- Getter Robo: Armageddon (1998-1999: Brain’s Base and Dynamic Planning) 13/13 eps.
Staff and Background
Armageddon is the anime adaptation of the Shin Getter Robo manga, one of Armageddon’s alternative names is Shin Getter Robo, by Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa. We’ve talked about Go Nagai before but just as a brief refresher he is really fucking important. He invented piloted mecha and he introduced ecchi to manga. His influence can not be overstated and he has certainly earned the title ‘the Father of Manga’. Ishikawa was Nagai’s partner in crime for Getter Robo and definitely seems to have been the one in charge of the manga side in particular, with later entries being credited sole to him. He hasn’t done a huge amount of stuff outside of Getter Robo but he is still massively respected in the industry. The OAV itself was initially directed by my hero Yasuhiro Imagawa for the first 3 episodes, after which he left due to a disagreement with the other staff. Imagawa also directed Giant Robo, G Gundam, and Shin Mazinger. The rest of the series was directed by Jun Kawagoe who also directed Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier, Mazinkaiser SKL, and the other Shin Getter Robo.
Story and Characters
Ryouma Nagare, one of the Getter Robo pilots, is imprisoned for killing Dr. Saotome, the scientist behind the Getter Robo. However, when the invaders return he is freed, much to the other pilots’ dismay, to help fend them off. Dr. Saotome turns up alive and well with the Shin Dragon and a plot to destroy the world. Shit goes wrong and 99% of the world is killed. Cut to about 10 years later and we meet Kei who has been adopted by one of the Getter Robo’s pilots. She teams up with Go, an artificial human made by Saotome, and another dude, who is entirely unimportant, to defeat the invader threat using the Shin Getter Robo. This show makes me sad. It so obviously could have been great but it falls short. I don’t know if it was due to Imagawa leaving or what but the show ends up being quite confusing. Many key things are left unexplained that just leave on scratching one’s head, the biggest of all being Saotome’s actions and motivations. It really drags the show down because outside of that it is great. It keeps a brisk pace, has fun characters, and ends up in a cool place. But its confusing elements just serve to neuter that in many ways. Also, there are characters that they clearly had no idea what to do with, the most obvious being the previously mentioned third pilot of the Shin Getter Robo who is kinda just there because they need a third person. The characters aren’t exactly deep either, but that is kind of to be expected from a super robot show (especially one connected to Go Nagai). It is just annoying because one can so clearly see how it could have been much better but of course one can’t change anything.
Audio and Visuals
This is where the show really shines. The audio is fantastic with a range of fantastic music and spot on VAs. I only listened to the sub, because listening to dubs for super robot shows is just morally wrong, and they were all fantastic. Visually this thing is also a treat with lots of smooth and detailed animation. It is quite clear that this show was a massive inspiration for TTGL, especially on the visual front, with a similar colour palette and animation style. One interesting thing is that the show still feels like an Imagawa show even in episodes after he left. The show must have been fairly well planned out before he left as there were shots right into the final episode that were Imagawa shots, like literally the same as he would use in G Gundam. Kawagoe just did a fantastic job imitating Imagawa’s style and must be applauded for it.
Close to great but not quite there. The show just stumbles over itself by being a bit too complicated for its own good and by not explaining things sufficiently. One has to wonder how much Imagawa’s departure has to do with this but I doubt we will ever know. The show is still a really good watch though with lots of fun action and some top tier audio. If you’re a super robot fan then definitely give it a shot and even if aren’t then at least take a look at it.
Final score: 6C