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
of it's fantastic mysteries and it's fantastic characters. I love all the characters in this show, because they are somewhat unique in their own ways. Characters like Schwarzwald who to many people appears to be evil actually is trying to good. While people like Alan Gabriel are completely insane and the main Villain Alex Rosewater has a superiority complex.
Again I gave this a 10 almost across the board, because It's my opinion on the series. I felt it was a well told story.
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
action was good. The ending was great, but I still have no idea what really was going on. That's why I wish Cartoon Network had agreed to a season 3. I guess it just wasn't popular in both Japan and the USA.
Overall I think BIG O is under appreciated by most anime fans. Everyone should check out this series.
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
negotiator and he gets into battles with other mechas destroying most of the city (only for it to miraculously be exactly back to normal the next episodes.. ooh anime, gotta love it XDD) he runs into various villians including some reaccuring ones such as beck the wacky criminal that always seems to get himself locked up, schwatzwald that was once a newspaper reporter went crazy and is now dressed up in bandages and goes around setting stuff on fire and wants to uncover the truth. and more youll see threwout the series.
the second season has more of a plot feel to it, this is when you get into the somewhat wierdness of the series, and the crazy twists and turns and stuff.
both seasons are great. and it has a very nior batman-esque feel to it. im not very good at explaining things, but i would totally recommend it :) plus its only 26 ep. so its not so bad (each season is 13 ep.)
I really have no idea about how I feel about this show. Therefore this review might wind up ambiguous....you 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
they always seem too quick to jump into them and try to solve everything in them then they end up fighting and smashing up things of course Big O is no different when it comes to this. But I did like the show for the mystery element as well as for the love-triangle.
The art [and animation] of this show I found bothersome. Watching this show you can almost immediately tell that they had the means to really go all out with the animation if they wanted to...but they chose not to! Which is a letdown. Of course there is a lot of attention and detail given to the big robots; lots of unique and impressive designs with some looking humanoid others like dragons or giant sea-serpents, and such. Also some moderate attention was given to architecture, some places more than others, I mostly can only envision Roger's home which was fantastic with the great view from the city from the terrazzo. But again I must state that I don't think the art was quite there...just not quite 100%. There was no oomph, no dazzle, maybe it was they way they used the color or shading that made it seem all somewhat similar to our shit. Yeah, I guess what I'm trying to say is actually felt more like I was watching a US cartoon than an anime. Also the battle scenes were somewhat lackluster.
I'm not even going to lie about the music...it's terrible. The OP song is a total rip from the Flash Gordon theme by the legendary rock group Queen. Yes I'm showing my age here, but I definitely do NOT like the Big O song! Whether they were authorized or it's a complete rip they are trying to pose as their own, it sucks. Queen/Freddy Mercury was a once in a lifetime thing, forgeddaboudit! it's like buying a deliberate Prada knock-off over in Chinatown and then trying to have it pass for realness...why? The ED theme sounds like it came from the score of some Off-Broadway musical. And I dislike Broadway musicals....feel free to connect the dots. The good thing was that the English voice cast were same actors from Cowboy Bebop!
Here is where I had the biggest issue with Big O, to me at least the story seemed sometimes vague or muddy and somewhat nonsensical but at the same time not completely illogical. The narrative was kind of choppy and the continuity was rough, it's like having someone talk to you but with every third or fourth word omitted from each sentence, you can still understand what they are saying however the message is not received clearly. This is precisely the issue with Big O and therefore why it barely held my interest. Apart from being a big robot anime, Big O is also a mystery yet it does not possess enough of a hook to hold your attention. Like I said, I found myself not really understanding the point of the anime at times which lead to me not really caring about what was going on with the story and characters. At some point there was some maniac in bandages running around and laughing and jumping into various evil giant robots for a number of episodes...which to me there was no real point for it. Also at some stages I felt like I was truly only just watching this series to satisfy this compulsory sense of duty I have to finish what I have started. Luckily, it did seem to get a little more interesting somewhat closer to the end of the series, maybe around episode 18 or so.
