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Manga / Getter Robo Āḥ

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Getter Robo Āḥ (also marketed under the phonetic spelling Getter Robo Arc) is the fifth and final manga in Ken Ishikawa's Getter Robo canon, serialized in Futabasha's Super Robot Magazine from July 2001 to September 2003.

Taking place ten years after Getter Robo Go, Arc centres on a now-older Hayato Jin forming a new Getter Team to fight against the Andromeda Stellaration (the same group that troubled earth during the Shin Getter Robo manga).

The new Getter Team is comprised of:

  • Takuma Nagare, son of Hayato's old teammate and original Getter Robo protagonist Ryoma Nagare.
  • Sho Kamui, the Half-Human Hybrid son of previous Getter antagonist Emperor Gore.
  • Baku Yamagishi, the younger brother of Messiah Tayel from Getter Robo Go.

As the struggle against Andromeda continues, it becomes clear that there's even more at stake than anyone realizes, especially once the true nature of the Getter Emperor is revealed.

Arc was originally intended to be the Grand Finale to the Getter Robo saga. However, between the collapse of Super Robot Magazine and the death of Ken Ishikawa in 2006, the manga abruptly ground to a halt. Many thought that Arc wouldn't receive much more attention…

…until July of 2021, when an Animated Adaptation by Bee Media and Studio A-Cat was released. The Arc anime is notable in that compared to other Getter Robo adaptations, it's very faithful to the manga, both in plot and in aesthetics. However, this didn't stop it from having a little bit of Adaptation Expansion, as well as an all-new ending.

