Getter Robo Arc Episode 4: Ghosts Of Our Past

This episode starts with a quick recap of the previous episode and a little bit more. The Andromeda Stellaris’ attack has been defeated for now. I mean, of course. That was only their scouting unit after all. Why would they commit to such a force now? They still have some time to stop the Getter Robo Arc and the humans at the Saotome lab who dig deeper into Getter Ray research. The incident with Takuma driving flying right through the figure of killed his mom. The future to us is still unknown at the moment, but that is why we are here after all.

So, let’s start with the enemies first this time. You know, the Andromeda Stellaris or Andromeda Country depending on which name works better. They are the main driving force behind this episode after all. At this moment, their plots are pretty typical bad guy stuff. Especially since the guy who went out to kidnap Takuma at first is named McDonald. (What the hell? Why would you choose a name that lacked any intimidation to it?) Regardless of that, the last mission was a success for them, because their general was able to plant a bug as recon into one of the D-2 Unit’s pilots. Soon enough the villains may have complete access to the base. Only a minor thing for now, but I am sure this plot will become much bigger very soon. Sometimes typical can be effective and the plot of stopping the Getter Rays from destroying them makes them a bit more humanized then usual. Still, If Hayato Jin can find a way to the Andromeda Country through the Stoker, they are screwed humanized or not.

The story in the Saotome lab was a lot more intriguing. Ghosts of the past haunt the Saotome lab. I loved that comedic bit with the security guards who first joked about ghosts of the past infesting the lab and then a ghost of General Gore, a giant lizard man, showed up. Plus one of Dr. Saotome and another of Baku’s brother. Each of them obviously leading one of the Arc pilots to a specific place, the older Saotome lab. Before that, Kamui had a flashback to his childhood. He is a child that is half human and half sauri, so he doesn’t belong anywhere. That quick moment of him not joining the children below and taken in by Hayato Jin was pretty sad. Finally, we get some insight into Kamui’s character then just not feeling like he doesn’t belong. At least he’s fighting to save the Earth.

Anyway, the flash back at the older Saotome lab that was just blocked off. Takuma, Baku, and Kamui were dragged down here by ghosts of the pasts for a reason and its to give some reference to the conflict at large and why its important. In the lab, the three of them and us see a flash back of an incident when the first insects attack Saotome lab and the charging of the Shin Getter Robo to only 50%. In that flash back was Hayato Jin, Ryoma Nagare, and Baku’s brother taking on the outside force and the horrible incident of Benkei sacrificing his life with the decommissioned Getter Dragon to defeat the enemies that got into the lab. It’s a pretty horrifying scene. So well directed and wonderfully horrifying.

So, this was obviously the catch up episode that brought a lot more context into the story for the three newer Getter Robo pilots and us as an audience. That flash back to Kamui’s past and the previous Getter Team’s appearance adds a lot of context to the situation at large here. People who know the source material will know about everything that happened already, but this episode helps those who don’t know everything about Getter Robo to understand how serious the conflict is. a pretty typical sort of thing to do after the three episode stinger to get people invested in it and the writing behind it is very solid. The new pilots don’t know as much about the conflict, besides Kamui who always seems to know everything, so it’s very organic in how the whole episode is put together.

This time around, there was a lot more 2D animation and I am going to say that its still fine or decent, but nothing really fantastic. Every scene that 2D is used is solid enough to get the message across well enough. Same with the character designs being good but not amazing. That scene with the guards was excellent and I love the use of the 2D for the different ghosts that floated around Saotome Laborotary. Still in general, there is a lot of flatness to the 2D characters. No major action scenes, just characters standing in place or sitting in place during conversations with each other. The show does use some fantastic angles for each of these shots though, so it’s very well directed in a way that gives the show more punch. Especially with Benkei’s sacrifice.

3D was great again because of how minimal it was used in general. I thought this show was going to rest its 3D because this is usually the episode where shows like to calm down, but the flash back scene was pretty powerful with the retro characters and mecha. I loved seeing the Shin Getter Robo in 3D, even if it was sound less, fighting against one singular giant bug. Even without the sound impact, the voice acting and the solid moments of the 3D animation really sold it to me. Same with the Getter Dragon that was locked away. There is a lot of thought put into this production and I really enjoy so much of it. Maybe minimalism is what this show could go for in 3D so it gets the desired affect better.

So all in all, maybe not the strongest episode of Getter Robo Arc, but it was a good and necessary one. One that looked visually alright that brings a lot of context behind the recent situation for the new Getter Robo crew and the newer audience watching it. This episode did slow down the really fast ride the last three episodes were on, but sometimes slowing down and telling a story is alright. Can’t wait to see how this all works out in the next episode.

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