Hello, it’s ChrisX and welcome to another part of SRW Season.
Before, I talked about the strength and weakness of normal Super Robot Wars and Original Generations Super Robot Wars. I also mentioned that each Super Robot Wars games will have original characters, a lot of them would get included into the Original Generation games. These are what would be called the Banpresto Originals.
They may not have the extensive history like other licensed show heroes, but these characters tend to be really quirky and likable on their own. These are mostly helped with their own design, personality, the mech they use and a lot of times, their own music. I’ve grown to love a lot of these characters, that a lot of times they become my lynchpin of playing even the normal Super Robot Wars games, and when it comes to those who has gotten into Original Generation games… boy did I have a lot of difficulties on choosing who to pick!
And so that’s why I will now count down the 10 Banpresto Originals that I liked the most. I don’t think the usual rule applies, because this is just within one video game series. So let’s just get straight into the list itself. This is ChrisX’s Top 10 Banpresto Original Characters within Super Robot Wars!
In Super Robot Wars, units are separated into two types: Super Robots and Real Robots. Supers are the robots that are bigger, more powerful and durable, but rather slow and inaccurate, like Mazinger, Getter, GaoGaiGar, Gunbuster, etc. Reals are the smaller units that are swifter and more accurate, but has less firepower and more fragile, like Gundam, Macross, Code Geass, etc.
Me, I’m more of a Super person because I think that one of the big draws of Super Robots are over the top destructive attacks, and I love them a lot for it. Most of the time, the licensed anime Real Robots do not catch my eye a lot, unless they’re from certain Gundam series. Original Characters are another story however…
Well, for the most part I still like Original Supers better.
But I just can’t say no to Setsuko Ohara.
Setsuko is one of the protagonists of Super Robot Wars Z. Her looks might be a bit too simple and basic, but it is her character that shines through. As opposed to other Super Robot Wars series protagonists, Setsuko is… less than optimistic (and believe me, it is a fricking understatement). At first, she’s a timid junior pilot who’s bullied with her peers, but her superior and friend, Denzel Hammer and Toby Watson, continued to protect her. But overall, Setsuko is developing her own will to fight for good…
Well, that line of thought goes through an extremely rocky road when there’s this edgy guy that looks like a vampire named Asakim Dowin that cold-bloodedly killed Denzel in front of her, and then killed Toby and does something horrific to Setsuko and makes sure that anything that could go wrong WILL go wrong for Setsuko to make sure she’s in constant sorrow and despair to awaken the ‘Mac Guffin’ inside her: The Sphere of Sorrowful Maiden.
In other words, Setsuko is a constantly bullied girl in a cosmic scale that just makes you want to hug her. This is a deviation from the more optimistic stories in Super Robot Wars, but for me… it works. Regardless of her misery, if there’s one thing that Setsuko resolves, it’s that she will continue to fight to pave a way for a brighter future for her friends. Sure, she absolutely hates Asakim for constantly giving her misery, but that’s kind of like secondary issue.
And it is also for this that I still stuck on her Real Robot, Virgola Glory S, in all times. If it also helps, the ultimate attack of that machine is one of the most awesome a Real Robot can get: A hugeass beam that only Magical Girls with super huge firepower and getting the moniker White Devil could fire.
She’s an extremely tragic character but always found the strength to keep moving forward despite everything that befell on her. Setsuko might not appear in the current timeline of Original Generation games as the producers stated, but I cannot wait to see my #10 Banpresto Original to appear alongside other Original Generation characters in the future…
What? Continuity reboot is a thing!
Everything must have a beginning. When I first started Super Robot Wars Original Generation for GBA, I was given the choice between two protagonists. One of them is the psychic power attuned gamer Ryusei Date, and the other one is a pro Ace Pilot with exceptional luck… Kyosuke Nanbu.
