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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

Edited by areaseven
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well it bombed in japan, that's why CN had to PAY them just to finish its run.  hard to say wheither or not that investment was profitable.

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In the case of Season 1, CN had nothing to do with the production. They picked up the series and just didn't realize it would be a hit in the U.S. Season 2 probably didn't do too well in Japan, either. But then again, you're probably right on CN paying Sunrise in this case.

Funny thing is that Season 2 had mediocre ratings on Adult Swim. While CN has the option to produce a third season, it seems they're not interested at the moment, as Adult Swim is now comedy-oriented with very little room for action.

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big o is only show that i bought the official version and the bootleg all in the same day. bootleg is for lending purposes only.

also picked up both soundtracks, and the bandai fig.

it's my favorite giant robot show, i can watch for days and not get tired of it

if i remember right ther were going to be some new big o toys (like majorly poseable ones) going to come out a while back it was a thread over @ toyboxdx. they like had made more of the robots from the show, big o, dorothy 2, the archetype, big duo, big fau. they looked the shizzle! :D:D:D

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