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The Best Anime Of The Winter 2024 Season (And Where You Can Stream It)

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“Brave Bang Bravern” starts out as a dark, gritty, and violent war show that has more in common with “Attack on Titan” than what it eventually becomes. Humanity is on the brink of annihilation after an alien invasion. We see people dying everywhere and characters act super serious. Sure, there are mechas, but they are more like anthropomorphic tanks than a proper Gundam mobile suit … at least until a giant robot shows up and tells a Japanese soldier to get inside of him — really.

This giant robot, the titular Bravern, is sentient, can fly, has an energy sword, and is unabashedly aware of the tropes of a super robot show. He yells out his own name and forces his reluctant pilot, partner, and (according to Bravern) soulmate Isami to scream all his special attacks alongside him. He even plays his own theme song diegetically during combat and displays his logo as a hologram every time he shows up.

What makes “Brave Bang Bravern” hilarious is that it plays everything completely straight, only increasing the comedy of it all. It is ridiculous, but also as earnest as “Gurren Lagann,” another super robot show that is both ludicrous yet ingenious and funny. Plus, this is the most homoerotic show this side of “Gundam: The Witch From Mercury.” Every time Bravern talks about his pilot Isami, it is laden with homoeroticism — like the robot telling Isami his cockpit will always be open for him, or how good he felt when Isami moved his joystick up and down during a fight. And that’s without the very “Top Gun” inspired rivalry between Isami and American soldier Lewis Smith, their homoeroticism climaxing in the end credits sequence (which is an extended duet where both men dance as they remove their shirts).

“Brave Bang Bravern” is streaming on Crunchyroll.



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