Debuting in Super Robot Wars Compact 2, which later got remade to Impact, Kyosuke is the kind of ‘less talk, more action’ type character, which made him ideal for a commander/captain/leader of squadron. To balance things out, he’s accompanied with his extremely flirty and outgoing partner/girlfriend Excellen Browning and they make a great team together, covering at each other’s flaws.
Kyosuke’s impressiveness comes from his ability to keep his cool most of the time. That’s not to say he has moments of weaknesses, which could spell disastrous if left unchecked, but also for the fact that this is the guy with legendary poker face. He looks stoic all the time and yet you can’t guess when he was actually pissed off. Makes him ideal for gambling too, something that he tends to make references of and make it part of his life. Everything that comes to him are big gambles and Kyosuke is always set on the mindset of ‘play to win’.
He’s also that skilled that he could take a scrap iron, outdated machine like the Alt Eisen, his signature machine and make it a deadly force. It’s a really bulky Real Robot that was too slow and kind of work like Super Robots, but Kyosuke made it work anyway. Add in more bulks and firepower with its upgrade, Alt Eisen Riese, and he still makes it work. There’s something really satisfying whenever you put some schmuck into its Revolving Stake or unloading the majority of his Avalanche Claymore to his target.
Kyosuke was REALLY popular that Bandai Namco/Banpresto decided to make characters based on him. Two of them, in fact: Both Reiji Arisu from Namco X Capcom (and later Project X Zone) and Haken Browning for the Endless Frontier subseries. But to me, nothing beats the original, the one that stays at #9 spot: Kyosuke Nanbu.
In a previous entry, I mentioned about this ‘edgy guy that looks like a vampire’, Asakim Dowin that appeared in Super Robot Wars Z. He looks like super bonafide evil, right? Well…
What if I say that he was based on someone a lot more moral and has been around since the older days of Banpresto? Say hello to one of the earlier Banpresto Originals to be created, Masaki Andoh.
Masaki is the headlining star of one of Banpresto’s own subseries (that now has ended), the Masou Kishin, the Lord of Elementals. Personality-wise, if you think of archetypical Super Robot pilots, Masaki got all that. He’s a cocky and brash dude with a sense of justice and compassion to carry the day. At first, he did think that the battles he fought at La Gias were simple good vs evil struggle, but it was proven wrong quick enough and through trials and tribulations, he matured to be someone responsible enough to even defy some established rules in order to stop evil.
A trait of his that’s also notable is his lack of sense of direction. Tell him to go to a certain location, and he’ll take longer time to reach that… because his instincts says so. Heck, he might even cross several dimensions first because of it. It’s just that bad. It’s a cliche anime trope, but what’s a Banpresto Original character without cliche stuffs? It makes for a more endearing stuff anyway. And along the way, he’ll also have to tend with two talking cat familiars, Kuro and Shiro, who likes to snark on his occasional hotheaded idiocy, but they still trust each other.
On the other hand, ‘trust’ is one of the things that Masaki would hesitate to use on his rival, the enigmatic, suave and intelligent Shu Shirakawa. Mentioning the extent of their rivalry would take long, but… let’s just say that Shu pissed Masaki off in more ways than one. Like, killing his respected adoptive father… Okay, I’ll stop there.
Since the title of his subseries includes ‘Lord of Elementals’, he’s rarely ever separated from his trademark machine, Cybuster the Elemental Lord of Wind. Sure, the machine does not control tornado whatsoever (that’s why Masaki missed out the Wind Masters list before), but it moved pretty fast and sometimes burns the air around it, so I guess the wind element is there. There’s also a little tidbits that apparently it has access to a certain parts of the world known as ‘Akashic Records’, which grants him power to erase things from existence. So aside of the speed of razor wind, Masaki and Cybuster gets access to that too. Neat.
Bottom line, if you happen to like archetypical Super Robot pilots of the 70’s to 80’s, Masaki serves as a good throwback. He’s almost likely to appear to represent the Masou Kishin storyline if it’s represented somewhere else. And what do you know, the throwback works for me, he’s a worthy hero that kept developing. While I won’t make too much comparison with how Asakim turn out, I’d say they exist and are also interesting in their own way, but not in a way that affects how I view Masaki.