The characters do not look like regular anime characters, they are somewhat oddly and annoyingly shaped with a lot of severe angles jutting outward, even their fingers were pointy!! And overall they looked more like American cartoon characters made to look like anime characters......I dunno, I hate being vague like that but it all just looked like America had a hand in the artwork and character design and so they people look like the people from Justice League or the New Teen-Titans than they do anything from the world of Japanese animation. Except for that one blonde chic, Angel, who was a dead ringer for Queen Esmeraldas from Captain Harlock or Maetel from Galaxy Express 999 from way back in the day which is why she gets my pick for the best character in this series.
~ The Verdict
Big O is not really a show I could confidently recommend to other people because it gave me no zest and left me seriously lacking, story-wise. but clearly if you are a mecha-lover then by all means watch it for yourself.
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.
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
all right. The main thing that sort of brang me down from that story was that stupid robot (no offense to you mecha fans out there) "Big O" that Roger always has to call on to "save the day". But I guess it's the robot that "pieces the story together". Although I would highly suggest a much better mystery story is Kindaichi Case Files, to all you mystery fans out there.
The art is really good in this series, as a matter of fact, it's probably what drew my most attention to even watching this series in the first place. I never liked those animes with girls who have ginormous eyes half the size of their face and those stinkin' "cutish" quiet voices that squeak like pestering rats. And I got to tell you, it's really hard to catch animes like these, ESPECIALLY ones that have a serious theme to them and have "mature" and "sensible-like" drawings, unlike those with 7 year old girls with huge ass eyes and z-sized breasts bigger than their face. And for arts like these, I always pass by to give them a fresh 10.
The one thing that really caught my eye from the series was indeed the music. The jazzy atmosphere, the heroic, to the creepish eerie themes (And don't get me wrong, I have an Obsession with music, with a capital "O" lolz. My favorite themes from this series were probably Brick Ballades, The Holy, and Sleep My Dear (just in case you wanted to track those down..lol). But yeah, overall, I'd probably say this was the main thing that drew my intention from the entire series.
The characters in this series are pretty plain if you ask me, not all that unique, and not all that bad. I only got to watch the English dubbed version because noone had the Japanese version uploaded, so I have no idea whether the characters matched their voices better in Japanese or English, although I was pretty impressed by the English voiceovers. And if you ask me, I got to admit, the one character I kept on rewinding over just to hear his voice over and over again was that man at this bar that reads his newspaper and offers Roger, the main protagonist inside information. I really don't know why myself, but his voice just really intrigued me because it was so.. so deep that he just became my favorite character right there on the spot!
This anime probably isn't the type that keeps me jumping up and down about what happens next. And I would highly doubt it would really get you as excited more than it would of the anime series "Monster" which I gave a 10/10 the instant I watched the first episode. It basically just follows a series of mysteries and a giant robot that saves the day, which I think, just ruins the WHOLE STORY. And well, I'm not going to tell you not to watch this and that it wasn't all that enjoyable, but there are some good scenes in this show like I for instance really enjoyed the communications between the characters and some of the wording is actually pretty clever if I say so myself!.
Overall I would have to give it an 8.5 because the ending didn't really give the show a "final touch" (it sucked really), and this whole thing with the robot and the mystery, I'm sorry but they REALLY don't go along together. I mean if this is a relationship with an android and a human being, or some phenomenon about the history of robots, that's fine, but sending robots to deal with mysteries just kind of blows me away. Overall, the story was pretty good, I mean I do admit there were some scenes that actually made me cry.. lolz, like that one scene when this police officer returned back to see his mom, and just to see him cry made me cry lolz... but overall it was good, something I would recommend - thumbs up!
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.
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
here because there's so much more substance elsewhere in the show.
It overtly pulls inspiration from film noir tropes, making this perfect for anyone who enjoys the gloomy jazz and blues vibe that Cowboy Bebop executed so well. It does however, take a different direction with the second half. I don't say this to ruin it for you. I only say it to prevent any disappointment. If the first half can be related to Bebop, the second can be related to Evangelion, with all its existential questions presented through really trippy "wtf am I even watching" sequences. However, the lighthearted nature is never truly lost.
