This season, I wanted to try episodic reviews once again. I don’t usually do these because everyone usually watches and does episodic review for most of the shows out there. Not for Getter Robo ARC though. Honestly, I don’t think a single person that I know of is going to do anything for Getter Robo ARC, unless someone just does it. So with that kind of idea, I decided to do it myself. I haven’t written a full episodic review since Chihayafuru Season 3, so I am a little rusty at this. I had to think of how I can get these out fast consistently and without too much effort on my end. The format I chose here is the result.
Now, I also want to dive into these Getter Robo reviews with some transparency. I am not the biggest Getter Robo fan in the world. Why? I haven’t read the manga at all. I originally planned to knowing that Getter Robo ARC will come out later in 2021, but I was burned out by reading One Piece that I never got around to it. I am at least familiar enough in the world of Getter Robo to know what is going on. I have seen the Getter Robo Armageddon OVA, Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo, and the Shin Getter Robo ova. I know enough about the world to at least get by or get some references here and there. I think not knowing everything is a good way to look at these reviews but you can check your mind and not read these if you want to after knowing that. I have not read all of Ken Ishikawa’s master work, but that means I can in the future.
The story behind this first episode was generally pretty simple. A strong man named Takuma who is called to the Getter Rays wants to get into Getter Robo base, but is turned away from the base guards. For now, Takuma turns away because his huge bald friend can sense the future and knows a better point in time to get Takuma’s answers. So for now, the two retreat around the town around them while Getter Base, controlled by former Getter 2 pilot Hayato Jin, is currently under attack by an unknown force of giant alien bugs. Eventually, Takuma’s monk friend Baku’s prediction becomes true because Takuma is able to get into a downed Getter Machine and use it to help fight the monsters that appeared. Also, Takuma is the son of the first Getter 1 pilot Ryoma Nagare.
So yes, the story was generally simple and relied a little much on references to what was going on for some people, but I liked it. This episode did feel like a new beginning with enough draws in the past to allow it to make the world feel like it was lived in and under attack. There is also the standard Getter Robo bit of not just any pilot can handle the Getter Robo because of the high g forces involved in piloting it. What was most interesting was the world Takuma interacted with because there is a lot of blood thirsty people in this show that wanted to kill Takuma. That gives off the vibes of a kill or be killed world as a result of everything that happens around the control chamber.
For the most part, this episode was better focused on telling us who Takuma Nagare is and honestly, he’s a powerful softy. The guy just can’t die because knife wounds get healed quickly and no damage can truly beat him down. At the same time, the guy never breaks any laws or attacks people unwarranted. He pays for food with all the money he and his friend has and never asks for much else besides a motorcycle with a side car. Something they earned from good deeds. What I am curious about Takuma’s friend Baku because he has lots of skills and hasn’t made his presence known to anyone else in the show yet besides Takuma.
In general, I thought the presentation of this show was pretty good. The 2D animation was passable at best. I really love seeing the older art style being jazzed up as much as it was in modern bits of anime art style. At the same time, it didn’t looked exceptional when that animation was moving. Lots of cheap cuts of action animation that gave the viewer a sense of what is going on but nothing stood out at all. At least the show is directed enough to give a good sense of flow.
The 3D animation was exceptional. The two Getter machines had fantastic designs with the D-2 looking like a pretty standard Getter Robo design. The Getter Robo ARC, the more powerful Getter Robo machine, looked like a mecha straight out of hill. The enemy they fought was very creatively designed and had a lot of good shells. Their movements were so fluid and powerful. I believed they could move the way they could flying through the air and using their wonderful attacks. The sound design isn’t strong, but everything else seems to be alright.
In the end, this first episode was pretty good. Not perfect at all nor has it answered all of the questions in the world regarding its plot or it’s characters, but it’s fed me enough cool old style super robot action, character beats in which I want to see these characters more, and story hook lines for me to see more of it in the future. It is only somewhat new comer friendly because the story is a start of the final arc of Gtter Robo where a lot of things have happened already, but I think this is completely watchable for those with an open mind or like older fans who jumped into anime before without knowing much of what was going on. Check it out, because I easily recommend it. Especially if you want a feel for what older super robot shows were like.