In the end, though, I like the original more, so Masaki got the spot at #8.
If you’re a Super Robot fan that happened to come across and play Super Robot Wars D, prepare to suffer. That game’s damage calculation used some sort of generalization that took away one of the best things of Super Robots: Being able to shrug off damage like no tomorrow. As such, as far as D was concerned, I mostly just concentrated on the Originals…
Which by the way, I still used Super Robots. But they return in 2nd Original Generation defaulting on the Real Robots, but they still gave me the option to unlock the Super Robot, which was broken as hell because this time it can actually TANK.
So by this, I will have to admit that I REALLY had trouble picking who’s going to be my favorite between the D originals. I ran through D with the male protagonist, Joshua Radcliffe, and he’s the one at the main helm for the aforementioned broken Super Robot, Forte Gigas. But in the end, I settled for his sister, Cliana Rimskaya. AKA Rim.
Don’t get me wrong, I like both siblings, but I just feel that Rim has a lot more intrigue going with her. And by that I don’t mean what’s hanging between her neck and stomach. Well, it got a little complicated, but Rim presents herself as a girl with some sort of split personality complex, she’s sweet and outgoing outside of her cockpit, but when she got into the cockpit, she suddenly got a lot more confident and ready to kick some butt but otherwise still retained her morality and morals.
As it turns out, she’s actually two souls inhabiting one body, one is the original Rim, called ‘Chris’ and the other one is another being called ‘Liana’, so they combined their names into ‘Cliana’.
Now in other kind of series, two personalities hanging into one body would result both of them bickering on who gets to be in control. But it’s sweet enough that in Rim’s case, both of her personalities got along well and support each other. And in case they end up getting separated…
Well that would be a spoiler case, but I can assure you that none of them would get pleased.
It is also worth stating that canon stated that Rim continued to use her Real Robot, from Blanche Neige to its upgrade Dea Blanche Neige. Put it simply, it’s a walking weaponry machine and it was bulky enough to somehow match a Super Robot, but it still moved somewhat pretty fast. Unloading every of the weapons of this baby is a sweet treat, and… while I’ll still dock her to the subpilot seat of Forte Gigas (I’ll talk about it later. Maybe)… well, still a pretty sweet treat that makes me like her.
So in between the intrigue within her character and how she’s been doing good with her mech, Rim takes her spot as my #7 Banpresto Originals (Don’t worry, Josh. I’ll spare a place for you, somehow.)
This is the best place a Real Robot pilot can attain in my place. So… let’s make the best of it.
Super Robot Wars Judgment. This game has been fan-translated, and it’s one of the best GBA SRW that you can try and play. Aside of engaging story that surprisingly sticks with most canons overall, the quality of life given was good for its age.
It also contains one of the most compelling and angriest pilot lady you’ve ever heard. She’s the Angry Real Robot Pilot… wait, what no. I mean, she’s one of the originals within the game, Calvina Coulange.
Put it simply, on the first time you see her, you might not get a very good impression on her. She’s… an edgy, angry bitch that tends to lash out on anyone that slights her, but once you learn how she ended up that way… well, you could understand. Calvina used to be a normal ace pilot under the moniker White Lynx, and after retiring to become an pilot instructor in Ashuari Kreutzer facility she seemed set to lead a normal, stable life, with a boyfriend in tow.
Until one day, the facility got demolished, everyone there killed and somehow she became the sole survivor of the incident. She became scarred for life and became a cold, distant woman that only took missions because she was paid for it, not due to her own passion. She did recover her passion in a horrific way: When it was revealed that her boyfriend, now under the name ‘Al-Van Lunks’, along with some of her old friends were revealed to be a member of the alien race Fury and responsible of killing everyone in the facility.