Getter Robo Arc contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: As mentioned in the description above, the anime adaptation - both in its efforts to pay tribute to Ken Ishikawa and in its necessity to introduce key plot points from the Getter Robo Go and Shin manga. The last episode stands out in particular, expanding on what happened between the manga's original stop point and the extra cliffhanger it received in the Getter Robo Saga compilation.
  • All There in the Manual: The colossal Getter that appears in the "Getter Mandala" and later at the end of the anime (that many speculate is an early Getter Emperor) was revealed on Twitter to be known as Getter Ten.note 
  • Ambiguous Ending: In the anime, we're never shown what exactly happens after Dragon (which may or may not be Saint Dragon) appears. When The Stinger kicks in, Kamui is imprisoned on Mars, having somehow lost the battle, when Takuma and Baku show up to bust him out. As they do so, a colossal Getter known as Getter Ten (which may or may not be an intermediate stage between Shin Getter and Getter Emperor) appears out of nowhere, and the reunited Arc team flies off to challenge it.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The end of the anime has Takuma, Kamui, and Baku reunite to fight against Getter Ten.
  • Anime Theme Song: 'Bloodlines – Fated Lineage,' by JAM Project.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Emperor Gore III. While he puts up a friendly, polite facade in front of the Getter Team and Hayato, and speaks in favor of humans and Dinosaur Empire putting their past grudges behind, fighting together against common enemy and working towards peaceful coexistence, it's all an act; he intends to use Kamui as The Mole within the Saotome Research laboratory so they can eventually destroy Getter Robo and take over the surface when the humans outlive their usefulness. What makes his stubborn insistence towards continuing his father's old grudge all the more baffling is that this is revealed after Takuma saves his life during the attack on the Dinosaur Empire, and everywhere around him humans and dinosaurs are shown to be able to work together, even if some of them argue a lot (like Takuma and the leader of Getter Saurus team).
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Arc's anime ends with the reunited Getter Arc team flying up to fight Getter Ten, ready to defy Getter's will.
  • Book Ends: Arc's anime climax end with the Dinosaurs attacking the surface, much like how the original manga/anime began with their invasion. However the tables have turned as Kamui has Bug, an Anti-Getter weapon that is capable of recreating the universe in contrast to Humans having the Getter which was an Anti-Dinosaurs weapon.
    • Ima Ga Sono Toki Da was originally used as the first OP and last episode's credits song to Getter Robo Armaggeddon, the first of the Jun Kawagoe era of Getter animated adaptations. Here, a new instrumental version of the song scores Arc's new animated ending, thus capping off said era.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: Three of the previous Getter OVA openings (HEATS, STORM and DRAGON) become this in the anime adaptation:
    • DRAGON becomes this to the Ryoma, Hayato, Musashi and Benkei's Getter Team through scoring of the first ending's recap of the Getter Robo and G mangas - whereas originally it scored the opening to an alternate retelling of said stories.
    • STORM becomes this to the Getter Robo Go team and story through its use in recapping the climax of said manga and scoring the first appearance of Shin Getter Tarak piloted by Go Ichimonji. Itself was the opening to Shin vs Neo Getter first, an alternate take on the Getter Robo Go story.
    • HEATS, already considered such by the fandom at large to the Shin Getter and the OVA trilogy - thanks to both its popularity and recurring use in the Super Robot Wars games - has said status further cemented by scoring the Teaser Trailer to the show, three of Shin Getter's most iconic sequences from the mangas (the first of which is through an instance of Bootstrapped Leitmotif by use of Shin vs Neo Getter's track Flame, which itself is an homage to this theme), AND the recap of Getter Robo Go in the third ending.
  • Continuity Nod: Shikishima gets a weapon for Takuma Nagare, and when Takuma picks one, it turns out to be the same one his father Ryoma used waaaaaaaay back during the Dinosaur Empire invasion in the original manga.
    • The anime adaptation brings back some characters from the Getter Robo Go manga otherwise absent from the original manga, such as Sho and Schwartz, as well as a few cameos such as Cohen and Stinger from Armageddon OVA.
  • The Coup: In the last act, Kamui pulls one against Gore III, seizing de facto control of the Dinosaur Empire and reducing his half-brother to a Puppet King.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Some of the base guards are killed by the Bug Queen infiltrator going all Alien on them. The original Patient Zero she incubated in exploded in the shower after she finished growing inside him.
  • Ending Theme: Notably, Arc uses new versions of the opening themes from previous Getter Robo anime (particularly those by JAM Project and its members) as ending themes from most recent to least, starting with "DRAGON" (New Getter Robo), "STORM" (Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo), and finally 'HEATS' (the second opening to Getter Robo Armageddon).
    • The pattern is seemingly broken in the final episode as it has an original ending song… until The Stinger kicks in and we start hearing an instrumental version of "Ima Ga Sono Toki Da" (Armageddon's first opening).
    • Oddly enough, "Getter Robo" (the opening to the 70s anime) doesn't make an appearance at all.
  • Enemy Mine: You know the situation is bad, because the Earth is so threatened the freaking DINOSAUR EMPIRE is willing to work with the Saotome Labs to save it.
