Brave Bang Bravern! episode 5 serves a hefty helping of what all true super robot fans crave: the fiery passion between men that leaves one sweaty and breathless.
This episode is a lovers’ quarrel that also happens to feature a boxing match. Smith and Isami have been on the outs with each other in a cold war of simmering tension for the past few episodes. This is precisely the kind of petty couple’s fight that can turn into serious long-term pain. I can certainly relate to this sort of not-quite-fighting-but-definitely-not-communicating stalemate, having experienced it in many relationships myself (though I never had a sentient talking robot to help work through the issue, we had to solve it the old-fashioned way). It’s a pretty brilliant bit of writing to have the leads spend this long quietly mad at one another and then have it bubble over into an explosive fight. This bit of verisimilitude makes the outrageous events feel more realistic than any amount of giant robot nuts-and-bolts chrome.
It’s also got some great character moments sprinkled throughout. The helpful training exercises in the run-up to the fight at Tokyo, replete with multiple minor interactions, the crew chief getting a nosebleed seeing the fellahs bumping and grinding in the ring, and Bravern inventing a super-powered boom mic to broadcast their discussions. The actual fight itself was pretty solid too, with good choreography and some solid cuts of the back and forth. It is mostly a vehicle for Isami and Lewis to hash out their issues, but it’s a good fight nonetheless.
On a completely unbiased note, Lulu is now my favorite character in the show because she learned how to use earthling language by watching tokusatsu. This is not only wholesome, it is sound child-rearing and scientifically proven to be the most effective way for teaching new languages (this sentence was fact-checked and confirmed true by real childologists, don’t look it up).
Brave Bang Bravern! is currently streaming on