Giant Robo Anime Review
ジャイアント ロボ THE ANIMATION - 地球が静止する日
Jaianto Robo The Animation - Chikyuu ga Seishi Suru Hi
Giant Robo The Animation - The Day The Earth Stands Still
US Release By
Sci-fi Mecha Action-Drama
7 45-minute episodes
1992-07-22 - 1998-01-25
Giant Robo is set in the future, an era of peace and prosperity. This is due to the invention of the Shizuma Drive, a non-polluting and completely recyclable power source which is the biggest thing since the splitting of the atom. However, in the undercurrents of this glorious peace, two forces are battling for control. One is Big Fire, an evil corporation set on world domination. The other is the Interpol Police, a group of uniquely talented individuals. Among them is a boy with the mysterious ability to control the earths' mightiest Robot, Giant Robo! His name? Daisaku Kusama!
I was first introduced to Giant Robo via a preview from Manga, Inc. I paid it little mind, actually. When I started to download a couple of clips (dubbed version) from the series a little later, it piqued my interest. After I began to read some reviews and visited a few sites, I came to one conclusion: I need this anime. About a year later I ordered it.
Nothing could've prepared me for what I saw.
Story-wise we're thrown into a typical good versus evil story with seemingly corny characters. However, Giant Robo wastes no time in reaching out, guiding your full attention to the screen and holding it there until the final credits are all done. The characters turn out to be three dimensional to the point of making you think there's a fourth dimension out there. The plot is written masterfully and told in one of the most epic presentations I have ever seen. Don't let any synopsis fool you, this one has enough betrayal and plot twists to make your head spin for five days once you're done with even one episode.
On the technical end of things, it doesn't get much better. The animation is superb in every aspect including character animation, background, special effects, etc. The character designs, and the entire design of the series, is a rip-roaring retro-fest that'll make your eyes sparkle, even if you're not a real retro fan. The characters and mecha are a blast from the past, and I don't think I'd want it any other way. In fact, I think the character designs are my favorite to date. Some people may recognize them from Ninja Resurrection, or both Lunar complete games. In my opinion, this is the best of the three (or at least the only three I know of). The first episode was made in '92 and the seventh episode (not yet released here) was completed in April of '98. Obviously some episodes took a year to make so you can tell that a lot of work was put into this series... I don't even wanna think about how much it cost.
Aside from the clips and previews, I've only seen the subtitled version and the acting is probably the best I've ever heard. The casting is excellent and surprisingly unique. I've heard that to feel the full drama of Giant Robo, you should get the subtitled version. I have no comment, since I've not seen enough of the dub. Speaking of the dub, however, I've heard it wasn't too shabby on the whole, if a bit on the inconsistent side. If you prefer your anime dubbed, you probably won't be disappointed. The reason I'm going to recommend the subtitled version is because the Japanese acting is top-notch and it's extremely hard for a dub to top that. Also it's the better deal, believe it or not. The dubbed version is seven episodes on six tapes and the subtitled is seven episodes on three tapes. This is the main reason why I'm recommending the subtitled version, but if dub's the way you wanna go, more power to you. The subtitling itself is pretty solid, except for the last two episodes where the spelling and grammar are kind of poor and even the timing needed work.
The music is composed and conducted by the Poland Warsaw Symphonic Orchestra and this is probably their finest work. The music in Giant Robo is so good it's probably the only anime that I will spend the ridiculously high price to get the soundtracks. The music is powerful and overall fits the mood perfectly. J-Pop can be kind of fun, but every now and then you really need to hear some real instrumental music (preferably in surround sound).
Overall, Giant Robo is an absolutely amazing series with everything going for it in every aspect. I know it seems I'm being an easy reviewer but I seriously cannot find anything wrong with this series.
Notes and Trivia
Loosely based on the live-action robot series from the '60s, Giant Robo. The series is actually more of a homage to all the works of comic artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama, creator of many classic mecha, action, and sci-fi comics--Tetsujin 28, the original Giant Robo, and Babel II, to name just a few.
There is also a three-episode spin-off series that is more of a parody, released in the US as the Ginrei Special.
There are in fact two dubs of the series available; an older dub sold by Manga Entertainment on VHS, and a newer dub produced by Media Blasters for their DVD release of the series.
Available in North America from AnimeWorks in several forms: Three individual bilingual DVDs plus a fourth with the Ginrei special, a box set of all four discs, or a Premium set in a funky box that includes all four discs plus a fifth full of extras. Previously available on 6 dubbed or 3 subtitled VHS tapes from Manga video, and before that on VHS from U.S. Renditions.