Thursday, 5 February 2009
Behold! TMNT CG animation studio Imagi has silver screen designs on the very first giant robot manga. Following on from Osamu Tezuka's mini-bot heroics, Mitsuteru Yokoyama's Tetsujin 28-go told the story of an inventor's son, and his pairing to a voiceless boiler-bot. Together they battled against all creed of criminal, and no small amount of rampaging armour slaves. Imagi, by way of pitch, prepared this short reel of bare exposition and robo-clash histrionics.
Tetsujin 28-go becomes reduction zip flavoured T28. That's one way around the name muddle I suppose. Christen the robot with a Soviet tank production number! You can't really blame the struggling animation studio; Tetsujin's a little hard to swallow for a deadly mainstream kids animation feature, and who wants to pay the Ladd's for the use of water-down title Gigantor? Especially when they're preparing their own spin-off franchise: G3. Not to mention that any attempt at a literal translation is going to undermine the effort with a distinct whiff of me-too Iron Man grasping. A dire situation all round! Still did they really have to transform Yokoyama's Shotaro Kaneda from a stocky little prep kid into a indistinct 'tude placeholder? Shouldn't think the feature will be exploring cataclysm weapon guilt following World War II either.
Still! The mountain-bot clashes ain't no slouch, and there's always disaster currency in seeing bold order-men piloting from their destruction avatar's palm. Fearless! Shotaro aside, colour me interested - certainly more so than the curve-less Astro Boy update.
Quite apart from a duff live action movie, this isn't the first time this franchise has been recently revived. Most notably, Giant Robo grandstander Yasuhiro Imagawa piloted a splendid TV series in 2004. Aside from a feature length capper movie, it's easily available in the West; Manga published at least two DVD volumes in the UK, and Geneon got the whole set out for the US. Well worth tracking down. This Tetsujin is less endless metal clashes, more Frankenstein rumination on artificial life responsibility.
Get all excited! Check this nationalistic pride flavoured opener!
That theme's a winner.