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Tetsujin 28 Vol. 2
Distributor Manga Entertainment
Date 12 Sep 2006
Remakes are a mixed bag when it comes to anime. While some can actually be an enhancement over the original like the CG Appleseed film, it can also split the fans of the original much like Bubblegum Crisis 2040. It can be a tough balancing act to appeal to both the new audience as well as the original fans. So now it’s the time for Gigantor (the 60’s classic) to get a remake of in the form of Tetsujin 28.
10 years since the end of World War II and Japan is in the process of rebuilding itself. A 10 year-old boy named Shotaro discovers a weapon that could have turned the tide of the war, but was never unleashed. Now it’s on a rampage through the newly rebuilt Tokyo and it’s up to Shotaro to discover its secrets and stop the destruction.
Thankfully, Tetsujin 28 is a remake that not only stays true to most of its source material, but also adds a new edge to the series. What was once just a giant robot series actually has some serious characterisation embedded into it now. The characters actually have lives, thoughts and feelings which makes them the main focus of the series rather than the robot fighters.
That's not to say the fights are unexciting. If anything it’s quite the opposite. Unlike Gundam where the robots are fairly agile, the fights in Tetsujin seem more realistic should something of that size start fighting. Though there are times, especially when the robots seem to scream during a battle, that you would think you were watching an old Godzilla film.
The music score for Tetsujin must also be highlighted - it's fantastic. The opening and closing of the series are incredibly retro to the point of cheesiness, but the music score to the rest of the series fits the style as well as adding to the overall atmosphere.
There are some downsides to Tetsujin 28. While the character designs are true to the original series, the darker overtones of the series mixed in with the very cartoon look of the characters and robot design can be very off putting on your first viewing. Plus there are quite a few plot holes and seemingly convenient situations that appear. While it can be argued that some of these things can be overlooked in order to keep the pace of story going, it can be extremely hard to overlook at times.
Tetsujin 28 is an interesting series to be sure. It is a worthy remake and shouldn’t be overlooked because of the incredibly kiddie character art. The dark overtones, the sensational music and plot twists and turns make this an unforgettable series make for a brilliant start. While we’re only 2 volumes in, so much has already happened. Hopefully the series won’t lose any steam over the course of four more volumes.
Fantastic update of a classic, but character designs may prove off-putting for some.