And of course, there is the Mecha element. At first it's more or less just treated as a plot device, and not really the main focal point of the story - like how the Tardaris is treated in Doctor Who. As the show progresses in the second half, it's brought more and more in to center stage. The Big O is great even for people who may not like the mecha anime, and could even act as a good primer for future interest in the genre.
It suffers superficial damage from age, but I still adore this show. There's so many things to pick apart and discuss. But the best thing I can recommend is that if you watch the first episode and just aren't feeling it afterwards, then this might not be the show for you. But if it is the show for you, you'll know very quickly.
Also, Steve Blum as the MC if you watch the English dub. Can't go wrong there~
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
long lived elves or evolved humanoids. See, that would explain the looks, both the young appearance and the crazy, tiny, pointed ears.
SOUND: The voice acting is just ok. The voices of the main characters (Roger, Dorothy, and Angel) were in high demand at the time this was made. The only decent characters were the mains, which would be fine except that there are a LOT of side characters. The music (both OP and ED) is fantastic, as well as the variety of music used in the show for BGM and as plot points. The one piece of sound that becomes a problem is the sound effects. The people in the show, although walking all over every sort of terrain, have only one single sound when their feet touch the ground: every person and android sounds like a lazy pony clopping along in chunky high heels. It might be funny except that you hear it so much that it becomes detracting.
ART: I remember reading in Newtype or another magazine that the show was designed around the looks of Batman the Animated Series. And it does look like Bruce Timm's styles done a bit sloppier. The characters have severe looks with pointed talons instead of fingers that taper into nails, and have tiny pointed ears.
CHARACTERS: Roger is a well rounded character. Certainly he and Norman are meant to be similar to Bruce Wayne and Alfred, but the further you go into the series the more different the relationship becomes. Also, eventually the city accepts Big O and Roger as their protectors, realizing that they cannot protect the city themselves, which is not the norm for vigilantes and I liked the change. And Roger isn't the only well done character. Dorothy is great, as are some of the villains like Beck and Rosewater.
STORY: The first half of The Big O is episodic and enjoyable. The second half, called The Big O II, dives right into the drama.The first half is basically "slice of life"...in the life of a mech pilot slash negotiator, his android, and his antics. The second half takes a hard turn, with Roger constantly being haunted by missing memories, Angel being whiny and upset by everything, and Dorothy overcoming her programming. I would say watch the first half. If you really enjoy it, finish the series. Otherwise, just enjoy the noir-ish, slice of mech life drama first half.
Old, but still enjoyable,I've seen this show back on Cartoon Network years ago.
Story: A city on amnesia? Main Character is Negotieator? Giant mecha fights? A batman vibe?
Sounded very good, ended very decent. But, It felt kinda weak when it comes to animation. Take it from a show that started in the late 90's. A Post-Apocalyptic War with flashback.
First half Is filer
Second half is plot
Art: I’m impressed by the animation in that it’s one of those styles that seems created and really well done unique and well done.
Sound: The music is old, forgetfull, but really good. You can find the
original score on Youtube.
Characters: Complex, realistic and decient and what whould you expect from a show that is really outdated. The most problems with it comes with the episode.Schwarzwald was all along a good guy. While Alex Rosewater is a real pain of a villan. Now comes my biggest issue. The robot fight scenes are too short and even the last battle just doesn't make this best mecha fight anime. Heck most mecha fight animes get alot of hate. This is bassicly a coki- battle fight kinda weaker than the Power Ranger/Super Sentai giant robot fights. It has foreshadowing, justl like every other anime. Plus It takes the stop for most iconic anime of the era that lead to an even bigger era.
Enjoyment: My enjoyment level was very good, even with the second half, really made me smile and laugh despite the flaws this series had. It's not the worst mecha anime, but it has soo much problems when it comes to early 90's cartoon/shows.
Overall view: is actually a series worth watching, and easy to follow, though you may want check the wiki for any info your self. It teaches you about the reality bean trapped in a world of forgetfull ness and lossing your past 40 years ago.
