BY CHRISTOPHER HEIM
Are you craving more giant robots after seeing the recently released Disney/Marvel studios actioner, “Big Hero 6”? Well, say no more, because I’ve got the recommendations that could help ease your appetite.
- “The Iron Giant”: A touching “E.T.”-like tale of a lonely boy who discovers and befriends a giant metal robot who falls from space during the height of the Cold War.
- “Neon Genesis Evangelion”: One of the most successful and critically acclaimed anime series of all time. This 26-episode apocalyptic mecha (a genre of sci-fi that focuses on robots piloted by people) series centers around a teenage boy named Shinji, who is recruited by a shadowy organization to pilot a giant robot called an Evangelion in order to combat the monstrous Angels. This show features psychologically complex characters, a conspiracy-laden plot, religious symbolism and David Lynch-style surrealism.
- “Real Steel”: A science-fiction sports drama centering on an estranged father (Hugh Jackman) and son who participate in a bigger-scale-version of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. The plot is nothing special, but the visual effects and robot fights are top-notch.
- “The Big O”: A popular show from the Toonami and Adult Swim block. With an animation style similar to “Batman Beyond,” this show is a strange but riveting mix of ’60s film noir, detective show and mecha. It centers on Roger Smith, a Bruce Wayne-type character who protects the residents of Paradigm City with the help of an android named Dorothy, his butler Norman and his giant Megazord called Big O.
- “Patlabor 1 and 2”: A double-bill that provides an ultra-realistic and politically complex take on the mecha genre. It focuses on a police force that deals with crime, terrorism and accidents involving robots called “Labors,” which are used in the near future for police, military, industrial and municipal jobs.
- “King Kong Escapes”: A campy Japanese monster romp complete with a nutty plot, hilariously hokey giant ape suits and colorful action sequences. Oh, don’t forget about King Kong fighting MECHA KONG!!
- “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”: Five stereotypical teenagers are called upon to fight off alien invaders with the help of their morphers and giant dinosaur-like mechs called “Zords.” Cue the awesome theme song!! So yeah, this show is ultra silly, the acting is far from Shakespearean, the special effects are primitive and it’s over-the-top campy to the EXTREME!! But come on, what ’90s kid didn’t want to be a Power Ranger? Plus, it’s worth revisiting considering this series is going to get a movie reboot in 2016 (I swear it’s no lie; look it up.)