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Giant Robo

giantrobo-1
Genre: Action
Company: Hikari Productions
Format: 7 OVA
Dates: 7/23/1992 to 1/25/1998

A new energy system developed by five scientists brought forth an era of prosperity on earth. Clean, cheap, efficient and recyclable, the Shizuma Drive, as it is called, replaced each of today’s fuels and power sources and seemed to be the perfect energy until a bad experiment provoked a terrible explosion wiping out one third of the globe’s populace. The world is now back on its feet but in their quest to control the world, the Big Fire group is trying to reenact the previous tragedy for dark purposes. The Experts of Justice, aided by a young boy and his giant pet robot, will face their biggest challenge yet.

summary by Kjeldoran

 

Reviewed: 04/12/2004 by
Grade: 88% av-Kjeldoran

Highs: Superb character and tech design; a brilliant storyline that catches you unaware; impressive score

Lows: Tries to handle too many characters; hasty introduction and conclusion

“Never judge an anime by its cover” is my new adage. Giant Robo evolves quite nicely from the mecha galore and simple “good versus evil” premise the opening suggests and into an intricate and thought out epic story. Then again, if you only enjoy nonstop robot battles, this OVA series should either disappoint you greatly or might just succeed in expanding your anime prospect.

This anime is not so much of an adaptation of Yokoyama Mitsuteru’s 1960s manga Giant Robo but a tribute to this most famous manga-ka. Storyline, super-powered characters and styles were borrowed from many of his celebrated works such as Tetsujin 28 and Babel II regardless of setting or genre. This infuses the anime with depth and nice, old school classiness even as it applies modern-day animation techniques. The innovative characters and exclusive technology make me want to buy every single manga and the soundtrack while I’m at it. The music composed and performed by the Poland Warsaw Symphonic Orchestra matches the retro flare marvelously.

With close to six years in the making, this was indeed an ambitious project; too ambitious if truth be told. As new faces persist in appearing during the last episodes in a vain attempt to squeeze in most of Mitsuteru’s standout characters, it becomes evident that no suitable ending will bring closure to them all. Hence, the last episode was grand but still bore that dreaded rushed feel. The introduction also doesn’t waste time to the point of hastiness. If it leads to perplexity, tough. Be assured this will dissipate soon enough.

Now that the secret is out, you may not be as surprised as I was by Giant Robo‘s quality but will surely notice it. This underestimated classic of the genre has more substance than most (if not any) anime of its kind.

 

Giant Robo can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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