If you thought that the 2004 series of Tetsujin 28-Go was obscure: meet the movie. Seriously, I could hardly find anything about it online. The only working version I found was a random raw somewhere on Megaupload. With so little attention on it, you might think that this is just another one of those recap movies. And actually, it isn’t.
This movie is standalone from the series, but I would recommend having seen the series before it. It builds further upon its themes, characters and setting. It really serves as an excellent complementary to the series, while having a good story for itself as well. Again, we see here focus on the 1960s. While most anime set in that era are focused on looking towards the future, Tetsujin 28-Go looks back. In fact, this movie is all about the fear of another atom bomb, and about the huge effects that the second world war had on the people of Japan. The TV-series already had this, but it really turned into the core theme of the movie. This relates back to the original Tetsujin 28-Go (pretty much the first giant robot series ever), which also was created with the earth shattering devastation of these weapons of mass destruction in mind.
This movie is 90 minutes long, but what surprised me the most is that it had relatively little action, especially compared to the TV-series. The action is only focused on a select number of key climaxes, with the rest of the movie being build-up and character-building. It took a bit to get used to, but it works surprisingly well. This movie also introduces one particular new character and it makes sure that he really makes his own impact on both the story and the characters. And yes, this remains a Yasuhiro Imagawa anime. The ending really is an excellent one that wonderfully uses its own build-up. It has nice action, but the real meat actually lies in the dialogue here.
Having said that though, this movie does get quite a bit far-fetched at times. Especially Tetsurou’s father did things that just… make you wonder about his sanity, but there also are other plot twists in this movie that perhaps took a few too many creative liberties. They’re used well, but seeing a things as an enormous robot with bombs as back-hairs gets a bit… hard to buy at times.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – A bit long on the build-up, but comes together wonderfully when it counts. Excellent dialogue as well, though a bit far-fetched at times.|
|Characters:||8/10 – One particular character has suddenly gotten really annoying, but the rest of the cast is still very likable, plus the now characters are excellent.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – The creators couldn’t get themselves a movie budget here. Pretty much looks the same as the TV-series.|
|Setting:||9/10 – Makes terrific use of its legacy, being based on the first mecha show ever made.|