And she became obsessed with taking bloody vengeance to cope on the pain of being betrayed, but eventually she managed to piece things together and managed to not let her vengeance overly consume her, eventually discovering that Al-Van was actually worthy of forgiveness and steered her own path of life into something more altruistic and rekindling her relationship.
The Original Generation series modified the sequence of events, but the premise was still the same (except she gets to showcase her rage even more). But still, that’s a roller coaster of development, both negative and positive, which is how Calvina was a really enjoyable character to me even if there were times she acted like an unreasonable bitch. In the end, she’s just someone who’s been hurt with the transpiring event and reacted naturally.
Calvina was defaulted with the Real Robot Bellzelute, and it carried over to the Original Generation. Unlike Rim, though… I wouldn’t have it any other way for Calvina. Bellzelute just feels like it was designed for a war veteran like her. A slick mecha armed with a beam gun and rifle which can create crystalized objects and sometimes in the OG-verse, make a laser blade out of the rifle? Sweet! The upgrade did give it some bulk, but it wasn’t as over as some other Real Robot, and in exchange, we also get a lot of options for laser beam spams.
Without a doubt, this is probably one of my greatest favorites in terms of Real Robot, and Calvina’s character also makes her the overall #6 of my Banpresto Originals. The White Lynx can pounce on me anytime.
Ask me about an old school anime that I still love even today and my answer will always be Fist of the North Star. It’s a story about a martial arts master Kenshiro who traveled in a post-apocalyptic wasteland trying to rescue the love of his life while making the bodies of a lot of evildoers who prey on the weak literally explode for being such bullies to the weak, all accompanied with battle cries that take inspiration from the legendary Bruce Lee himself.
Awesome, right? Even to this day since it’s debut in the eighties the series still stayed strong.
But…. but what if I had an idea if Kenshiro is turned into a giant robot with moves based on his school of martial arts Hokuto Shinken? I mean, sure, there has been cases of motion control robots in anime before, but to have one based on Hokuto Shinken?
Banpresto got you covered with Super Robot Wars Compact 3’s Folka Albark.
Granted, Super Robot Wars Compact 3 is a rather oddball when it comes to rosters, where there were more fantasy/isekai style anime than Dunbine. And the series list… is just kind of hit or miss to me. So, just like SRW D, it was up to the originals to carry the day.
Due to Wonderswan Color’s hardware limitation, we do not see much on the full extent of how Folka and his Shura God Ialdabaoth (not that one) acts, aside of some attack names being on display… but come OG Gaiden where Folka debuted, there came the rapid fire punches and kicks, other references to Fist of the North Star in a subtle ways and even more glorious “Write the attack names on-screen”.
Welp, I am shock. … Wait a minute.
As a character, though, Folka’s servicable. His tale was pretty much the typical the token member of the fight-happy race Shura that started questioning whether his race’s lifestyle was actually healthy in the long run (answer: It doesn’t) and after thinking about it, he defected and then tried to find the answer within the heroes’ group. He does have his moment of weirdness if he meets a petite, normally harmless girl on foot but has the title ‘Princess’… and due to how he’s raised, he thought she should be an uber badass that could pound him flat. But overall, his growth was a little typical, and he mostly spoke more with his fists and badass fights.
… Hm, now that I think of it, kind of similar with Kenshiro himself, yes? Maybe that’s why I like him a lot.
Again, as stated, his Ialdabaoth are mostly about punching and kicking a lot of times with a side dish of ki attacks. They probably won’t destroy a mecha’s inner sides, but with high force like that, almost all mechs could get wrecked with mere force alone. And that was before eventually Folka unlocked its upgrade out of his resolve to do the right thing depending on the circumstances, the apotheosized Ialdabaoth is so badass, a glare will be enough to freeze an enemy in place and if you think the original form was already pummeling the hell out of its opponent… You haven’t seen anything yet.
