Giant Robo 2007 – New developments in whatness!

October 15, 2006 on 1:35 am | In Giant Robo | 6 Comments

The new Giant Robo is being actively promoted for English markets by its production company in the form of this site.

Now, looking at that site, I’m finding myself asking “what have I done to you, Softgarage?” If you look at those character designs, it’s clear that they’ve revised the Giant Robo aesthetic. Giant Robo is not something that you can modernise. The whole point of watching it is so that you can feel like you’re watching anime of the sixties and seventies with a high level nineties budget, so expensive that years upon years are taken to animate the whole damned thing.

On top of this, they’ve revised the Giant Robo “mythology”, in that it didn’t used to have a mythology. The point of the previous Giant Robo was the morality of the technology that had been utilised in creating Giant Robo; the inherent danger of the very utility of the robot versus the danger of not using him and having Big Fire win. If these are mystical “god robots” discovered by people in various parts of the world, I don’t know what to make of that.

Of course, I shouldn’t say that something should slavishly conform to that which inspired it, but I sure would like it that way. With only one character that I recognise, Giant Robo might be interesting, but it won’t be what I loved.

Plus that site needs some editing. I mean, it has a “plomotion plan”.

… and I shouldn’t complain about “authenticity” if you consider that Giant Robo of the nineties was a huge mélange of Yokoyama’s entire career.


  1. Look, I don’t know about aestetics or mythology, but the website is drop-dead gorgeous and just plain nice. First of all, NO FLASH. That certainly counts for something in my book! Then, the “History” section, with the taxonomy of robots. I’m going to give these guys the benefit of doubt until I see the result.

    Comment by Pete Zaitcev — October 15, 2006 #

  2. …what the hell is that? Is that even Giant Robo? How can that be Giant Robo… with none of the members of the Experts, and none of the Magnificent Ten?

    …what the hell is that!?!

    >>I’m going to give these guys the benefit of doubt until I see the result.

    They’ve completely revised and screwed up everything that Giant Robo is, and you’re giving them the benefit of the doubt? I think you’re being a bit too lenient.

    Comment by Rift — October 15, 2006 #

  3. Well, just to comment on the previous comment; if you’re wondering where the Experts and Magnificent Ten have gone, the simple answer is that this new Giant Robo went back to the source material, that is, the original manga back in the sixties.

    The thing is, is that the OAV did not follow the manga at all, keeping only the bare bones assemblage of the plot: Daisaku and Robo fight some evil organization called Big Fire. However, on top of that, the studio did something really cool, which is stick randomly charaacters from all the stuff the mangaka did in his career.

    The mangaka by the way, made a lot of stuff, with many different categories. He helped invent both the giant robot category, AND the magical girl category, and wrote expansive treatments of two of the Ancient Chinese Classical Novels, The Water Margin (about 108 virtuous Chinese Bandits and also the source for Suikoden) and Romance of the Three Kingdoms (a war epic about the historical crumbling of the first great Imperial Dynasty into Three Warring Kingdoms). The result is utter coolness, but bizarre, for example, most the interpol agents are Chinese… AND ANCIENT BANDITS: the megaton punch guy in the shades, Tetsugyu, Daizong and his wife(who actually was a man in the book… no comment), the priest who can shapeshift, the random guys in the tiger skins and the fisherman are all Bandits from the water margin; many of the Ten are actually HEROES from the mangaka’s other works, for example, Komei (Kongming) is Zhuge Liang from Three Kingdoms, Sunny is Magical Witch Girl Sally, a version of Samantha from Bewitched (I’m serious), the red ninja… is from the thing with the red ninja in it, Big Fire is actually the Hero of Babel II, etc.

    What looks like is happening here is a complete reboot, a reimagining of the original manga on within its own confines(So no continuing adventures of the Experts, sadly). But what will be produced looks promising, but really, it has nothing to do with the OAV.

    Comment by Spooky — October 15, 2006 #

  4. Plus it is said that Yokoyama gave his own approval before he died, which also implies that this has been in production for quite while now.

    I know it doesn’t go precisely with what I said above, but we can’t just remake the same few titles over and over again. A reimagining can be a good thing – and it’s not like the OVA is going to cease to exist.

    So we’ve already got something great; we might be able to add something atop that.

    Comment by Alex — October 15, 2006 #

  5. No magnificent ten will kill this for me. The last Giant Robo was so complex and interesting and left a good number of unexplained questions such as “Was Big Fire really the good guys”.

    Comment by shizumadrive — April 21, 2007 #

  6. A horrible end to an amazing series. I was hoping this was a sequal but then I guess our questions will never be anwsered.
    *Spoiler* Though I guess it wouldn’t be much of a story now that they’ve killed off everyone. Which made me very sad in the end. *Spoiler*
    I could tell alot of simlarities to the characters of Giant Robo and the Dynasty Warriors video game series (which is based off of Romance of the Three Kingdoms)
    It really disappoints me that they wouldn’t continue what they started. And if it turns into one of those Adult swim shows I will not be happy. Just because it looks pretty doesn’t mean it’s a good story. I’m sorry to be so one sided but I’m just kinda mad.

    Comment by Lauren — March 2, 2009 #

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