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Cover of "The Getter Robo Saga"
|Written by||Go Nagai|
|Illustrated by||Ken Ishikawa|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||January 1974 – May 1975|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tomoharu Katsumata|
|Written by||Shun'ichi Yukimuro|
|Music by||Shunsuke Kikuchi|
|Original network||Fuji Television|
|Original run||April 4, 1974 – May 8, 1975|
Getter Robo (Japanese: ゲッターロボ Hepburn: Gettā Robo, typically romanized as Getter Robot in the various manga) is a Super Robot manga series created by Ken Ishikawa (characters) and Go Nagai (story), as well as an anime series produced by Toei Animation. The series was broadcast on Fuji TV from April 4, 1974 to May 8, 1975, with a total of 51 episodes.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Sequels and remakes
- 3 Continuities
- 4 Video games
- 5 Influences
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The plot involves three strong-willed teenagers: Ryoma Nagare, Hayato Jin and Musashi Tomoe, who pilot three specially designed combat jets (Eagle, Jaguar, and Bear) which can be combined together into three different giant robots, Getter-1 (balanced and for flight combat), Getter-2 (fast and for ground combat), and Getter-3 (strong and for marine combat). They were assembled by Prof. Saotome, who conceived the Getter Robo project as a means of deep-space exploration. The Getter machine is powered by an energy source known as Getter Rays, which are the invisible manifestation of the pilot's willpower. It became instead Earth's first line of defense against the Dinosaur Empire, a civilization of reptile-like humanoids who evolved from the now-extinct dinosaurs that roamed the earth millions of years ago. They have lived many years underground after being forced to do so by getter ray radiation from space that did not affect the apes who evolved into humans; they now want to reclaim the Earth as theirs and destroy humanity.
The series was groundbreaking in the anime mecha genre: for the very first time, it introduced the concept of separate machines combining to form a Super Robot. Using three jets, Getter Robo could combine in three different ways to create three different versions of Getter Robo for different conditions and situations. This idea was originally discussed during the creation process for Mazinger Z (the first Super Robot to be piloted internally), but was dropped and then developed for Getter Robo. This idea of combination and transformation proved to be a very powerful concept that has been used in the super robot genre ever since. Also, by adding three pilots to the robot was able to add an element of teen drama, probably influenced by the already popular anime sci-fi team show Gatchaman (better known in the U.S. as Battle of the Planets, G-Force: Guardians of Space or Eagle Riders).
Sequels and remakes
Getter Robo G
The last episode of the Getter Robo series showed the defeat of the Dinosaur Empire, but with a high price: the death of one of the Getter Robo pilots, Musashi Tomoe. It also introduced a new enemy, the Clan of the 100 Devils, who at that very moment were preparing an invasion of Earth from space. This would be the basis of a sequel with a new, improved version of the original robot, piloted by Ryoma, Hayato, and newcomer pilot Benkei Kuruma. The series, called Getter Robo G, would not be as long and successful as the first one, lasting 39 episodes. The new robot and its pilots were also featured in the Go Nagai short features Great Mazinger vs. Getter Robo G and Grendizer, Getter Robo G, Great Mazinger: Decisive Showdown! Great Sea Beast, despite the fact Getter Robo was conceived as existing in a different universe from the Mazinger/Grendizer continuity. Note: the Getter Robo manga features both the stories of Getter and Getter G.
G also became famous in the U.S. as it was included in edited form as part of the Force Five robot series produced for the American market, where its name was changed to Starvengers. Additionally, toys based on the Getter Robo mecha were licensed by the U.S. toy company Mattel and sold under the company's Shogun Warriors toy line.
There was a limited video release of Starvengers in the UK, renamed Formators.
Getter Robo Go
After some years, the franchise was revived in 1991 with the new series Getter Robo Go, directed by Yoshiki Shibata, and featuring a new robot and an all-new team. The manga of Getter Go is considered one of Ken Ishikawa's best works, featuring the Shin Getter Robo for the first time. The Getter Robo Go Anime was never meant to be an adaptation of the Manga, and it was quite successful; as 50 episodes were produced and aired, and many products were released, such as CDs, toys, video cassettes, and later a DVD set. In addition to that, this was the first time Go Nagai and Toei Animation began working together since the Gaiking incident.
