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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  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:25 PM)
    @Kaiser: EoE is one my favorite anime of all time. Once you ditch the superfluous religious imagery the rest makes sense. Human Instrumentaly succeeds, everyone turns to LCL then the conduit fails as some reject it and regain form. Deep in the fiction end of SciFi, but makes in-universe sense.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:17 PM)
    I don’t want a happy ending, what I want is something I can wrap my head around at least.
    I’d doubt it’d be as disturbing as end of evangelion though.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:16 PM)
    Now does it have problems? of course. I mentioned the most prominent ones and their causes in my first comment. Does its issues outweigh the entertainment value? depends on your personality. Keep in mind that there is no such a thing as a universally flawless creation. Every anime/manga/film/book has a community of haters; some sincere and some are just attention-seeking contrarians.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:10 PM)
    It wouldn’t have been that hard for the 3rd movie to tie a nice bow on the events of the 2nd film and acted as everything was fine, that would’ve certainly pleased the masses, but that also would’ve made it a monument to artistic compromise. If you want feel-good material you’re barking up the wrong tree. Like Ramsey says in Game of Thrones “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:06 PM)
    I reserve judgment on the entirety of the Rebuild movies until I see the final one. That’s the one that will either elevate it or completely run it into the ground. there are few who seem to understand what they were going for in 3.0 since yeah it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as 2.0 with it’s action-packed finale and Shinji finally doing something and saving Rei, but Eva is not about satisfaction but failure and loss.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:01 PM)
    I’m actually really looking forward to the 4th film.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 09:59 PM)
    I’ll admit it now as a mature adult, I was ragging against Eva too much for getting into an argument with a friend years ago when I was a teenager about it and he understood better than I did and I felt thick and that he picked up on it more easily than I did. He’ll be laughing/gloating when I tell him I gave the franchise another chance through the movies, this is still a joke among my friends about me and the show.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 09:54 PM)
    I’m recalling my brother’s vie on Eva the series vs the reboot:
    That he feels “The films are entertaining but un-neccesary because you don’t fix a piece of work that isn’t broken”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 09:53 PM)
    Now the characters are emotionally a bit blank because that’s what Anno wanted. To show the mental isolation of the protagonist they needed to keep him separated and tormented. Liking/hating this is a matter of taste. Now we also have Kaji, Fuyutsuki and others to move the plot and Mari for lightening up the mood, the latter which I also didn’t enjoy, but it didn’t really ruin anything.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 09:47 PM)
    Now was Eva bad or good is matter of opinion that is completely separate from it’s ‘relevance’. I believe it was fantastic for it’s time and slim budget. The parts that were actually animated were done real well. The style was so influential the biggest company in the game right now (including Ufotable) copy and allude to it.

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