Bigger than big, taller than tall, and ready to entertain you on DVD!! That’s right, Gigantor volume 2 is now available in all its original black and white glory. Created by Mitsuteru Yokoyama and originally published as a Magna, black and white Japanese comic strip, in Japan in 1956, the series was destined to become one of Japan’s greatest cultural icons and launch the giant robot fad in America that continues to thrive today.
For those who didn’t catch the initial volume 1, the story centers around a young boy named Jimmy Sparks who uses a remote control to wield Gigantor for good, along with his friends Dr. Brilliant, his son Buttons, and the Police Chief. Together they fight Dr. Envee and a slew of mechanoids and monstrous villains, keeping the planet safe from harm.
Although the show was originally made in Japan, the US saw potential for it in the baby boomer generation and decided to take a chance. The show was brought over to the US in 1964 and was dubbed into English, an often pains taking but necessary task. The effect was phenomenal, as the show became the number one rated program on television, even dominating the nightly news. In turn, the series spawned a whole generation of giant robot shows like Voltron and Transformers, as well as an updated version of Gigantor himself.
This DVD presents the last 26 episodes of the series, transferred from the original 16 mm black and white film stock, which appears to have been preserved fairly well for such an old cartoon. The audio is fairly decent sounding mono, which still has a pretty good kick with that bad ass theme song.
The extras are standard fare, but still worth a look and a listen. First, there are the select audio commentaries, which are provided by the ever enthusiastic Fred Ladd, who was responsible for bringing Tetsujin 28 to America and renaming him Gigantor. The commentaries have some healthy pauses, but are still fun and informative. Next, we are treated to a 20 minutes interview with Fred Ladd, who expounds on his immense love and respect for Gigantor’s creator, Mitsuteru Yokoyama (a name you’ll go crazy for, EVERY time its repeated). There is also a publicity/production art gallery, a DVD-rom feature of issues 7-12 of the comic book, and finally a little collectible booklet.
Even if you missed the first volume of Gigantor, this collection is still a more than worthy volume for any fan of fun and exciting animation. After all these years, Gigantor is still bigger than big, stronger than strong, and ready to entertain you on DVD!