In the advent of Getter Robo Go's success, the influence and popularity of the original show continued in Japan, and it found a way to stay with fans through video games (like the Super Robot Wars game series, in which the Getter Robo is one of its lineup mainstays) and other merchandise. The series was even spoofed successfully in the mecha anime series Martian Successor Nadesico, where the anime-within-anime Gekiganger III was a direct pun (and homage) to the Getter Robo legacy, among many other super robot series. Gekiganger III was the favorite show of the character Gai in Martian Successor Nadesico. His voice actor, Tomokazu Seki, has also said that Getter Robo is his favorite anime.
Shin Getter Robo
After the ending of Getter Robo Go, Ishikawa, motivated by his editor Nakashima, of Futabasha, decided to extend and explain some topics, like what really happened to Benkei and the Saotome Institute, the reason Ryoma was scared of Getter Rays, what Getter is and such. Also, it featured new insect-like enemies from the far future, later used in Getter Arc. All of this was told in the Getter Robo Go manga prequel, Shin Getter Robo, begun in 1997 and lasted 2 volumes.
Getter Robo Arc
Getter Robo Arc is a 3-volume manga taking place in a science fiction post-apocalyptic futuristic setting. Ryoma's son Takuma joins the human-dinosaur hybrid Kamui and Messiah Tayel's younger brother Baku Yamagishi aboard the Getter Robo Arc, fighting, alongside the Dinosaur Empire, the insect-like enemies of the Andromeda Flow Country (アンドロメダ流国 Andoromeda Ryōkoku) from the far future. Unfortunately, Super Robot Comics, the magazine in which Arc was published, was canceled and the story ended prematurely.
Getter Robo Hien
In 2007, a new manga entitled Getter Robo Hien: The Earth Suicide was released in Japan. It has since concluded at 3 volumes, and was serialized in a monthly webcomic. This series continues the Ken Ishikawa continuity of Getter manga, temporally taking place after Getter Robo Go and before Getter Arc. The series features an older Hayato leading a new team of Getter Pilots (and a new Getter) as they defend the earth from large plant-like monsters.
Apocrypha Getter Robo DASH
In July 2008 a new manga entitled Apocrypha Getter Robot Dash was released in Japan, in Magazine Z, authored by Hideaki Nishikawa. Due Magazine Z being cancelled, it continues as Apocrypha Getter Robo DARKNESS.
Apocrypha Getter Robo DARKNESS
Apocrypha Getter Robo Darkness is actually Getter Robot DASH, continuing with another title on Young Animal Arashi after Magazine Z was cancelled. The chapter 0 of Getter Robo DARKNESS, published in the July 2009 issue of the magazine, is actually a reprint of the sixth chapter of Getter Robo DASH, the last one published in Magazine Z.
Change!! Getter Robo (Getter Robo Armageddon)
The concept was re-invented in 1998 with the retro-styled OVA Change!! Getter Robo: The Last Day of the World (released in America as Getter Robo: Armageddon). Giant Robo director Yasuhiro Imagawa was to direct the OVA, but had a falling out with the studio after Episode 3. The OVA ran 13 episodes and was presented as the sequel to a story - which was never actually animated - about the Getter Team fighting a race of amorphous aliens called "Invaders." This production made use of an animation style reminiscent of the old Getter Robo and other 1970s anime shows with thick, sketchy lines.
Several fans of the original series complained about the OVA's story and characters, which were radically different from the TV series in many ways, including the recasting of Professor Saotome as a villain and the return of Musashi Tomoe.
Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo
Two years later, the same staff returned for the four-part OVA Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo. The plot of the OVA is loosely based on the original Getter Robo, with the Dinosaur Empire as the antagonists. The OVA introduces a new Getter Robo, the titular Neo Getter Robo, which is similar in design to the Getter Robo from Getter Robo Go and also shares elements of Getter Robo G's design. In addition, it features characters from Getter Robo Go that are closer in personality to those found in the original manga than the anime adaptation. The OVA also included a three part miniseries that lasted five minutes called Dynamic Super Robot's Grand Battle which shows several Go Nagai created robots doing battle with the Mycene empire from the anime Great Mazinger. The short included appearances by Getter Robo G and Shin Getter Robo.
