Humanity is under attack by demonic creatures called Oni. Unable to fight back by any other means, the scientist Dr. Saotome creates a series of giant robots that harness the mysterious power of Getter Rays, giving them the strength necessary to fight the Oni. The strongest of these is Getter Robo, and Saotome must enlist three very different men to pilot it - martial artist Ryoma Nagare, criminal leader Hayato Jin, and monk Benkei Musashibou. Together, the Getter Team fights to end the Oni menace forever.
The original Getter Robo anime and manga by Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa were the definitive classics of the 70's. Thirty years later, the original story gets an alternate re-telling in the form of New Getter Robo. The question is, does it live up to the hefty getter name? For the most part, yes.
The story of New Getter Robo is definitely not its forte. Rather than focusing on actual storytelling, the plot mostly just seems like an excuse to pit the three violent and near-psychotic men against legions unfortunate foes. While this may put off some viewers, it does make for plenty of screen time
featuring the getter team turning its enemies into bloody smears on the ground, with or without their trusty super robot. Think of New Getter Robo as a Power Rangers series that kids were never meant to watch -- if you like the monster-of-the-week feel that is light on the plotting, you should be able to enjoy what New Getter Robo offers.
The characters, on the other hand, are definitely the strength of the series. The three protagonists are simply, for the lack of a better word, badass. There is never a dull moment while watching the trio pulverize oni large and small, because you can see their love for the job when they shout those iconic phrases such as "Change Getter One!" asvthe catchy battle theme boom from your speakers. Though neither deep nor complex, Ryoma, Hayate, and Benkei are perfect for New Getter Robo, which happens to be a simple and straightforward story.
The art style featured in this series is nostalgic yet dynamic. Sketch lines are used for shading, much like older anime series', but the use of thick lines in the rendering of each scene creates a bold sensation that makes it feel larger than life. However, though that animation is crisp and clean, the amount of detail is rather low. Background art never goes beyond being functional, the frame rate never enters the realm of smooth, and the transformation sequences are either reused or omitted. Though the style and limitations of New Getter Robo's animation certainly does add to the air of nostalgia, it does put the production value of the series into question.
The amount of enjoyment derived from New Getter Robo depends strongly on personal taste. If you enjoy shows of the super robot genre such as mazingkaiser and other Go Nagai classics, or if you just want some action that is light on thinking, New Getter Robo is definitely worth a look. But if the idea of watching three grizzled men in colorful tights fighting in a giant robot only evoke thoughts of ridicule in your mind, chances are, this is not for you.
Unlike Chag, I believe the enjoyment of this series comes not from the preference of Super Robot animes (come on, this is way way better plot-wise than most of the classic TV shows - you don't just diss and rate a show against it's genre) but rather more on how much you know and love the Getter Robo series.
As a person who only sporadically saw Getter Robo and never read the manga especially it's version of Shin Getter Robo (which I've heard was way better), what makes this OVA stand out was that it actually implemented many of the elements from Gunbuster which is one
of my favorite anime.
The overall events never matched up to how Gunbuster was but at the same time the fact that this was a classic Super Robot series with a very conclusive respectful "death" of the original iconic three speaks volumes for why this is an outstanding anime.
In the end, Shin Getter Robo is not for everyone even including hardcore Super Robot fans but for me, it is certainly among the most epic series out there. The way the timeline shifts, the character evolves, the annoyances of typical characters toned down...I stick to what I said in my original sentence. Sometimes there are shows where you can criticize the show because of it's genre but sometimes there are shows that are presented in such a way that it's like criticizing Batman for wearing his underwear outside which is different from criticizing his having nipples.
Shin Getter Robo has many parallels to the dark iteration of Batman. What many non-fans or even hardcore fans may see as psychotic poorly written turn of events for violence's sake, I see as near-perfectly shifting cookie cutter heroes into charismatic anti-heroes that would strongly appeal to even general classic Super Robot fans who didn't watch the original series.