Buddy Complex

Buddy Complex (Badi Konpurekkusu) is a mecha anime television series produced by Sunrise, directed by Yasuhiro Tanabe, with by the opening music score composed by Tatsuya Kato. The show originally aired as a 13-episode series, with 2 concluding episodes added later under the name ‘Buddy Complex Final Chapter: Into the Skies of Tomorrow’ Part 1 & 2. A manga adaptation of the anime show ran concurrently with the television series.

The series tells the story of Aoba Watase, an ordinary high school student coming back to school after the summer break. After the school day, Aoba plays basketball with his friends, watched by his classmate Hina Yumihara who seems to have a crush on him, when, out of the blue, a giant robot descends from the sky. Aoba has never seen anything like it before, but its pilot not only knows him, but clearly wants him dead.

Aoba realises that he doesn't stand a chance against the gigantic mecha suit and its pilot, but just when everything seems to be lost, Hina suddenly appears at the scene in her own mecha suit, confronts the attacker and, after a ferocious fight, defeats him. She then takes Aoba into the cockpit of her mecha suit and explains him that she, as well as his mysterious attacker, Bizon, came from the future.

While inside the time vortex, Hina tells Aoba these cryptic words, before disappearing: “You’re going to the future now. Dio is waiting”

Unexpectedly, Bizon, who is only badly hurt, but not yet dead, attacks them again, embracing Hina’s mecha suit in a tight grip before initiating self destruct sequence and telling Hina that if he's going to die, she and Aoba will die along with him. Seeing that she has no way of escaping from the firm grasp of Bizon’s mecha suit, Hina shoots up towards the sky, dragging Bizon in his mecha suit with her. Suddenly, a time vortex appears right above them and she heads straight for it.

Inside the time vortex Hina tells Aoba these cryptic words, before disappearing: “You’re going to the future now. Dio is waiting”. Aoba barely manages to ask what is the meaning of this and who is that ‘Dio’ and then the whole world fades away.

Valiancers, huge mecha suits, are weapon of choice in the distant future, with Aoba and Dio piloting their respective Valiancers Luxon and Bradyon.

When Aoba regains his consciousness, he is in the cockpit alone, and before his eyes stretches a world that he doesn’t recognise. Moreover, he emerges right in the middle of the conflict between two warring armies, both commanding a squad of gigantic mecha suits engaging each other in a fierce and merciless battle. The Luxon (as is his mecha suit called) self-activates and the monitor in the suit's cockpit announces "Nice Coupling" with Dio's Bradyon mecha suit.

As Aoba later learns, the time vortex took him to year 2088. In this distant future, the Free Pact Alliance and the Zogilia Republic are at war with each other. The weapon of choice in their ongoing conflict are huge mecha suits, called Valiancers, similar to one Aoba pilots now. Whether by chance or predestination, Aoba emerges right in the middle of the battle between the two warring factions, when Zogilia's Valiancer squad led by Bizon Gerafil attacks one of the Alliance's secret facilities with the mission to capture the new Valiancer prototypes in Alliance's possession.

In the year 2088, Free Pact Alliance (left) and the Zogilia Republic (right) are engaged in a ruthless war.

Being under fierce Zogilia's attack, Captain Gengo Kuramitsu on the Alliance’s battleship Cygnus recognises the seriousness of the situation and sees that he has no other choice but allow ‘coupling’ of Aoba’s and Dio's mecha suits, even though he does not recognise Aoba as one of Alliance's Valiancer pilots. Aoba is later explained that ‘coupling’ is a process when both involved Valiancers synchronise, and as a result, not only gain greatly enhanced capabilities, but their pilots also instantaneously learn each other’s combat experiences, skills and tactics.

Thanks to this phenomenon, although himself a totally inexperienced pilot, Aoba instantly absorbs all the combat knowledge Dio gained during his previous combat actions, and is able to operate the Valiancer and engage the enemy. Together with Dio Junyou Weinberg (as that is Dio’s full name), the pair successfully defeats the Zogilia’s Valiancers and cause them to retreat.

Dio and Aoba are able to synchronise their Valiancers in a process called ‘coupling’ giving both pilots of the mecha suits greatly enhanced capabilities.

The Free Pact Alliance’s soldiers then take Aoba inside the Cygnus battleship and interrogate him.

Aoba soon realises, that although he is really in the future, just as Hina told him, Dio does not recognise him. In order to find his place in this unfamiliar future world, Aoba must first earn not only Free Pact Alliance’s and Dio’s trust, but, in what will prove to be much more difficult task, also trust of Hina (in this timeline called Hina Ryazan), who not only does not recognise him, but also fights on the opposite side of this ruthless war.

TRIVIA: A video game titled ‘Buddy Complex: Coupling of Battlefield’ by Bandai Namco Games has been released in March 2014 for Android and iOS.