Secret Santa 2010 Project Reveal

And now the part you have all been waiting for. The Secret Santas are revealed, the ancient conspiracy is foiled, and the destined couple finally consummate their relationship. This is the master list of all the participants, what they reviewed, and who gave them their recommendations. I know that several people are not going to finish on time because of various mishaps during the holiday season. So I will do my best to update this list at least once a day as reviews come in. Hopefully everyone watched something a bit unexpected and maybe learned something new about the range and scope of anime. Other than that Happy Holidays and I wish you and yours the best of luck in the upcoming year.

Invincible Super Man Zambot 3: The Birth of Minagoroshi no Tomino

hisuiconYoshiyuki Tomino the creator of Mobile Suit Gundam is synonymous with bringing the real robot revolution in anime. But before that series was made Tomino created the revolutionary Invincible Super Man Zambot 3. While Zambot 3 is nowhere near as well-known as many of Tomino’s other works, its influence on his later shows is undeniably. Like many of Tomino’s shows Zambot 3 is a flawed and somewhat troubled show but one that sticks with the viewer after they experience it. This is not a review but more of an examination of the value of Zambot 3 to a modern audience.

Tomino is known not only for his own body of work that stretches back to episodes of the original Astro Boy TV series but also for how his ideas go on to influence plenty of other shows thereafter. Zambot 3 is important to Tomino’s history and mecha shows overall spanning even into the 2000’s. Like many a show that was ahead of its time things don’t always go smoothly and believe me Zambot 3 is far from a masterpiece, but it’s important to appreciate its going out and doing something exploratory.

hisuiconThe story seems like the standard fair 1970’s giant robot show outline. The Gaizok are invading the earth with robotic monsters called Mecha Boosts who are commanded by the ruthless Butcher the Killer. The Mecha Boosts can only be defeated by Zambot 3 piloted by Kappei Jin and his two cousins using technology from the planet Beal that was wiped out by the Gaizok. But the main twist is that instead of being welcomed as heroes the people of Earth condemn the pilots of the Zambot 3 and blame them for anything and everything related to the Gaizok invasion.

The families of each pilot also play major roles in the series which seems rather uncommon in robot shows. People both civilian and otherwise are central to the themes and the series very rarely takes the happy ending approach. I have to wonder why Zambot 3 is only 23 episodes long, it is such a strange number! But thankfully it is a complete story. Though quite a few of the episodes can be chalked up to monster of the week, there is usually some hints of matters to come. It is also too easy to dismiss episodes because of the many themes and issues that are popular or tropes nowadays forgetting Zambot’s time period.

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