Friday, June 25, 2010
Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo anime review
Giant Robots are awesome, aren’t they? Some of them are really creative and fun to watch fight giant monsters and what not. The best part of this is that we can thank Japan for the onslaught of awesome giant robot shows that we have seen over the past couple of decades. Sadly, we don’t seem to get a lot of the cooler Super Robot animes that are shown everywhere else in the world. Most of the time, We get stuff like Gundam, which can get a little more tedious since politics take a front seat to the action, but giant robot shows need to be more action-oriented. We do have some good ones, like The Big-O and Daiguard, but there is one that I have wanted to see for some time now, the Getter Robo series. It’s a really popular robot anime and manga series that is still around today in Japan. Today, I decided to take a look at one of the more recent anime adaptations of the series, Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo. This series, which was made in 2001 and ran for only 4 episodes, was a pretty epic show in my opinion. So, let’s get right down to it, and see what makes this series so awesome. Just a heads up though, I plan to do a review of some of the other anime adaptations later this year, and I do plan on doing a review of Shin Getter Robo: Armageddon.
The main plot takes place in an alternate universe where this anime acts as a sequel to Getter Robo. This time though, it starts with an invasion by the Dinosaur Empire. They are dinosaurs that have lived underground and evolved into humanoid form. While two of the original Getter Robo pilots try to charge up Shin Getter Robo, a stronger version of Getter Robo, the other original pilot takes the original Getter Robo, and tries to single-handedly defeat and prevent the invasion from the Dinosaur Empire in Manhattan. Sadly, they can’t get Shin Getter Robo up and running, and the third pilot of the original Getter Robo realizes he can’t hold them all off for long, and instead uses a self-destruct device using the core of the robot. In the end, the explosion kills the Dinosaur Empire and wipes out Manhattan. Years later, one of the original pilots, Hayato, is trying to find a third member for a new team to pilot Neo Getter, a newly-made robot that runs on Neo energy, due to Getter energy getting banned from the Japanese Government. However, the Dinosaur Empire somehow survived the blast from the explosion and is trying to kidnap people and turn them into its soldiers. Hayato finally finds a third pilot named Gou who must team up with the two other pilots, Shou and Gai, and save the world with Neo Getter Robo.
Shin Getter Robo Vs. Neo Getter Robo is like other Super Robot shows, in that there is an evil force trying to take over the world and the giant robot needs to stop the invasion and save the world. However, this series starts off dark, with one of the original Getter Robo characters dying. I mean, Shin Getter Robo is probably the darkest of the anime series based on of the Getter series, but this one is a little more lighthearted, but still serious. For most of the episodes, the three main pilots use Neo Getter Robo until episode 3, where Neo Getter is destroyed and they are forced to use Shin Getter Robo. Like other Getter Robos, it has three forms. The first one is basically the ground-based default robot, which is usually the titular character of the series. I mean, he IS on the title. The second one is usually the fastest of the three forms and always uses a drill attack. The final form is usually more ground-based, but depending on what series you watch, has two different styles of attacks. The Neo Getter version has a powerful wind engine-like weapon around his head, and uses it to make a strong tornado-like blast at the enemy. The other version has extendable arms, and basically has tank-wheel caterpillar legs, but uses missiles in most of its powerful attacks. There is usually a second robot on hand, like in Shin Getter Robo, and in this show also. Here we have the American robo, Texas Mach that is themed like a cowboy and uses revolvers, a lasso, rides a robotic horse, and has a huge rail gun hidden in the US and Japan, if things go bad. Let’s get down to the villains now. There is not a lot of the original Dinosaur Empire left, so it works, since this series is only 4 episodes long. They do use robots, like humans, but they usually have some form of lizard or reptile thing attached to them. The exception is the ruler of the Empire who doesn’t need his own robot since he is as big as one.
The animation looks nice. The art style of Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa still holds up well, and I like the designs of the enemies and the robots used in the series. Sadly, Ken Ishikawa is no longer with us, dying in 2006. It’s always sad to see people who made things you watched or read in your childhood or life pass away. The music is typical Getter Robo stuff, but it helps that Ichiro Mizuki, who you all know I love, sings the opening for the anime. The anime opening is actually well done, filled with intense action music and action scenes. Don’t believe me? Then check it out for your self.
Now, it’s time to talk about the bad parts of this little series. I just don’t like the whole 4-episode thing. I think it’s too short, and it forces the creators or whoever to rush the whole story line. It seems even pointless to have Neo Getter Robo since it gets destroyed in episode 3, and then they use Shin Getter Robo to finish off the villains. We also don’t get a lot of character development. You get the basic idea of what they are all like, but still, they could have made this series at least 26 episodes. I also kind of find it weird how Americans are portrayed in the Getter Robo series. In Shin Getter Robo, they are portrayed as arrogant and brutish. In Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo, they are portrayed as cowboys and are cocky as they can be. It kind of makes you wonder how Japan actually sees us. Some of the designs of the dinosaurs are really weird, and only a few seem sloppy. That seems like a theme in some of the monsters in Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa’s work, but they have a charm to them. They might seem weirdly simple looking, but they hold a charm.
Overall, this was a fun, but short 4-episode anime. I say, if you can find the DVD for this show, pick it up or just watch it on Youtube with English subtitles. I will always have a part of my heart dedicated to this series for the inspiration for a group of my giant robot drawings. Let’s just see where Go Nagai goes next with the Getter Robo series.
This show gets a solid 9 out of 10