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OP Up! Super Robot Edition

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GIANT MECHA ACTION!

Welcome to the first edition of OP Up!, a weekly selection of anime opening videos that is here to help you get through your Wednesday to the end of the week. This week's theme is about Super Robot anime and the many opening sequences that get you ready for some overpowered giant mecha beating up on some alien baddies.

This first video above is from the grand daddy of all super robots. Tetsujin 28-go is one of the earliest Japanese animated shows to be adapted for US audiences. Known in the US asGigantor when it was brought over, the 1963 show Tetsujin 28-go is based off the 1956 manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama.

Tetsujin 28-go is a bit different from what we consider a Super Robot show nowadays. Instead of being inside the robot and yelling out his robotic super moves, Shotaro Kaneda, the young detective boy protagonist of Tetsujin 28-go (not to be confused with Kaneda fromAkira), controls the the titular super robot with a handheld remote control device (while wearing those short detective shorts) and beating up on monsters of the week. Just look at that opening video, it's from a time that most you readers' parents weren't even born yet.

 

This next one is a favorite here on Japanator and is definitely the most different in it is lineage. Mobile Fighter G Gundam is a Super Robot anime that is a great departure from its series' legacy of the Gundam series, which actually spawned the Real Robot genre that is counter to much of the elements of the Super Robot genre.

Featuring many over-the-top aspects in mostly in everything in the show, G Gundam is set in an alternate Gundam universe where space colonies & countries have set wars aside and vie for the fate of the world in organized 1-on-1 fighting tournaments using Gundams.

The opening song, Flying in the sky performed by Hitofumi Ushima, is a great way to start off a show about giant robots doing martial arts and special super moves themed after different national stereotypes that may or may not be racist. While I love the second opening to G Gundam but it just does not have the impact of the Flying in the Sky.

 

The second entry in the Robot Romance Trilogy, Choudenji Machine Voltes V (also known as Voltes V or Voltus V outside Japan), first aired in 1977 has the most rad disco opening in this selection of openings. Voltes V has a personal connection to me, I grew up watching it in the Philippines when I was very young and any Filipino under the age of 40 will have watched it and still remains in culturally relevant there to this day.

Voltes V is one of the typical Super Robot shows of its day: heroes fighting in a near invincible super robot against an alien empire who wants take over. It was the second part of a trilogy of Super Robot shows between Chodenji Combattler V and Tosho Daimos (which share the same status as Voltes V in the Philippines). The opening song, simply titled Voltes V no Uta (Song of Voltes V), is performed by Mitsuko Horie and reflects the era it was written very well. It gets my blood pumping every time I hear it despite my lack of knowledge of the lyrics or what they mean. I should probably look it up.

 

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Of course this one is going be on here, it's only one of the most popular anime in the first decade of the 21st century. Very much in the tradition of Gainax, Gurren Lagann carries on that Gainax heritage of over-the-top action and insanity that is part of the Gainax DNA with previous works such as Gunbuster/Diebuster and Evangelion.

Gurren Lagann's opening just sets up the show perfectly. It shows off the characters and their cool post and then ramps up to the action where we get to see some robot action with the multiple drill protrusions sprouting up form the titular super robot. The opening song is Sorairo Days performed by Shoko Nakagawa, whom we once asked as to which cat tastes the best.

What more can I say about Gurren Lagann that hasn't been said before? Haven't seen it? Please correct that oversight immediately. It's probably available on multiple streaming services right now for you to GAR over.

 

There has been an alarming trend in the last few years in the anime industry with the anthropomorphization of objects into moe girls, from different guns to WWII-era ships. Robot Girls Z has done that but with the most unthinkable property ever: Super Robots. Now this sounds like an absolute cash-in in the worst way possible, which is what I thought at first when I heard about it. Then I watched it. It was great.

Very much a parody of the whole Super Robot genre, Robot Girls Z is a comedy where the female anthromorphizations of Super Robots just beat up the bad guys all the time, much like the source material. The baddies get beat up so much that it borders on bullying and it quickly becomes just that. One must wonder how can they get away with such a thing, but at the helm of this show is famed manga and anime creator Go Nagai.

The three main characters of Robot Girls Z are each based of the works of Nagai: Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, and Grendizer. A respected figure like Go Nagai, who was responsible for the creation of the very Super Robots that the main characters are based on and the genre, still shows respect to the fans of his works by including many obscure references in Robot Girls Z. Any fans interested in the genre and/or interested in one of the funniest shows of last year should check this one out.

Got any of your own favorite Super Robot anime openings? Share some in the comments.

This first video above is from the grand daddy of all super robots. Tetsujin 28-go is one of the earliest Japanese animated shows to be adapted for US audiences. Known in the US asGigantor when it was brought over, the 1963 show Tetsujin 28-go is based off the 1956 manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama.

Tetsujin 28-go is a bit different from what we consider a Super Robot show nowadays. Instead of being inside the robot and yelling out his robotic super moves, Shotaro Kaneda, the young detective boy protagonist of Tetsujin 28-go (not to be confused with Kaneda fromAkira), controls the the titular super robot with a handheld remote control device (while wearing those short detective shorts) and beating up on monsters of the week. Just look at that opening video, it's from a time that most you readers' parents weren't even born yet.

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Red Veron
Red VeronContributor   gamer profile

Red likes a lot of things from Japan and wants to share more about it with the world. He even likes the bad anime. Sometimes. As long as it doesn't have big boobs. Maybe. more + disclosures


 


 



Filed under... #anime #feature #Japanator Original #music #robots #video

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