Big O

Roger Smith is a rich playboy who sidelines as a negotiator in Paradigm City. When his job gets a little too hectic, he literally calls in Big O, his giant mecha to help his pound anything that stands in his way. But this isn't all that's going on. Apparently, a mysterious catastrophe occurred 40 year prior which caused amnesia in all that survived, forcing those who can afford to live in protective domes. Lucky for them that they have amnesia - they don't realize how much of this series is unoriginal and reused.

Big O has a lot of unrealized potential. The art is finely detailed and consistent, a firm hybrid between Batman: The Animated Series and animes such as Ninja Scroll. The action is smooth and clean and the voice acting is fairly decent. The immediate connection between Big O and Batman really is fair, though. They're both done by the same people. Where Big O falters is that it seems to borrow from just too many sources, leaving something hollow under the surface. The main character is so much like Batman that you'd swear that Roger Smith is Japan's Batman franchise. He's a few of the reasons why:

1) He's a millionaire playboy.
2) He has a butler.
3) He wears a lot of black.
4) He fights a cadre of villains in a town full of ordinary citizens.
5) He has a really cool car.

The only real twist in this series is the inclusion of the post-apocalyptical plot device and the use of the Shogun-Warrioresque Big O. At times, I wondered if Godzilla was going to jump up out of the ocean to pick a fight.

This is not to say that Big O is bad. Big O is a fairly decent anime to watch if your new to the genre. It's Saturday-morning feel leaves very little in the way of story depth. They've all but stated "I came, I saw, I called Big O and stomped the monster for the day" during the length of the episode. If you're looking for character and story depth (or new ideas), you might want to search elsewhere. Big O is really nothing more than a rehash of older cartoons/animes.

- - Vane

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