Dr. Saotome returns from the dead after being seemingly murdered by Getter pilot Nagare Ryoma and threatens the world with his ultimate creation: the Shin Dragon. Ryoma reluctantly teams up with his former co-pilots Jin Hayato and Tomoe Mushashi to combat Dr. Saotome. The pilots must also deal with the mysterious Invaders, aliens that have the ability to possess humans and warp their flesh to form hideous creatures.
Abridged Review For People Who Don't Like Reading:
Getter Robo Armageddon is a show about giant robots thrashing the shit out of everything with glorious high quality animation. It could also totally kick Jupiter's ass.
Getter Robo Armageddon - You have to be insane to enjoy this show.
I'm not going to lie to you, the story is awful. It consists of all the typical BS you expect to find in anime and then some. There is incoherent babbling about evolution, a massive explosion that wipes out a good chunk of humanity, the "good guys" saving the Earth from the forces of evil despite the fact that
almost all the Getter pilots are chaotic and insane (which according to the manga is practically a requirement to pilot Getter), some tidbits of SCIENCE which nobody actually cares about, and of course the solution to all of life's problems, which is to have a giant robot and be more awesome. Fortunately the story being so awful is what helps to make it entertaining. How am I supposed to enjoy characters being able to pull guns out of thin air, giant robots duking it out with other giant robots, aliens, or Jupiter, YELLING WHICH IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE FORM OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MEN BESIDES THEIR FISTS, and explosions when there has to be a good reason for them? Exactly.
There are four types of characters in this show. The first is ordinary people. They are rare and should be kept away from the action unless you want to have to deal with zombies. The second is awesome people. These are most of the people involved in combat, which means most of the cast. The third is evil people. These are people who are easy to distinguish because of their ridiculous laugh and the fact that they won't freakin' die when they're killed. The fourth and final type is Ryoma. When you see Ryoma you know that someone is about to enter a world of pain. In summary, if you're looking for a show where you can't describe basically everyone with the word "badass" and the character development consists of more than a character going from "awesome" to "more awesome" this is not the show you're looking for.
The art in this show is very gritty and '80s anime-ish, except pulled off a lot better than most '80s anime. For the most part it does a great job of staying true to the look of the various installments of the Getter Robo manga done by Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa, meaning that the robot and character designs range from goofy and childish to tough looking and cool and that there are huge grins and crazy eyes galore. The animation is also surprisingly good. The range of motion is lacking compared to the best of stuff today, but there still tends to be a good amount of motion without the art quality being sacrificed in the progress. Thus it goes without saying that the high quality of the art and animation combined with the crazy mecha action elements makes for one of the best looking mecha shows available, despite the series being over a decade old now.
The soundtrack leaves me with few complaints. Both the opening themes are likable and hot-blooded and the typically rock/metal oriented tracks within the show fit the action well. I wouldn't actually listen to the soundtrack on its own, but the same goes for 99% of soundtracks out there. The voice acting is mostly very good, with everyone clearly knowing that if you aren't going way over the top in a super robot show you aren't doing it right. Dr. Saotome sounds a little too comically evil for my tastes, but then again the show basically turned him into Dr. Hell so I can't really fault his voice actor for that. Other than that I can't think of any problems I had with the voice cast considering everyone fit their roles well as opposed to sounding like they were picked due to their popularity like a lot of stuff nowadays.
According to the credits there were three different directors for this show over the course of the 13 episodes, but the main one was Yasuhiro Geshi who did the 2nd episode and episodes 6-13. Since doing this show he has directed a couple of episodes of GitS:SAC, New Getter Robo episode 8 (one of the best episodes in that great series), and Gurren Lagann episode 20 (Yoko/Yamako-sensei episode). While I wouldn't say his directing in this series was great necessarily, I can say that the guy knows how to direct some exciting action sequences. It certainly didn't hurt that he had a bunch of great animators to work with, but there clearly is a love for the material here that gives the show the type of soul and value that would've been lost had the directors not cared and simply phoned it in.
Of course then the question is raised, did he really direct the 2nd episode and did one of the other credited directors do episodes 1 and 3? This doesn't seem to be the case, or if they did they were solely the episode directors, as initially super robot enthusiast Yasuhiro Imagawa was the main director of the project. Due to some sort of undisclosed disagreement he was taken off the project after episode 3 however, which infuriates some of his fans. While I can agree that Imagawa probably would've helped the story make a lick of sense, I don't think the show would have been any better/worse had he stuck around as the insane action and high quality animation are really the driving force behind the quality of the series.
