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YMMV / Giant Robo

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  • Accidental Innuendo: From the English dub of the Live Action Series:
    • Doctor Dorian knows just how it grows!
    • Why doesn't the Robot come? You've failed me Doctor Eingali!
  • Adaptation Displacement: The OVA seems to have more of a following than either the original manga or the TV series. GR: Giant Robo is right out.
    • In recent years however, the live action version has been given a Colbert Bump due to Shout! Factory releasing the Johnny Sokko dub on DVD and the MGM owned Comet TV station airing the show on the weekend nights. It's gotten to the point (at least in the US), that it's more well known than the OVA.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Sort of. There were two dubs. The first was... campy, but not so great, while the second was much higher quality and more consistent. But the original dub played Genya as a petulant, single-minded Psychopathic Manchild while the later one played him as a suave, calm Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Ass Pull: In the episode of the toku with the giant vampire, it turns out Robo can create a... flaming cross!? Talk about being Crazy-Prepared.
  • Awesome Music: One of the best soundtracks in the medium, courtesy of a Japanese Academy Award-nominee composer and orchestra. Look out for the famous opera track Una Furtiva Lagrima, too.
  • Complete Monster: In the live action series, Johnny Sokko and Jerry Mano have fought many evil foes in their fight against the Gargoyle Gang, with these being the worst they had to offer:
    • Emperor Guillotine is a Galactic Conqueror with his sights set on Earth. Crashing into the ocean, Guillotine forms the terrorist group the Gargoyle Gang. Kidnapping Dr. Guardian to create an indestructible robot for the Gargoyle Gang, he plans on using the robot to assist in conquering the world. When Johnny Sokko gets the robot's controls and uses them to escape the island with Unicorn agent Jerry Mano, he orders it captured or destroyed with the sea monster Dracolon, despite Giant Robot flying towards Tokyo. Guillotine rules Gargoyle with an iron fist, using Child Soldiers, planting bombs in his men, and threatening to kill his commanders for their failures, eventually killing Dr. Botanus when he fails too many times. Throughout the series, Guillotine plays a hand in a number of the Gargoyle Gang's atrocities, such as trying to start a war, ordering experiments on captured Unicorn agents, and ransoming a princess of a small country to get his hands on a rare radioactive metal. In the final episode, he resurrects three monsters to drain Giant Robot's remaining energy, and reveals that if he were attacked, his body would detonate in an atomic explosion, taking the world with him, demonstrating this by destroying a field with a fingernail, and declares that the Earth will answer to him.
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    • Dr. Botanus is an egotistical alien scientist and surgeon hired by Emperor Guillotine to help him conquer Earth. Working with Commander Spider, he kidnaps Dr. Dorian to force him to grow a Gargoyle Vine, a dangerous plant that can destroy the world. When Dorian refuses to help him grow the plants, Botanus alters Dorian's brain to put him under Mind Control, ordering him to grow Gargoyle Vines. When Dr. Dorian returns to normal, Dr. Botanus mocks Dorian for unwittingly helping to create Gargoyle Vines. Later attacking oil production on the Middle East with Commander Spider, he lets his men massacre oil workers simply to force their foreman to give him the blueprints of a drill. He later kidnaps 60,000 people from a soccer game, where he gives Japan 24 hours to surrender to Guillotine or else he will kill the hostages. When one of his men begs Botanus to release his brother, who is among the hostages, Botanus coldly calls him an idiot, telling him that he will die with the rest of the hostages. Other acts include ordering the monster Amberon to destroy Tokyo; kidnapping and brainwashing the Unicorn Kyoto branch leader to attack a Unicorn conference; and using another Gargoyle Vine to cover the Earth in lava. Defined by his willingness to kill thousands with a feeling of smug satisfaction, Dr. Botanus represents the worst of Gargoyle.
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    • Harlequin is a brutal Gargoyle commander who appeared after the death of Commander Spider. Initially appearing to be a Gargoyle deserter seeking help getting his kids from Gargoyle custody, he lures Johnny and Jerry into a trap to be killed by the monster Dublion. When Jerry begs him to release the kids, Harlequin says that he doesn't care, as he had already killed two of his men to get the duo into his grasp. Later working with the aforementioned Doctor Botanus to attack a Unicorn conference, he kidnaps the Unicorn Kyoto branch leader, and personally controls his monster Lygon to attack the conference. Later he demolishes a Unicorn base in the arctic with Dracolon. After Johnny and Jerry investigate, he kidnaps them, and then attacks Tokyo under Guillotines orders, decimating Tokyo in a flood of sand. In his final appearance, he breaks Dr. Botanus out of Unicorn custody be sneaking in the monster Amberon into Unicorn headquarters, which kills multiple agents. When Johnny and another Unicorn agents Mari investigate, he ties them to trees and prepares to kill them with a firing squad before he is stopped.
