I know all of my nonexistent fans were waiting for the day I actually post content again. Well, here’s some content.
I decided to call this a “Thoughts/Review” because the word “Review” will probably get me more hits.
In any case, I’ll be giving my thoughts on the original Getter Robo TV anime from 1974.
Well, first of all, this series is really old. As of this year, it’s already 40 years old. In anime time, that’s almost to the beginning of time. Getter Robo is one of the first of the super robot genre, and the first to introduce such things as robo-transformation.
At 51 episodes, it’s quite the commitment, especially for an old show. It can be a drag, too, which makes it seem like a lot longer if you don’t have anything else in front of you to occupy yourself with. Luckily, I utilized the magic of side-by-side windows to push through the boring and repetitive parts, which are plentiful.
The story is pretty simple; The Dinosaur Empire has been waiting to be able to return to the Earth’s surface (and they’re doomed to die eventually if they don’t), but now the humans are in the way. And the natural course of action? Sending dozens of robo-dinosaurs to attack Earth. The Getter Robo, originally designed for mining materials in space, must now defend Earth against this threat. It’s pretty standard, though at least the enemies have a motive other than just wanting to take over the world. So, I applaud that.
The characters are also pretty standard (though their future versions in later decades are a lot different). Ryoma, the main character and pilot of Getter-1 (the iconic one) is pretty much a regular highschooler that’s good at sports. Hayato, the pilot of Getter-2 (the one with a drill arm) is a mysterious guy who’s also good at sports but prefers to avoid social interaction. Musashi, the pilot of Getter-3 (the one that looks like a tank with arms), is
fat good at Judo and happens to be the president of the Judo team.
So, essentially, a few random guys who are good at sports end up piloting a transforming super robot to save the world.
The characters end up interesting though; they aren’t perfect. They each have their own flaws which are addressed throughout the series (including the main antagonist, Gore). The show really knows what it’s doing with character development, and the episodes centered more on character interaction than robots are the best.
Various important themes are also addressed, such as the morality of killing people (even if they’re dinosaur people).
The music is pretty good, I ended up knowing all the lyrics of the opening and singing along whenever it came on (which was very, very often). The ED was pretty much the same thing. Toward the end, there were some new insert songs that were good as well.
Overall, I’d say that the show has worth. Many of the episodes are boring and bland, but there’s a decent amount of episodes that are really good. It’s absolutely worth watching at least a few of the good episodes, including perhaps the last five or six episodes (which lead to a worthy finale and a set-up for Getter Robo G, the sequel series that began airing just a week after the first series ended.)
The subtitles are another story. Luckily /m/ and a fansub group called Caffin have made fairly proper subtitles for the first 31 episodes, but for the remaining 21 you’re dealing with awful subs made by Chinese people who probably don’t actually know English. Here are some screenshots to demonstrate what we’re dealing with.
(In this one, Ryoma is actually saying “Tomahawk Boomerang” IN ENGLISH.)
In addition to these, the subtitles were riddled with blatant grammatical errors, and they didn’t even get the names of the characters right (Ryoma was referred to as Yoi, and Michiru was referred to as “Man”, for example).
The sub group Caffin is slowly driving toward completing the entire rest of the series with proper translations, but they’re moving sluggishly (the project began over 3 years ago). So if you’re in a rush to watch Getter Robo, be prepared for the shitsubs for a good chunk of the series.