A Parent's Guide to Anime
Parental Guidance Advised
Reviewed by Derrick Jones:
The date is sometime in the future, possibly an alternate reality. 40 years ago a horrible catastrophe happened that destroyed much of the world and all the citizens of Paradigm city lost their memories. Life is going on, with people having figured out how to get electricity and machinery to work again, but everything is overshadowed by 'The Event'. Big O follows the adventures of Roger Smith, Paradigm's top Negotiator. Negotiators are hired to solve disputes between parties. As a side job, Roger Smith also pilots a Megadeus called Big O. Megadeus's are huge robots left over from before the Event. As Big O's pilot, Roger rights wrongs, fights other huge monstrosities and usually calls on Big O when a Negotiation goes bad. :-) The whole series reminds me of a Batman type thing-rich playboy with cool gadgets, impeccable butler who can do everything, but instead of a Robin, there is R. (for robot, thank Isaac Asimov for that appellation) Dorothy WayneRight. Roger actually got Dorothy through a botched negotiation and her beginnings and origin are a great wellspring of mystery. The 13 episode series ends with a wicked cliffhanger, but I do hear that the second season will be out by 2004 sometime. Hopefully....
I watched this subbed. Voices were well chosen and done tastefully. I did catch a couple of dubs on Cartoon Network and from the little I heard, I really liked them. Roger and R Dorothy in particular. Animation was good but the starting menu's were very confusing at first. Only the option that was highlighted was visible.
Parent's Guide Rating:
yellow (parental guidance advised)
Content: (violence, sex, nudity, profanity)
violence: A good bit, as is typical for a giant robot show. Big O gets to fight other big robots and punch their lights out with his super duper punch. You'll know what I mean when you see it. Not excessive violence though, and there was very little directed against humans.
sex\nudity: The only thing I noticed was in episode 7. Roger and a mysterious woman named 'Angel' are trapped underwater in a building with oxygen running out and Angel gets down to skivvies, what you might see in a gym. There are sparks between Roger and 'Angel', and R Dorothy is constantly growing up emotionally and becoming less robotic. I'd like to see Roger and R Dorothy hook up. Knowing anime though, one of them will probably die and leave the other distraught in season two.
profanity: Roger. some d***'s and what not when things are going bad for him. Also some of the badguys say the same when they're getting their butts kicked by Big O.
Discussion (philosophical, theological, cultural)
Philosophical: The whole mystery of the Event. How do people act and react when they can't remember the past? Do they seek it out or ignore it or even run from it? R Dorothy asks Roger in one episode 'would we fall in love if we met again but didn't remember each other?' Definitely good fodder for talking about the importance of History and even our own memories.
Theological: There are several references to God or even gods. One episode (10) deals with Christmas. It is called Heavens Day and is fronted as the day that Paradigm was founded. The higher ups know and reveal to their associates that it is really based on the old day called Christmas, when God's Son came to earth. Also, when Roger activates Big O, a phrase runs across his screen "Cast in the Name of God, Ye not Guilty!". No idea what the phrase has to do with anything, maybe it will be explained in season two.
Cultural: There is the typical 'trust your feelings and believe in your heart' crap that permeates just about every anime. Thankfully here it is not overwhelmingly nauseating. Not like in DBZ or even Robotech :-) I almost enjoyed it in fact.
Rating: I would call it PG simply because of the violence and mystery of the Event. This is a great thinking show but with lots of action and you know Big O will never lose. It is just not possible and that fact is the one thing that you know for sure in this show:-)