For this short series, the now last Yasuhiro Imagawa post (for now) is now going to have a little bit of a lackluster ending. Not because I think this series is terrible. It is very watchable and full of fun giant robot vs alien invader gore and spectacle, so there is also something to look forward to. If there is a reason, it’s because Yasuhiro Imagawa was replaced as the main director after three episodes of this series. I’ve tried to look up and research why this happened online, but no site gave any clear indication of why it happened. Just that it did because something major went down. Because of that change, the production values of this show and the direction style suffered from episode 4 onward for a little while. Then the build up happened until everything went nuts leading to the amazing ending happened. Those ten other episodes were directed by Jun Kawagoe are still a lot of fun to watch, so don’t push this series to the side just because you’ve heard that.
Everything in Getter Robo is based on Getter Rays. Even though what Getter Rays are and what they are meant to do are never explained, this is still the truth. Robots and machine are powered by Getter Rays, which is why this show is called Getter Robo. At least I assume that is the case. The manga series could have some more complicated reasons then that. The aliens themselves can feel the rays are called to them. The Getter Rays because getting more of it is the reason why they live after all. It not only feeds them, it allows them to evolve faster. Humanities and the Invader’s needs for Getter Rays and evolution is the one singular theme of this OVA series. It’s important enough to mention, otherwise nobody would have a motivation to do anything or would be able to power anything in Getter Robo Armageddon. Yay Phlebotinum.
Getter Robo Armageddon is an after story to an older hero group’s journey and about the birth of a new one. Many years ago, the Getter Robo team was able to defeat an intoxicating alien force called the Invaders. A lot of things happened as a result of that as well involving the head of Getter 1 be framed as the assassin of a certain Doctor Saotome. A decade or two later, Ryoma is let out of jail after Doctor Saotome is found alive and hatching some evil plan to not only push human evolution forward more, but also working with the Invaders to do it. Ryoma is then joined with the rest of his Getter unit Hayato (which he has a grudge against) and Musashi (who is just there for now). The three fight against Doctor Saotome’s invention, the Shin dragon, until a nuke powered by Getter Rays is launched into the atmosphere. So unfortunately, the nuke goes off, Ryoma supposedly dies, and the Armageddon in this show’s name is now a reality. This was a short abbreviation of what went done because it’s impossible to cover the craziness of the first three episodes in a paragraph.
Ten years after the Nuke goes off, human kind is barely surviving. The Japanese people are living under ground while remainders of people from different countries scattered across the world. Unfortunately, the world is also ravaged by this aliens that can take up whatever form they want, The Invaders. Benkei took over the position of watching over and caring for Doctor Saotome’s daughter Kei when Musashi died. All this while also taking part in the military forces, So basically, Kei is a military brat. She is one of the three new Shin Getter Pilots. She, Go who was created to pilot the Shin Dragon by Doctor Saotome, and Gei who is just there to be the third pilot. With a rag tag group and the Shin Getter, this small unit lead by Benkei wanders the waste lands of the Earth in hopes of wiping out the Invaders and once again, stopping Doctor Saotome’s and friends plans. It’s a wild ride that leads to an amazing bits of animation and scenes.
Getter Robo Armageddon has characters, but they aren’t very strong characters. They are simple enough characters that have no explained backstories so you have to guess why characters act the way they do, have barely enough backstory so they have a reason to kill aliens, or are just some of the on or off screen people meant to die horribly. Ryoma is one of the most characterized people and you can easily understand why he is such a brutal pilot and out there to fight aliens for one reason or another. Hayato is an instigator of Ryoma’s backstory, and almost everybody else is too bland to care or too singular in motivations that you can understand them instantly. Kei is a little more interesting because she is the only female character and pilot in this show. Because of that, she is given a little more personality then the rest of the team. So as you can see, the characters are not the reason why you watch this anime series. The reason why to watch this series are the visuals.
I know I mentioned after the director change for Getter Robo Armageddon that the directional style and animation are diminished for a little while afterward. That doesn’t mean that the show isn’t amazing to look at. The character designs themselves are very samey and kind of boring, but the environments, mechs, and how the Invaders move are amazing. I mean, the Invaders are tentacle monsters and move very liquidly. It’s always a joy to watch them move and then explode after getting hit by a giant mecha sized tomahawk or something. And then once again, the environments. Armageddon does take place during the literal apocalypse, but that doesn’t mean that the backgrounds are flat, boring, and brown. There is always a wrecked city at stake or the most beautiful looking mountain ranges that are soon to disappear. Visuals are A-Plus.
Also, I need to talk about the mecha for a second. Please let me indulge in this, ok? Just one time per blog post? There are a large variety of them. Of course, most of them are just apart of what is called the Super Robot Army and are destined to be destroyed. Still, these animators and artist put a lot of work into what are only background material. Then there is the main mecha itself is called the Shin Getter, is formed from three jets, AND HAS A CAPE. MORE MECHA WITH CAPES, PLEASE. GAH. But anyway, Whichever jet takes the lead is what form the Shin Getter takes and it’s so cool to see this transformation happen. Also, I love the controls for this mech. A lot of shows have very digital looking controls or standard jet pilot controls in their cockpits, but the Shin Getter is very analogue which is why it’s so unique. Gah, I can gush about the Shin Getter all day. Ken Ishikawa’s designs are cool!
I think I’ve said all that I needed to say about Getter Robo Armageddon. It’s a show with amazing visual spectacle and has some themes about evolution in it. At the same time, Armageddon only uses it’s characters to move around awesome action scenes, which means they aren’t memorable in character design or personality. Do I still recommend this show? Hell yes. It’s only thirteen episodes in length, so it’s more then worth watching for that amount of time. A very beautiful 90’s ova kind of like Gundam MS 08th team and Macross Plus; just going for something completely different. That’s all that needs to be said.