Monday, January 1, 2001

Change!! Shin Getter Robo (Sekai Saishuu no Hi)

Genre: Mecha
General Audience
© 1998 Go Nagai & Ken Ishikawa /Dynamic Planning - Bandai Visual

Getter Robo DVDs
Getter Robo Toys, Accessories

Cover Description:
Based upon the original Getter Robo and Getter Robo G series. The Getter Robos were created during the lunar wars in an effort to defend the Earth against the seemingly endless threat of alien invasion.

In mankind's darkest hour, the Getter Robos arrived on the cold lunar battlefield and saved mankind from its impending demise at the hands of the ruthless alien invaders. As the years passed, the weapons that once saved mankind became an element of fear that drove humanity to destroy their protectors and the man responsible for their creation.

Now like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the man behind the Getter Robos has returned from the dead with an army of Getter Robo G's bent on seeking revenge against those who would use the Getter technology for their own evil purposes. As nuclear annihilation and alien invasion loom on the horizon, old heroes as well as new ones must heed the call to battle as the war for Earth's survival begins anew!

NOTE: Some of the reviews were written sometime in 2001 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2001. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2001 by default.

If you like giant transforming robots and fast paced action, then this one is for you! >>> by Draco Paladin (??.??.2001)
For those people who grew up with Go Nagai's Mazinger Z, UFO Grandizer, Great Mazinga, this updated/remake version of Getta Robo will be considered a classic and a must watch for all serious giant robot fans. Getta Robo was actually the first show to feature combining 3 machines to change to 3 different robots. The way they did the art in this 90's version just makes you wanna shout, "Channgge Getta 1!" every time that you see them transform. It is just cool how they do those transformation sequences. Now with this version, the transformation becomes more realistic, more believable. They were also faithful in retaining the old getta robo appearance. And the way that they show the action sequences wherein you see the pilot fade in and out with the getta robo really makes you feel that when the robot gets hit, the pilot feels pain as well.

The story has a lot of surprising twist and turns. Makes this anime well worth watching. It just makes you keep guessing what is gonna happen next. I personally like the old intro song which goes Gan Gan Gan Wakai inochi ga makka ni oete...for those oldies who still remember this from the late seventies and early eighties. But the new intro for the Getta Robo: Armageddon is also good. Just takes a little while for you to get use to Kageyama Hiron

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 7; Story 8; Characters 9; Sounds 9

If you like giant transforming robots and fast paced action, then this one is for you! >>> by MarkPoa (08.12.2003)

(First of all, I apologize if I switch from Getta and Getter with irritating frequency. I understand that the official title is Getter Robo, but old habits from using Getta and watching old robot anime die hard...)

As a giant super robot fan, I was excited by the idea of a Getta Robo remake for the nineties. I have fond memories of reruns (reruns, mind you, I'm not that old) of the old Getta Robo show, dubbed in English as Starvenger . While I thought that the character designs and robot designs of the show could be cooler, the original Getta Robo was still memorable in that it actually showed the enemy forces using its head and launching a freaking army of beast robots at a time, instead of one at a time. Of course, Getta Robo still won (can't remember how, though), but that was the first time watching an anime series that I thought the heroes had no hope of winning.

Fast forward to the recent past and Shin Getter Robo was released. Did it measure up to its legacy?

It did and how!

Starting on a dark and stormy night (how classic can you get?) many years after the first series, we see glimpses of a new enemy arriving, an enemy that phases even the combined efforts of Getta 2 and Getta 3. Cut to a teaser of a sinister looking giant robot with razor sharp blades tearing into the enemy amidst a lightning-streaked sky. A familiar, yet strangely different figure appears to take its prize. Later, the world watches in mute horror as Dr. Saotome, seemingly returned from the dead, threatens the Earth with an army of Getta Dragons. Mankind's hope lies in the person whom everyone thought killed Dr. Saotome, Getta 1's pilot Ryouma. Switch to a dazzling show of robot gun-fu and robot bashing as the lone Ryouma-piloted Getta 1 attacks the army of Getta Dragons.

And that's just the first episode.

The next 13 episodes are filled to the brim with super robot fighting action to satisfy any giant robot lover. Retro anime fans will also have a blast checking out the smooth animation of the original classic giant robots. Even though the original Getta Robo, with its large yellow "diaper" was cool and badass. The transformation sequences are top-notch, giving you enough detail of the robots' transformations while at the same time having you go "Whoa!" in amazement (or incredulousness) of the way they actually form those hands and feet.

The series' story is a bit confusing, though, and you need to really follow the storyline to get everything. Some instances, like how Saotome's "son" is actually a girl, still confuses me. Events are mostly explained in the form of flashbacks. Still, there is a logic to the series and most plotlines are resolved in the last few episodes.

Character designs are done in classic Go Nagai style with a bit of 90's revisions. Viewers of the old anime might be in for a shock though, as a lot of familiar characters are different from their old counterparts. Gone are the friendly atmosphere and relationships among Dr. Saotome and the Getta Robo pilots. Instead, we get a hot-blooded near-psychotic Ryouma, an unkillable totally-psychotic Dr. Saotome, and a shifty mysterious Hayato. I have a love-hate relationship with this. On the negative, it was unexpected, dark, and caused me to wonder about why there is a need to make familiar characters "darker" just to get them in line with the present times (sort of the same feelings I had with the Azrael-Batman, for comic book fans out there). On the positive, the new characterizations were interesting, made me want to follow the story more, resulted in massively cool fight scenes, and relevant to the series' story flow. The writers knew what they were doing, I guess.

The mecha designs and enemy designs are, without a doubt, the highlight of this anime, though. The new Shin Getter Robot is a sight to inspire fear and awe, with its large bat wings and wicked scythe. If Duo Maxwell of Gundam Wing could see that, I'd bet he'd be green with envy. As previously stated, the old mecha designs of Getta Robo and Getta Dragon also benefited from the new animation. I could believe that the old Getta Dragon could stand up to the new Shin Getter Robot. The Invaders (no relation to the Invaders in Gatekeepers) are weird, but really intimidating. You would believe they have the ability to take over the world with all those stunts they pulled.

If there's one design I had a hard time liking, though, it was the Shin Getter Dragon that was featured in the last few episodes. Nothing much, it just looked a wee bit ridiculous. Fortunately, it was only used briefly.

I would recommend Shin Getter Robo on the coolness factor of the giant robot fights alone. I'd recommend it to giant robot fans for the nostalgia factor it has. Heck, I would even recommend it just for that one episode where the pilots piloted the Shin Getter Robot naked (there's a reason for it, though). But overall, I'd recommend it because it serves as a good example of what a remake should be: filled with reverence for the source, but not afraid to tread on new ground with an awesomely good story.

Individual Rating: Art: 9; Story & Plot 8; Characters: 9; Sounds: 8

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