1990′s TV Anime – Getter Robo Go Episode 1

If you are going to call your opening theme 21st Century Boy you are building expectations you can’t possibly live up to. Is it really going to be one better than T-Rex’s classic? It is not.

Thankfully after the disappointment of the opening theme, we open the episode with some pseudo-news reel of metal beasts attacking various cities across the world. There’s some nice work here that, like the song title, sets the bar far too high for the rest of the episode. With all other cities destroyed, our villains decide to head to Tokyo. Future villains take note, attack Tokyo first, as you’re only giving them time to develop giant robots otherwise.

In Tokyo, we jarringly get what appears to be a clumsy homage to Captain Power with a computer simulation training sequence, and the animation quality drops off a cliff. Remember how cool and different the original Getter heroes were? Well they’ve been replaced by a bunch of poorly drawn blandies who’ve been over doing it with hairspray. Ryouma Nagare and Hayato Jin show up in the manga to give the newbies the Getter Robo rub, but they are notable by their absence in the anime.

The main strength of the episode is in its mixing of “realism” into the Getter Robo stew. The handling of the robot in this episode feels more like a “real robot” and the use of realistic helicopters as a support crew for Getter Robo juxtapose nicely next to the pure fantasy design of the Metal Beast. It makes the creature seem more otherworldly rather than the “oh, this sort of thing happens all the time” vibe of earlier Dynamic Productions titles.

Despite that, and tiny glints of visual fun (check out the style of the New York inhabitants in the first picture above), it’s not enough though to cut through the boring heroes and the overall sense of production sloppiness that the slack talking head scenes induce.