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Story:

In the future the third energy revolution is caused by the invention of the Shizuma drive — an unlimited source of clean energy — and an ideal utopia is created. However, there is still forces of evil in this new world. That evil is Big Fire, a terrorist group bent on world domination. Possessing advanced robots and lead by The Magnificent Ten, a group of extremely powerful super humans, there is nothing that can stand in their way. Except, that is, for The Experts of Justice who protect the world, lead by The Celestial Nine, super heroes just as powerful as the Magnificent Ten. The newest member of the Celestial Nine is Daisaku Kusamu and the robot his dead father left him, Giant Robo, the strongest robot in the world.

Now a new danger threatens the world. A mysterious giant eye has appeared in the sky and is draining the energy from all the Shizuma drives. At the same time Dr. Shizuma, the creator of the drives, is being hunted by Big Fire for assassination. And if that wasn’t enough, Franken von Vogler, one of the creators of the Shizuma drive, reappears after being dead for ten years and declares revenge against the world for the Tragedy of Bashtarle. What was the Tragedy of Bashtarle and it’s relation to Volger? Why is the eye draining the energy of the world? What is Big Fire’s role in all this? Daisaku Kusama and the Experts of Justice are going to have to figure everything out fast if they want to survive the Seven Days of Darkness.

Impressions:

Let me say this first: Giant Robo is one of the greatest anime ever created hands down. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like mecha or not, or if you only like loli’s in your anime. It’s a classic that trancends genres and mere words. It’s taken me three tries just to write this review, because each time I can’t find the words to describe how great this series is. First there’s the characters, who are all incredibly awesome. From the nobly malicious villians of the Magnificent Ten, like the gar Albert the Impact, to even the minor warriors of the IPO who are all based on Chinese heroes, they’re all great and heroic. Daisaku starts out as a slightly naive robot pilot, gets emo a little bit, before deciding to kick reason to the curb and become gar on his own. While I don’t like to use gar too much, I feel like I need completely new adjectives to describe these characters. They’re larger than life, like epic heroes from myth. Hell, a lot of them are based on epic heroes from chinese mythology. The story itself is epic; it has everything. Family betrayal, honor, friendship, noble sacrifice, rivalries, etc. It’s like 50-episodes of action crammed into eight, but you don’t feel like your missing anything at all.

On the animation front Giant Robo is perfect. There’s a reason the OVA took almost six years to complete. They made sure they had the best budget possible when animating an episode. Everything’s top notch quality here. One of the first things you notice with the animation is that it’s a very retro style. The future imagined in GR is the kind of outlandish utopian future that was imagined in the sixties, with all the crazy machines to go with it. The mecha also have those old school looks where they all look a bit crazier. The music in GR is a complete orchestral soundtrack composed by Masamichi Amano, and it’s one of the greatest soundtracks I’ve ever heard. There’s distinct themes that run through every episode, and then there’s stand out tracks like in episode seven when Giant Robo revives. The very reason I still remember some scenes in GR so vividly is because of the excellent music.

Obviously, I think very highly of Giant Robo. In my mind it’s a classic of anime as a whole that really shows the story telling potential of the medium. You don’t even have to like mecha to enjoy GR, because there’s really not that much mecha fighting in it. A lot of the fighting is by the super human members of the cast who have amazing powers, but in japanese tradition they don’t explain why. They just have them and it’s awesome. So if I haven’t made it clear yet, watch Giant Robo. Dare I say one of the greatest shows ever created. Also one of the shows most in need of a sequal. There’s not exactly any plotholes, but it promises another story when there is none. Only bad thing about GR is that there isnt’ more of it. And that says a lot about how good it is.