So basically, Folka is pretty much your only way to use that kind of martial arts shenanigans within hot blooded Super Robot shenanigans. Both are awesome, and thanks for combining those two, Folka, you get the #5 spot of my favorite Banpresto Originals for it.
And because I like you guys, my (mostly) silent viewers, here’s a little bonus for y’all made by yours truly.
I guess when the topic was about the Masou Kishin or the Elemental Lords, most people would think that it’s all about Masaki Andoh and the Cybuster, right? Why of course, he’s the poster boy, he’s the one that represented the series overall. But is he my absolute fave? He did place in my #8 spot after all.
The answer is… not really.
Because when it comes to the Masou Kishin subseries, there is one character that stands at the top in my opinion. Of course, when you have something the closest to my favorite elements, Ice, you’re gonna get more bonus from me. Well, there is no Elemental Lord of Ice, but at least there is an Elemental Lord of Water, Gaddess, piloted by this Finnish lady named Tyutti Noorbuck!
… Or is it Tytti? … I’ll just stick with the former, rather than making this article ridiculous with accidental innouendos about boobs.
So anyway, as opposed to the brash Masaki, Tyutti is the archetypical big sister figure, she’s sensible, calm, a bit of a worrywart and has no sense of reasons when it comes to sweet foods. One cup of tea? For her, the modest amount of sugars would be… eight blocks. And that was just the beginning. That quirk aside, I just happen to like how she’s the overall elegant lady who’s also doing the majority of diplomacy for the team. For her familiars, she got two talking wolves.
But of course I wouldn’t get to her a lot if it was just those traits that she possessed, right?
It might not be as bad as Setsuko before, but Tyutti really deserve a hug for what she went through. Before arriving to La Gias, her parents and brother was murdered by an unhinged murderer. When she arrived, that murderer almost got selected as the herald of Gaddess, but she managed to report him and prevent him from being selected at all. He came back waay later once her life seemed stable and already gathering friends like Masaki and someone who has a crush on her, Ricardo Silvera… who then got killed by that murderer too just to spite on her.
She didn’t let those tragedies define her, however. And… well, let’s just say overall… I’m a sucker for sensible big sisters like her, especially when she’s as combat ready as the rest of the others.
Speaking of which, out of the Elemental Lords, Gaddess is hands down my favorite. It’s basically like a water-based Valkyrie, with attacks named after things from Norse Mythology, and a spear. It’s more geared for long range combat, shooting out waters to the enemy and sometimes… ice. I like ice. But it’s no slouch in the OG series where it’s also really good in spear fighting. Ultimate attack is also a big treat, because it doesn’t get any better when Tyutti’s familiars combine into a giant water wolf that crushes the enemy or flood them or sometimes even encase them in ice.
Yep, with all that said, it’s no wonder that Tyutti is pretty much my favorite character within the Masou Kishin saga, outclassing even Masaki. She and Gaddess… can I just call it or both of them ‘Goddess’? Anyway, that would be my reasons why she’s my #4 favorite Banpresto Originals.
Well, everything has got to start somewhere. Like stated before, I was introduced to the franchise in the Original Generation games. Because of being attached to a character from there, I am able to make that character an anchor or the unit I would constantly pay attention to when I start on the actual SRW they debuted at.
The first actual SRW that I played out to the end was Super Robot Wars Advance, and the ‘anchor’ character was one of my biggest favorites in the whole franchise. This is the lady we call Lamia Loveless.
First and foremost… well… Lamia is a robot. Yeah, a robot riding another robot. After awhile, you just get used to over the top concepts like that… Okay, to be more exact, she’s an android. As such, when she was first introduced, she was all business, cold and to the point. Oh and she was also a spy from the Shadow Mirror forces that wanted to bring a world of eternal war which, by the claims of its leader Vindel Mauser, would cause mankind to continue to improve.
And of course, as a spy and an android, all Lamia needed to do was just to fulfill her spying mission, right?