  • Gainax Ending: Episode 13 of the anime ends with a sudden Time Skip in the middle of a climatic moment in a fight, before showing a Sequel Hook with the appearance of Getter Ten and Arc proceeding to fight it.
  • Gecko Ending: Necessitated in the anime by the death of Ken Ishikawa, taking the form of Takuma in Getter Arc taking on Kamui in BUG only for them to be interrupted by the arrival of Getter Dragon. The show then abruptly cuts to a Time Skip where Takuma and Baku free Kamui from prison so they can fight the arriving Getter Ten.
  • Fast-Forward to Reunion: The credits notwithstanding, The Stinger of the anime skips ahead to Takuma and Baku breaking Kamui out of his imprisonment on Mars. Then, with the Arc Getter team back together, they launch to take on Getter Ten.
  • Mythology Gag: The anime adaptation takes considerable effort in this as a tribute to the late Ken Ishikawa and his works, to Jun Kawagoe's previous Getter OVA's, and to the franchise at large.
    • The animation of the Getter Team running to their machines in the opening directly references the first sequence of the classic 70's Getter Robo opening - only shot from behind them.
      • The shot from above of the Getter Arc machines taking off in the opening continues a tradition that started with the Getter Robo G series opening. The presence of a professor watching over as they launch continues another that started with Shin vs Neo Getter.
    • Stinger and Cohen from Armaggeddon appear as background scientists who were working alongside the Dinosaur Empire before Kamui's coup that led to their eventual execution.
    • Sho gets to pilot her Getter-2 machine again when rushing out to confront and aid Shin Getter Robo Tarak and a tired Go Ichimonji.
    • Schwartz returns not as a pilot, but as the commander of an entire fleet of ships and mass-produced Stilvas.
    • The Getter Change sequence of the Emperor machines into Getter Emperor 1 heavily bases itself on the Soul of Chogokin release.
    • Shin Getter Robo Tarak itself is a big callback to the Black Getter Robo from Armaggeddon.
      • Its firing of the Stoner Sunshine directly references the famous sequence from the same OVA. Its charging of it, however, references the first use of said attack in the Shin Getter manga.
    • At Ryoma's dojo, one of the names of its members on the wall is that of Shinichi Kuruma from Majuu Sensen - the character whose design was used for Armaggeddon's version of Ryoma.
    • In the expanded climactic battle between Getter Arc and Macdonald, the latter uses an improved version of the Uzahra against Arc - the same machine Burai used against the Getter Dragon in Getter Robo G. Similarly, it is destroyed by an improved version of the Dragon's signature attack Shine Spark, the Arc Shine Bomber.
      • When first charging the Arc Shine Bomber, Takuma and Baku's faces gain glowing streaks of Getter Radiation towards their eyes - much like Ryoma tapping into the same power in New Getter Robo.
    • Hayato's occasionally appearing facial scars reference those from his Armaggeddon counterpart.
    • In the Manga, the evolved Dragon appears as a mostly amorphous silhouette with the three heads of the Getter Robo G machines. In the anime, its form is that of the Saint Dragon from the Shin manga, which was originally conceived by Ken Ishikawa as a possible design for the Shin Dragon from the Armaggeddon OVA prior to its manga inclusion, and later used as a basis for the Kyodai Dragon from New Getter Robo.
  • Original Generation: The Arc anime introduces a Getter that didn't appear in the manga continuity - Shin Getter Robo Tarak, piloted by a revived Go Ichimonji.
  • Puppet King: When Kamui pulls his coup against Gore III, he decides not to seize the throne for himself, as Gore still has plenty of loyalists. Instead, he opts to make Gore a figurehead while he develops BUG and takes on the Getter Labs.
  • Rocket Punch: In a particularly humorous example, Professor Shikishima has weaponised his ENTIRE BODY by this point, and his arms work like this.
  • Screw Destiny:
    • Kamui's reason for his de facto coup against his half-brother and decision to try and destroy humanity.
    • Later expressed in a more heroic light in The Stinger, when the Arc team reunites to fight Getter Ten.
      Takuma: Both the past and the future can eat shit! Our future… The only future that matters…"
      Takuma, Kamui, & Baku: "…is the one we make for ourselves!"
  • The Stinger: In the final episode, after Dragon intervenes in Takuma and Kamui's fight, the show cuts to credits. Once those are done, we get a brief scene where Takuma and Baku free Kamui from prison so they can fight the arriving Getter Ten.
  • Tank-Tread Mecha: In a variation of this trope compared to past Getter Robo examples: Getter Robo Arc's third form, Getter Khan is a humanoid, but wears spiked treads on its legs and shoulders, which can dock together to transform it into a giant crushing wheel.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Professor Han of the Dinosaur Empire. Despite his gigantic size, he's shown to be a fairly level-headed and kind individual, ashamed of Dinosaur Empire's past misdeeds towards humankind and frustrated that the treatment of human prisoners has to be kept secret, and laments that Kamui's mother is used by Gore III to coerce him into being The Mole for the Empire within Saotome Research lab. He sheds Tears of Joy when Takuma manages to reunite Kamui with his human mother in full view of the Dinosaur Empire populace that came to send off Getter Arc and Getter Saurus teams.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kamui becomes this after returning from the future where he saw the Getter Emperor in action. Deciding to exterminate humanity to prevent them and the Getter Rays from eradicating all other life in the universe.
  • You Killed My Mother: The reason for Takuma's grudge against Macdonald.

Alternative Title(s): Getter Robo Arc