The Big O

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Alternative Titles

Synonyms: Big O Roger, Big O
Japanese: THEビッグオー
English: The Big O
More titles


Type: TV
Episodes: 26
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 13, 1999 to Mar 27, 2003
Premiered: Fall 1999
Broadcast: Unknown
Producers: Bandai Visual
Studios: Sunrise
Source: Original
Genres: ActionAction, MysteryMystery, Sci-FiSci-Fi
Themes: MechaMecha, PsychologicalPsychological
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 7.531 (scored by 3197331,973 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #15492
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #1876
Members: 82,110
Favorites: 781

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Nov 18, 2007
JackCox (All reviews)
Yes, I understand I'm again writing a very excellent review from this one, I did dock it one for art because there were some slight animation issues in some parts of the show. But really I did enjoy this show.

First of all, if you are a mecha fan, you may be sorely dissapointed with this show, it has much more of a mystery feel to it and the Mecha fights may not be to your liking.

However, if your not a hard-core mecha fan like me but can appreciate the art-form of Mecha, you will likely enjoy this.

The main reason I love this show was because read more
Feb 27, 2008
Huntsman (All reviews)
BIG O was a unique show, with a good concept. Having everyone in the worlds memories erased and no one knows what happened, but everyone has clued inside of their minds. It reminds me a little of the movie DARK CITY. It had a nice twist on the Giant Robot anime, instead focusing on the characters and story. The story was great, you couldn't stop watching. All the twists and turns along the way in search of the what happened forty years ago. The story and characters were the best part of the show. The music was great, the animation was pretty good, and the read more
Oct 18, 2008
cidz (All reviews)
This is one of my most favorite animes, I'm not huge on mecha as most series ive seen seem to be about a buncha teens in the future trying to save the world (altho another exception to that is eureka seven, which oddly is a buncha teens in the future trying to save the world >_> but thats besides the point)

anyways, its basically about a negotiator named roger smith that pilots the big freaking mecha, big o. later on he gets swept up in all of this espionage and secrets and whatnot.

the first season is mostly stand alone episodes roger gets hired as a read more
Sep 27, 2009
Bishounen_Hunter (All reviews)
I really have no idea about how I feel about this show. Therefore this review might wind up decide. See, I was never too crazy about Big O, even from back in the day when it was on C/N. Even after re-watching it again now I still feel the same way. There are too many things about it that I either found irksome or just failed to impress me altogether but there were parts that I did like about the show too. What I disliked: for one, I've never been too fond of Mecha anime shows especially of the giant robot variety because read more
Dec 21, 2007
ArcherKinao (All reviews)
This was an interesting anime from the start. First you think its about a negotiator in Paradigm city. But as the story continues you find out that it is actually about finding what life is really about.

This anime goes really deep and has you questioning your own reality before its over.

The ending for this anime was just as confusing. I have watched it several times and still have a hard time making sense of it.

This anime is for those of us who like to think.
Feb 4, 2020
Reey_Monteiro (All reviews)
No doubt TBO has become the best mecha I have ever seen in my life, it is difficult to find words to describe how incredible TBO is.

The characters are very good and very charismatic the atmosphere of the anime is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, not to mention the soundtrack that is a masterpiece. I love all the TBO characters, they are well written and unique.

The Big O plots are amazing and mindfuc **, but if you pay close attention, you will be able to understand the story or not lol. I was so crazy about the plot that it read more
Oct 15, 2009
sinsenest (All reviews)
The first thing that caught my eye when I first watched this series was "Am I watching a Japanese re-make of Batman or something?" You can kind of start noticing when you see a rich lookin' guy dressed in all black with shades (and a butler of course), exept that he's not in a cape but instead, a GundamWing-like robot.

Story (7.9/10):
Like the other person before me said, the story basically follows a series of mysteries that the main character, Roger Smith resolves that sort of pieces the story together. I wouldn't say the story was all that great, or all that bad, but it was read more
Mar 15, 2017
InkSpider (All reviews)

The Positive Side: Like Cowboy Bebop, Big O benefits greatly from a cyber-noir atmosphere and voice-acting talents of Steve Blum. The romantic relationship between Rodger Smith and the robot Alice is by turns, deeply moving and bleakly hysterical. The exploration of the humanity in androids feels like a throw-back to Isaac Asimov in his prime. While this is primarily an episodic series, each episode is well-plotted, setting up mysteries and following the unique schemes of various cackling baddies.

The Negative Side: Can a good show be retroactively ruined by a bad ending? It’s hard to say, but no show read more
Oct 14, 2014
AnimeObasan (All reviews)
As you will be told at the start of nearly every episode (or one character will announce at least once per show), Paradigm City is the city of amnesia. The idea is that in some event 40 years ago, everyone lost their memory. Ok, that's easy enough to accept as a decent premise for a show, right? But...what about all the younger people? Yeah, for some reason, EVERYONE has lost their memories at some point in the past, including our Negotiator and main character who appears in his late 20s. As I watched this show I developed a theory: these are not humans, but rather read more
May 22, 2011
Freida5 (All reviews)
When I was a young anime fan I saw this show on Toonami and was transfixed. To me this show was basically Batman with giant robots. However when I recently re-watched it i was horribly disappointed. The characters are well crafted, and the art and music compliment each other wonderfully with their noir style. The story is where this show crashes and burns. The beginning is very good, with lots of action, and even a few touching stories. As the show goes into the second season confusing flashbacks, convoluted plots, and heavy handed symbolism turn a fairly decent action show into a complete disaster. I read more
Nov 25, 2009
Mliekseter (All reviews)
Cast thee in the Name Of GOD, Ye are Not Guilty!
We have come to Terms