WRONG. Humanity ensues within Lamia’s programming and she defied what she was told to do, asserting her own humanity that she was her own person, thanks to hanging around with the more humane members of the good guys. And so, Lamia gets to live out the rest of her existence, knowing how to feel like a human despite not being one.
And a glitchy speech programming that occasionally makes her flip out and act like a hyperactive girl or just anything that doesn’t fit her ‘calm and cool’ persona. But eh, it’s the character development that counts. Sure, it seemed a bit cliche, but it was done wonderfully and makes you really feel attached to Lamia, especially when it comes to asserting one self and what it means to be a human and surpassing the expectations that your creator gave you.
And gets stressed to hell and back when something horrible happened to her in OG Gaiden. Oh yeah, that was such a traumatic era for me… but I’ll stop. She pulled through, that’s all that matters.
And what enhances this the most, aside of her overall looks, is her default mecha, the Super Robot Angelg. It was truly an elegant, beautiful design of an angelic Super Robot that combines a graceful style with a beam, rapier-like saber and a bow that can shoot out energy arrows or an arrow that turns into a flaming phoenix. Really, what more can I ask for a girl that pilots a kick-ass robot!?
Yeah, sure, bench this beauty for Vysaga constantly, willya, Bandai Namco!? Not that it’s a bad mech, but this one fits Lamia best.
Because of all these, Lamia really played a part of why I got really into the Super Robot Wars franchise in the first place. From the robot she used, her overall design, her story and character development… why do you think she’s just at #3 of my Top Banpresto Originals?
Well, you’ll find out soon.
True, Lamia was really one of my big favorites. But as I played her original game, there is one character that I never expected to become a runaway favorite and reigns right up there as one of my big favorites.
I am of course talking about the male main character of Super Robot Wars Advance, Lamia’s rival, Axel Almer.
So, tell you the truth, Axel didn’t really make a good impression in the beginning. While it’s true that first impression is very important, to me, that doesn’t paint the whole picture. My first exposure of Axel was in the GBA version of Original Generation 2 as one of the chief commanders of Shadow Mirror. Aside of that, he was… ehem… a racist douchebag that belittles artificial humans and could be really petty in his rivalry and grudge with Kyosuke. Like, keeping a torn piece of Kyosuke’s Alt Eisen as a trophy as a proof that he beat a Kyosuke (because in his home universe, he was constantly beaten by Kyosuke’s alternate self who was thought to be identical, but more to that latter)?
But hey, at least his mecha, Soulgain, was super neat. It’s basically a blue giant robot that is controlled by motion control, and capable of rocket punches, rapid fire punches, throwing a kamehameha and overall capable of extreme beatdown, all of which depends on one’s skill in martial arts or just how you throw your punches? Those were seriously NEAT! I was about to say that it’s a pity that such a cool mech got handed to an asshole like Axel, until…
I played Super Robot Wars Advance. After finishing my run with Lamia, I decided to try out Axel as a protagonist… Only to see him as an amnesiac womanizer for the ladies in the heroes’ squad and being overall hilarious. And similarly to Lamia, he did develop his own conscience and eventually became heroic on his own, rejecting the Shadow Mirror philosophy and defeating Vindel. I truly enjoyed my time with Axel, but I was just ready to say that it’s a pity that this form of Axel was only available in Advance, in the OG-verse, he’ll go down in its history as an asshole, until…
They released Super Robot Wars Original Generations. The end bonus part traumatized me for other reasons, but from what I heard… they modified Axel’s personality! He’s still an antagonist, but he also slowly grew to respect the artificial humans once Lamia asserted her own independence. There’s also how that alternate Kyosuke was revealed to be a… possessed monster that was a danger to all, and his tearing of Alt-Eisen’s arm was just a check up if our Kyosuke was really the same monster, surprising him when he’s not. So basically, Axel right now ended up being a rather anti-heroic character, he’s also developing on his own and the only reason we clashed was because he just genuinely had different mindset. It didn’t save him from dying, but it changed a lot of his character. But even then, due to a traumatizing bonus section, I was just ready to say that it’s a pity that Axel couldn’t advance further from his personality fix and the future of my interest in OG series looked very bleak, until…
