July is here, and it’s time for another jumbo-sized helping of GME! Anime Fun Time. This time Tom, Daryl, Dylan, and I examine Giant Robo: The Animation – The Day the Earth Stood Still, a 7 episode OAV series from the Nineties directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa and inspired by the manga works of Mitsuteru Yokoyama. Don’t let the term “robo” fool you: Giant Robo is closer in spirit to the heroic wuxia tales of classic Chinese literature than to something like Mobile Suit Gundam. CLICK HERE or on the image above to download our review of the series.
On the Chinese classic The Water Margin that name is a pretty old translation, pre-WWII. The title translation used these days is Outlaws of the Marsh.
BTW there is a complete translation available in a 4 volume paperback. A vast tale of murder, arson, slaughter of innocents, canibalism… And those are the good guys!
Giant Robo is great, but back in the day I did almost go to sleep during one of the extended sequences on the ship, so I can understand why some people might not get over stuff like that in addition to the other issues you mentioned on the podcast. That and I think the big plot twist does make certain individuals look…not entirely competent. Dude had time to record a detailed message but not explain things properly? Not a huge deal, but I’ve always been amused by that.
Either way, I am glad that I could buy the DVD set a few years ago and don’t need to go looking for it in a jury. Too bad about the BD not being licensed abroad yet.
I am not exactly an expert on Muv Luv but my understanding is the most worthwhile part of that property is Alternative, the third part of the original VN which does get incredibly dark, depressing and serious with the robots vs. monsters conflict. Everything else, including the two anime spin-offs, don’t seem to be particularly interesting.
Giant Robo has aged amazingly well. Aside from the fact that it was made using cel animation, there’s nothing in it that really dates it. It has a wonderful orchestral score, and the character designs don’t scream “90’s anime designs” in the way that a lot of its contemporaries do.
It’s a shame Toshiyuki Kubooka hasn’t had many chances to do character designs. Outside of Giant Robo and the Lunar games (also from the early 90’s although they haven’t aged nearly as well as Giant Robo), he’s mostly been attached to Idolm@ster like you mentioned in the podcast. And Idolm@ster’s designs don’t carry the same charm for me that his early 90’s designs do. His Giant Robo designs actually look superior to Mitsuteru Yokohama’s art, which tends to look really stiff and uniconic compared to contemporaries such as Tezuka and Ishinomori.
The Ginrei specials aren’t very good, but the second episode had at least one good gag: we see Daisaku standing alone in the middle of the rain, and he glances down at the wrist on his which his watch used to rest and we see an impression on his wrist where the watch used to be.
So far, my favorite feedback regarding this episode is from Twitter, where one listener noted that their significant other was convinced I must definitely weigh 300 pounds and have a gigantic beard. For the record, I have no beard and my waist size is 30″ because I weigh like 135 pounds. I used to weigh 110-120, so clearly I’m gaining levels in corpulence.
In re-listening to this–doesn’t everyone re-listen to podcasts they were on themselves?–one of the things that failed to register with me during the recording was when I pointed out that the series only really has two major female characters, and then we started to talk about Sunny. In fact, the two characters I was referring to were Ginrei and Youshi “the Blue-Faced Demon,” who was really only mentioned for half a sentence in this recording despite being rather important.
The heroic rallying debut of Youshi at the start of the second episode is something of a “you are either 100% on board with what this series is going for or you may as well stop watching” moment, especially due to the rousing musical accompaniment:
VILLAINS DESERVE NO MERCY.
Thinking about not returning to, or finishing a show, I kinda reminded myself of Ralph Bakshi’s “Wizards” just now. He gave us an interesting fantasy world of the future that, while the film contained a story that was self-contained and did what it set out to do, still made this world seem interesting and a little unexplored. For years, Bakshi had teased us with the possibility of returning to sad world with a sequel of sorts, or even a graphic novel. 40 years later, and we still have nothing, though I’m sure he could pay someone to do it for him these days if he didn’t mind doing more than coming up with some plotline for him or her to try.
Sometimes I wonder if wanting more is necessary at times. I noticed someone mentioned Candidate for Goddess and I reminded myself of is unresolved ending to the anime (not sure if the manga did it better or not, I just didn’t care outside of the few times I bothered to watch it on CN when it was airing alongside The Big O, which of course was one of those that caught everyone off guard back then with its first season finale, leaving us wanting to know more about this world and its characters. Of course we did get a second season anyway but even then I think the interest wined greatly.
I couldn’t find this earlier in my podcast app and thought maybe I had imagined the episode entirely. Nope, the link to the mp3 is broken. Hopefully it’s just Libsyn acting up.
I’ve removed all of the podcasts that featured Dylan Kielman as a guest after he was exposed as being a sexual predator. The episodes on Giant Robo, Kemono Friends, and Baoh have been taken down permanently as a result.