Sorry about that.
Right, Big O really sticks in my mind as the most Stylish anime I've ever seen. "To heck with your giant shoulder pads and fancy jet packs" it says to the rest of the Mecha Genre; Lets have some Giant Piston Arms and Solid Grey Iron Exterior.
And that is, frankly, Awesome.
My perennial complain with Mecha Animes is that their all so "graceful" and "humanoid". The mechs are never just giant hunks of walking metal that read more
Oct 1, 2012
brucege (All reviews)
While Big O appears to be a generic giant robot show at first glance, it distinguishes itself by its quirky characters, old-school artwork, and transcendent music.

Story 8/10
The show is a mix of mystery and action with traces of comedy, horror, and romance. The first season is mostly a standard monster-of-the day affair: light on story, high on action. The second season, on the other hand, features an overarching plot. The story is simple, but it serves as an excellent foundation for the show's true strengths.

Characters 9/10
While the characters are somewhat two-dimensional, they pull off their roles with vigor and panache. Roger, a hybrid of read more
Dec 8, 2018
Critically_Red (All reviews)
I don't know if people are still reading reviews on this show or not. And I know reviews can seem to go on and on sometimes, so I'll be as brief as I can here.

The Big O is a very eclectic experience. It's as moody as it is humorous. It's as atmospheric as it is fast paced. And it's as lighthearted as it is existential. It follows a formula similar to a saturday morning cartoon, where the hero is usually pressed in to a corner, and at the last minute pulls out the big guns and saves the day. But it works so well read more
Sep 21, 2014
enslay (All reviews)
Big O is a philosophical anime about memories and their representation. Really understanding it requires several viewings. It's not obvious, for example, that the mecha in this anime are symbols of ideas/movements/memories. It's even less obvious how to interpret them. The stories in each episode are merely the surface.

The story is unusual. On the surface, it may even seem corny. Paradigm city, a city where everyone lost their memory 40 years ago? Certainly sounds something like B grade Sci-Fi. But if you're like me and you like unusual plots, this is definitely one to watch. Otherwise, just give it a chance.

As I said in the read more
Aug 7, 2010
Dreadnaught_500 (All reviews)
Loved it! Classic Mecha Anime! (Personal Opinion)
If you are into mecha animes I recommend that you give Big O a try!
Feb 19, 2017
Gridfire (All reviews)
While it's aesthetic gives the impression of a mystery thriller series, as much as it is that, the Big O is also a mecha series of the monster-of-the-week variety. Roger Smith, the main character is a 'negotiator' whose negotiations inexplicably end in giant robot battles, in a world where no one's memories of 40 years ago exist. One would have thought that written media and records would make it infinitely clear what had happened even if you lost all your memories, but the less thought you put into that issue, the better.

The series is obviously influenced by Batman. Roger Smith plays the part of read more
Sep 11, 2008
trinitytiger (All reviews)
Having of a "batman-ish" feel to it at first Big O is one anime that you'll want to watch...and quickly put down, forever. The story is interesting in the beginning having an unique concept, good characters, and an odd but intriguing setting. Interesting no? No. It quickly goes south, leaving a bitter after taste as the show progresses. Completely going in a different direction than what the previous episodes (you know the ones that made us actually like this anime) had led us to believe. From Bizaar moments to ones that make you go "wtf?" this show has taken a potentially amazing anime read more
Apr 13, 2016
Eingya (All reviews)
The Big O is a noire with mechas... sort of.

Set in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi city in which all humans have lost all memories in an unknown event happened 40 years prior, The Big O throws a huge amount of concepts at the wall in its exploration of its main themes of memories and "what makes a person's being and goals".

The series goes from deconstructing old school mecha tropes to moody noire monologues, passing from vague otherworld lovecraftian concepts, religious references and much more. While not all those idea may work, they are always delivered with a confidence and savvy aesthetical means (although the slicker animation read more
Mar 5, 2017
LightHouseGary44 (All reviews)
Let the record show that I at first thought this show would besome kind of artsy-fartsy mishmash that would leave its audience so totally confused they felt like they were swindled by a snake oil salesman, but this proud trump supporter cannot say that's here the case.

I first got a glimpse of this show on Toonami some yeares ago; i was woodworking and my grandson was walking round arms at his side with his damn undies at his ankles. "what in tarnation!" i exclaimed, and i asked right immediately what the hell was his issue. "im imitating a megadeus," he explained. a mega-what? Thats when read more
Dec 14, 2011
Jizzmasterzero (All reviews)
First of all, I love the style of Big O. Apart from its terrible name and opening song it showed a lot of promise in the first episode. It was a great idea, too. I liked the pacing and the 1992 animated batman look. It is an entertaining anime, light hearted fun (though it didn't have to be light hearted, but taken otherwise is a mistake. It is intended to be serious, but there are just too many flaws and odd things happening).

On to the music. It is not good, atmospheric or otherwise, but the opening and closing songs really take the crap read more