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GIGANTOR #1 - - Special Review

A classic best left to its time, probably?

Yeah… this show doesn’t hasn’t aged as well as SPEED RACER. I don’t know. I try to keep as open as mind as I can while I’m watching these random anime episodes. I try to enjoy old shows in the right historical context. But I simply can’t deny that it’s difficult-unto-impossible for a guy like me - - a twenty-something in 2012 - - to enjoy GIGANTOR - - a children’s toon that’s over 50 years old - - on its own merits.

The theme song’s still fun and catchy, sure. Who’d dare criticize that? And the sense of fun that the dub cast is having with the German accents in the second half of this polar adventure is a tad infectious. But that’s about it. I don’t know if this would necessarily even be fun to watch with a group of pals who love to heckle anything hokey.

Instead, my mind wanders to those reports of a big-budget Hollywood revival from a few months back. I see news like that, and I seriously question why anybody bothered hustling to secure the film rights a property like this.

GIGANTOR ain’t exactly a household name, any more. Anybody who evens uses the name in current conversation probably doesn’t even associate the title with a character. Hell, the whole concept of a boy and his clumsy, colossal-sized robot already got a modern update with THE IRON GIANT. I really don’t see GIGANTOR speaking to times, you know?

And, honestly, for a show of such simplicity, it was somehow still difficult to keep up with the complications of this plot. Why were they going to the South Pole? Wait, was it the North one, instead? Why were the Germans there? The reasons somehow managed to get obscure.

Look, all respect and veneration that’s due to Tezuka, but I’ll only recommend this to the hardest core otaku with the most scholarly historical bent. And it’s a thin recommendation at that.

Watch this episode, "Struggle at the South Pole” here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

ohgodwhyon Oct. 24, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.

Agreed. I recently re-brought the New Adventures of Gigantor (Which was ridiculously hard to get) to relive some epic childhood nostalgia and it simply wasn't as good as I remembered it and couldn't compete with the likes of Gundam. Sometimes memories are better off as memories.

EamonBDocon Oct. 24, 2012 at 11:22 p.m.

Gigantor/Tetsujin 28 was the first Anime ever to feature a giant robot! It definitely has an important place in Anime history. I don't doubt that it was tough to watch though, especially in this re- dubbed/ dumbed-down-even-more-than-it-already-was/re edited form. The OVA series Giant Robo takes a lot of the creator's (Mitsuteru Yokoyama, not Osamu Tezuka) characters and themes and updates them with awesome animation and more modern storylines... definitely worth checking out Giant Robo! Animeworks has the whole series on DVD.

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