It really does take a special kind of crazy to be a fan of Getter Robo Armageddon. There is even a screenshot from the series floating around of Ryoma pondering, "What the hell is going on? It doesn't make sense at all!" If you can manage to fit into that mold of insanity even a little however, there is a ton to enjoy here as GRA is one of the most nonsensical, brimming with action, mind blowingly awesome anime series out there. Don't think, feel.
This review will be a bit biased because its from a fan of the manga, so lets dive in. First off I love the art design and animation, better than most OVAs today. Next, the story, while incredibly different from the manga, is really good. A bit preachy about evolution, but the manga is like that too, so they nailed that. The characters are pretty good, and they are given enough time to develop their character throughout. The sound is good, a lot of triumphent music, which isn't anything new for the super robot genre. Overall, every, new or old,
mecha fan will enjoy this title, loved watching it all the way through.
If there is any series that strikes me as having wasted potential it's definitely Getter Robo Armageddon, that's not to say that if had realized the full of potential of what it was promising it would likely be no better than a serviceable super robot anime but the what we got instead was this train wreck of an OVA.
Most of my criticisms at Getter Robo Armageddon could be attributed to the change of directors early in the series, because for the first four episodes the series was a fairly solid fan service heavy OVA but after that pretty everything just goes downhill from there. It's
hard to say if Yasuhiro Imagawa had stayed for the entirety of the production that the final product would have been better for it as the grievances committed by the OVA lie in the second half and it's still unknown if his vision would explained things better than the version we got. The troubled production certainly doesn't justify the results but it does give some amount of explanation of how we are left with final product that we have.
On a narrative level it doesn't work the plot is confusing and all over the place and being set in alternate continuity means prior knowledge of series won't help in understanding the backstory. The plot relies too much on deus ex machine to get out of situations the writer's trapped themselves, with black getter's only reason to exist is to bail shin getter robo of tight spots.
After episode seven Armageddon goes on detour which can only be described as padding to the make OVA longer, wasting time that could have been spent to develop characters used introduce one off woobies and just more pointless fight scenes. On a similar note the attempted wham episode was poorly done with aforementioned woobie that was intended to be the centerpiece of the tragedy acts irrationally and isn't given enough screen time for the weight of what just happened to register.
The series doesn't fare much better when it comes to the characters either as most of them range from tolerable to completely unlikeable with most them performing actions that are barely given any motivation for why they are doing said actions. That's not even getting into the profoundly stupid plot twist revolving around Genki which I dare not spoil so you to can see how ill advised and poorly set up it was firsthand. On the note of villain well they are just forgettable so much so that they aren't even given any name beyond the "invaders", I've already discussed motivation and the same applies to them to.
Then there is the ending or I should say the faux ending as what could have been a somewhat bad series is made worse by prolonging the story beyond what it's natural conclusion should have only further testing what little tolerance I had for Armageddon. Had it the OVA concluded at it's intended stopping point of episode 10 then perhaps it wouldn't have left me on such a sour note but this is what we got.
If there is anything I can commend this series for it at least has some entertaining fight scenes, and if all you seek are dynamic action scenarios then Armageddon certainly has you covered in that department. I would probably be far less harsher on Armageddon if it had aimed for the style of the majority Getter Robo works where plot is just used as a justification to generate action scenes, but it attempts to have a nuanced narrative and as such I must evaluate Armageddon on the subject storytelling.
The storytelling of Armageddon after episode four can be summarized as whatever the worst decision that could be made was made, it's just insufferable to anyone viewing it for the narrative. If your interested in watching this just for the pure spectacle of it all I can say it's not worth slogging through the story, besides there are plenty of mecha anime that deliver both a engaging story and amazing fight scenes. Bottom line avoid this series as whatever possible draw it could offer for watching it is outweighed by it's own flaws or by competition that does everything Armageddon does but better.
If you haven't whatched Getter Robot you have not enjoyed one of the best mecha animes ever!
story8/10: people that don't know the back-story will take a while to know everything(but you will understand as you go through because they explain it all) earth is attacked by aliens and the only way to stop them are these amazing robots powered by the getter rays(that's how they got the name lol) humanity seems to win but an accident happens with a massive getter powered bomb and all the people of earth have to hide underground but at the same
time the aliens stayed up and started evolving.
art 9/10: the art is amazing for it to be released at that time is even better than some animes i am watching right now! the robots look spectacular and very precised.
Sound 10/10: sound is great! every movement of the robot or the alien had it's own unique sound! the wind, the beams, engines etc. are all very realistic.
Characters 9/10: i found myself loving Ryoma because he is one bad-ass man that fears nothing. all the pilots and professors have their own unique personality and are easy to relate to.
Enjoyment 9/10: for me seeing robots kick some alien butt to save earth is more than enough to keep me watching!
you guys need to watch this! it is amazing and will remember this for a long time! hope you enjoyed my review it was my first lol :P