Giant Robo I
Release Date: 2004
Conducted by Masamichi Amano
Poland National Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
|2.||The House of Deception|
|3.||Train Chase! / Whereabouts of the Black Attache Case|
|4.||Charge! / His Name is Giant Robo!|
|5.||The Plot of the BF Clan|
|6.||Tragedy Occurs Again|
|7.||The Development of he Shuzima Drives: The Incident Starts Here|
|8.||The Storing of G: From the Theme of the International Police Organization|
|9.||The Scenery From on High|
|10.||Tatsugyu in Love|
|11.||Sorrows in China|
|12.||The Tragedy of Bashtarlle|
|13.||A Great Fissure: A Tumult! / Alberto Attacks|
|14.||Twilight in Beijing|
|16.||Explosive! / Rocket-Fist Counterattack|
|17.||Manifestation of Uranus|
|18.||Robo Releases Autoguard!|
|19.||Preview of the Next Episode|
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|by Rafael Ruiz
on November 16th, 2004
One of the best scores you've never heard of.
I'm an Anime fan with reservations. I don't leap up and watch every fish-eyed, robot-fighting, demon-slaying, cosmic martial-arts fighting show that comes around. Giant Robo was a seven episode OAV series released in the mid 90's following the adventures of Giant Robo, a skyscraper sized robot and Daisaku, the twelve year-old boy who controls him. Daisaku is part of The Experts of Justice, an elite team of international superheroes dedicated to stopping the evil brotherhood of Big Fire from sending the world into a permanent night!!! This is pure Saturday afternoon serial territory and the strength of series comes from the serious approach taken towards the material.
When an episode begins, the first thing you notice is Masamichi Amano's stunning score, which is considered one of the greatest ever written for Anime. Amano is one of Japan's not-so-hidden talents with plenty of credits on other influential Japanese shows such as the notorious Urotsukid˘ji Hentai series and the equally notorious cult classic Battle Royale.
The Japanese are the world's best imitators. They mimic without any irony or exaggeration. Amano's take on the material is obvious; a traditionally romantic adventure score. He pulls from everywhere: Ennio Morricone, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, 30's serials, Classical Opera and Symphonies. Amano combines the best moments of each to create a hyper-charged neo-tradition score that's extraordinarily universal. While Star Wars (another romantic pastiche) was timeless, this score has an antiquated quality. It's a delightful throwback to a more innocent style of music that comes off with an utter lack of self-consciousness. Cues like "Train Chase!" are shamelessly energetic, emulating the boyish enthusiasm of a child playing make-believe.
This opening episode introduces the many motifs that will be developed throughout the series: The title theme (the Theme of the International Police Organization) will undergo a gambit of emotion coloring, here it is idealistic ("Main Title") and pastoral ("The Storing of G"). The Robo Theme (revealed in "Charge! His Name Is Giant Robo!") is a maritime march, imposing and steady like the big guy. The Big Fire theme is straight from Italian horror with a descending moaning chorus and mournful strings. As with Battle Royale, Amano's not afraid to work classical music into the fabric of the score much like Michael Kamen's use of "Ode to Joy" in the original Die Hard. The Tragedy of Paris theme contains "The Wrath of Fire" from Dies Irae while and the Bashtarlle theme takes from "Elixir of Love L'Elisir d'Amore: Una Furtiva Lagrima". Amano's choices of these pieces are both specific and iconic, where you can't listen to the music and think of it any other context.
With the backing of the Poland National Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Amano presents a blockbuster sound on par with the best that The London Symphony Orchestra has to offer. This album isn't about being a fan of Anime or animation in general, this is album is about great music period. I cannot recommend the score enough.
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