ran (declaring his love for Tiffa), Kei Katsuragi (declaring his love for ALL the female characters up to that point), Jiron Amos (declaring his love for...his favorite food, lizard stew), and the chosen protagonist (either Rand or Setsuko). And it works!
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catchphrase: "Overheat!" Doubles as Foreshadowing.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Gainer and Cynthia. In the manga, Gainer and Sara are this as well. For now.
  • The Power of Love: (How Adette breaks Gauli free from his brainwashing, although this skirts into Strangled by the Red String. Later cruelly subverted when Sara does the exact same thing with Gainer and fails to snap him out of Overfreeze, illustrating how their relationship had been damaged towards the end of the series. Your Mileage May Vary applies.
    • It's not really the 'power of love' in Adette and Gauli's case, such as 'the power of a really hot chick kissing and coming on to you'. The power of lust, let's call it. She seems to switch her somewhat shallow and obsessive crushes like a teenage girl...
  • Punch Clock Villain: Many of the Siberian Railroad goons are just doing it for the paychecks; in particular Kajenin and Enge, who are obsessed with their rank and quest for a higher salary.
  • Real Robot: Silhouette Engines
  • Rebellious Princess: Ana Medaiyu
  • Shapeshifting: The primary gimmick of the "Dominator" Overman.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ana, for Gainer and Sara. Possibly Cynthia as well.
  • Smug Snake: Kashmir, which makes his end by Gain's signature "Black Southern Cross" very satisfying.
  • Sobriquet: Gain's nickname of the "Black Southern Cross", Gainer and Cynthia's online titles ("King" and "Queen", respectively).
  • Super Robot: Overmen and the Overdevil.
  • Super Robot Wars: Z/Z2 and K). Also Another Century's Episode 3, R, and Portable[context?]
  • Terrible Trio: Jaboli, Kajenin and Enge, with Jaboli in charge and Kajenin and Enge as Those Two Bad Guys.
  • Time Stands Still: Rushrod's Overskill.
  • Weak but Skilled: Gain doesn't have an Overman for most of the series as he uses the practically Joke Character Gachiko for most of the series. However, his skills turn it into a Lethal Joke Character.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Cynthia wants to repay her adoptive parent, President Kids Munt, for having taken her in.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Humongous Mecha doing the Monkey, which gets transferred to SRW Z.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Leader Gauli gets called out by Gainer and Sara, and later punched by Gain, when it turns out he's the one who murdered Gainer's parents.
    • This is kind of extended to the entire leadership of the Yapan's Ceiling Exodus, specifically the Five Wise Men, a few times over the course of the series, and definitely at the end, by protagonists NOT a part of the upper echelons (Gainer, Gain, Ana, etc.). Even though they're relatively affable, and not all that corrupt, it's pointed ut that they can be manipulative bastards, who are generally pretty cowardly, and don't actually contribute all that much in terms of leadership, accomplishment, or effort to the Exodus and the community other than acting as figureheads (similar to the utterly useless, ditzy, current Meeya, who's basically a glorified pop-idol rather than a key religious figure) and managing mundane bureaucratic matters.
    • The Overdevil also pulls one of these on many of the main cast members whilst possessing/assimilating Gainer in the last episodes, pointing out many of their flaws, "sins", and "crimes" (some accurate, some made up to act as psychological attacks) using their friend's face to weaken their resolve and play up their guilt.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Gainer disguises himself as a girl when keeping tabs on Gain while the latter competes in a boxing tournament to make extra money for the Exodus Movement. He's actually good at it - only Jaboli sees through the disguise - and is somewhat pretty. What?
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Well, Gain and Gainer meet in a cell. Gain's there because of the plan he's running; Gainer's there because his name sounds like Gain's.
  • Younger Than They Look: per Word of God, Yassaba is only 32. Would you believe it by looking at him?