Aura Battler Dunbine

Title:Aura Battler Dunbine
Seisenshi Dunbine
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: R1 License - ADV (Renamed)
The series followed a main character named Sho Zama, the pilot of the lavender colored Dunbine, as he suddenly finds himself in the world of Byston Well after a motocross accident. Byston Well is located in another dimension located between the sea and the land, and is populated with dragons, castles, knights, and powerful robots known as Aura Battlers. Once Sho is discovered to posess a powerful energy called `Aura`, he is drafted into the Byston Well conflict as an Arua Battler pilot.

Aura Battler Dunbine first aired on Japanese TV during the mid-1980s and ran for a successful 49 episodes. Written by Yoshiyuki Tomino, Dunbine is set in the medival-like world of Byston Well. Dunbine was one of the first Japanimation series to combine fantasy and science fiction. The main draw to the series were the insect-like Aura Battlers used by the population of Byston Well to fight their wars.

Dunbine was a huge success and spawned several model and toys lines. While the animation prevents it from returning to the mainstream, the Aura Battler designs have kept the series timeless.

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49 TV Episodes.
Animation by Sunrise.
R1-License by ADV Films.

Also see sequels - Garzey no Tsubasa & Rean no Tsubasa
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 7 6 6 5 8 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1606#1552]
Aura Battle Dunbine focuses on a teenage boy named Show Zama who is whisked to another world called Byston Well where he becomes the pilot of the mecha, Dunbine, and eventually becomes a major part of a resistance movement to oppose the world conquest goals of the corrupt lord, Drake Luft. Being directed by famous Gundam director Yoshiyuki Tomino, Dunbine offers a good number of the director's trademarks with exploring the harshness of war, a cynical world view, and a high death count that affects even the show's major characters. The fantasy world setting brings about the applications of a mysterious power source called "Aura" that are utilized by a number of the show's characters in various facets, among which allowing mecha pilots and aerial warships to enhance the powers of their technology. The constant combat and abuse of the Aura power utilized through the technology does gradually lead things to be complicated by the presence of outside forces that attempt to remove or kill off anyone involved in the conflict between those using technology utilizing the power of "Aura".

Outside of the focus on mecha action and war, Dunbine also does a solid job with its world building and character focus. The world of Byston Well adopts a number of medieval and fantasy elements to its world as outside of its "aura" power, other fantasy-based creatures like pixies and dragons exist within its world. The series also takes time to develop and flesh out a number of its major characters to offer a glimpse within their lives and how they are affected by Drake's machinations to control all of Byston Well for its residents or those who get transported to the realm from Earth. In addition, the series offers some surprising twists with its storytelling that lead the conflict between the resistance movement and Drake's faction to intensify, including some splintering of factions within Drake's own ranks.

This said, Dunbine does have its faults. A good part of the show's second half does drag a bit at points where episodes are focused on battles between the factions, but offering little to flesh out characters or advance the plot in any capacity. Some enemy characters shown to be legitimate threats to Show and his comrades don't get much fleshing out and are limited in their characterization, reducing the impact their demises carry. Also, the visuals to the series haven't really aged with its rough character design work and subpar animation, though its mecha designs are rather unique among mecha anime with their bug-like features.

Faults aside, Aura Battle Dunbine is still a solid entry in the mecha with its solid mix of fantasy and mecha action story elements while influenced under Yoshiyuki Tomino's direction for its storytelling direction. If 80s mecha anime grab your interest, Dunbine is a solid recommendation I would suggest checking out in spite of some of its issues.

Last updated Wednesday, April 25 2018. Created Wednesday, April 25 2018.
Watch Jan-Chan [series:1606#967]
This is a 20+ year old series and IT SHOWS!. I have seen the first few episodes and it just did not hook me. The storyline is simple, the animation is clunky and chunky, and the main characters are uninspiring.

But there is something 'special' in this series, as it has managed (somehow) to spawn two sequels. Dern, if I don't know what 'it' might be, because 'it' does nothing for me.

Last updated Thursday, April 26 2007. Created Monday, April 23 2007.

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