They finally expanded the bonus section with Original Generation Gaiden. But first, an explanation of the ‘traumatizing bonus section’. It adapted the OVA of Super Robot Wars Original Generation, where Lamia, after all those things she set as someone who had a firm grip of her own humanity, and an extremely competent pilot/fighter… was turned into a damsel in distress by a newcomer villain. She still managed to affirm her humanity and was rescued. It honestly wasn’t that bad, but in the bonus section, rather than being rescued, Lamia was shot down in the middle of rescue and considered KIA, and that was used as a cliffhanger for OG Gaiden. At the time, I thought it was such a fricking insult to her character that I got really frustrated, and they had the balls to turn it into cliffhanger. Oh yeah, if you think the incident with Litchi Faye-Ling was my first case of despairing over a video game character, you’d be wrong. This is the incident that came before. It was so bad that not even the presence of Kenshiro in Giant Robot–I mean, Folka Albark, was enough to make me smile for the future of the OG Series. I was just about ready to say that OG is dead with Lamia until…
We can now finally get back to talking about Axel.
Well, Original Generation Gaiden surprised me that turns out, with some magical sci-fi mumbo-jumbo involving a certain Einst Alchemie/Alfimi… Axel managed to cheat death. And turns out, there was a reason why Lamia had to play death. They were adapting a story part in Super Robot Wars R where Master Asia of G Gundam was revived and put into the Devil Gundam against his will, so it makes sense that they had to punch me in the gut by using Lamia like that and then brought her back as a brainwashed enemy.
So if you’ve been reading those… well you know Axel has already gotten a personality adjustment and because of that… he decided to save Lamia, succeeding and earning the heroes’ trust… and also restoring my faith in the Super Robot Wars OG series with it. The rest of the time, he’s more or less being the aloof ally of the good guys who’s perfectly willing to throw down with the bad guys when the time comes.
I know I dragged too long on this, but it has to be said on why Axel could surpass Lamia despite all signs seeming to say that she would be ‘best girl’. I seriously had an unforgettable roller coaster of varying feelings and opinion about Axel. From a love to hate douche to a worthy opponent to one who saved the reputation of Super Robot Wars Original Generation to me. That is on top of his kickass mecha Soulgain. But even then, I was just ready to declare Axel my #1 Banpresto Original character, until…
I realized that I just overused that ‘just about ready to X until…’ running gag, not going to use that anymore for the rest of this countdown and that there’s already someone who has been sitting uncontested on that throne, despite my difficult times as mentioned above, which was why Axel is the #2 Banpresto Original Characters.
You’ll be seeing that character first. But let us first have…
- Elzam von Branstein/Ratsel Feinschmeker: A really cool sniper with cool goggles that proves that Real Men Ride Each Other with, OK, not telling anymore.
- Huang Yang Long: What can I say? I like the Elemental Lords, and the next in line is the one that plays with FIRE.
- Joshua Radcliffe: Yeah. No way I’ll forget Rim’s bro.
- Amari Aquamarine: SHE’S SUCH A CUTIE PIE! And she has an interesting magical mecha.
- Selena Recital: Had a lot of potential, even if perhaps the boobs might be the first that came to mind for other people.
- Touma Kanou: Mecha Ninja Kamen Rider. Hell yeah.
Everybody likes a badass. That’s true, as long as one doesn’t get too shallow over it. The rest of these characters have been pretty badass on their own, heck it was why Super Robot Wars is one of the dream story verses, because single playable character is a fricking badass. So how does one top the badass chart up the roofs?
I might have known certified badasses from other video games… but this one is a certified top badass even in comparison with other video game characters and honestly that’s a tall feat to achieve.
