14 CommentsTwelve Days / By Shinmaru /

12 Days of Anime #7: Some Folks Just Want to Watch the World Burn

getter-robo-armageddon

It seems that every year I find myself wading through one giant robot franchise or another. This year it was Armored Trooper VOTOMS (which won’t be a part of this 12 Days series, but hopefully I will have time to honor it another way before the year’s end) and Getter Robo, by way of the OVAs (Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo, New Getter Robo, and the subject of this post, Getter Robo Armageddon). I wonder which robot series I will journey through next?

Getter Robo Armageddon is undoubtedly the highlight of my experience with Getter Robo. It’s starts off mad and gets madder as it goes along, culminating with an ending that is basically Version 1.0 of a certain beloved super robot anime’s ending. It’s a crazy pile of ridiculousness that was the perfect capper to my Getter Robo experience. It’s amazing that it actually turns out as well as it does, however, because it could very well have crashed and burned due to the behind-the-scenes troubles.

The main reason I looked forward to watching Getter Robo Armageddon is due to Yasuhiro Imagawa’s involvement. If you love giant robots, then you most likely love Imagawa, so I don’t have to elaborate on my excitement there. I was warned plenty beforehand: Imagawa directed just the first three episodes before departing the project for reasons I don’t know. The OVA dips pretty hard for a couple of episodes after Imagawa’s departure before slowly recovering and righting the ship before the nutty conclusion. My hats off to the creative staff for still making something damn good in the face of a dire situation.

Yet, I still can’t help but wonder what could have been. If you’ve seen any Imagawa robot series, you know the man does not think small. The personal conflicts are as personal as they can get, and the stakes are as high as Imagawa can push them. In Armageddon, the Getter Robo team is ripped apart, with Hayato even crazier and more ruthless than ever before, Prof. Saotome returning from the dead and seeking vengeance for the death of his daughter and Ryoma arrested for, well, doing what Ryoma does best. The whole world is going to shit with the imprisoned Ryoma turned to in desperation in the battle against Saotome and his ultimate creation, Shin Getter Dragon.

The battle appears hopeless; so hopeless, in fact, that it’s decided to basically blow everything to hell and hope for the best afterward. The nukes are unleashed, and Imagawa leaves the apocalypse behind him as he exits the project. For all the things about Imagawa’s career that disappoint people — no more Giant Robo, no more Shin Mazinger Z — this probably disappoints me the most, because this was actually happening and Imagawa had a story he intended to see through. Getter Robo Armageddon turned out well in the end, but I’ll always wonder just what Imagawa would have done with this suddenly apocalyptic Earth afterward.

But what a way to go. I can just imagine Yasuhiro Imagawa walking away, not even bothering to look back at the hell he suddenly created.

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13 Comments

  1. Nagisa33
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    I read the original Getter Robo manga and I thought it was horribly cheesy. Maybe this modern version will change my opinion. People have recommended it despite the original stuff but I’m still not too convinced.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      I would say try Shin Getter vs. Neo Getter, just because it’s the shortest of the three OVAs and you won’t have lost too much time if you don’t like it.

  2. Posted December 20, 2013 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Shin Great Mazinger is going to happen! You take that back!

    But yeah, Armageddon really lost me once Imagawa left, to the point where I was about to drop the series by the time episode 8 came around and the new staff figured out what they were doing and everything became awesome again. He left them with a situation so dire – the stakes pushed to such heights that none but he could control them – it took them five episodes to work the story into a state where mere mortals such as themselves could take over. Once they’ve dug their heels deep enough into ground to reach a comfortable speed they up the ante like madmen and deliver an amazing conclusion, but man, what if Imagawa had actually made the Getter anime he wanted? (The answer is that the final episode would either not be out yet or would just now be seeing the light of day).

    Maybe, someday, Imagawa will complete another robot series. So far I think G Gundam is the only one. But when that day comes, it will be a wonderful day indeed.

    (Also, Black Getter is one sexy hunk of metal)

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      And he even left G Gundam with room for a potential sequel! IMAGAWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *shakes fist*

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    I love Getter Robo! It’s a well kept secret but it’s my personal mission in life to make sure everyone in the world experiences Getter in some way.

    From what I remember about Armageddon is that Imagawa fudged a deadline and the people who’d commissioned the OVA fired him, and Imagawa got so angry he basically left and took everything he’d written with him. So Everything past episode 3 is basically Kawagoe Jun rapidly trying to mop up.

    If you liked Armageddon, please please PLEASE do try and read the manga. Personally I like the first two stories (AKA Getter, and Getter Robo G) and I also really love Getter Robo Arc. I think if you read the manga, and rewatch Armageddon, you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for what the show managed to pull off. It’s such a wonderful experience.

    If you liked Armageddon, you should watch Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo. It’s only 4 episodes and it kinda sorta adapts the story from Getter Robo Go. It’s also miles better than New Getter Robo, which I thought was pointlessly edgy and tryhard, and after a certain point just plain bad. Though you should at least watch episode 2 of New Getter, just because of how well they adapted Hayato Jin’s entrance story.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      I think someone in one of my early Kill la Kill post left links to the Getter Robo manga, so maybe I’ll give that a try once I’m all caught up with JoJo. (Which will still be a while, since I still haven’t started Steel Ball Run yet and won’t have the time until the new year …)

  4. Andaer
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Congratulations for what is probably the best headline for Getter Robo.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks!

  5. Posted December 21, 2013 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Yay-yuh. GRA is one of my favorite things, and I did not expect to see it covered here during the Twelve Days series.

    I am one of the few people I know who thought the show was not only awesome all the way through but actually got better after Imagawa left the picture. Perhaps the beginning disoriented me, since the show is a direct sequel to an audio drama we will never hear (The Moon Wars). I particularly enjoyed the zombies-in-the-arctic episode, which I think was the first appearance of the awesome Black Getter.

  6. JoeQ
    Posted December 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Yes, definetily read Getter-manga at some point. It’s a pretty weird (but fun!) from today’s perspective, goofy humor and cheesy super robot antics mixed with insane ultraviolence. If nothing else you’ll at least be able to better appreciate just how much Gurren Lagann owes to Getter and how very, very Imagawa the first three episodes of GRA really are (it’s basically the same mix-it-all-up ultimate fanfiction approach he did with Giant Robo and Shin Mazinger).

    The latter 3/4 of Armageddon pretty much established Jun Kawagoe as the go-to guy for Go Nagai remakes/reboots/reimaginings/whatever. He’s the guy also responsible for Shin vs Neo, New Getter, Koutetsushin Jeeg and Mazinkaiser SKL. Not as good as Imagawa, but he’ll do a solid job and actually get things done.

    How about GaoGaiGar for your next project?

    • Posted December 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, more Gaogaigar (Final) discussion please.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      I’ve actually watched both GaoGaiGar and GaoGaiGar Final already!

      • JoeQ
        Posted December 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        How about taking on the Kamen Rider-franchise then?

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