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Crush Gear is a media franchise that spawns anime, manga and video games. It also refers to a line of toys of the same name produced by Bandai in late October 2001. The first installment of the franchise's anime series, Crush Gear Turbo was aired across Japan on Animax from October 7, 2001 for 68 episodes until January 26, 2003. Its sequel, Crush Gear Nitro was aired for 50 episodes from February 2, 2003 to January 25, 2004. Both of the anime series were produced by Sunrise.
The premise of the Crush Gear franchise is the game of Gear Fighting, a sport of customizable battle toy cars known as Crush Gears, or simply called as "Gears". The said game involves players known as Gear Fighters releasing their Gears into a ring. The winner is determined when a player’s Gear is able to push its opponent off the ring. The franchise's premise also goes beyond Gear Fighting itself - it focuses on the relationships between the characters as well as their corresponding Gears.
In Crush Gear Turbo, the story revolves around Kouya Marino who aspires to become a great Gear Fighter similar to his late brother, Yuhya. The Crush Gear club joined by the Marino brothers, the Tobita Club faces extinction when most of its members shift to a new club formed by one of its members, Takeshi Manganji. Fuelled by his own determination to prove his worth to Takeshi and to restore the Tobita Club's glory, Kouya sets out to find new members. He eventually earns the respect and companionship of Jirou Oriza, a Gear Fighter who loves red bean buns; Kyousuke Jin, a brilliant Crush Gear technician; and Kuroudo Marume, a skillful swordsman. Together with his new friends, Kouya develops his Gear Fighting skills in his struggle to become the World Cup champion.
Crush Gear Nitro, on the other hand, has a different storyline from its previous installment. It follows the everyday life of Masaru Mahha and his friends, as well as his rivals. Masaru, a fifth grader who loves Crush Gear yet does not have one to play, moves into a new town with his family when he sees Gear Fights being used for settling disputes. His life as a Gear Fighter begins when he accidentally participates in a duel by using a Gear owned by a hero known as Crush Kid. Throughout the story, Masaru encounters various rivals and even befriends some of them, leading him to different adventures along the way.