Standing atop of the badass chart with sharp, rather spiky white hair, giant sword at hand… oh, were you thinking of someone like Ragna the Bloodedge? Yep, I know him, but ‘not from Super Robot Wars’ aside, I actually know someone who has been doing that before he was even conceived and has won my heart as not only the best Banpresto Originals, but also one of my favorite video game characters (I should get on the latter one day).
He is the Sword that Smites Evil, Sanger Zonvolt!
Just by looking at the guy’s fierce face should be a sign that this is a bonafide badass. It just looks like ready to whoop serious butt. But anyway, Sanger is an Earth Federation Major who is of Germanic descent, but somehow got the upbringing of an archaic Japanese Samurai that he looked like a German in name only. He uses archaic pronouns a lot of times, walks around with a katana and is a strict and stern major in the army to his men for a time while preferring to let his actions speak more than his words. Well, not that he talks very little, but he’s mostly to the point, and the majority of it when it comes to battle would be threats to the opponent that there is nothing that his blade couldn’t cut.
You ask of a steel machine? A giant planet in a size of Death Star? A godly being? Doesn’t matter! In the face of Sanger, it’s just another thing to cut down! In fact, if he could, he’ll use his mech to cut through a steel indestructible bunker meant to withstand nuclear strikes, along with a semi-evil alternate universe clone of himself like executing a Chuck Norris joke gone bad. Now that I mention it, did Chuck Norris check things under his bed to make sure Sanger wasn’t there? Maybe.
The best thing is, the sheer multitude of his badasstitude is also balanced with his immense sense of justice, and it will not be barred with normal common morality sense. If to do a greater good requires him to play the bad guy, he will (and also cleaving irredeemable bad guys from within afterwards). Yeah, apparently ‘getting drunk on power’ does not exist within Sanger’s dictionary.
All that and he’s… well, he’s not exactly very social. Not that he’s a loner, but sometimes his complete focus on battle and training may leave him in awkward situations, which overall also adds to his charm. A single sip of alcohol apparently took him down.
Sanger’s piloting style also revolve around one awesome thing: A giant-ass Sword that he called ‘Zankantou’/’Colossal Blade’. All of the mechas he rode always looked great with those, but all of it were epitomized with his final trademark mecha, the Dygenguar. It’s basically the best super robot designed after a Samurai, and that Colossal Blade took form of a dinky, normal katana can transform into a super massive blade capable for anything I mentioned above. And he’ll also name a majority of his attacks, so every attacks feel unique. You know what, just see for yourself:
Every of those “CHEEESSSTOOOOHHH!” are so goddamn satisfying.
(Oh yeah, remember that thing I said about Real Men Each Other? Well, Sanger’s the first half, Elzam/Ratsel the second half. And it is awesome.)
All these and you might think that there are some ways you could disable him. First, maybe you want to take away that blade of his? It’s not Sanger’s default style, but he’ll be fine by using Dygenguard’s default weaponry to kick ass too. Take him on foot? He’s carrying a normal katana and Dygenguard works with motion capture, so he could at least partially emulate Dygenguard’s moves on foot… or if a certain buxom princess with mystical powers were nearby, he transform his katana into a human-sized Colossal Blade to fully emulate the mecha.
There’s almost no holes in the term ‘badass’ that Sanger could not cover and he’s also a shining example that you can be all those, and still commit yourself to the force of good rather than getting drunk on it. He makes slaying bad guys really satisfying, he’s a man of honor that you can follow through his example… He’s definitely the best Banpresto Original character that Banpresto/Bandai Namco ever created.
So that’s all I have to say about my favorite Banpresto Original characters. If it also helps, each of them also possess kickass themes, but that’s to be discussed in another time. Maybe. So, who is your favorite Banpresto Original characters? Don’t see them here? Let me know via the comments section.
The Super Robot Wars Season isn’t over yet. So stay tuned for more. Until then, this is ChrisX, signing out.