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 comes closer to
fitting that description than Big O. The finales of Seasons 1 and 2 are by far the worst episodes in the series. After twenty episodes of grounded, though imaginative, cyber-noir, the show takes a sideway leap into mind-shattering nonsense. Rodger is inexplicably hurled into an alternate universe where he is a beggar instead of a wealthy and respected Negotiator. Characters suddenly become actors on a stage, playing themselves to entertain an imaginary audience. A character named Angel suddenly sprouts wings, time reverses, and the cockpit of a gigantic mecha inexplicably fills up with tomatoes. Watching characters we have followed and come to care about vanish into the gaping jaws of insanity, we are left desperately asking what has just happened, and eliciting no coherent response.
This is not to say that Big 0 would be perfect if not for the finales, as there are plenty of other faults. The opening theme music is some of the most obnoxious I have ever heard, repeatedly blaring the name the titular mecha in lieu of actual lyrics. This is especially baffling when compared to the ending theme, a beautiful piece of work that can still draw my tears.
Though the anime moves along fine on story and character alone, the artwork fails to impress. Villains are all comically ugly, and all the characters have these flat, pupil-less eyes that just make them look dead and lifeless. The action isn’t bad on its own, but the hamminess of giant mecha battles tends to clash with the rest of the tone.
Big O may not be a bad series, but it is certainly a lot worse than it could have been. Watching it is more likely to prove frustrating than satisfying.
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
Bruce Wayne, complete with a mansion, a butler and various gadgets, including of course his very own giant mech, Big O. R. Dorothy, his android sidekick, is a standout character. Bearing emotions of her own and greatly resembling a human, she's nonetheless animated as a robot with stiff movements and physical strength. The episode A Legacy of Amadeus, where she learns to play the piano in a more human way from an android teacher, sets her up as a character conflicted between her human and android identities.
The best episodes are self-contained stories. In Winter Night Phantom, Dan Dastun, who plays the part of Roger Smith's friend in the military police, confronts a string of terrorist attacks as well as his own memories. The episode plays up the series' parallels with film noir by itself having a final scene in parallel with a movie from Dastun's memory.
The main plot arc of the series concerns the search for memories of beyond 40 years ago, and informs the plot of every episode; whether it be a bad guy who uses newly found memories for infernal purposes (many such cases!), or Dorothy's struggle with memories inherited from the human she was modeled after.
This is where the Big O really struggles in execution. Despite many good one-episode plots, the overall premise still doesn't make sense, and many plot threads, particularly to do with memories, don't reach a satisfying conclusion, or indeed any such conclusion. It feels as though the series had more material planned, and looking at the production history makes it clear that is the case. Instead of wrapping things up in a satisfying way, the series goes with a bizarre exit plan that plays up the nature of memories as ambiguous, a miserly cop out that seems to be a reflection of the writer's inability to come up with a coherent ending.
That being said, I doubt The Big O would have survived 52 episodes without the mystery-then-big-monster-fight format becoming monotonous. As it is, The Big O a decent series with quite a bit more going on in art style and narrative than your average anime, but it will remain insubstantial in memory.
BIG O, BIG O BIG BIG O!
DAN DAN DANN DAN DAN DANN
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
punch their enemy's into pulp. Big O goes so far against this tradition that it even has an episode making fun of it. And, of course, that "making fun" is done with Style, poise and tact.
Big O has style in all facets. The animation doesn't go into for super-deformity, aside from when the main character believes he's a Tomato of course. Its crisp and clear, its got hard black lines and straight hair. It gives off an aura of refined class.
The Characters are the same, they don't go in for extremes of emotion or action (aside from Beck). Everyone is set in their role (a very important plot point in fact), they act within their part and don't get tangled up in messy side plots. The story of each episode is mildly stand alone, but works into the overall Plot in the end. There is, I think, romance, but its tastefully understated and doesn't intrude unnecessary into the main plot. Fan service is almost non-existent, as it should be in such a show.
The Music is perfect. Jazz and Queen, a marvellous combination.
