Gigantor Box Set 1 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
  • MSRP: 69.95
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gigantor

Gigantor Box Set 1

By Mark McPherson     November 16, 2002
Release Date: October 22, 2002

The Review!
Black-and-white anime? There was such a thing. Very rare, but it did exist. Needless to say, an anime like this is classic.

Audio: The original mono track with no distortion at all. Pretty clean for a show this old. Good work, Rhino.

Video: While there is still dust on the prints, Rhino did a solid job with the video quality. It actually look pretty good for a show thats in black-and-white.

Packaging: I was surprised to see a color box for this set. However, the insert, which contains all four discs, is completely black and white, staying true to the show. There is also an insert listing the episodes and a synphosis on each one.

Menu: One thing I didn't like about these menus is how they tried to impersonate the beginning to each episode when you select an option. For instance, when you select Episode Index, you'll go to a black screen with the title and a large voice saying "Episode Index!" while Gigantor busts through the screen. Kind of annoying. Despite the lacking load times, the menus are pretty well done.

Extras: While not really having anything to do with the original Tetsujin 28 series, these extras are pretty good. The first extra is commentary by the original English director on episodes 3-5. He mostly talks about the voice acting, but he does make some references to what was changed from the original series. The other extras on disc four include an interview with Fred Lad (the original English director for Gigantor), an interview with an anime historian (don't know why they included this) and a text bio on the original Japanese creator. Nice extras.

Content: I know what your thinking. A series made in 1963 can't be a terrific show. Despite this stereotype, Gigantor can arguably be labled as the most intellgent cartoon of the 60's.

At first it sounds pretty simple. A 12-year-old boy controls a giant robot on adventures. But those adventures are actually quite entertaining. Despite the odd name changes to people and countries, this show actually does have an interesting plot. For instance, even just one episode can have as many as five plot twists! Almost reminds me of the Lupin TV series.

Actually, Gigantor doesn't even seem to be needed on a few of these missions unless a giant robot shows up. He just feels randomly added into some scenes, but I guess thats what makes Gigantor all the more cooler. Since it was made in the 60's, expect to see some odd character and mecha designs. One of the most fun things I found about this show is that the controller of Gigantor doesn't pilot it, he controls it. This is a technique that is used rarely in mecha anime these days.

So how much of the content from the original Tetsujin 28 was cut to make Gigantor. To be honest, not that much. About 90% of the content is kept in all these episodes. Even the inspector is shown using chop sticks while eating rice (which I could tell some people were willing to edit out). Keep in mind this was made before TV stations had standards for broadcasting. So don't be surprised if you see someone smoking or shooting at indians.

Overall, Gigantor was definetely not what I thought it would be and I entertained with this show a lot. And getting 26 episodes for only $60 is quite a deal. Anyone who is tired of the norm of anime these days are recommended to pick this title up.

Review Equipment
Dell 4500S DVD-Rom


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