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BAIKANFU DISAPPEARS IN SPACE
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 26/02/1987
Rom, Jet and Pro Truck Racer set off into space in Big Shuttle Robo to answer a distress call from the Death Galaxy, a notorious blackspot for spaceship wrecks. They detect a large energy source but are then caught in a meteor shower, puncturing the cockpit and throwing the trio into space. They are then attacked by mysterious Gyandlar robot which is seemingly controlled by the spirit of Grujios. His resurrection has been detected by Gadess. Grujios attacks the trio with space debris, forcing Rom to call up Baikanfu. The large robot fares no better and so he orders Jet and Pro Truck Racer to retreat. They reluctantly agree, swearing to return and departing in Big Shuttle Robo. Back on Cronos Leina is distracted by her brother's troubles and is nearly ran over by Minmei, newly arrived to help build a new fortress near the Gyandlar ship. The site soon comes under attack from the Varigale-X but Rod Drill drives off the Gyandlar troops just as Big Shuttle Robo returns.
Baldas and Gildis slice a wing off the shuttle but four Jet Tribe troopers are able to help it land. The Varigale-X is driven off but Grujios contacts Diondra to tell her of Rom's capture. After landing Jet and Pro Truck Racer give the bad news to Leina too. Garudi travels up to the Death Galaxy to retrieve Grujios. After learning of Rom's imprisonment, Gadess orders a full-scale assault on the fortress with Grujios possessing Devil Satan 6. Leina and Minmei take the repaired Big Shuttle Robo up to the Death Galaxy and find Baikanfu. They are just wondering what to do when a diamond arrives next to them and turns into a robot, easily dissipating the junk binding Baikanfu. He introduces himself as Diamond Man. Baikanfu returns to Cronos in time to turn the battle with the Gyandlar, forcing Grujios to disappear again.
Big Shuttle Robo, like Battleship Robo, is basically to-scale with the cast - i.e. big enough to take Rom's party into space. Interesting use of the BMR toy to define him from the standard Shuttle Robo that's shown up from time to time.
Grujios fell into a black hole in episode 18. Devil Satan 6 are, disappointingly, back from the quicksand - as is their lengthy formation stock footage. For the first time there actually seem to be multiples of the individual members, though this may just be an animation error.
Tribe Featured: Leina Stol, Rom Stol, Minmei.
Jet Tribe Featured: Big Shuttle Robo, Blue Jet, Cessna Robo (cameo), Jetranser, Falcon Robo (cameo), Phantom Robo, Blackbird Robo, Shuttle Robo.
Rock People Featured: Battle Rock, Mecha Rock, Guts Rock, Diamond Man, Devil Rock, Double Rock.
Gyandlar Featured: Gadess, Garudi, Diondra, Grujios, Devil Satan 6, Falgos, Gildas, Casmodon, Baldas, Zarios.
Errors: Seeing as Pro Truck Racer has grown to twice everyone's height again did he eat his brother? What the Hell is that bit with the fake Rom about? Were they expecting trouble or does he just carry a dummy of himself around? Through the magic of stock footage debris Grujios threw at Rom is back in the same place when the second shuttle trip is made. Oddly, Leina and Linemi put on what look like oxygen masks to go out into space when Rom didn't bother.
The plot is full of holes and oddities but it goes along at a nice pace. It's great to see the good guys being proactive and the brief sojourn into space is a welcome change of scenery.
I'm less than convinced that the return of Grujios is a particularly good thing, however.