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"For the world, for the people…!" A powerful artificial intelligence called Don Zaucker is created in the human colony on Mars. Created by Professor Haran and intended to help mankind, Zaucker turns evil, kills its creator, and transforms all the humans on the base into Meganoids, powerful cyborgs led by its aide Koros, a redheaded cyborg lady who is the only being able to communicate with Zaucker. The cyborgs can merge to become Megaborg, a huge machine entity. As Meganoid society evolves, with different grades and types of cyborg, Koros plans to spread the Meganoid Empire to Earth; but she reckons without Professor Haran's son Banjo and the mighty transforming robot Daitarn 3. Helped by the family's resourceful butler Garrison Tokida, battling babes Reika Sanjo and Beauty Tachibana, and with streetwise orphan Toppi as his sidekick, Banjo must stop the Meganoids before they take over the Earth. They have a futuristic base in a beautiful villa, and lots of high-tech toys, led by Banjo's supercar the Match Patrol, which can transform from dream ride to combat aircraft.

Reuniting many staff from Zambot 3 to replicate the spy thrillers of the 1960s (most obviously James Bond, but also Batman), this series from the future creator of Gundam advanced far beyond the staid monsters-of-the-week of its initial premise-in fact, even these were originals, featuring cameo designs from many big names. The show is also notable for its foreshadowing of the Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for being the first giant robot since Astro Ganger to have changing facial expressions. The characters have more to offer than the cookie cutter usually allows, and the show is pervaded by their humor and camaraderie. Garrison, the group's father figure, is an enigmatic and fascinating man in his own right, Toppi is less annoying than most audience identification points, and the girls are both tough and powerful allies. Reika is ex-Interpol; her partner Toda killed by the invading Meganoids. Beauty wants more from life than simply being the darling of a rich father and has taken a job as Banjo's assistant before the show starts. Her vital statistics are revealed in episode 6 as 37-23-36 inches, indicating an interest from a slightly older audience than the norm for a giant robot show; perhaps, like Dr. Who's Leela, she persuaded fathers to watch with their sons.

Koros sends the Meganoids to Earth to take over the planet by assimilating each human into their collective consciousness, but when our heroes make it impossible, Koros decides to crash Mars into Earth to wipe out all human life. Banjo and company head for Mars in Daitarn 3, and Banjo finally faces Koros in hand-to-hand combat in the palace of Don Zaucker. Just as Banjo is about to destroy Koros, Zaucker wakes from its cybernetic sleep, and we learn that it was Koros who started the drive for conquest of humanity. With the Meganoid Empire in ruins and mankind safe, the team can go home, and the end of the series is intensely melancholy, leading us through the departure of each team member, the shutting up of the villa, and Garrison, looking back down a tree-lined avenue in the rain toward the base from which so much excitement, laughter, and tragedy was launched, now empty and desolate. He stamps his foot and shouts the summoning spell, "One… two… three… Daitarn Three!" but the last shot shows the villa dark, empty, and still, except for a single lighted window, as the superb ending theme cuts in. Credited to Tomino and Sunrise's house pseudonym Hajime Yadate, this is a fascinating minor work by a science fiction master whose main strength has always been making the robots as sexy as possible, then making the people matter more.

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Daitarn 3
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Romaji: Muteki Kojin Daitarn 3
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Start Year 1977
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Aliases Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3
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