It’s been a while since I’ve discussed something Getter Robo. I’ve been wanting to discuss this one in some capacity for a while. I picked up the Getter Robo Armageddon DVD set at Sakuracon in 2019 and I really wished I could have picked this one up as well, but I was unsure about whether or not I would like the Getter Robo franchise at that time. I also spent a lot of money on Gundam Blu-rays and DVDS, so I was trying to keep my own costs down. I’m glad that this show recently appeared on RetroCrush so I could watch it on my own time. I did and didn’t know what to expect when jumping into this super robot show at first, but I can honestly say that this show didn’t disappoint. It’s a fun and chaotic super robot show that I just learned to embrace its wonderful insanity.
New Getter Robo is, as the title states, a brand-new tale for the Getter Robo franchise. If you are a newbie, it is a complete retelling of the story in a new way. I’m a newbie mostly, so I know. The anime opens up with the Oni demons raising up from the Earth and Dr. Saotome’s experimental Getter mecha units fighting against them. They were able to defeat the oni, but at a great cost of man power and technology as the experimental units were destroyed. That leads to Dr. Saotome searching for three stronger and ideal pilots to get the full power out of his Getter Robo mecha unit. The world doesn’t know it yet, but it’s in dire straits from the Oni Attack and the mysterious Getter Rays, which only Dr. Saotome knows the secrets of.
The first four episodes of New Getter Robo are very good character introduction episodes with the last one being the group finding their connection with each other. The first character that appears is our lead for the show, Ryoma Nagare (Getter One Pilot). A powerful martial artist with a massive attitude problem and a dojo that he keeps for himself. He is soon joined by the powerful terrorist and the group intellectual, Hayato Jin (Getter Two Pilot) who joins the team from his interest in the Getter Rays. Lastly, the perverted and non-spiritual monk, Benkei Musashibo (Getter Three Pilot), who is the moral center of the group. The three are very at odds with each other, but find a connection through the fight against the Oni. Before getting stranger that is.
As with the rest of the series, The Getter Robo is a transforming three-way Super Robot that comes with a wide variety of powers and abilities. Three jet like units combine together to form some different cool robot. The first unit, the Getter One when Ryoma is in the lead, is the pretty basic super robot form that can fire a Getter Beam from it’s chest and has the ever powerful Getter Tomahawk. When the unit transforms with Hayato as the lead, the Getter Two makes an appearance. It’s a unit with a lot of drills that allows it to easily drill through the ground which becomes necessary in a lot of occasions. Lastly, there is Benkei’s Getter Three that is a heavy based unit with a lot of attacks through missiles and tons of power moves. This is the unit that is used to fight against Oni kind.
After the appearance of the next large Oni, the show goes in a vastly wild direction. Time Travel. It is the direction of moving backwards in time to the samurai area of Japan. An era of Japan where the Oni are fighting against human kind and somehow humans having flying ships and ancient machine guns. Basically, an JRPG land I assume. I’ve only played a few of them. The main enemy to defeat, an Oni Getter Emperor by the name of Seimei is the massive threat. Ryoma helps the female leader of the clan with Seimei first after wandering on his own for a while until it ends up not working that well. With the reappearance of the Getter Robo, Seimei is defeated and the Getter Robo crew makes it to their time. Mostly. At least the world they made it back to is familiar to them I suppose because not much has changed.
Showing up a small number of years into the future, the themes and plots of Getter Robo become more prevalent. The emergence of the updated Getter Robo giving Ryoma visions of what the Getter Rays do to people in the future appear. The mysterious Getter Rays become ominous, Ryoma having more focus in the plot results in the Getter Robo only working at maximum capacity when he’s sitting in his Getter One Seat, and Dr. Saotome going insane from the Getter Rays, it’s time to fight for the true war for Japan and find the reason why the Oni have appeared once again. The reappearance of the Getter Rays through Dro. Saotome’s work. Can our Getter Pilots still join together to fight against the Oni Gods and against the way Getter Rays want to push humanity? Well, you probably know the answer but you don’t know how!
New Getter Robo is an anime that is a lot more spectacle and fun with chaotic characters than anything else. A lot like a fireworks sort of anime with a little bit of depth if you look for it. The show provides just enough explanation into character stories and backstories to let you know what is going on and moves at a brisk pace so it’s impossible to get bored. There isn’t any major scientific logic behind it, just Getter Rays and the manly fighting spirit as Super Robot shows intend for it to be. The cast is generally small which results into enough characterization for everyone in a 13 episodes series. Benkei somehow dives into his role as the moral center to keep Hayato and Ryoma from fighting each other. Hayato questions why he isn’t good enough when he compares himself to Ryoma, and Ryoma’s up front nature is challenged because it means fighting against the natural path of humanity as time goes on. It’s very small character jumps, but ones that makes sense considering everything going on.
I really like the Saotome’s character arcs as well even if they aren’t complex either. For instance, Dr. Saotome starts as an outgoing professor that will risk anything to stop the oni from attacking. Even his own son who died in the first episode before Ryoma gets in the cockpit for the first time. He doesn’t seem to be affected by it at first, but he slowly loses himself in his grief by digging himself into Getter Ray research and building a fortress around the lab after the Getter Robo reappears. With him is his daughter, Michiru. She’s an archaeologist who is searching for the origins of the Oni and why they appeared through fossils on the ground. Michiru judges her father by not caring and also judges the Getter Robo pilots as some sort of straight man so she is dropped a little bit, but she is very important in grounding the series. She also has a very cold personality that is needed in between all this chaos because of her outside perspective.
New Getter Robo is an early 2000’s show that is still when anime was experimenting with digital effects and digital coloring. Since this was in 2004, this is about where New Getter Robo gets it all right but I think that’s also about where most studios have figured out digital coloring. Either way, New Getter Robo is a beautiful and color series despite its edgy story. We are thrown into another mix of updated retro character designs because Getter Robo comes from the 1970’s. There are great fist fights where you can see how powerful our main characters are and how hard it is to defeat the Oni without tech. They regenerate. Plus, there are so many cool locations that fights happen in terms of time lines and city locations which makes it all very interesting to think about and watch. Once again, very much a fireworks sort of scenario. Some digital effects are bad though.
The Getter Robo needs to be brought into special mention here, but I like the concept of the design already from Armageddon. Still, I really like how this show handles it’s retro mecha designs. The Getter Robo is an old mecha from days past and it looks that way through its design and its special colors just like 1970’s old fashion, bright piloting outfits. I like how the updates keep the standard designs but also give each design a lot of detail too because of the visual flexing New Getter Robo can do in its OVA format. I really love all of it. I love the Getter One’s standard shonen design, Getter 2 with all of its drills, and Getter 3 with its explosive fire power. The variability is so unique and only the Valkeryies in Macross come close to this. I also love how well animated the change from one form to another is and how the mecha moves because somehow, the show feels like it has a lot of weight despite its super robot nature. It doesn’t need that sort of feeling, but it’s there.
With all that in motion, I’m going to give New Getter Robo a good. It isn’t that deep of a series with a small cast of characters, but it’s a lot of fun. It misses a lot of the emotional weight from other super robot shows that would usually push the show over the hump for me. As I said, this show is very similar to how a fireworks display is like when you see it in person. If that person somehow threw in some time travel nonsense and more and more powerful fire works as you go on. It’s all very memorable and has tons of things in it that one can’t help but enjoy when one watches it. New Getter Robo is a short super robot series that will heavily appeal to people who want to get into a super robot anime and try one out. Especially if anyone is searching for an anime series that is pretty weird and unusual as well. I mean, that is what Super Robot anime