New Getter Robo
In 2004, director Jun Kawagoe produced a new OVA called New Getter Robo, this time being a re-telling of the Getter Robo story. In this new story, humanity is under attack by demonic creatures called Oni. As in the original stories, Dr. Saotome creates a series of Getter-Ray-powered robots to fight the monsters, culminating the creation of Getter Robo. Both the robot and the Getter Team were redesigned for the new series. Getter Robo is more detailed and mechanical-looking than its earlier forms, and all three pilots - Ryoma, Hayato, and a combination of Musashi and Benkei's archetypes named "Benkei Musashibo" - are as violent and antiheroic as they were in the 70s manga. Ryoma is now an irresponsible street fighter, Hayato a bloodthirsty, sadistic terrorist, and Benkei a hedonistic and gluttonous apprentice monk.
The TV series, OVAs and manga are considered to be three different series because of the various differences between them.
The TV series Getter Robo and Getter Robo G are Toei's original version based on Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa's concepts, rather than being adaptions of the manga. Getter Robo Go is a futuristic show that mimics the older TV series in style and family-friendly tone. All three follow a monster-of-the-week formula.
The OVAs are mostly based on the Getter Robo manga, and sometimes other Ken Ishikawa manga like Kyomu Senki. Each OVA is set in a different alternate continuity and thus can be watched in any order.
The Getter Robo Saga manga compilation by Ken Ishikawa (Getter Robo, Getter Robo G, Getter Robo Go, Shin Getter Robo, Getter Robo Arc) is considered to be the main continuity of the franchise as each entry is connected to each other. The manga not by Ken Ishikawa, like Go Nagai's Devilman vs Getter Robo and Getter Robo Darkness, aren't considered in the Ken Ishikawa continuity.
The various Getter Robos are mainstay characters in the Super Robot Wars series by Banpresto, usually found in the super deformed style which the series is popular for; Getter appeared in almost every non-original exclusive installment with Gundam and Mazinger (except for Judgement, K, L, UX and BX, in which Getter does not take part). The Getter Robos also received their own turn based strategy game similar to the Super Robot Wars series for the Sony PlayStation titled Getter Robo Daikessen!. This game featured the various versions of Getter Robo from the manga and anime and OVAs produced until that point, as well as an original pink mecha piloted by a trio of ninja women. Shin Getter and Black Getter are included in Another Century's Episode 3, which features the storyline of Getter Robo Armageddon.
In an interview with Kazuki Nakajima, the writer of Gurren Lagann and chief editor on the Getter Robo Saga compilation, Getter Robo was cited as one of Gurren Lagann's main inspiration. Video game company SNK also commented they were influenced by the series when designing the three main characters of The King of Fighters '94. In Powerpuff Girls Z, Dy. Na.Mo, a robot with 3 individual parts that can combine to make various forms similar to Getter Robo appears in episode 50 of the show.
In anime parody series All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku one episode features Nuku Nuku's creator utilizing a series of robots called "Geta Robo", shaped like a giant wooden clog (a Geta). He is voiced by Akira Kamiya, who played Ryoma Nagare in Getter Robo.
In other anime parody series Lucky Star, any time that they mentioned a dentist, Konata ever remember the Getter II with the drill like a dentist.
Getter Robo's design, as well as Mazinger Z's design, were both influences for the Japanese super robot Ultra-V in the PlayStation 2 game War of the Monsters. This is very apparent in the mecha's facial design. Additionally Ultra-V's third costume's color palette is very reminiscent of Getter Robo.
- "Part of interview with Kazuki Nakajima".
- Akihiko Ureshino, ed. (2005). The King of Fighters Perfect Reader (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. pp. 136~139. ISBN 4-8222-1711-6.
- Getter Robo (1974 book series) began April 7 (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 20 volumes
- Great Mazinger versus Getter Robo (July 1974 film) (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Getter Robo G (1975 TV series) began May 15 (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 39 eps
- Getter Robo G (1975 book series) began May 15 (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 34 volumes
- Great Mazinger versus Getter Robo G - The Great Space Encounter (July 1975 film) (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Shogun Warriors (1979 book series) (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Getter Robo Go (1991 TV series) (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 50 eps
- Getter Robo Armageddon (1998 OVA series (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 13 eps
- Shin Getter Robo versus Neo Getter Robo (2000 OVA series (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 4 eps
- New Getter Robo (2004 OAV series) (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 13 eps