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Looking for the name of an anime where the robot/mecha was also an airplane.

The pilot (white uniform) would typically fly the plane to fight the bad guys then there would be a scene where the plane attaches to the robot body "backwards" and then "turns around" to be become the robot head. Specifically the robot head does not come up through the body. The plane is the robot head and attaches "backwards" and "turns" to complete the transformation.

Vaguely, I remember there was an episode where the pilot was ill and couldn't get to the plane.

There may have been another episode where the "baddy" used a magnet to reverse the polarity (negative negative) between the robot body and plane/head and they couldn't attach. I have a few vivid memories of the above episode above and there was a scene where it does a dummies explanation with a picture of a magnet with two negative (-) (-) signs to explain why the head and body couldn't attach.

I think it was based on Earth. From memory, it was a relatively light hearted anime - not a gritty space opera. For some reason, I'm thinking more Dr Slump than Gundam/Evangelion - though that's a feeling more than a memory.

The pilot was the main hero — single pilot, single robot/mecha. Other than the plane/attaching head, the robot/mecha doesn't combine with any other robots. I have a vague memory of the pilot also being a costumed hero and being able to jump really high.

It would have been an anime in the mid '80s – possibly early '90s.

It's not:

  • Great Mazinger
  • Robotech: Macross
  • Tranzor Z
  • Tōshō Daimos
  • Voltes V
  • Brave
  • Voltron
  • Danguard Ace
  • Xabungle
  • Video Warrior Laserion
  • Getter Robo
  • Six God Combination God Mars
  • Zambot3
  • Combattler V
  • Dairugger XV
  • Vehicle Voltron

Edit 22/12/2021: guys, I'm updating the list above as people give suggestions and sharing titles which have been ruled out. Note not all of the titles above fit the description (ie. some suggestions have multiple pilots and robots that merge together), but for completeness, I'm adding them to the above ruled out list. Thanks everyone, I'm continuing to look at suggestions.

It may be the same cartoon as the one asked about in this question.

I've been going through youtube Mecha opening compilations for the last few hours but haven't been able to spot it yet.

EDIT UPDATE 13/03/2023 After skimming 100s of random Mecha/Sentai animes for the last 18months, I've finally found it: its Gyakuten! Ippatsuman (Sixth entry to the Time Bokan). Its the only anime that I've come across with a plane that combines with the robot body and then turns 180 back to front to activate the mecha/

Heres a link to a youtube clip of the plane/robot and transformation for anyone interested:

Also the Episode I was thinking of was Episode 23 - see clip:(https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm18044579) The bad guy creates a robot with a magnet gun which fires a negative polarity and stops the Plane Head from connecting with the Body.

Interesting things about the anime is that its a bit of comedy series. The main character has a special move where he throws a baseball. The Body of the Mecha transforms from a "Dinosaur Car".

[Gyakuten! Ippatsuman

King Gyakuten

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  • There are two Voltrons. Are you saying it is neither Voltron? Dec 21, 2021 at 22:51
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    Hi Todd, No, its neither Voltrons - not Lion Force Voltron/ Beast King GoLion nor Vehicle Team Voltron/Armored Fleet Dairugger XV. From memory there's no "team up" - its a single main protagonist who is also the single pilot of the Plane and Robot.
    – Will
    Dec 21, 2021 at 23:08
  • Is it on this list of 40 Mecha protagonists? Any other details you can provide can only help.
    – Laurel
    Dec 22, 2021 at 18:47
  • Hi Laurel, thanks. I can't remember what the protagonist looks like - except he was male and in a white suit with maybe some red. Per the list/article, almost all of the protagonists of the time look similar with white/red suit, black hair, slim looking..... Kazuya Ryūzaki from Tōshō Daimos and Akira Kogane from Beast King Golion strikes a cord - but I had a look at both of those animes just now and its not either of them.
    – Will
    Dec 22, 2021 at 19:52
  • Could it be Chōgattai Majutsu Robo Ginguiser? There is a jet (fighter aircraft) that attaches to the Ginguiser mecha but it is not particularly the head part. You can see the combining mecha here: *
    – ermanen
    Dec 23, 2021 at 7:26

6 Answers 6

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Video Warrior Laserion (1984-1985)?

According to the Manga Wiki:

Takashi sits down behind a computer which has a program written in advanced BASIC. He then merges with virtual reality to become a pilot, controlling a hexagon-shaped chrome plane. The plane is the Laserion robot's head detached. In the virtual reality, the plane combines with the robot body to form the video warrior Laserion, which carries a bazooka beam, energy laser sword, laser gun and missiles.