Of course, its also unfinished. I don't care what anyone says, there is no way that was a proper ending. Nothing was resolved at all, we merely got a whole load more confusing things dumped on us, at high speed too. It could have been great, It could have been marvellous, but as it was it just leaves the series with a deep sense of In completion.
If those responsible are reading this, MAKE A THIRD SEASON! I remember signing that online petition that was about a few years back.
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
and destroyed it. I'll stop my rant now and tell you my final thoughts on the show. Although Big O had a terrible story outcome, it did however have good characters, great artwork, and a pretty damn good soundtrack.
I do recommend you watch the firsts 13 episodes, then stop and never look back.
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
he showed me this show playing on the tube, and since it was a giant robot fighting a mosnter, i was floored. i understood immediately why my son walked aroud like me when i forgot to get a new roll and have to wander to the other side of the room to get to the goddamn closet--he was immitating big o, and that thing is a cool friggin robo, lemme tell ya.
The show has an obvious noir vibe, which normally id detest, but it was done so well i was effivetly glued to the screen as i watched the story unfold. the story is fantastic: there's a great deal of mystery going back to the old 1950s mysteries of who killed who and who forgot to turn the gas off for the stove and what not. i for one aint in with ambiguous series--without spoiling i will say this is one of them, but i didnt feel cheated stickin to the very end on what the fuckin tarnation was going on at all!? in other words, i was given enough information without being spoonfed explanation, and i was totally satisifed with that.
The style is slick and cool. the human characters are detailed comparatively less than the megadeuses (megadi? i have no Idea) and its that very contrast which works out PERFECTLY. my friend Jerry tried to show me a show similar to this one, about some tentacled robot controlled by these human children. the styles were similar, but they did not blend right together like this hear toonami/going on to adult swim classic. im a fan of gospel, country, hard rock and arena rock like no other, but the jazz-influenced soundtrack (which i disapprove of for a plethora of reasons, ill go into it later) accentuates the mystery further as well as the character dialogue that otherwise would be less enjoyable without the jazz. The propagonist Roger Smith, by virtue of his personality, is not very interesting, but his voice actor has a voice thats like velvet on velvet riding a motorcycle through the desert (Steven Blum i know that name!!).
What else is there to say? Well, it is damn short. Another four episodes wouldve satisfied my fill of giant robots destroying liberal cities HAH HAH take that! But seriously now, this is a very very GOOD show. I recommend it with my stamp of approval if at all i could; just tak e my word for it.
SIDENOTE: Schwarzwald, in spite of having a professional i would not trust unless he was working for Breitbart or Fox, is ONE OF THE BEST DANG VILLAINS OF ANY SHOW EVER. Hands pup, seriously. Better than the main villain, who i wont reveal. Just watch, dangit!
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
watched it once out of nostalgia, but I would not see it again.
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
found in the second season is far less fascinating than the rougher one of the first season) that if nothing else, makes most episodes entertaining and moody-ly hypnotic.
What I find extremely interesting about how Big O’s plots develops, is that, while initially the series seems to be subverting the hopelessness typical of film noire (by literally punching it in the face the with mechas at the end of every episode), by the end even that subversion get turned on its head. As the plot progresses theatrical imagery becomes more and more prevalent; masks under masks get pulled as the series' melodrama gets nihilistically revealed as a self serving play in a series of never-ending existential twist that may bring to mind the storytellers like Grant Morrison (although the end result reads as a lot more pessimistic than anything Morrison ever wrote).
There is truly a lot cramped in the 26 episodes of Big O, but this lot does not always comes as tonally coherent and more often than not is undermined by the obligatory monster-of-the-week mecha fight (especially in the first season)... but you know what... I very much enjoy Big O anyway despite those flaws.
What truly makes the series work is that, despite what it is saying is not always being particularly smart, how it says it is often immensely so. Big O uses the filmic medium perfectly, its imagery is always on point, not only to reflect its themes, but also to fascinate the viewer, pulling them deeper and deeper into the show's spiral of existential questions and kafkian mysteries.
