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Anime / Giant Gorg

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Gorg! I want to go on an adventure with you!

Giant Gorg is a Humongous Mecha anime released in 1984 and directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, who's most well known as the character designer for Mobile Suit Gundam.

Yuu Tagami was never close with his father. Yet after the old man's accidental death, Yuu finds himself on a plane to New York City, following instructions written in a letter from his late father. New York is as strange as it gets for the boy from Japan, but stranger still is Dr. Tom Wave, the man he's supposed to meet. Dr. Wave shares an obsession with the deceased concerning the mysterious New Austral Island. Ten years ago, the island sprang into being, and then just as suddenly vanished off the maps. But it's still there, and Dr. Wave knows there are secrets on that island that demand investigation. Unfortunately, he isn't the only one! The corporation known as GAIL wants those secrets for themselves, and they're willing to kill to get their way! What secrets lie on New Austral Island?

One of the notable things about Giant Gorg is that it's a "Super Robot" show with a twist. While it does have some elements of the Super Robot Genre (Gorg is sentient, and friends with Yuu Tagami), it has more tropes associated with the Real Robot Genre (Gorg has no super powers, and the show has a heavy Military presence). This makes Gorg one of the few examples of a "Super Robot with Real themes", whereas usually (especially nowadays), it's the other way around. The twists are largely thanks to the show's head writer, Masaki Tsuji, a novelist and award-winning screenwriter with anime credits dating back to Astro Boy.

Discotek Media announced that they acquired the licensing rights for the show back in 2015, and released it on DVD for North American Distribution. Crunchyroll also acquired the streaming rights for the show, and you can watch the first episode here. At present the series is also available to stream on Amazon Prime in America.

Tropes asociated with Giant Gorg are:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The anime was made in 1984 and is set in 1998.
  • Action Pet: Argos, the Waves' Great Dane.
  • Badass Normal: Skipper, who gets to be portrayed as an incredibly tough guy despite the "real" hero of the show being a giant robot and him not even being the robot's pilot. Gorg himself compared to most other anime mecha, having no Toyetic weaponry whatsoever.
  • Beta Couple: Alois and Sara. Rod and Lady Lynx qualify as a Gamma couple, as well.
  • Bound and Gagged: Yuu and Doris, after being captured by Lady Lynx.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: The first episode has Yuu arriving to New York City to meet his deceased father's friend Dr. Tom Wave. The place has graffiti everywhere and Yuu gets his baggage stolen on the subway, and Tom and his sister live in a squalid apartment in what appears to be Queens. And that is without the assassins from GAIL chasing them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After losing all of his companions after their cryo-sleep chambers' systems are damaged as a side effect of the volcano's eruption that occurred due to his counterattack on GAIL, and then protecting Austral from the world's nuclear onslaught, Manon, knowing that the world will never stop until they either destroy Austral or exploit its many secrets, decides to sink the island again, thus destroying GAIL city and the place the rebels have called home for so long, and forcing them to find a new place to settle. Also, the Austral incident and the death of Rod's grandfather have left GAIL crippled, and Rod seemingly with nothing. But he, now free from the corporation's restraints, decides to start over from scratch with Lady Lynx at his side. The rebels decide to look for a new island to settle on, with Tominic going with them. Yuu, Doris, Dr. Wave, Argos, and Skipper return to America, with Alois and Sara going to live with them. And Manon's species continues to live on with Yuu, who vows to one day see Manon and Gorg again.
  • Cliffhanger: Almost all of the series' episodes ended with one, complete with "tune in next week at the same Gorg hour, on the same Gorg channel!"
  • Combat Pragmatist: Gorg is essentially this. Gun out of ammo? Use it like a club! Have no weapon to combat the enemies? Throw a giant rock at them! Military vehicles in the way? Just push the bastards aside!
  • Generic Graffiti: All around New York in the first episode, largely composed of swear words and things slightly related to what's going on ("look" scrawled next to some people standing on a stoop who watch Rod nearly run over Yuu). Yuu gets asked to add to it (in a ploy to steal his stuff) and just writes his name. You can also spot GAIL and Gorg's names in the graffiti before they're even mentioned in the show.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: One of Yuu's ancestors was this, and this is why Gorg wants to protect him.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Skipper. He turns out to be a rather unscrupulous mercenary, beating the living tar out of Lady Lynx, threatening to kill her to keep Rod and his crew at bay while he transmits data about Austral Island to the government, going behind the backs of Dr. Wave and his crew for a good payout. Subverted later when, after being confronted by Yuu and later freed from captivity, he realizes he has grown to genuinely care for Yuu, Dr. Wave and the others and opts to remain on Austral to die with them in an oncoming nuclear onslaught by the rest of the world.
  • Femme Fatale: Lady Lynx is the classic type, even having one of her eyes obscured by her hair.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Doris is often the responsible to Dr. Wave's foolish, despite her being the younger of the two. And Tominic is the responsible to Alois's foolish.
  • Insistent Terminology: Whenever somebody refers to Bem as "Major," he will angrily reply that he's only a "captain."
  • Lost Technology: At first, no one knows where Gorg came from, but it's quite clear that he wasn't really made recently. It turns out that he is a remnant of an ancient alien civilisation that came to Earth on Austral Island, which has more of their technology stored in a volcanic underground cave.
  • No-Sell: Gorg, being made of highly-advanced technology, can shrug off just about everything. Even other Guardians.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: We never learn of Skipper's actual name.
  • Product Placement: One of the guys in the Halloween parade in the first episode is dressed as a giant can of Coca-Cola, and Burger King billboards also occur.
  • Promotion to Parent: Tom Wave is legally this to his little sister Doris, but she's the one who acts like a mother to him, since he's always wrapped up in his research and doesn't have time to cook, clean, or think of anything sensible.
  • Puppy Love: Yuu Tagami and Doris Wave as the series goes on. And Alois and Sara.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Yuu, wanting to talk to the imprisoned Skipper, demands that Davey gives him the key to their cell. When he refuses, Yuu had just about had it with everything getting in his way up to this point, so he proceeds to beat the ever-living tar out of him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Gorg has these on occasion.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Lady Lynx once got captured shortly after infiltrating GAIL City, so how does she escape? Seduce the guards watching over her, hit them while they're distracted and run out of there!
  • Shout-Out: Every episode (except the last one) ends with these words: THE SAME GORG TIME, THE SAME GORG CHANNEL.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Yuu spends the better part of an episode like this when GAIL tries to figure out what connects him to Gorg.
  • Super Robot: Gorg himself; he's sentient, makes friends with Yuu, and is leagues above any machine GAIL can make
  • Two-Fisted Tales: A variant, as the show is evocative of older mecha manga penned by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, which already brought back pulp storytelling themselves.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: At first, the Cougar Connection is as much a threat to the heroes as GAIL. Once Lady Lynx organizes a search party for Austral with some of its members however, it soon becomes obvious that between Gorg and the full military might of GAIL, they're hopelessly outgunned to the point that only Lady Lynx and Davey remain as the surviving members.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: While it's never outright named, it's obvious that this is where the crew stopped between New York and LA on their way to leave for the island. A few Strip landmarks are shown, and Wave and the kids stop at a casino hotel, where Wave gets hooked on gambling.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Skipper. He delivers an especially nasty No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Lady Lynx near the end of the show, an indicator of him crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Rod quickly figures out that Yuu is the Kid With The Remote Control and assumes that the key to controlling Gorg can be found by experimenting on him. Gorg wants to protect Yuu because his pilot deeply regrets killing Yuu's ancestor, who chose to marry a human woman and tried to run away with her.