Gigantor


Gigantor (originally Tetsujin-nijūhachi-gō literally "Iron Man #28") was a manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama published in 1958 which was later made into several anime series, the first in 1963. It was the first "giant robot" series. A live action motion picture with heavy use of computer generated graphics was produced in Japan in 2005 based on the old comics as opposed to the newer version in "New Gigantor" which was translated into many languages including Arabic.

As of January 6, 2007 Adult Swim has resumed airing Gigantor. It can be seen Saturday nights (Sunday mornings) at 5:30am EST.

The series is set in the future year of 2000. A boy named Jimmy Sparks (Shotaro Kaneda - 金田 正太郎 Kaneda Shotarō - in the Japanese version) is the nephew of Dr. Bob Brilliant (Dr. Shikishima, Shikishima-hakase) and lives with him on a remote island. Jimmy usually wears shorts and a jacket, carries a firearm and occasionally drives a car. Jimmy fights crime around the world with the help of a huge remote-controlled robot, Gigantor. The robot is made of steel, and has a rocket-powered backpack for flight, a pointy nose, eyes that never move, and incredible strength, but no intelligence. Whoever has the remote control controls Gigantor.

Although it is not known whether Hughes ever saw the Gigantor series, there is a notable resemblance between the characters of Jimmy and Gigantor and the characters of the boy Hogarth and the giant robot in Ted Hughes' well-known children's book The Iron Man, which was published in 1968.

In post World War II and then Cold War era Japan, it is likely that the plots for the episodes were symbolic of the things going on in the world at the time. This assumption can be made given how many plots revolved around one oppressive country invading another peaceful one, requiring Gigantor's aid to save them. It is debatable whether or not the writers meant for the oppressive country to be representative of the United States (Like many writers of the time did in the Japanese genre of giant monster and robot heroes) or of the Soviet Union, or even both. The same is true in the reverse, as peaceful countries could be the United States or symbolic of a country under the 'Iron Curtain' (Both would fit with the Soviet Union being portrayed as the oppressor) or as Japan itself (Which would fit if the oppressing country was the United States).

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