Posted by psgels on 26 December 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Giant Robot shows from the seventies are pretty like today’s harem series: there’s a lot of bad stuff among them: uninspired premises that get nowhere apart from perhaps a rushed conclusion in the end. The trick is of course to find the good ones among the crappy ones, but that’s not always easy, considering how all of them look so much like each other. Still, I’ve managed to find one (thanks to this guy, link only in Dutch, unfortunately): Invincible Superman Zambot 3. This series is so much more than a simple robot-bashing show. This is a giant robot-series, Tomino style.

This show makes it clear that even before creating Mobile Suit Gundam, Yoshiyuki Tomino was already trying to popularize the realistic side of mechas. While the series starts out as your average series, where a bratty 12 year old kid gets the unlikely chance to pilot a giant robot, it soon becomes clear that saving the world isn’t just going to be a simple matter of beating every enemy robot that starts wreaking havoc. Already after a few episodes do we see the public reaction to the titular Zambot descending into sheer hate, as people start blaming the lead characters for destroying their homes in their fights.

Throughout the series, this continues to escalate into further chaos. Because the lead characters are a bunch of adventurous kids, they take way too long in realizing what sort of arrogant idiots they’ve been, and at the same time the tactics of the bad guy (with the awesome name of “Killer the Butcher”) continue to get more desperate and gruesome.

The monster of the week theme does remain, though, so that’s a bit of a downside, and there are really way too much transformation sequences. And as it turns out, there’s a whole backstory there to explain why out of all people, we have three kids piloting the robot who decides the future of the world. To be honest it sounds a bit far-fetched, but at least it’s better than nothing, and it’s sufficient to support what this series is really about: the fact that war is BAD, and should never be underestimated. A bigger problem is that a number of characters aren’t fleshed out enough. Especially the main villains are a bit too one-sided. It’s also strange that Kappei’s father, without a doubt the manliest member of the cast, is useless throughout the largest part of the series: he hardly ever does anything, he’s just there, even though there’s enough for him to do.

Nevertheless, the point of this series was to show that robot battles aren’t as idealistic as portrayed in most of these giant robot series, and that’s exactly what it did. When a building gets destroyed, it really gets destroyed and doesn’t magically disappear. People are going to care about it and get angry. Saving the world has never been easy, and especially the series’ finale lets that message sink in. Yeah, I can understand why Tomino got his nickname now. ^^;

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 9/10

3 Responses

  1. df says:

    “This show make sit clear”

    should be “This show makes it clear”

    feels like your personally editor…=)

    you hiring editors?

  2. Windspirit says:

    “Yeah, I can understand why Tomino got his nickname now. ^^;”
    >> You think ?

    Watch Space Runaway Ideon.

    No, I mean, WATCH IT, REALLY.

  3. marumaru says:

    Hope you watch the show form legal site.

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  • Ebod
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 08:22 PM)
    V for Vendetta for me has always been a more “literary” work than Watchmen, but Watchmen is spectacular because it’s a story that can only be told in full scope in the comic format. While I feel like many major themes and events from V for Vendetta could easily be adapted into, say, novel format, the same could not be said of Watchmen. Also, the racist whitewashing Hollywood does of Asian characters really has to stop.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:32 AM)
    The only way a live action ghost in the shell film would work is if Mamoru oshii directed it.

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