Crown Jewels of Anime: Panzer World Galient

Posted by Guest Author on May 20, 2008 in Animation |

Panzer World Galient

In this exclusive series our guest author Tim Eldred picks the top ten crown jewels of anime:

As a guy who started watching anime in 1980, I was lucky enough to catch the virus when the medium was in a creative upswing the likes of which simply hasn’t been seen since. Of course, there was great stuff before that, but never in quite so much abundance. The early 80s in particular were chock full of shows that had the power to make me (A) cry like a baby or (B) leap out of my chair like a sports fan. And any show that could do both became a crown jewel in my eyes. They haven’t all been officially exported yet, which means a lot of people still have an opportunity to experience them for the first time. Here’s number 9 on my top ten list:

Panzer World Galient

The ‘real robot’ craze of the early 1980s inspired anime studios like Nippon Sunrise (now called simply ‘Sunrise’) to mash them up with every possible genre or setting. Writer/creator Ryusuke Takahashi was particularly good at this, pulling from many different tropes to construct his first two hits, Fang of the Sun Dougram and Armored Trooper Votoms, and a later one called SPT Layzner. He also crafted a little-known yet fondly remembered series that fit between the last two on that list called Panzer World Galient. It was barely a blip in the record books, but as with any Takahashi program, it stays with you forever after you’ve seen it. (Especially the bilingual opening and closing titles, both haunting and unforgettable.)

Below: Animation cel paintings from Panzer World Galient.

Animation cel painting from Panzer World Galient

Animation cel painting from Panzer World Galient

If you ever wondered what Lord of the Rings might have been like with giant robots instead of supernatural creatures, Galient was it! The scope is vast, the characters disparate, the stakes high, and the drama archetypal. The infant son of a slain king grows to target-audience age and over the course of 25 episodes must find a way to win the world back from the evil tyrant that brought us to the brink. Like Sauron, the tyrant (named Mardar) commands great armies with seemingly otherworldly power. That’s literal in this case; Mardar is from another world entirely, which now looks upon his works with disfavor and might just do something about it if they can just find their backbone.

It’s been a few years since I watched Galient, but writing that paragraph makes me want to run across the room, pull out the ol’ LD box and ignore all my deadlines for the 10 hours. It’s a rip-roaring good ride that pulls you from episode to episode without even breaking a sweat. As the successor to Votoms on Japanese TV, Galient benefits from all the lessons learned by the creative staff and shows them at the top of their game from writing and design all the way through voice acting and musical score. There was also a self-contained elseworlds type OAV for Galient called Iron Emblem, which is like dessert after a multi-course meal. Say it with me: Galient! One Robot to Rule Them All!

Below: The opening titles for Panzer World Galient.

Tim Eldred is a graphic novelist, TV animation artist, and hopeless fanboy. You can see his work at and

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