Not all episodes work, but if taken in its entirety Big O is pretty damn good. Obviously one has to have a tolerance for pseudo-phylosophical blabbering and a very slow-burn exploration of its themes, but when one can accept that stuff he'll find in Big O an emotional, media-savvy and extremely personal series to explore.
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
introduction, the stories often feature details that are not easily noticed or understood. You may need to watch it more than once. There are admittedly some loose ends in the story, but not too many.
The anime is unusual in that it looks like the Batman cartoon. Apparently this studio had a hand in animating Batman. Other than giant robots, it does not look like your generic anime.
The opening and closing songs aren't great. However, the sound score is outstanding! The show features a mixture of orchestra, jazz and electronic. Many of the songs are quite stunning. The sound score quality is certainly unusual for anime (at least those that I've seen).
It's worth noting that having seen both the sub and dub that the dub is pretty good. In fact, I recommend you watch the dub.
The characters are well developed and generally consistent throughout the story. I found Dorothy to be the most likeable and memorable character, followed by Norman (the butler) and Roger (our main character).
I found this anime to be extremely enjoyable. Having seen season 2 on Adult Swim, I was compelled to purchase Season 1 on DVD (I also bought Season 2) just to watch it. But it did take a few episodes to find it so interesting.
This anime is great! It's jam packed with details and ideas that require some thought, great characters, and a curious story. It's definitely something you'll want to watch again and again.
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.
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.
While the characters are somewhat two-dimensional, they pull off their roles with vigor and panache. Roger, a hybrid of
James Bond and Batman, is a mature, suave, and highly likable lead character, a refreshing change from the whiny brats of many recent shows. Dorothy, his android companion, is, of course, stoic, but this makes her frequent flashes of humanity, especially her wonderfully dry sense of humor, all the more precious. The supporting cast is likewise colorful and varied.
The designs are EXTREMELY hit or miss. I myself was initially repulsed by the show's clunky robots. When I returned to the show many years later, I found myself positively enthralled by the old-school artwork. Who needs beam saber wielding fairy-bots when you can have gloriously outdated hunks of scrap metal with rusty anchors and big-a__ piston arms? Not only does the sheer clumsiness impart an air of supreme masculinity, it also adds weight and authenticity to the robots' every punch, collision, and yes, the occasional beam. The art style is also superb, employing the stark lighting and color-blocking found in the classic Batman TV shows. No sparkling manga eyes, gravity defying hairstyles, or doll faces here. Just gritty film noir. This is the reason for Big O's low ratings in Japan and high ratings abroad.
If myanimelist.net allowed a 100/10, this show's music would deserve it. Besides the Queen-style opening, which I hate to this day, this show's soundtrack is hands-down the best I've EVER heard in an anime. Tracks like "Stand a Chance" pump up the audience like the way only classic superhero battle music can. Tracks like "Brick Ballades" capture the weary, run-down glamour of Paradigm City. Tracks like "Stoning" (and "Name of God," a variation of the former) convey a magnificent, almost divine, ferocity. It is the perfect accompaniment to Roger's relentless pursuit of the truth. These two tracks in particular are so exquisite that they could stand next to Mozart's Requiem without shame. The ending theme "And Forever" is admittedly incongruous with the show's dark tone, but its gentle harmonies and charming simplicity set it apart from electro-synth, J-pop garbage like ClariS. In other words, Big O's music is quite simply the best.
If I had counted music as 100/10 (which I really should have), this anime would average out to a perfect score, but that would be just plain silly, so a 9 out of 10 it is.
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
cake. As for the characters and dialogue, they are also not good. You are never really convinced that Roger puts on a good facade as a negotiator. Pretty much all the characters are weird in some way and it is hard to think of them as very real characters in this world. What was really annoying though was all the misguided Christian symbols and the Christmas episode. It just added more weird crap to an already weird anime. And don't misunderstand me, I like weird things, when I say this is weird I mean inconsistent and full of unexplained illogical phenomena. Anywho, it is worth a watch if you like the look of it, just don't expect a great story and deep character development. And please for the love of god, make no comparisons to Cowboy Bebop. It is not even on the same plane of existence.