New Getter Robo Vol. 1: Rude Awakenings
When you though the franchise had died out, another great revival OVA appears, in New Getter Robo and saves the mecha fans from doom. As in the previous OVAs, this has a new outlook at the Getter team and the pilots. There are similarities, but there are also major differences between this one and previous Getter Robo OVAs. The same three pilots are back, but all have changed their ways. Ryoma returns as the hero of the team, but his crazy manic actions have been tripled from how he was depicted in Getter Robo Armegeddon.
Hayato in previous series of Getter Robo is the quiet type of guy; in this one, he is one screw away from being a full psychotic nut. Benkei is shown here as a mixture of personalities. In some Getter Robo shows, he's the lazy, slacker type, but in others, such as Getter Robo Armageddon, he's full of energy as the hard worker type. Finally, Professor Saotome is actually back to being the good professor. Well, he's good as in he's back to leading the team, rather than being hell-bent on ruling the world as in Getter Robo Armageddon.
Licensed by Geneon, New Getter Robo is basically a retelling of this great franchise, but with some twists and variations. As stated above, the main three characters are shown to be very different. Slap together triple the amount of violence and blood, and boom, you've got yourself an updated Getter Robo series. What is nice is the usage of various items from previous Getter Robo shows and modifying them a bit. The Onis look like a variation of the Pandemonium Empire from Starvengers, I bet many viewers don't remember that show by Terry Productions. The Proto-Getter is actually the original Getter Robo. It's so exciting; it makes me think back to when I was a kid watching the original show.
The show begins with a battle of the original Getter Robos and the Onis. Professor Saotome is in disbelief as one by one the pilots of the machines are being torn to pieces by a single Oni. After the battle, Professor Saotome is in dire straits, determined to find the three pilots worthy of piloting the Getter Robo that he has built. Ryoma is the first to be sought after. He is an excellent fighter and owns a dojo that was given to him by his father. He is broke and has debts with the local gang in his town. When one of the gangs tries to collect their debts from him, he beats them up. While returning from this little scuffle, he encounters Professor Saotome. After a battle between three of Saotome's goons, Ryoma is offered the chance to become the first pilot.
The next candidate is obviously Hayato. What is really crazy is that fact he is drawn to be a crazy psychopathic killer who just loves the sight of blood and pain. I wonder what happened to the silent Hayato? Hayato is also brilliant as he uncovers the plans of the Getter Robo. As he attempts to infiltrate the compound, he is met by Ryoma. They have a bit of a scuffle when Hayato meets an Oni. In total shock at what they are, he monetarily joins the team as the second pilot. During the battle with the Oni, Hayato goes into psychotic mode and wants to destroy EVERYONE. This is where Ryoma shows why he's the leader and stops him.
The final pilot is Beneki. Beneki used to an individual who would go around and eat food whenever he wanted and take women as he pleased. One day, his life changes as he is defeated by a traveling monk, who turns Beneki towards the path of Buddha. All is fine until one day, when his temple mates and the teacher who changed his life began to attack Beneki. Ryoma, on a recon mission, is suddenly attacked, and he crashes down in the area and meets the massive Beneki. Ryoma befriends Beneki, and Professor Saotome sees his potential. Beneki eventually becomes the third and final pilot of the Getter Robo.
What I loved the most about this series is the nice retro throwback of how it was drawn. The typical Go Nagai styles are shown throughout the entire series, and yes, the "Hero" sideburns are there. The background music is nice, but what I really enjoyed was the opening and ending themes done by Jam Project.
Being from Geneon, the dub is done by Bang Zoom. The voice actors do a pretty good job, but as one of my fellow mecha friends pointed out, they weren't really in the "Giant Robot" state of mind. Besides that, it was not a bad job by the voice actors. Now if they wanted to hear a nice one, go check out Mazinkaiser and listen to the voice actors on the English dub track.
With these new shows appearing like Gravion Zewi, this title made me remember why I was a mecha freak in the first place. It's not about how much the female characters boobs jiggle or how many panties shot there are in the show. It's the excitement of seeing the giant robot transform into one super robot and kicking the enemy's tail. Granted, I didn't expect so much violence and blood, but it doesn't hurt. This show is great for all mecha fans, and I recommend this to all who enjoy the mecha or giant robot genre.