Anime Reviews:

Giant Robo


[Giant Robo]Pioneer pipped Manga in the classic giant robot story stakes by first releasing the excellent Kishin Heidan to much justified acclaim back in 1995. Admittedly, Giant Robo has the pedigree over Pioneer's upstart but could Manga surpass what seemed unsurpassable? Well, I don't think so. But I'm sure others will disagree and I'm happy to admit that I could see their point.

The feature-length first episode opens with a pretty gobsmacking chase sequence culminating in the first appearance of Giant Robo himself. Once these first (destruction-filled) fifteen minutes are over we have witnessed the destruction of Paris set against a backdrop of classic music and some mightily impressive action set pieces. The characters here are more flamboyant than those seen in their Pioneer counterpart and the whole enterprise is less serious and geared towards younger viewers. Robo also features more humour than Kishin Heidan and this is welcome.

The subsequent episodes run at a shorter fifty minutes each but the quality remains throughout. The dub and voice acting are spot on making this one of Manga's best ever efforts on that front. Yasunori Honda's John Barryesque changes in musical styles that incorporate calypso, opera, classical and even Philip Glass-like repetitive minimalism is a major plus. More straightforward and less political than its nearest rival, Giant Robo is quality anime and any robot fanatic (include me here) will buy both series anyway. 8/10

Rob Dyer (January 2005)

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