    • Dr. Snake, appearing in the episode "Torozon—An Enemy Robot", is a Gargoyle scientist who has been destroying Unicorn branches across the globe with his own giant robot, Torozon, with his new target being the Unicorn Japan branch. Wanting to destroy Unicorn's radar capabilities, he learns that the wife of the radar base's commander, Sebola, is in a coma. Using this, he threatens to put Sebola's children into a coma like his wife if he doesn't give Dr. Snake the location to the radar base. When the attack fails due to Johnny and Giant Robot's interference, he has Sebola lead him to the radar base, having him kill his men with a gas bomb when they refuse to leave. Using the radar base as a place to control Torozon, he begins demolishing Tokyo. Whenever Sebola objects to any of his demands, Dr. Snake threatens to kill his family, and almost destroys Giant Robot before he is stopped.
  • Crazy Awesome: This show wouldn't be half as awesome if it wasn't completely batshit insane.
    • The OVA's insanity is inherited from the equally insane Toku of Giant Robo from the 1960's.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The Day The Earth Burned manga, which is a retelling/reboot of the anime series, suffers from this, due to The Experts of Justice all being reduced to unlikable Jerkasses and Hate Sinks who treat Daisaku like dirt, as well as the fact that the manga seems to be more of a Take That! to Mistuteru Yokoyama's works more than anything meaningful.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Of all the villains from the tokusatsu, Botanus has the most popularity due to his suave personality, having rather brilliant villain plans that would have ensured a Gargoylian victory if not for the machinations of UNICORN, and for some, because of his unintentional resemblance to Destro.
    • Opticon (Ganmons in the Japanese version), the mysterious eyeball kaiju from the toku. One of the most instantly recognizable kaiju from the show and guaranteed to pop up in images regarding it. This may be due to his unique design and his appearance in the Voyage Into Space compilation film.
    • Lieutenant Piranha, the Gargoyle henchman with the goatee, has his fair share of fans. His distinct appearance and Smug Snake personality definitely make him stand out among the ranks of Gargoyle. He even had a minifigure of him made by Marmit.
    • Any of the more attractive members of the IPO and BF have a large following, Ginrei, Taisou, Mask the Red, Genyu and Alberto being the most notable examples.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Most fans want to pretend that GR: Giant Robo never existed. Mainly due to how far it strayed from the source material, and the darker tone in general.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot has a massive cult following in India, where the show was aired on Doordarshan in the 1980's to great success.
    • The Toku is also popular throughout southeast Asia and the America's too especially since the US tv channel Comet has rebroadcast the show on weekend mornings and evenings and is available for free streaming on their website.
    • The OVA and 2007 versions of Giant Robo have a large contingency of fans from Thailand with lots of fanart online coming from there.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the final episode of the live action series from the 60s, Giant Robo sacrifices himself by flying into an asteroid about to hit earth. Why does that sound familiar?
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A lot of people only watched the live action series due to Bucket Head being so into it.
  • Memetic Mutation: CRUSH THEM, GIANT ROBO! Explanation 
    • Robot, come back robot! Explanation 
    • In Japan there are several popular memes comparing the blank face of J-Actress Haruka Ayase to the face of the Live Action version of Giant Robo.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Plenty of GR villains love crossing the horizon.
    • Emperor Guillotine crossed this in episode 6 when he captured a secret fighter jet and nuclear submarine from two enemy nations in the hope the tensions between the two will start a nuclear war.
    • Commander Spider and Doctor Botanus crossed the line in Episode 4 when they invaded and destroyed almost all the Oil Fields of Saudi Arabia to spike up oil prices and collapse the worlds economy so they can give up their war against the Gargoyle Gang.
    • Harlequin/Fangar crossed it in Episode 11 when he captured the two Unicorn child agents, Johnny and Mari, and prepared to execute them by firing range.
    • Lt. Pirahna crossed this in the debut episode by threatening to kill Johnny if Jerry didn't speak up that he was a Unicorn agent.
    • Johnny Soccor from GR Giant Robo. He willingly allows innocent people be killed by the GRO and UNISOM's mecha fights just so he can boost his tv ratings.
  • Narm: Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot is ultimately hard to take seriously, seeing as the dubbers didn't seem to record their lines with a straight face:
    • The English dub of Episode 17 is practically 24 minutes of Narm, from a school teacher's over the top reaction to having left behind two of her students in the Monster of the Week's wrath to Doctor Botanus' immortal last words.
    • Let us not forget Emperor Guillotine's secret weapon. The tactical nuclear fingernail.
    • In episode 19's English dub, after most of the Unicorn agents are laughing off the idea of a spacemen coming to Earth (Which is odd seeing as the majority of villians they fight are aliens), Chief Azuma snaps "THIS IS NOT A JOKE" like a little spoiled child. Kinda hard to take you seriously with that tone of voice, eh chief?
    • Fangar. Every episode he's in is an unintentional funny moment in the English dub due to the dub actor's over the top performance in combination with his bizarre appearance and wardrobe. Episode 14 in particular has this moment.
    Commander Azuma: "You're a monster!"
  • Narm Charm: Both the live action version and OVA are so deliberately over the top, one can't help but like them both for that quality.
