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AKA: VS 騎士 ラムネ & 40 炎 "VS Kishi Ramune & 40 Hono'o", VS Knight Lumune & 40 Fire

In this story, we follow the adventures of young Lamunade as he goes from yet-another-video-game-playing geek to defender of the free world (or Doki-doki space at least.) A sequel to the popular (at least in Japan) NG Knight Lamune & 40, this manga/anime is sure to provide your fill of giant robots and other assorted silliness.

A lust for video games is hard-coded into Lamunade's DNA and distracts him from everything, especially studying for school. A trip to the arcade turns odd when he is accosted by two young women selling video games... in the street... at 10pm. The incredible price of 100 yen is too good to pass up and after his purchase, our hero is momentarily blinded by the glare from the CD case to find that the ladies have vanished. At home, Lamunade makes short work of the game using his mad skills and the ending sequence is followed by the two young ladies emerging from his TV, pleading for his help and them dragging him into the TV with them. Lamunade is soon introduced to PQ, a blob-like robot who is the keeper of the robot Kaiser Fire. One of three guardian robots, Kaiser Fire is summoned in times of need to protect Doki-doki space.

Lamunade (or "Brave Lamuness" as he is now proclaimed) must pilot Kaiser Fire and gather the other guardian robots, Water Baron and Graff Thunder, to defeat the evil Don Genosai before he can resurrect the terrible force known as Abraham. During his quest, Lamunade gathers a close cadre of friends, including the young women, Parfait and Cacao, to help him. As the story goes on, it and the main character mature as Lamunade's issues with friends, parents, and relationships are faced.

A Brief Analysis:

At first glance, this is a cheesy mech anime. The heroes spend most early episodes running around for almost 20 minutes before finally summoning Kaiser Fire, unleashing their super-power attack (a very well done Phoenix-like bolt of flame), and destroying the offending enemy. However, many of the later episodes feature little to no combat and are pure plot advancement. The story is very well tied in with the previous series and eventually involves a bit of time travel. As a whole, the series maintains a good balance of humor, action, and character development. The characters and mecha are well designed and interesting while all of the visuals are high quality and well animated.

Compared to its predecessors, this series didn't see too much popularity in Japan. It was competing with some heavy hitters, Vision of Escaflowne in particular, and garnered just enough of a following to see the full production of the TV series, a few mecha models, and some candy/toy merchandise. It still holds a few people in thrall but since it was another brick in the wall of mech anime it will most likely be lost in the mists of time. The multitude of transliterations doesn't help when trying to find it either.

Format Specifics:

The Manga

Author/Planning: Akahori Satorou
Illustration: Yoshizaki Kan'on
Publisher: Kodakawa Comics
Length: 5 Volumes of approx. 190 pages each
Price: 505 yen apiece (520 w/tax)
Acquiring: Outside of Japan, these occasionally show up in Japanese used book stores.
The Anime
Air dates: April 3, 1996 - September 25, 1996
Director: Akahori Satorou
Production Company: Ashi Pro
Character Designer: Kotobuki Tsukasa
Regular Cast: VHS release by Star Child
7 Volumes (2 episodes on the first, 4 on others)
Item Number: KIVA 273 to KIVA 279
Retail Price: 3800 yen for Vol. 1, 6800 yen for others

The anime consists 26 twenty-three minute episodes. It was aired on TV Tokyo and now appears as reruns on Japan's Cartoon Network. The story was trimmed down slightly from the manga since action scenes can take up more airtime in an anime than pages of a manga (see: Dragonball Z.) This series was never released in the US but can be found fan-subbed for those who don't speak Japanese. Copies of the original VHS may surface in used video/book stores. (Note: the title on the video is subscripted with the English pronunciation/name.)

The Film Book
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
Length: 5 Volumes
Price: 800 yen

The film book is a book adaptation of what was presented in the anime. Yes, it's a manga based on an anime. It follows the same script and uses images from the anime as illustrations. It can be acquired via the usual used bookstores or occasionally from an Internet retailer.

The Soundtrack
Chou-Tennen Miraigata Arubamu (Supernatural Future Album)
Release date: July 24, 1996
Item Number: King Records - KICA 312
Price: 3000 yen

This album features the opening and closing themes, 2 other songs from the series, 13 instrumentals, and 4 sound drama tracks. Included in the liner notes are bios for the main characters, which provide basic information such as height, weight, and age, as well as blood type, CV, and measurements for the female characters. Also included is a large sticker of the cover art.

The Opening theme
Miraigata Aidoru

"Aitsu kitan da yo!"
"E-! Dare? Resuka?"
"Ja naktue!"
"Miruku?" "Ja naktue!"
"Da Saidaa!?" "Ja naktue!"
"Ramune da!!"

Hai tenshon!
Biribiri kiteru yo pawafuru waarudo
Tsurai ze ikasu ze kyuukyoku no aidoru
touch and feel!
Miihaa kibun ni
everyone kubittake
Okiraku gokuraku shinjou no aidoru

Ochikomi buruu wa miseranai (Oh! No! No! No! No!)
Tsuyoki no asu shika hoshikunai (A- Sou! So! So! So!)
Kokoro ni atsui yume wo muriyari moyashiterya
Kono yo wa kimi no tame ni mawatteru!

lucky chance!
Oishii toko dake
happy time!
Marukajiri chakkari shikkari ojouzu ni aidoru
light and cool!
Naname no poozu ga
everytime oyakusoku
Assari shakkiri muteki no aidoru

(kake kao)
Kite! Mite! Sawattemite! Minna no Ramune!!

And now in english, translated by me:

Future Idol:

"That person's coming!"
"Oh! Who? Leska?"
"No, that's not it!"
"Milk?" "No, that's not it!"
"Da Cider!?" "No, that's not it!"
"It's Lamune!!"

High Tension!
A powerful world, coming with a shock,
In the midst of unfolding.
He's spicy, he's alive, He's the ultimate idol!
Touch and feel!
Feeling so fashionable,
Everyone turn your heads to look,
He's comfort's, paradise's, and faith's idol!

Don't be sad and blue (Oh! No! No! No! No!)
Don't only wish for tomorrow's strength (That's right! Right! Right! Right!)
Here there is a hot dream burning everything,
This world turns for you!

Lucky chance!
Such a wonderful place
Happy time!
He's well-rounded, cunning, strong-willed, such a skilled idol!
Light and cool!
An awesome pose
Promised every time
The simply amazing invincible idol!

Come! Look! Gaze upon! Everyone's Lamune!!

Others in the series:
NG Knight Lamune & 40 - TV series
NG Knight Lamune & 40 EX - OVA
NG Knight Lamune & 40 EX2 - OVA
NG Knight Lamune & 40 MECHA - OVA
NG Knight Lamune & 40 DX - OVA
VS Knight Lamune & 40 Fresh (AKA Knights of Ramune) - OVA

If you have any info or corrections or if you have the series fan-subbed please /msg me.

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