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The Big O (THE ビッグオー) Sunrise/WOWOW/Cartoon Network/Bandai Visual, 1999, 2002 Bandai Entertainment, 2001-2002, 2003-2004 Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama (Those Who Hunt Elves, Argento Soma)Written by Chiaki J. Konaka (Armitage III, RahXephon) Created by Hajime Yatate (pseudonym for unnamed staff members of Sunrise) Running Time: 25 minutes per episode Rated 13-Up for violence, mature situations and mild language. "Cast in the name of God, ye not guilty." Cast (Japanese) Mitsuru Miyamoto (Hubb in Wolf's Rain, Itsuki in RahXephon) as Roger Smith Akiko Yajima (Rickert in Berserk, Tsubasa in Figure 17) as R. Dorothy Wayneright Motomu Kiyokawa (Fuyutsuki in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Walter in Hellsing) as Norman Burg Tessho Genda (Daijiro in Voltes V, D in Project A-Ko) as Major Dan Dastun Emi Shinohara (B-Ko in Project A-Ko, Sailor Jupiter in Sailor Moon) as Angel Unshou Ishizuka (Guld in Macross Plus, Jet in Cowboy Bebop) as Alex Rosewater Shinpachi Tsuji (Musashi in Getter Robo Armageddon, Shusaku in Kaze no Yojimbo) as Big Ear Katsunosuke Hori (Futagami in RahXephon) as Michael Seebach/Schwarzwald Houchu Ohtsuka (Yazan in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Chibodee in Mobile Fighter G-Gundam) as Beck Gold Issei Futamata (Shinshi in Patlabor, Yusaku in Maison Ikkoku) as Alan Gabriel Goro Naya (Zenigata in Lupin III, Dawson in Golgo 13: The Professional) as Gordon Rosewater Cast (English) Steven Blum (Spike in Cowboy Bebop, Celestine in Ah! My Goddess: The Movie) as Roger Smith Lia Sargent (Hand Maid May, Milly in Trigun) as R. Dorothy Wayneright Richard Barnes (Delaz in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083, Gomez in Macross Plus) as Norman Burg (season 1) Alan Oppenheimer as Norman Burg (season 2) Chuck Farley as Major Dan Dastun Wendee Lee (Faye in Cowboy Bebop, Antonia in Heat Guy J) as Angel Alfred Thor as Alex Rosewater James Lyon (Briareos in Appleseed, Duke Red in Metropolis) as Big Ear Michael McConnohie (Norris in Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Dawson in Golgo 13: The Professional) as Michael Seebach/Schwarzwald Robert Wicks (Gene in Outlaw Star, Hubb in Wolf's Rain) as Beck Gold Crispin Freeman (Alucard in Hellsing, Togusa in Ghost in the Shell: SAC) as Alan Gabriel William Frederick (Aramaki in Ghost in the Shell: SAC) as Gordon Rosewater "Big O! It's Showtime!" Synopsis Paradigm City - a metropolis with a lost past and an uncertain future. Among its citizens is Roger Smith, a negotiator who solves the city's problems not handled by the military police. When problems escalate beyond human control, he calls upon his Megadeus known as Big O. Along with his butler Norman and a mysterious female android named Dorothy, Roger keeps the city safe from crime while trying to solve the mystery of lost memories from 40 years ago. "Big O! And, Action!" Story: B+ Imagine Batman: The Animated Series mixed with Giant Robo, and you have The Big O. It has a mix of film noir and giant robot action, along with a complex storyline. You also have a host of characters that come straight out of Batman. Most obvious are Roger and Norman, your typical rich hero and his butler. Some of the villains like Schwarzwald and Beck act like stand-ins for the Joker or Riddler. Season 1 ended with a cliffhanger, which prompted Cartoon Network to step in to help produce season 2 by popular demand. And like many newer anime titles, The Big O's ending was rather anticlimactic, as it was a variation of the "pushing the reset button" scenario used by Neon Genesis Evangelion. At least this one made more sense. Animation: A So why does this anime look a lot like Batman: TAS? Simple: the same animators worked on it. Slick character and mecha designs by Keiichi Satou (Mazinkaiser) give life to the retro backgrounds. And even though the Megadeuses are big, lumbering machines, the battle scenes score up there with Giant Robo and Kishin Corps. Soundtrack: A+ "Big O! Big O, Big O, Big O!" Toshihiko Sahashi (Full Metal Panic!, Steel Angel Kurumi) supplies one of the most underrated anime soundtracks ever composed. It uses classical and jazz with shades of John Barry (Dr. No and most of the James Bond 007 movies), Jerry Goldsmith (The Twilight Zone, Star Trek) and Danny Elfman (Batman, Darkman). The opening theme by Rui Nagai has Queen's Flash Gordon theme all over it. And it's one of those songs you'll be singing all over. Sub vs. Dub Surprisingly, the English dub blows the Japanese version out of the water with its excellent voice acting and script. Perhaps it's because The Big O looks very un-anime. DVD Extras: B Each disc comes with text interviews with staff members, creditless opening and ending sequences, and production sketches. The Bottom Line Still underrated to this day, The Big O is a must for any anime or sci-fi afficionado. We have come to terms. Links Bandai Channel's The Big O Homepage (Japanese) Bandai Entertainment's The Big O Homepage Cartoon Network Adult Swim's The Big O Homepage Reference Anime News Network