In celebrating the appearance of Getter Robo Arc next season, hopefully in a place that it can easily be streamed, here is Shin vs Neo Getter Robo! It’s 4-episode ova that is an interesting interpretation of some Getter Robo story lines and directed by Jun Kawagoe. That is the same director behind everything in the latest Getter Robo material in most of Getter Robo Armageddon, Shin Getter Robo, and now Getter Robo Arc appearing soon to the internet near you. This was also the guy that worked on the 2000’s Cyborg 009 and Cyborg 009 vs Devilman, so he knows his stuff and how to handle insanity. If you want to get a feel for Getter Robo material before Arc appears in July, those two short series and this one are what you should check out. I don’t know what is in Arc because I didn’t read the manga, but I know the characters and the basic story.
Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo is a lot more flash and boom than story substance. The backstory is very easy and simple besides some blatant extra anime strangeness to it. The villain group is the Dinosaur Empire led by General Gore and they are attacking New York. All of that with the Getter Robo leading the defense against the Mechasaurus tropes while losing horribly. In a last-ditch effort to defeat the dinosaur empire, Doctor Saotome and Getter 2 pilot try hard to activate the Shin Getter Robo that uses Getter rays, nuclear radiation but more plot energy while Musashi, the Getter 3 pilot, uses the original Getter Robo to fend the dinosaur off long enough for that to happen. When everything is failing, in an act of sacrifice, Musashi uses the Getter Rays to delete New York and the attacking dinosaur empire. The rest of the film takes place only a small amount of years later.
The rest of the story is obvious, right? The Dinosaur empire is here to get revenge and the Earth must use experimental models of the Getter Robo to fend them off. First, we are introduced with Hayato from the og Getter Robo crew needing to recruit to join Shou, the super serious one, and Gai, the one who accepts everything, to join the crew of the plasma powered Neo Getter Robo. Eventually, Hayato finds Gou who has an impossibly strong body that the Dinosaur Empire wants and has the enthusiasm to do everything. With them united, the Neo Getter is able to fend off the Dinosaur Empire until it’s not good enough and the Shin Getter Robo has to be revived after Dr. Saotome escapes confinement from the UN to save the world. That’s the plot. It is very simple and effective vehicle for incredible super robot fights.
Simple and effective is a great way to describe everything in Shin vs Neo. Every episode gives you enough information to provide context for the story to function and that’s it. Do you know who is leading the dinosaur empire, now you do and it’s General Gore. Do you know why the Dinosaur Empire is attacking? Next episode, now you know that they cannot harness the getter rays like humans can. The stakes are made by Musashi’s actions and General Gore’s super powered suit adds even more tension considering how hard they were to beat last time. The characters are also given one singular trait. Gou has his enthusiasm, Shou has her serious and business-like mannerisms, and Gai has the “I can go with this” sort of personality. That continues with Hayato as the leader who is defined as the leader. The American couple that shows up with broken English are wonderful, but they are just stereotypes of a lot of American cliches as well and Chibodee Crocket be damned, I think these two win.
I love everything about art and animation in Shin vs Neo. Even the early visual effects used in the story when the Getter Rays released helps them feel like something beyond this realm. That makes sense considering how different Getter Rays are compared to everything else. Everything else was beautifully drawn in hand drawn animation. The character designs between the beefy and strong human characters to where Shou and the American woman are just as strong to the different designs of members of the dinosaur empire. All sorts of humanized dinosaurs either attack with hand-to-hand combat and pilot mecha. The different Getter Designs and abilities help make them so innovative and powerful. Neo Getter’s lightning attacks was something that not a lot of robots do and Shin Getter’s sheer force of strength. The mechanical detail is incredible. When enemy or friendly units are destroyed, you can see how intricately the are designed.
So yes, I am going to give Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo a good. It knows what it is and does an excellent job at doing what it set out to do. It’s a beautifully looking flash in the pan that is as much fun as a super robot series can ever get. The only wrong thing is the title itself because the vs is very stretched here. The Neo Getter Robo vs Shin Getter Robo never actually fight each other before facing down the Dinosaur Empire. Instead, the title falls into the politics of the situation at hand. The Neo Getter Robo was preferred by the government in the ova series/movie because of the danger of Getter Rays and how plasma’s nature can be controlled, but the Shin Getter Robo is clearly stronger and gets the job done faster. That’s it, that’s the conflict. If you want something fun and explosive that can be watched in under two hours, Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo is here for you.