  • Older Than They Think: The OVA was not the first time Giant Robo appeared in a crossover with other Mitsuteru Yokoyama characters. In the late 1980's, Mitsuteru Yokoyama commisioned a Doujin artist to illustrate a reboot of Tetsujin 28 that predominantly featured Giant Robo and its characters as well as other Yokoyama robot characters.
  • So Bad, It's Good: To this day, fans and detractors alike wish Voyage into Space was riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000 for this reason alone. And with all the goofy aliens, cheesy dubbing and insane character moments, it really would have fitted right at home with the later Joel era episodes.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The original manga is considered this, due to having flat, underdeveloped characters, and a fairly lackluster and incredibly simplistic story. Not helping matters was Yokoyama being pressured by his publishers to make many changes to the manga as it ran to make it resemble the toku and was forced to end it far sooner than he planned it. For this reason, the more well-known anime and toku adaptation's are considered widely superior and this led to Yokoyama to not allow a full reprinting of the manga until after he died as he simply didn't like its stagnant quality though did consider remaking it from the ground up near the end of his life.
  • Special Effects Failure: Given the live action version was filmed on an extremely limited budget, it should come as no surprise that it suffers from this in every episode. A common error happens in episodes with night time fight scenes that see Giant Robo use his Finger Firearm on a Monster of the Week. Since only two clips of stock footage was filmed for this attack and both of the footage was shot with the daytime backdrop, it results in day and night shots being merged together.
  • Squick: The Day The Earth Burned has so much Fanservice, it goes head on into Fetish Retardant, complete with stripping down Shotaro and Sunny-two underaged characters- all to make a rather sick joke about how Shotaro was the Trope Namer for the Shotacon archtype. And this goes on for 15 volumes.
  • Tear Jerker: The Tragedy of Bashtarle in all it's sad glory. Especially when the aria 'Una furtiva lagrima' plays. The theme of the aria is 'the sorrow of people not understanding your true feelings', which fits perfectly.
    • The bittersweet ending.
    • Giant Robo's Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the TV series.
    • Daisaku's desperation in episode 23 of the toku after Giant Robo is rendered Brainwashed and Crazy by the Android U7 is very heartbreaking to watch, especially when his friend threatens to kill Daisaku and the fellow Unicorn agents by throwing a Oil Truck at them.
    • The Death of Agent X7 in Episode 18
  • Too Cool to Live: Taisou is powerful, wise and a total badass. He also has a personal vendetta with the apparent Big Bad, and can take him on one on one. Clearly, he had to die. He was also voiced by Norio Wakamoto, making him way, way too cool.
  • Toy Ship: Okay has there ever been a fan-fiction NOT doing this to Daisaku and Sunny the Magician?
  • Ugly Cute: Many of the kaiju from the live action series. Special mention goes to Icelar/Igganog with his little fangs and dopey movements.
  • Values Dissonance: In the live action series Johnny and Mari weld various kinds of firearms and often are seen gunning down Gargoyle Gangsters alongside the adult Unicorn agents. While having a child protagonist use guns was seen as harmless in 1960's Japan, it was shocking to some American audience, especially when watching it in the post-Columbine world.
  • Values Resonance: The depiction of Giant Robo in the live action series as an Artificial Intelligence with a conscience has been influential among several other series and movies since such as The Iron Giant and Terminator 2: Judgment Day in helping breaking the status quo of depicting Artificial Intelligence as morally corrupt. Notably both the listed examples and several others referenced Giant Robo's Heroic Sacrifice in their respective climaxes.
  • What an Idiot!: Vogler. For some reason, he thought it was a good idea to somehow rig the recording that explains the details of his plan to his son to play AFTER he somehow figures out what to do with the briefcases. Sure, he was dying and had little time left, but if he could manage to create a system complicated enough to play a message after those specific conditions were met, he could have had a much easier time explaining all of this either in person or just by giving Genya the recording up front. If he only hadn't mixed up his priorities, Genya wouldn't have gone crazy and countless people wouldn't have died over a huge, HUGE misunderstanding. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!.
    • In Episode 11 of the Live action series, Emperor Guillotine has both Johnny and Jerry captured and brainwashed into Gargoyle Gangsters. What do you think he'd do with Johnny now that he's turned into one of his servants and now has Giant Robo back in his control? Use Robo to conquer the world like he planned to do from the start of the show? Nope. Brainwashing Johnny into sending him to be burned up in The Sun is the better idea. Seriously?
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: To quote The Other Wiki page on the Giant Robo tokusatsu "Although the series was violent by...American standards for children's programming, in Japan it was no more violent than other tokusatsu airing at the time...Nearly every Japanese anime exported to the United States during that period was edited for violence, but in Johnny Sokko And His Flying Robot a minimum of violence was removed." Because of that, the show had terrifying amounts of child endangerment and near deaths of the main child hero and his allies. The Series Finale had Johnny nearly assassinated by a Gargoyle sniper named Terroman only surviving because he wore a bullet proof vest and of course you have the now infamous Bittersweet Ending...


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