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on 28 August 2005
This anime centers around Roger Smith and his giant robot the Big O, who protect Paradigm city, a city that lost its memory forty years ago, from any threat it might face. Even though it is not as mainstream as Gundam or Evangelion, it will have just as big an impact.
This dvd gives you the start of the series with the first four episodes: Roger the Negotiator, Dorothy Dorothy, Electric City and Underground Terror.

The series itself might seem to be fairly straight forward at first, but after getting to the end of episode 4 I found myself encapsulated by the world of Big O and it's wonderful characters.
This is a great show that deserves to be watched. Buy it now!
And check out [...] for more information!
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Imagine a crumbling domed Gotham City where everyone has amnesia, and Batman fights evildoers using a giant black mecha.

That's a fairly basic description of "The Big O," a strange and action-packed anime with an art deco style, a noir atmosphere and lots of giant robots that attack on a weekly basis. The first volume quickly proves that this is no simplistic action show -- there's a deep central mystery that each episode revolves around, and some deeper meditations on the nature of memory.

Negotiator Roger Smith is hired to get the kidnapped daughter of a client back... only to discover that "Dorothy" is an android. So Roger begins poking around in the place where she was made, only to find her dying creator, some thugs with a bazooka, and a shocking revelation -- there were two robots, and now the vast mecha "Dorothy 1" is ravaging Paradigm City.

Cue earthshattering entrance of Big O, Roger's huge mecha, which kicks Dorothy 1's metal butt. But when Dorothy goes missing in the aftermath, Roger goes on a hunt for her based on her creator's dying words. He finds her at the Nightingale Club singing for a sad old man -- but then she's apprehended by the same gang of thugs.

Roger's next mission sends him out of town to a small village near a power plant: the inhabitants claim a lake god sends them electricity -- and soon Roger finds that they may not be exaggerating. Then the Paradigm Corporation hires a reluctant Roger to find the journalist Michael Seebach and get his writings. The problem is, Seebach has been missing for months -- and what is left of him has unearthed a ghastly specter from Paradigm's lost past.

"The Big O" is one of those series that drips with lots of influences -- the first four episodes are painted with classic noir, more than a hint of "Batman," and some tinges of Isaac Asimov (R. Dorothy?). And even the animation has a style reminiscent of art deco, with lots of long clean lines and dark shapes -- even the vast Megadeus has them.

The real beauty of "The Big O" is in the storytelling: the individual plots are reminiscent of a noir detective's adventures, but with a weird sci-fi twist -- vast electrical snakes, giant robots, and a mad journalist in a haunted subway with a nasty surprise from the past. It's also graced with some explosive slam-bang action, inner musings, and lots of solid dialogue infused with wry humour ("You're a louse, Roger Smith." "Well, that's a first. I'm used to human women saying that").

And running under each episode is the haunting question of what happened to Paradigm forty years ago. The plots drop hints about floating memories and something terrible that may have happened, turning the world into a series of half-ruined domes.

Dashing playboy Roger Smith is a pretty likable hero -- charismatic, charming, a bit lacking in chivalry at times ("You want me to decoy their fire?" "BINGO!") but ultimately quite heroic. Good thing, since he has the big bad robot. Dorothy's emotionless attitude makes a nice counterpoint, but she shows some signs of becoming more human (as all good fictional androids do). And for the true noir feel, there's a mysterious femme fatale named Angel and efficient butler Norman.

While it appears to be just another mecha anime on the surface, "The Big O Volume 1" is actually a clever sci-fi/mystery series with some big question marks hanging over it.
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on 1 July 2010
If you like your robots big and with attitude, then Big O is for you. Great animation and gripping story make a wonderful combination. one thing to dim the light is that this is only the first series and not the "complete" 1 and 2 series. Series 2 is in another BoxSet Big O 2. So be aware of that and sit back and enjoy. Avoid if you don't like anime and such stuff.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Imagine a crumbling domed Gotham City where everyone has amnesia, and Batman fights evildoers using a giant black mecha.

That's a fairly basic description of "The Big O," a strange and action-packed anime with an art deco style, a noir atmosphere and lots of giant robots and strange conspiracies. This is no simplistic action show -- there's a deep central mystery that each episode revolves around, and some deeper meditations on the nature of memory.

Negotiator Roger Smith is hired to get the kidnapped daughter of a client back... only to discover that "Dorothy" is an android, who asks him to protect her. When he starts investigating, Roger learns of her "sister" -- vast mecha "Dorothy 1" -- who can only be stopped by his own mecha, the Megadeus called "Big O." But when Dorothy vanishes during the attack, Roger must find her before a gang of thieves do.

With the help of Dorothy and his faithful butler Norman (and occasionally hardened cop Dastun), Roger uses Big O to deal with a series of increasingly bizarre mysteries. Among his problems: a giant electric eel, a skeletal mecha controlled by the psycho ex-reporter "Schwarzwald," a billionaire's missing son, a piano-playing android, a "sea titan" in a flooded city, a mysterious cat with horrifying origins, a Heaven's Day attack, and a mysterious woman haunting Dastun's dreams.

Things take a darker turn in the last few episodes, especially since Paradigm City's strange past becomes the most important part. Roger is hired to give a severance check to Schwarzwald, but becomes enmeshed in his plans for Paradigm City -- and witnesses the unveiling of another Megadeus, Big Duo.

And when a series of murders are committed by a red-cloaked figure -- who leaves Big O's motto "Cast In The Name of God, Ye Not Guilty" at each crime -- Roger starts to suspect that Dorothy may be involved. And even more confusing, Roger is suffering flashbacks of whatever happened forty years ago... which may be even more ghastly than anyone suspects.

"The Big O" is one of those series that drips with lots of influences -- it hasa lovely classic noir feeling, more than a hint of "Batman," and some tinges of Isaac Asimov (R. Dorothy?). And even the animation has a style reminiscent of art deco, with lots of long clean lines and dark shapes -- even the vast Megadeuses and other mecha have them.

But the real beauty of "The Big O" is in the storytelling: the individual plots are reminiscent of a noir detective's adventures, but with a weird sci-fi twist -- a mad journalist in a haunted subway, a mad geneticist, and giant robots that fly and swim. It's also graced with some explosive slam-bang action, intriguing hi-tech gadgets, and lots of wry humour (Dorothy sets off an elevator's weight alarm) and dialogue ("Did you say 'mama'? As in your mother?").

And running under each episode is the haunting question of what happened to Paradigm forty years ago. The plots drop hints about floating memories and something terrible that turned Paradigm City into a series of half-ruined boroughs. This is especially true in the final episode, which briefly shows the horrifying past.

Dashing playboy Roger Smith is a pretty likable hero -- charismatic, charming, a bit lacking in chivalry at times, but ultimately quite heroic and kind. Dorothy's emotionless attitude makes a nice counterpoint, but she shows some signs of becoming more human ("Even I feel like playing the blues sometimes"). And for the true noir feel, there's a mysterious femme fatale named Angel who keeps getting Roger into trouble, and the likably efficient butler/cook/technician Norman.

While it appears to be just another mecha anime on the surface, "The Big O" is actually a clever sci-fi/noir series with underlying conspiracies and haunting mysteries.
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