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On planet Yamato, a twin birth is a bad omen for the throne, so when two brothers are born to the queen, one of them must be killed. But Takeru is saved through the intervention of the gods and survives to return and claim the throne (and the beautiful princess) as fate has decreed. For this sci-fi clash of robotic armor indistinguishable from "magic," creator Masami Yuki took his inspiration from one of Japan's oldest stories. The original Yamato Takeru's epic expedition was recorded in two of Japan's oldest historical texts, the Kojiki (a.d. 712) and Nihon Shoki (a.d. 720), and he and Princess Ototachibana are jointly credited as founders of many real shrines. Ancient sources sometimes embroider the bare cloth of supposed history-Takeru is alleged to have defeated Kumaso warriors by disguising himself as a woman and getting them drunk, and he was to have saved the plains from Ainu arsonists by cutting away the burning brush with his sword. The weapon, known thenceforth as Kusanagi ("Grass-Cutter"), became one of the Imperial Treasures of Japan, lending its name to several anime protagonists, most notably Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell.

The final two episodes were not broadcast but released on video in 1997. The beginning of a fourth season that never materialized, they are set three years after the original, with Takeru now 16 years old, having to defend his homeworld from samurai-style robot invaders from planet Izumo in a "flying magic fortress." See also Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon and the live-action version of the legend released in the West as Orochi the Eight-Headed Dragon.

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Original US Poster Art

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Name Yamato Takeru
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Romaji: Yamato Takeru
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Start Year 1994
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