Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Toshiba
- MSRP: ¥26000
- Running time: 427
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Giant Robo
Giant Robo Giga Premium Collection
Giant Robo Giga Premium Collection
What They SayThe Review!
I came upon this title as a bit of an impulse buy. Seeing it listed as an upcoming release, and finding it mentioned in a thread on the Anime On DVD forums, I decided to take a chance and put in an order for it a few months back. After watching the first 5 minutes of the first episode, I knew I had found a true classic.
Based on the old live action series, "Johnny Sokko and his Giant Robot", the plot of this OVA Series revolves around the efforts of the Experts of Justice to prevent the destruction of the world's supply of Shizuma drives by Big Fire. The Shizuma drive has completely replaced all known forms of energy with a clean, recyclable power source that spurred a new age of prosperity. The story begins with the rescue of a mysterious briefcase and the eminent Dr. Shizuma from the forces of Big Fire. But soon after, a nefarious plot to repeat the tragedy of Bashtarel, a disaster that destroyed an entire country 10 years earlier, is discovered. This sends our heroes are off on a quest to stop the forces of Big Fire from bringing the entire population of the earth to it's knees, and to prevent the seemingly apocalyptic vision of Dr. Von Folger from being realized by the mysterious Genya. But enough vague plot summaries, I don't want to spoil any of the surprises for those of you who haven't seen this series yet.
One of my favorite aspects of this series has to be the character and mechanical designs. With the availability of animation tools with high quality effects and 3D rendering, many of today's Anime strive to be realistic and logical their designs. In Giant Robo, everything is very much retro-60s. The designs remind me very much of Osamu Tezuka's works like Astro Boy and Wonder-3. Lines are thick, color palettes simple, but this only enhances the unique look of this series. Mechanical designs range from the mildly plausible (a VW beetle retrofitted with a Shizuma drive powered engine), to the fantastic (huge zeppelins big enough to carry Giant Robo and a dozen aircraft). This being said, everything matches perfectly, for a wonderfully unique and fascinating vision of an alternate future.
Next to the animation itself, the score for the series adds a truly epic scope as the story unfolds. Recorded by the Warsaw Symphony, and classical in inspiration, it ranges from operatic vocals, to stirring choruses and sweeping symphonic movements. Watching the credits (in Japanese, of course) is worth it for the music playing in the background alone.
The box set itself consists of 4 DVDs. The first 3 discs contain the 7 episodes of the OVA series. A fourth dedicated to a whole raft of goodies, in both DVD-Video and DVD-ROM formats. On the DVD video portion of the disc, commercials, animation work materials, footage of the recording of the soundtrack, and an interview with the creative talent behind the series is included. The DVD-ROM portion adds to this one of the best image galleries I've ever seen in a box set of this type. Accessible via a set of HTML pages, concept artwork, character sketches, scans of cells, photos of character goods, and box art is included. Quality and resolution varies, but the vast majority of the images are beautiful high resolution scans.
The audio and video quality of the OVA episodes is second to none. The video is crisp, clear, and shows no visible artifacting that I could see. I would not be surprised if a new scan from the original film prints, or at the very least, a pure, archive quality D1 master, was used as the source. The audio is well mastered, albeit only in 2 channel Dolby Surround. This is the format that the series was originally produced in, so you not going to get any better at this point. This being your standard Region-2 DVD release, there are no subtitles to be found on this disc. The English dub is included along with the original Japanese soundtrack however, and is very well done as dubs go.
A/V quality on the extras disc is rather spotty, primarily due to the sources used for each segment. The TV promos look to have come off of the LaserDisc masters, and some other footage were probably pulled from VHS tapes. But these are the extras, and it is obvious that all of the attention was paid to the episodes themselves, as one would expect.
Video: A+, Audio: A, Extras: A
At a hefty $230, this package is not for the weak of heart or thin of wallet. It was listed as a pre-order only item, may have been produced in limited numbers, and could be hard to find at this point.
If you are a true Giant Robo fan, and can find one, this is a must buy for your collection. If you've never seen Giant Robo, then find someone who has it and borrow it as soon as possible. You will be hooked, and find yourself scrounging for a complete set yourself before too long.
Some of the most stunning hand drawn animation ever produced, a symphonic score with an epic scope, and the best use of classic retro Manga style character designs I've yet to see make this series one of the true timeless classics of Anime.
Japanese Language 2.0 Stereo,English Dub 2.0 Stereo,Episode 0,Last Episode Promo Clip,TV Commercials for OAV 2 and 7,American Promo,Italian Promo,Home Page Exclusive Promo,Super Robot Taisen Alpha / 64 Video Game Clip (features Giant Robo),Gin Rei Commercials,Soundtrack Only Music Mix,Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra Performance of Giant Robo Soundtrack,Interview with the Creators,Special Issue Book: GR Dictionary(!) Staff Voice Actor Comments Interviews
Sony 32" XBR48 Television, Sony STR-DA50ES Receiver, Pioneer 525 codefree DVD player, Atlantic Compact Theatre 2 5.1 Speakers. Connections: S-Video and Coaxial Digital Audio