The first Getter Robo series chronologically published 15 years before the rest of the manga. Getter Robo pioneered the idea of the combining and transforming robot.
Millions of years ago, the dinosaurs were driven deep underground due to the sudden arrival of "Getter Rays" on Earth. After evolving into sentient beings, they grew bitter and vengeful at the humans who replaced them on the surface and began plotting their attack on humanity.
Fighting against them is Getter Robo, a machine built by Professor Saotome which uses the mysterious Getter Rays as its power source. Piloting it are three strong-willed young men—the violent martial artist Nagare Ryoma, the psychopathic yet highly intelligent revolutionary Jin Hayato, and the hot-blooded judo master Tomoe Musashi. Each controls one of three specially designed combat jets which can be combined together in different forms to form three different kinds of giant robots: the flying, axe-wielding Getter-1, the quick, drill-wielding Getter-2, and the tough, tank-like Getter-3.
Story: The plot is very interesting, and considering the time it was made (In the 70's) it is actually the original thing that inspired many of the popular animations today, such as Transformers. Though this story has a good plot and many twists, it's rather predictable and sterotypical for the modern day reader. You have the villians who yell "Muahahahahahaha!" and tell the world of their evil schemes. Not to mention the series cuts off and you have to obtain the sequal that wasn't made for many years later. In the beginning of the series, the scenes jumped around a lot and it was rather
confusing to tell what exactly was going on. There are other problems with the series such as how things seem to come out of no where. There is a scene where a third getter robo appears and automatically wins a fight for the heros. It felt like lazy writing after the author put himself in a pinch with the manga. Along side that, the dialogue seemed a bit immature and sounded like things a 6th grader would say, especially with the characters who are a little too prideful for their own good. This series has its eye rolling moments. On the other hand though, it has some very interesting moments where you get into it and have to wonder what will happen next. There are many twists and the author gets carried away with killing off people and bringing some back. Typical, yes, but not everyone comes back every time.
Art: The art isn't a personal favorite, but a popular style for it's time. This manga has a tendency to be graphic and the author isn't afraid to show characters dieing a slow and painful death, everything from being ripped apart to being burned alive. The only real complaint I had on the art was that at one point in the series, the art changed drastically. I struggled to figure out who was who and when I looked at it the first time, I wondered if I was looking at the right manga. For one chapter, it was a completely different art style then it went back to normal after that, except the character Musashi.
Character: The characters were poorly developed. You had villians called Reptiloids, which sounds weird. They are the stereotypical villians that foil their own plans by shouting them to the world, primarily to their main opponents. The main character acts like a 6th grader who feels he is invincible and can stop any force and do anything. The author also has a problem with making some of the characters all knowing. As an example, a teenage boy who is smarter than the average teenager, but who can perform autopsies on a body and know exactly what he's doing. This wouldn't bother me so much if the author didn't work so hard to back up most of his ideas with science, but he some times over steps the realistic boundaries and character traps he puts himself in.
Enjoyment: This series is good once you get through it, but it really took a lot for me to sit down and read it. Once I read it, I determined it was an ok series, but not one I would personally read through again.
Overall: Overall, it was a decent series, I would suggest it to people who are really into mechs. It's a classic for the genre and those who are into it may have a better appreciation for it. The development itself was sloppy and poorly put together, but the story potential is good enough to keep reading it. It's also short enough to give it a chance then you can decide later if you want to continue on to the sequel or not. Though it wasn't great, it's still a classic. It has made an impact on my view of mechs.