Great Sky Demon Dragon Gaiking (´ó¿ÕÄ§¸o¥¬¥¤¥¥ó¥°, Daik¨± Mary¨± Gaikingu?) was a Super Robot mecha anime series produced by Toei Animation on an original idea by Akio Sugino (not Go Nagai, contrary to legend, even though his company, Dynamic Productions, co-produced the show from Episode 22 on, but he had no direct involvement), which ran from April 1976 through January 1977 and consisted of 44 26-minute episodes. Gaiking was notable for being one of the few super robot series to take place in real places outside of Japan, and for being the first Super Robot series to have a mobile carrier for the chief robots. Gaiking was part of Jim Terry's Force Five anthology series.
The story chronicled the battle between the crew of the semi-transformable carrier Daik¨± Mary¨± (also called the Kargosaur) and the Super Robot Gaiking against an invading race of aliens from the planet Zela, whose home planet is facing destruction by a black hole. Notable aspects of the series include the dinosaur-based designs of the Daik¨± Mary¨± and its support machines and the use of part of the carrier to form the main robot. The robot Gaiking was piloted by a baseball star named Sanshiro Tsuwabuki (Sanshiro's name was changed to Aries Astonopolis for the English version of the show with the carrier being called the "Great Space Dragon", a literal translation of "Daik¨± Mary¨±". Likewise, for the Latin America version the main character was called Brando Drummond and the carrier "Gran Dragon del Espacio"). It is most easily distinguished from other mecha by its skull-shaped golden torso, formed from the head of the Daik¨± Mary¨±, and its golden horns.
The leader of the alien villains was named Darius, and all of their ships and mecha were fish-shaped, which most likely inspired the Darius series of video games.
Go Nagai, creator of the Mazinger series created Gaiking: Legend of Daikyu-Maryu based on Akio Sugino's original series.