When terrorist groups, evil criminals and aliens become too strong even for Earth's over-stretched armed forces, the virtually-indestructible robot, Gigantor, is built to combat them.Written by
Cynan Rees <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the beginning of Anime there was ......Gigantor !
Japan's first anime was "Tetsuwan Atom" (Astro Boy). Gigantor was the second. Astro Boy's animation was done by its creator Osamu Tezuka's own production studio the "Mushi pro" (Osamu's "mu" is kanji character Mushi which means insect, hence the name) so the quality was as good as it can be made at the time due to his supervision, but Gigantor was an attempt by TV network to jump in both feet first into the media that was attracting lot of attention at the time. Based on a comic by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, Gigantor or "Tetsujin nijyuhachi (28) go" was two most popular boy's cartoon along with Tezuka's "Tetsuwan Atom" at the time (both featured on a now defunct monthly boy's magazine called "Shounen"). But because Gigantor was done by a TV network, it's quality wasn't as high as Astro Boy. At the time, profession now known as "animator" who draws the pictures didn't even exist in Japan, and they had to hire amateurs to create this series.
Unlike the scenario of the version dubbed for U.S. market, Gigantor was meant to be a war machine developed to win the war for the Japanese (WW II that is), so it's a 20th century creation. Japanese government set up their skunk works in Mt. Norikura to develop robots to supplant soldiers in the war. Gigantor was their 28th prototype. Yokoyama himself didn't think the comic was going to be such a big hit, and his original idea was that after Gigantor fights his first battle, it would be deemed too dangerous to keep around and would be smelted back to metal. But as soon as it hit the stands in July of 1956, it became the number one rated comic of its time and its syndication continued for 10 years until May of 1966. This by the way was my most favorite Japanese comic for a long while, and started my interest in other areas of art, so I owe Yokoyama, and Gigantor a lot.
Okay, that's the complete back ground for this very fine animated series. Watching this is like seeing the Beatles in their Hamburg days of Japanese anime industry. A boy controls Gigantor, because it was first syndicated on a magazine for boys. In this, and Astro Boy you can see the genesis of a complete industry we now know as anime. The likes of "Inuyasha" have their roots in Gigantor. To see this is to see history in its making, and is a priceless artifact from the '60s Japan.
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