"Cast in the name of God, Ye not guilty."
A while back, I decided to watch Queen's music video for Radio Ga Ga. www.youtube.com/watch?v=t63_HR…
It was a fun video to watch, with scenes from Fritz Lang's silent film masterpiece "Metropolis" incorporated in it. However, during the video, I was reminded of one of my favorite anime series- The Big O!
One of the creators of this awesome show was Kazuyoshi Katayama, who worked on the OVA masterpiece "Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still". And it kind of shows influences from Mitsuteru Yokoyama's Giant Robo manga by Roger Smith not only using a watch to call the titular Megadeus, but by the fact that there were three Megadeuses for land (Big O) like GR1, sea (Big Fau) like GR2/Torozon, and air (Big Duo) like GR3. This series happens to take heavy influences from tokusatsu shows, which this video from Scifi Japan TV detailed. www.youtube.com/watch?v=51efiP…
Another influence I noticed in this show, much like Radio Ga Ga, has its obvious homages to Fritz Lang's material. Speaking of Queen, even though the first opening visually is similar to Ultraman and Ultraseven's openings, the opening song sounded similar to Flash Gordon's theme. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv7HNA…
The story is also worth mentioning the homages to classic noir films and Isaac Asimov's works.
Here are the characters I used in this piece-
Roger Smith, the Negotiator- "My name is Roger Smith. I perform a much needed job in this city of amnesia." This main character is an amalgam of Bruce Wayne, James Bond, and Daisaku Kusama.....and that just adds to the awesome that is the Negotiator. He is proof that good guys still wear black. He is voiced in the U.S. by Steve Blum (who voiced Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop).
R. Dorothy Wayneright- "You are a louse, Roger Smith." She is an android assistant to Roger Smith and I freaking love this character. Her dry humor is enough to make her so much fun to watch. I oftentimes wonder if she was inspired by Data's daughter, Lal. Also, I digged the subtle Asimov reference in her name. In the U.S., she was voiced by Lia Sargent (who voiced Cowboy Bebop's Julia).
Norman Burg- "Well this is getting us nowhere. Let's have more fun." The Alfred to Roger Smith's Batman. He is a master chef, a great mechanic, and the first line of defense at Roger's mansion. I was not exactly a fan of the recurring joke in the manga where he'd always ask for Roger to pay him and Roger avoided it. In the U.S., one of the two actors that voiced Norman was Alan Oppenheimer, who voiced Ming the Merciless in Filmation's Flash Gordon. [You cannot go any more pulp than that.]
Angel Rosewater- "So you can say sweet things, can't you?" This beautiful woman of mystery clearly fit the femme fatale archetype that is present in many noir movies. One reviewer said that she was a clone of Fujiko Mine from Lupin III, but I am not entirely certain of that. In the U.S., she was voiced Wendee Lee (who also voiced Faye Valentine.....there are a few voice-over actors from Cowboy Bebop).
Dan Dastun- "Vous-êtes si gentil." The Commissioner Gordon to Roger Smith's Batman (I have made alot of comparisons with Batman and the Big O, haven't I?)- I loved how irritated he gets when the Big O appears to stop the big bad for the episode. In the American version of the show, he was voiced by Peter Lurie (who voiced Chen from Wolf's Rain).
Jason Beck- "That Big O of yours, Roger Smith, is so archaic." I seriously cannot get enough of this guy. He is a villain that just got sillier each time he appeared from using the Dorothy 1 robot to the Beck Victory Deluxe. I loved how he even managed to use a machine that was a parody of the typical over-the-top anime mechs you would see in some anime. I've heard that he was a parody of Lupin the III and I totally see that in him. Beck was voiced in the U.S. by Bob Buchholz (who voiced Gene Starwind in Outlaw Star).
Schwarzald- "I'll show you my power- the great power of Big Duo. One of these Bigs has got to go." This guy was a reporter who clearly lost his mind. This is evident in the speeches that he gave in the show's run. I totally digged the Darkman-like design of him. He was voiced by Michael McConnohie (who voiced Norris Packard from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team).
Alan Gabriel- "Heh! Hahaha! Which do you mean? The Union? Rosewater? Either way, I don't care. Hahaha! There's just one thing I have to make perfectly clear to you. I have to teach you that your unwarranted self-confidence, your arrogance in believing you could control machines is just a delusion by sending you to Hell. Big Duo- SHOWTIME!". This character creeps me out. He is a psychopath that has a sadistic hobby of killing androids and has an unknown agenda. In fact, he is such a psycho that even the Big Duo Inferno rejected him. That says a lot. The fiend was voiced in the U.S. by Crispin Freeman (who voiced Togusa in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex).
Alex Rosewater- "Hmph, Roger Smith- you're not the only one with a Megadeus." The main antagonist and the chairman of the Paradigm Group- he is a great anime villain. His contempt for the citizens of Paradigm City outside of the domes and having a God-complex really makes him a memorable anime villain. He was voiced by Michael Forest (who Star Trek fans will recognize as Apollo from the original series episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?").
I tried to emulate the look of a movie poster with this piece. I hope you enjoyed my tribute to one of my favorite shows of all time.
The Big O- copyright Sunrise Inc., Cartoon Network, and Bandai Visual Co., Ltd