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.