Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / Giant Robo

Go To

  • 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.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
      Advertisement:
    • There were two dubs of the OVA. 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.
    • Also from the OVA, Big Fire's head strategist Koumei absolutely refuses to explain his plan or intentions and repeatedly appeals to the authority of Big Fire himself, so there's no way of knowing what he wants or is up to, even with the occasional overtly treacherous tactic like kidnapping Sunny to make her masquerade as Big Fire. Is he testing the Big Ten? Is he looking to take command for himself? Is he loyally following Big Fire's will to the point of indulging a Complexity Addiction?
    • Big Fire himself is The Ghost, so its impossible to know his intentions, too. Some theorize that he was in fact the protagonist of Babel II who became jaded with humanity and sought to purify it thanks to a popular Super Robot Wars 64 doujinshi on Pixiv.
  • Ass Pull:
      Advertisement:
    • In the episode of the toku with the giant vampire, it turns out Robo can create a... flaming cross!? Talk about being Crazy-Prepared.
    • Episode 24 of the toku sees the acidic Hydrazona bacteria disintegrate Giant Robo and the base he's in making it seem like The Gargoyles have won....except the Robo they destroyed was one made of tin and the real Robo was hidden elsewhere. Who knew one could make a 30 meter robot statue made of tin within a few hours?.
    • Koumei successfully evading the wrath of the Big Ten via his appeals to Big Fire stretches suspension of disbelief to its breaking point. Koumei's "plan" resulted in hundreds of dead Big Fire agents, got the Big Ten caught up in a fight with their boss's personal bodyguards, nearly wrecked the world that they have been ostensibly trying to conquer, and they have nothing to actually show for it despite Koumei's word about his new plan.
  • 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.
  • Bizarro Episode: Episode 25 of the tokusatsu features "Drakulon The Space Vampire" as the main antagonist. A monstrous size changing vampire who controls an army of undead zombie vampires and almost turns Johnny into one of his minions. His whole appearance is bizarre, not only for how this strange supernatural being has little to do with the series outside of a vague connection to the Gargoyle Gang, but the way he is defeated as mentioned in the Ass Pull entry comes out of nowhere and only raises more questions about the powers of Giant Robo. At times the episode seems more at home with supernatural tokusatsu like Ultra Q than it does with the relatively more realistic world of Giant Robo.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 Is Cool: 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. Considering this influenced the tone of similar toku like Super Sentai, and Juspion, we effectively have Giant Robo to thank for the insanity that tokusatsu provides!
  • 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 will undoubtely have a large following, Ginrei, Zangetsu, Kenji, Taisou and Yohshi, Mask the Red, Genya and Alberto being some of the OVA's most notable examples.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Most fans used to pretend that GR: Giant Robo never existed. Mainly due to how far it seemingly strayed from the source material, and the darker tone in general. Since it had been subtitled into English it has recieved much more positive feedback.
  • Fetish Retardant: The Day the Earth Burned is so saturated with fanservice, and especially in the middle of dramatic events, that the fanservice really just gets in the way. Gin's dramatic revelations and traumatic backstory would be so much easier to take seriously if the artist stopped giving her sexy poses and Panty Shots in the middle of them.
  • 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Shizuma Drive was the greenest source of energy known to man, but once the power grid failed the whole world went under a severe power outage that threatened humanities future. This plot point became uncomfortably relevant when in early 2021, the massive snowstorm that hit Texas caused the total collapse of their green energy grid that powered much of the state and left people in the dark and dying from the cold.
  • 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?
  • Idiot Plot: Unfortunately, the OVA's most tragic moments are driven by people arbitrarily making bad decisions.
    • Giant Robo's arrival in Shanghai and its loss to the Vogler Sphere happens because Daisaku was driven to desperation to prove Giant Robo's worth not only by Interpol's decision to seal it away, but by Chujo revealing that decision in a needlessly frustrating act of heavy-handed authoritarianism, which was followed up by leaving Daisaku in the care of the impulsive Tetsugyu (whose resentment for having been left out of the plan to confront the Vogler Sphere leads him to give Daisaku both the push and opportunity to take action).
    • The Reveal at the end recasts the entire plot as a chain-reaction of Poor Communication Kills driven by the Big Bad not knowing Vogler's true intentions to save humanity from the Shizuma Drives; Genya naturally assumes his father left him the Vogler Sphere to use it in revenge (because, really, what else would you use such an obvious Doomsday Device for?). That the explanatory recording was rigged to play only once all three Anti-Shizuma Drives were installed in the Sphere, which functions perfectly fine as a Doomsday Device with only two is idiot icing on the stupid cake.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A lot of people only watched the live action series due to that weirdo with the KFC bucket on his 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:
  • 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.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Space Mummy, Dear God, The Space Mummy! His deformed, monstrous appearance, combined with him mutating children into zombie monsters by tainting the water supply of a high rise apartment, undoubtedly make him one of the most terrifying villains in any Tokusatsu, if not children's programming in general.
