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Brian J. Mason is a recurring antagonist in the anime franchise Bubblegum Crisis.

Original Series

Background

Approximately 10 years before the events of Bubblegum Crisis, Mason was involved in the murder of of Dr. Stingray, the head scientist at GENOM and the man who helped create the andriods known as Boomers. The reason behind his murder isn't fully explained, but presumably Mason was sent to acquire the copyrights to Boomer design and was compelled to use lethal force to obtain them.

2032

Mason is one of Quincy's most trusted employees at GENOM headquarters. However, he has ambitions to usurp the throne and become CEO. He frequently ventures out to collect any valuable Boomer technology, often coming up against the Knight Sabers, (Priss, Linna, Nene and Sylia, the latter of which is the daughter of Dr. Stingray). Knowing that the Knight Sabers pose a physical threat, Mason invests in Boomer bodyguards, all of which are eventually destroyed in battle.

In the first two episodes, Mason is tasked with obtaining Boomer technology that controls satellite weaponry, allowing the user to either spy on or vaporize any target with a powerful laser. While he fails in this assignment, he secretly sends his Boomer bodyguards to retrieve the technology so he can keep it to himself...
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Mason's Hardsuit

In Episode 3: Blow Up. Mason is sent to oversee the levelling of an apartment complex, which was built on land that GENOM had recently purchased. Unbeknownst to Mason, one of the tenants was Priss of the Knight Sabers. When a building collapses on one of Priss' neighbours, she vows revenge, but is stopped by Sylia, who orders her to focus on a rampaging Boomer, while she confronts Mason herself. Mason, anticipating the Knight Saber's arrival, dons his own hardsuit, proclaiming this to be "the look of the victor" and fights Sylia. When he overpowers her, Sylia stabs him in the throat, seemingly ending Mason's threat.

Largo

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Largo

One year later, a sinister figure known only as Largo surfaces within a GENOM branch, quickly rising to assistant director and proving to be the brains of the organisation. When a Boomer breaks in and steals data that will allow Boomers to become independant lifeforms, the Knight Sabers immediately step in. Largo observes from afar and utters the name: Sylia Stingray. Somehow, Sylia is able to hear this and feels a familiar sense of dread.

In Episode 6: Red Eyes, it is revealed that Largo himself is a Boomer and just so happens to have the same satellite technology that Mason obtained. Largo manages to construct his own group of Knight Sabers built entirely from Boomers and sends them out to frame the real ones, revealing his true hatred of them. Sylia immediately suspects his true identity, but says nothing to the others.

Largo pits the two sets of Knight Sabers against each other while he goes up against Quincy and orders him to release Boomers from the oppression of humanity. He demonstrates his power by destroying the Boomer bodyguards that Quincy sent after him before turning on Quincy himself. However, Quincy had anticipated his arrival and had a Boomer replica stand in for him, revealing himself via a communication screen and gloating in Largo's face.
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Largo's battle-form

At that moment, Priss arrives and challenges Largo, who overpowers her before transforming into a more menacing figure, proclaiming this to be "the look of the TRUE victor!". Just when all hope seems lost, Priss' new-and improved hardsuit arrives, which she immediately dons and fights Largo with. Largo's arm is destroyed and he howls in pain, proving that Boomers really are alive. Sylia and the other Knight Sabers arrive, cornering Largo. Largo then summons the satellite beam that will kill them all, but Nene quickly bugs the system so that only Largo is blasted. Largo survives, however, and telepathically converses with Sylia, distracting her while he charges his mouth-cannon. At that moment, Leon of the AD Police shoots him in the head, Largo loses his footing and plummets to the bottom of GENOM tower. Sylia, musing on his apparent death, Sylia remarks: "Frail humans need not fear anything more...Brian J. Mason".

Bubblegum Crash

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Sylia confronts the newly-revived Largo.

Largo is revealed to have survived his death and continues with his vendetta against the Knight Sabers. He is the secret mastermind behind all the events of the OVA, hiring the Illegal Army to steal Zone Corporation's new AI chips developed for the next-gen Boomer ADAMA, and later recruiting Zone scientist Dr. Yuri to steal the completed ADAMA and assassinate Professor Haynes, the head of the research project.

During the ADAMA incident, Largo downloads all of ADAMA's data and uses it to create a virus that will "awaken" all Boomers in Mega-Tokyo, causing them to go berserk and kill humans. He unleashes this virus and begins a "Boomer Revolution", resulting in widespread chaos across the city. While the Knight Sabers and AD Police are kept busy by Boomers going berserk all over the city, Largo takes control of a nuclear-powered boring machine and tunnels his way towards a nuclear reactor located beneath Tokyo Bay, intending to breach it and destroy not just Japan but threaten all of civilization.

After destroying a massive composite Boomer, the Knight Sabers notice the strange activity occurring underground and investigate. They catch up with the tunnelling machine and Largo reveals himself at last, or rather 'himselves'. Three Boomer copies of Largo appear with the real one located within the boring machine. Priss, Linna and Nene battle against Largo's three Hyper-Boomers while Sylia confronts the maniac himself. When she finds him, he is suspended in a tank of fluid and he attempts to convince her to join him in his crusade against humanity. Sylia blasts open Largo's tank and he transforms into a grotesque, deformed body that sprouts tentacles that attach to Sylia's Hard Suit and start to influence her mind.

While Sylia's mind is linked with Largo, Priss, Linna and Nene are busy fighting Largo's Hyper-Boomers which all possess synthetic copies of Largo's brain and are driven by his consciousness. The three Boomers attempt to link with the girls' minds as well, but as the girls cry out in anguish, Sylia hears them in her mind. She snaps out of her trance and then fires on Largo again, finally destroying him. With Largo dead, the Boomers stop functioning and the Knight Sabers destroy them, and the boring machine also stops just before it breaches the nuclear reactor.

Tokyo 2040

Background

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Mason in Bubblegum Crisis 2040

At some point in his youth, Mason had some kind of Boomer implant placed in his body. He believed that this would make him superior to humans but unfortunately, his body assimilated it and left him just as powerless as any other human. From then on, Mason would strive to be more than human.

2040

Mason holds the same deep resentment of his employer Quincy as did his 2032 counterpart. This is only exacerbated by Quincy forcibly extending his life via medical technology, thus potentially staying CEO forever. Mason's obsession with Boomers has developed into a sexual fetish, as he shows his Boomer secretary more physical and emotional affection than any human.

When Sylia's Boomer replicant Galatea is unearthed, Mason takes advantage of her ability to control any kind of machine and has Quincy's plug pulled by one of his Boomer assistants. Tokyo is then dominated by hordes of Boomers, with Mason observing Galatea's increasing influence over technology. Mason confides in her his desire to be one of her kind, revealing his failed attempt from years before. Galatea gives him what he wants, but in the most horrific fashion. Mason's flesh is fused to several machines and he erupts from the side of GENOM tower, reminiscent of a cyberpunk gargoyle.

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Mason's demise

Whilst there, Mason reminisces about his childhood, showing a more vulnerable side to his normally glacial persona. When the Knight Sabers come across him, he appears dead, but with a look of bliss on his disfigured face.

Trivia

  • Largo's confrontation with Quincy over over the fate of Boomers is heavily based on a similar scene in Blade Runner, where Roy Batty confronts his maker, is denied liberty, and murders him.
  • Mason's death in the 2040 series also has some simliarites with Roy's. Both show a more human side as they spend their final moments reminiscing, before dying peacefully.
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