As World War II rages, scientist and pacifist Professor
Kaneda has no choice but to help develop weapons for Japan.
Kaneda's planned masterwork is a giant, near-invincible robot
called Tetsujin, but after 27 attempts at a prototype he is
still unable to perfect the deadly machine. That is until
he hears the news that his wife and unborn son have been killed
in the US bombings of Tokyo. With the project now his only
reason for living, Kaneda is finally driven to complete his
finest creation, Tetsujin 28, naming it Shotaro after his
lost son. Unable to bear the thought of the Tetsujin being
used as a weapon of mass destruction, Kaneda leaks the whereabouts
of his research lab to American intelligence. During the subsequent
carpet-bombing assault on the island by US forces Kaneda is
killed and all his work is destroyed. Unfortunately, what
Kaneda did not know what his new-born son actually survived
the attack on Tokyo...
Tetsujin 28 anime, better known in the States as Gigantor,
was one of the first shown on Japanese television in 1963;
its historical significance lays in the fact that it was the
first Mecha anime and a massively popular one. Without it,
it is possible that there would be no Gundam or Macross,
or at least not in the way we know them. This disc does not
present the original story, but an updated version designed
to appeal to both an older audience who would have remembered
the original and their kids who are coming to it for the first
time. The original manga was so popular with a young audience
that it has been remade a number of times including a computer
game and a live action film of Tetsujin 28 (2004).
retro series was created in 2004 and ran for 26 episodes.
Although each of the five episodes on this DVD is fairly short
the animators have made a great choice of not letting too
much of the story out. Each supplementary character is introduced
a little at a time making you want to watch more to discover
animation is a strange mix. On the one hand, you have some
quite detailed backgrounds, whilst on the other, some of the
characters are simplistic in the extreme, one can only assume
that this was a deliberate choice by director Yasuhiro Imagawa
and writer Mitsuteru Yokoyama, in order to give it a retro
feel which would appeal to the earliest audience who have
all grown up now. The music by Akira Senju has a grand orchestral
feeling to it. The main theme is the strangest, it sounds
like little more than a jolly Nazi marching song... very strange.
the first episode The Resurrection of Shotaro, we are
given the back story of Shotaro Kaneda's father's invention
of the giant robot No 28. The series, as a whole, has a very
antiwar message, so we discover that Shotaro's father could
not live with the idea that his creation would be the potential
cause of so much death. In a moment of moral conscience he
calls in the American air force to destroy his research complex,
burying his robot forever. However, ten years later, unbeknownst
to the professor his son has survived the fire bombing of
Tokyo and grows to be a kind of Enid Blyton boy detective.
When by accident Tetsujin 28 is reactivated it heads for mainland
In No28 Vs No27 the monster has landed and is causing
death and destruction, though no one really knows why. Shotaro
is shocked to find that his father had created such an engine
of destruction. But what is the reason for the robot heading
towards Professor Shikishima's factory? Is it because he is
trying to resurrect the robot project? Shotaro has to decide
how he feels about his father creation and whether it would
be better to destroy it.
Arrival of Monster Robot finds Shotaro discovering a green
hulk like creature, but things are not as straight forward
as they seem. Shikishima, seems intent on burying any information
of the project. With the mystery deepening Shotaro turns to
a friend of his fathers who is now in prison. Before he can
work out what is really going on another giant robot, the
Black Ox, appears and attempts to steal the tank containing
the green creature.
Other Tetsujin Project sees the story getting very dark.
Dr Franken has escaped from prison and the Green monster is
missing after the rampage of the Black Ox. Shotaro find a
clue at a graveyard which leads him to discover that the missing
green creature is biological and has been altered to create
a monster. Using his genius powers of deduction he tracks
down the lab which was used to create the monster only to
be confronted by Dr Franken.
last episode on the disc, Tetsujin Vs Black Ox, sees
the final exciting conclusion to the story, wherein we discover
just who the creature is and what Shotaro will do with Tetsujin
DVD menu is a strange, at times annoying, affair consisting
of an image of Tetsujin 28 with the various option circling
his waist, miss an option and you have to wait for it to come
around again, still it's in keeping with the retro feel of
the DVD so I guess it can be excused. There is an impressive
range of audio options in both English and Japanese. You can
choose from vanilla stereo, 5.1 or DTS, though to be honest
apart from the greater clarity the latter two options don't
really make enough use of the other speaker to make that much
of a difference.
extras aren't great for such a modern amine, mostly just a
bunch of trailers and non-credit opening scenes. It would
have been nice to see a feature comparing this incarnation
with the original.
good kudos for a great little series, and a fat raspberry
for the poor extras, I would still recommend it as a must
have for lovers of anime of all ages.