  • 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 among some western Yokoyama fans, due to having flat, underdeveloped characters, and a fairly 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.
    • This was the average consensus of GR: Giant Robo prior to being subtitled in English, which-aside from coming about after the studio scrapped the original planned reimagining of the manga under dubious means-was considered a generic Darker and Edgier remake of the manga that seems to be trying to ride on the success of similar series like Linebarrels of Iron and The Big O without understanding what made those shows stand out. Since the show got subtitled, it has received a much better reception.
  • 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.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Murasame Kenji and Ginrei are very belatedly implied to have a relationship, or at least that Kenji is in love with Ginrei, despite neither of them interacting or thinking of each other previously throughout the story. (It also gives Tetsugyu, who's had a crush on Ginrei from the word go, a pretty big kick in the teeth).
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Giant Robo's theme from the OVA, especially "Arrival of Giant Robo", is for all intents and purposes Maurice Jaure's overture from "Is Paris Burning?" with some deviations to pad it out.
  • 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 Bleak, Stopped Caring: The Day The Earth Burned manga, which is a retelling/reboot of the anime series, suffers heavily from this, due to The Experts of Justice all being reduced to unlikable Jerkasses and Hate Sinks who treat Daisaku like dirt, the extreme bits of Fanservice, and revealing Daisaku as the true Big Bad in its final 15th chapter.
  • 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.
    • Giant Robo in the Live Action series. An overpowering 100 foot tall kaiju killing machine controlled by a kid who has a heart of justice. Cool right? Now he has to go kill Emperor Guillotine by throwing the two of them into the path of an oncoming meteor and stop to him from blowing up Earth.
    • Commander Spider, the human leader of Big Fire for the first seven episodes of the live action series. Cunning, smooth, with a pair of Cool Shades and a Nice Hat, also happened to be standing directly in the path of the acid spray from the Stingray kaiju Ikageras/Scalion.
    • Dr. Guardian, the builder of Giant Robo and one of the smartest men alive on Earth, ends up captured by Big Fire offscreen and forced to build the title character. When Daisaku/Johnny and Minami/Jerry get captured he gives up his life by giving Daisaku the radio watch that controls the robot, sets up a tactical nuclear bomb in the base and holds off a squadron of BF agents in vain so the two can escape before the base is engulfed in the explosion to activate GR's nuclear absorbing engine.
    • From episode 18, Agent X7. A young boy who serves as the Evil Counterpart to Daisaku and controls his own robot, in this case an upgraded and rebuilt Gangar, and manage to kidnap an entire building of scientists and hold them hostage in Earth's orbit and assassinate several key Unicorn operatives, all on his own no less. In any other tokusatsu he might've become the foil to the main hero throughout the series but clearly this isn't meant to be. He ends up injured by falling debris from Gangar's destruction and as he tries to assist Daisaku in freeing the hostages after the latter shows him mercy despite all what he's done, an underground Big Fire sniper takes out the young boy for treason. This might be one of the most difficult to watch moments in the original series where Redemption Equals Death is played brutally straight.
  • Toy Ship: Daisaku is often romanced with Sunny the Magician, despite the fact that they never met during the OVA.
  • 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, who built the Vogler Sphere to save the world from a Shizuma Drive doomsday by fixing every single Shizuma Drive on the planet at once.
      • You'd Expect: Vogler, during the immense amount of time needed to build the Sphere, would create safeguards against misuse of the Sphere's powerful technology.
      • Instead: He does not.
      • The Result: The Vogler Sphere is used to completely disable large population centers and kill millions of people.
      • Even Worse: The Vogler Sphere's true potential requires all three Anti-Shizuma drives to be installed. To act as a Doomsday Device, it only needs two.
      • Still Worse: Vogler did take the time to record an explanation of the true intentions of the Sphere, but rigged it to play not when the Sphere was activated, not when the first Anti-Shizuma drive was installed, not when the second drive was installed, but only once all three drives were installed.
    • In Episode 11 of the Live action series, Emperor Guillotine has both Johnny and Jerry captured and brainwashed into becoming Gargoyle Gangsters.
      • You'd Expect: That because Guillotine now has Giant Robo back in his control and it's controller at his mercy, he either brainwashes Johnny to help destroy the Earth with GR or remove him from GR's command reprograms Robo to obey only Guilltoine, and find a means to dispose of Johnny before he can regain consciousness to steal back GR.
      • Instead: Guillotine decides to Brainwash Johnny and commands him not into controlling GR for Gargoyle's Machinations of global and possibly galactic domination, but instead to send Giant Robo into space to be burned up in The Sun, thus immediately alerting Unicorn that Johnny and Jerry are in danger due to an unauthorized launch of Giant Robo from its hanger as well as ordering the destruction of the biggest trump card you have at your disposal over your past failings at the hands of Giant Robo.
      • The Result: Johnny and Jerry are swiftly freed from their brainwashing and Johnny orders Robo to return to Earth to continue the fight against Emperor Guillotine and his monsters, and finish defeating the revived Dracolon and it's destructive sandstorms. Guillotine and his henchmen are thus absolutely stripped of their one chance to defeat Earth's forces and The Gargoyle's collectively throw a hissy fit due to their leader's sudden Idiot Ball moment.
  • 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...

Top