Giant Robo

volume 1 sleeve

Official Blurb:

"GIANT ROBO is based on the manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama and is packed with outrageous characters and retro-mecha action at its best. The world was transformed ten years ago by the invention of the Shizuma Drive, a clean and non-polluting source of totally renewable enemy."

"But now Dr Shizuma is running for his life, clutching an attache case that contains this valuable and deadly power. The forces of a diabolical organisation, Big Fire, close in for the kill, and it is only the timely intervention of Giant Robo and the Experts of Justice that stop Shizuma and the case from falling into the hands of the villainous Magnificent Ten."

"Despite losing this skirmish, the evil army begins setting its awful plans in motion. An enormous structure explodes from the heart of Paris, and the ancient cathedral of Notre Dame becomes the centre of a power blackout of frightening proportions. As chaos reigns, Big Fire prepare an all-out assault to retrieve the case.....Will they be victorious?"

Original author:  Mitsuteru Yokoyama
Director:         Yasuhiro Imagawa
Screenplay:       Yasuhiro Imagawa & Eichi Matsuyama
Character design: Toshiyuki Kubooka & Akihiko Yamashita
Copyright:        Hikari Productions/Amuse Video/Plex/Atlantis

Language Format:  English Language
Running time:     58/42/40/48/47/48/86 mins
                  NB: The running times given on the video sleeves
                  of parts one and two are incorrect.
Certificate:      PG/PG/PG/PG/12/12/PG
Label:            Manga Video
Catalogue no:     MANV 1119/MANV 1120/MANV 1124/MANV 1125/
                  MANV 1126/MANV 1127/MANV 1213
Price:            vol. 1-6: £5.99 each, vol. 7: £10.99
Release Date:     5th Feb/4th Mar/15th Apr/3th May/
                  10th Jun/8th July 1996/18th Jan 1999

[The 'Barefoot Ginrei' special is included as a bonus on volume 7]


Episode 1:

A retro-mecha style anime with a science fantasy theme. The date is ten years after the invention of the Shizuma Drive, a clean and non-polluting source of totally renewable energy. Now Dr Shizuma is running for his life, clutching an attaché case that contains a variant of his valuable but dangerous invention, and pursued by a diabolical organisation, Big Fire. The International Police Organisation and its Experts of Justice rescue Shizuma and for the moment frustrate Big Fire's evil plans. The Experts include two sake-swigging martial aritsts, Taiso and Tetsugyu a beautiful young woman, Ginrei, and Daisaku, a boy who commands Giant Robo by means of a writswatch radio. The robot is a metal colossus with a head like that of an Egyptian sphinx. Many of the principal characters have supernatural powers, which gives the action sequences something of the flavour of an American juvenile cartoon.

In the second half-hour, a construction under Notre Dame, Paris, erects an energy barrier and blacks out most of the city as Big Fire launch another attack..

Reasons for watching: the attractive animation and colouring; the fabulous mecha, the witty direction and the engaging characters and their relationships. Despite all the up-front silliness, this is a highly watchable and entertaining series with some memorable characters. [Geoff Cowie]

This is probably the funniest anime I've ever seen. Where to begin? Well, there's this bloke who's invented a wonderful energy source, and some people who want him and his attaché case, and some other people who want to rescue him, and these people have a giant robot (you guessed that one, didn't you) on their side.

Now, none of this sounds particularly original, but it's the tongue in cheek, Raiders of the Lost Ark on amphetamines, punch 'em ina face, style in which it's done that makes this one big laugh from beginning to end. [Marlon Seton]

Episode 2:

In this second volume (which in the preview follows on from the 60 mins of volume 1!) the assault on the Peking headquarters continues, the third attache case is about to be seized by the forces of Big Fire, and the two attache cases in the possession of Big Fire are used to devastating effect in causing the failure of every Shizuma Drive on the planet. They seem to be succeeding in bringing about the 'beautiful night' prophesied by the mad Von Vogel.

This is an excellently produced anime, in a satisfactory dub edition, and maintains the standard set by the first part. [Geoff Cowie]

Episode 3:

In this episode, the black Orb circuits the world, shutting down Shizuma drives in its path and heading for the world's last oil reserves, while the Experts of Justice marshall forces and equipment for a last showdown. But will the Experts deploy the awesome nuclear-powered Giant Robo?

Once one gets used to the flamboyant over-the top style of this series, it's great, with colourful characters, thrilling action, and bold designs. I missed an incoming phone call while the final credits of this episode were rolling. For reasons best known to themselves, Manga Video are selling these great videos so cheap (£5.99) that it would be a crime not to buy them! [Geoff Cowie]

Episode 4:

Another nailbiting episode of this excellent science fantasy series in which those glorious superheroes, the Experts of Justice, battle desperately against the evil forces of Big Fire who are bent on reducing the world to chaos and darkness. Things are not going at all well in the battle for Shanghai, as the magnetic attack on the Eye globe has failed and Giant Robo has been disabled, and the airship Greta Garbo is also overrun and set on fire by intruders. Expert of Justice Taiso makes a last stand, taking on his old enemy Lord Alberto in a battle to the death in an effort to win his companions enough time to escape.

This episode maintains the high standard of excitement, animation, characterisation, design and soundtrack set by the previous volumes. The characters, both the good guys like brave Taiso or lovely Ginrei, and the bad guys like the fearsomely villainous Lord Alberto, each with their own special powers, are particularly noteworthy.

Verdict: This series is so good and so cheap it would be a crime not to buy it. [Geoff Cowie]

Comment from newsgroups:

Hiroki Nonoyama:
If you love drama, I strongly suggest GR.  I think most of the Miyazaki fans,
especially those who love "Future Boy Conan" and "Laputa" (I myself am one of 
them) will enjoy the show.

If you watch anime just because you wanna see kawaii charas, our heroine 
Ginrei looks *much* better in motion than her portrait on the covers.  Hey, 
you gotta check out the shortest skirt in the anime universe (shorter than
those of Sailor brats! [no flame bait intended ^_^]), and in ep5, she is 
looking pretty in her -Santa- outfit.  And I love the VA.  "...nnnnNO!!!"

Yes, chara design looks old and simple, yet they *do* move!  Along with 
the perfect coloring and the ultra detailed background art, the visual is 
very 3 dementional and plain amazing.