Anime Review: Giant Robo

Giant Robo

Rating: Excellent

In a future yet to come the world has been revolutionized by the invention of the Shizuma drive. Not all is well though since a group known as Big Fire (Who bares an uncanny resemblance to the Neo-Atlanteans in Nadia, at least in the opening) is running amok and is trying to conquer the world like any good villain group. To oppose them is the group of international heroes known as the experts of Justice. The story begins when a pair of the experts of Justice, Ginrei and Tetsugyu try to save Dr. Shizuma from the machinations of Big Fire. When things start looking bleak Giant Robo commanded by the young boy Daisaku comes and saves the day.

When the gang gets back to base they find that the case holds something that terrifies Professor Go of the experts of Justice, and that Dr. Shizuma is a guilt ridden wreck. The reason for this is not revealed but it probably has something to do with the fact that Paris has gone dark and other scientists who worked on the Shizuma drive lie hanging from the bell tower at Notre Dame. One of the experts of Justice notices what looks like Dr. Franken von Vogler, the scientist who worked on the Shizuma drive but died in the cataclysm known as the tragedy of Bashtarle.

Giant Robo is an epic of old school anime action. How old school you might ask? The Oav itself was made over the period of six years starting in 1992. Its roots go back even further to a live action series made in the 1960’s. This would explain many of the similarities between Giant Robo and Tetsujin 28, known to American audiences as Gigantor). The rubber-suited monsters have been dropped in favor of high quality Oav animation do the delight of most.

The anime Giant Robo is a seven episode long Oav. The episodes are about twice the length of most television episodes allowing for conflicts not tied to the limitations of a twenty minute long episode format. It also allows for fast paced, high energy fights which break out often in the show. Despite the show’s name these battles more often than not resemble shonen fighting anime or American super hero comics as opposed to mecha.

This is not to say that Giant Robo is just one fight after another. What makes Giant Robo truly great are the characters which populate the show. The cast blends together very well allowing for tight and effective character development. Characters behave in a highly dramatic fashion but the fate of the world is on the line and character deaths are common, it is natural to get a bit worked up.

The only complaint against Giant Robo that would have any merit is that the show is quite cheesy. While some people may find that to be true, if you can accept the idea of a giant robot and super powered battles Giant Robo is an Oav that has few equals.

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