The intro for the anime can be found on Twitter, showing the transformation and the pilot's white VR uniform.

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  • 1
    Thanks Laurel, I just had a look at some Video Warrior Laserion episodes. Unfortunately its not the anime I'm thinking of. The one I'm thinking of doesn't have the "virtual" transformation and the Plane/Head would "attach" in the real world - not "virtual". Though, Laserion looks fun! and is the only other anime I've seen with a detachable Robot Head Plane!! thanks!
    – Will
    Dec 22, 2021 at 10:31
3

Getter Robo is also a Super Giant Robo anime where the pilot flies a plane as the giant robot’s head.

Common elements:

  • anime
  • the robot/mecha is also an airplane
  • The pilot (white uniform) would typically fly the plane to fight the bad guys then there would be a scene where the plane attaches to the robot body; the plane is the robot’s head.
  • it’s not (yet) been ruled out

Contradictory elements which minimize possibility of match: three robots, each with their own pilot unite to form the giant robot.

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  • 2
    thanks, I've had a look at Getter Robo. Its not Getter Robo. Definitely not three robots that merge together. From memory, its just one robot with a detachable head/plane.
    – Will
    Dec 22, 2021 at 18:29
3

Zambot3 is also a Super Giant Robo anime where the pilot flies a plane as the giant robot’s head.

Common elements:

  • anime
  • the robot/mecha is also an airplane
  • The pilot (portions of uniform are white) would typically fly the plane then there would be a scene where the plane attaches to the robot body; the plane is the robot’s head.
  • it’s not (yet) been ruled out
  • single-pilot (besides his dog)

Contradictory elements which minimize possibility of match: three robots (but just the single plane-headed pilot, besides his dog)

As practical matter, it seems like any monsters/attackers would long destroy their target and make it back home by the time Zambot3 finally transforms.

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  • 2
    Thanks. Just had a look. Its not Zambot either. I vividly remember the plane landing on the robot body with the back towards you and then turning around to become the head. It doesnt pop out from the body. Thanks.
    – Will
    Dec 22, 2021 at 18:45
2

EDIT UPDATE 13/03/2023 After skimming 100s of random Mecha/Sentai animes for the last 18months, I've finally found it: its Gyakuten! Ippatsuman (Sixth entry to the Time Bokan Series). Its the only anime that I've come across with a plane that combines with the robot body and then turns 180 back to front to activate the mecha. Its a bit of comedy series. The main character has a special move where he throws a baseball. The Body of the Mecha transforms from a "Dinosaur Car".

Heres a link to a youtube clip of the plane/robot and transformation for anyone interested:

Also the Episode I was thinking of was Episode 23 - see clip:(https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm18044579) The bad guy creates a robot with a magnet gun which fires a negative polarity and stops the Plane Head from connecting with the Body.

Gyakuten! Ippatsuman King Gyakuten

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  • 1
    Don't forget to mark your answer as accepted, which you can do by clicking on the check mark beneath the voting buttons. Mar 13, 2023 at 21:30
  • Hi @LogicDictates, thanks for reminding me.
    – Will
    Mar 14, 2023 at 20:47
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Mazinger Z (1972) (Not to be confused with Great Mazinger 1974) enter image description here

UFO Robo Grendizer (1975) enter image description here

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  • thanks, I had a look but its not Mazinger Z or UFO Robo Grendizer. The memory I have is of the Plane/Head landing on the Mecha body back to front and then turns around to become the Head facing forward.
    – Will
    Feb 15, 2023 at 22:07
-1

It sounds like you might be talking about the "wing gundam" from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.

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  • 4
    This would be a better answer if you edit in more information on how it matches the points in the question or why you think it might be the correct answer even if one or more of those points don't match.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 10, 2022 at 19:25
  • The whole Wing Gundam transforms into a flying vehicle, not just its head.
    – lfurini
    Oct 11, 2022 at 19:52
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    It was the only flying mech that I could think of that fits the description. Its torso turns to complete the transformation, not its head. The nose of the ""plane"" is really a shield on the left arm. Oct 16, 2022 at 16:54
  • 1
    thanks but no, its not Wing Gundam. Definitely a combining mecha with the Plane turning into a Had attaching to the body. Still haven't been able to find it unfortunately after binge watching old anime series for the last 6 months!
    – Will
    Nov 13, 2022 at 16:41

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