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For the robot itself, please see Getter Robo (mecha)
A classic Super Robot manga, created in 1974 by manga author Ken Ishikawa, who had previously collaborated with Go Nagai in the production of his smash-hit series Mazinger Z. Where Mazinger pioneered the concept of a Humongous Mecha piloted by a human, Getter Robo effectively created the combining robot trope with its three-part machine, which required the three pilots to work in harmony in order to work at its best. Five arcs of the manga were created before Ken Ishikawa's death in 2006 - Getter Robo, Getter Robo G, Getter Robo Go (created 17 years after G), Shin Getter Robo and Getter Robo Āḥ. Though they all form a single coherent continuity, there is also a significant Time Skip between them and each series is vastly different in tone, technology level and setting, and usually involves the next generation of Getter Robo pilots. In the thirty years since its creation, Getter Robo has had a number of spinoffs and alternate tellings, which, while not direct adaptions of the manga, usually feature the same characters but in different storylines and settings. These include...
- Getter Robo: The original TV series, wherein the primary antagonists are the Dinosaur Empire, the remnants of the dinosaurs who escaped extinction by hiding deep below the Earth's surface. When they attack the Saotome Laboratory, home of Getter Robo, Professor Saotome enlists the aid of three of his daughter Michiru's classmates to help fight off the invasion. The team consists of Ryoma Nagare, a hot-blooded soccer star; Hayato Jin, a quiet, handsome loner; and Musashi Tomoe , a portly martial artist friend of Ryoma's whose cowardice hides a heart of gold. The series details the team's battles with the Dinosaur Empire, cumulating with Musashi making a Heroic Sacrifice to finish the enemy off.
- Getter Robo G:The direct sequel to the original. With the Dinosaurs defeated, Earth is menaced by the Hundred Demon Empire, who wish to conquer the world and subjugate humanity. Saotome builds a new Getter and the team recruits Benkei Kuruma, a pacifistic softball coach to fill the empty third seat. Was (partially) dubbed into English as Starvengers, part of the Force Five animation block.
- Getter Robo Go: A 90s version of the series, Go is a lighter adaptation of Ishikawa's original manga with entirely new character designs. Subsequently, it remains the "black sheep" of the Getter franchise for lacking any of Ishikawa's trademark style and edginess, despite the fact that he and Nagai cooperated on the script. The original manga was much more well-received, and was briefly released in English by Viz Media as Venger Robo, a nod to Starvengers.
- Getter Robo Armageddon: Also known as Shin Getter Robo - Sekai Saigo no Hi, Armageddon is an OVA set in a world where Professor Saotome apparently goes rogue and allies with the monstrous, saurian creatures called Invaders, producing a bio-organic Getter monster dubbed "Shin Dragon"; and the Only One who can stop him might be Ryoma, who was imprisoned years ago for murdering the good Professor. When the United Nations fires a nuclear missile at Shin Dragon, the resulting fallout kills 90% of the world's population. Almost a decade later, a new team of Getter pilots formed by Benkei's adoptive daughter Kei and his right-hand Gai, as well as a clone made by Saotome named Go, battle the Invaders with the super-powerful Shin Getter Robo , eventually joining up with the original team. Second animated series brought to the U.S., courtesy of AD Vision, in 2001. This series is also the one credited to finally getting the over-the-topness of the manga into animated form, and is a perennial favorite of fans of the franchise. Imagawa was originally chosen as director, but was fired after three episodes for unknown reasons. It is a common misconception that it is a sequel to a Moon Wars radio drama, but that was not produced until after the end of the OVA.
- Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo: An alternate sequel to the original series, where Musashi's heroic sacrifice destroys all of Manhattan, causing the government to crack down on Getter Energy research. Several years later, the remnants of the Dinosaur Empire resurface, and Hayato assembles a new Getter Team to pilot the Neo Getter Robo and fight off the enemy. Some fans consider this series a redemption of Getter Robo Go, as the team of Go, Shou and Gai are lifted almost directly from the manga version, with Neo Getter being a revised version of Getter Go.
- New Getter Robo: Essentially a more faithful adaptation of Ishikawa's original Getter Robo manga, with some scenes lifted directly from it. The Dinosaur Empire is replaced by the mysterious Oni, and the entire Getter Team is much more violent (bordering on psychopathic) as well as being older than their predecessors. The Getter is also redesigned, but fans tend to refer to it as "New Getter" in order to distinguish it from the original, which appears in New as a prototype. Is generally considered a good starting point for new viewers because of its straightforwardness and faithfulness to the manga; conveniently, this was brought over by Geneon Entertainment in 2005 and is still available from many online retailers.
It's a common misconception that the Getter Robo series is the work of Go Nagai, when in fact it's almost entirely the work of Ken Ishikawa. Go Nagai only pitched the concept of combining jets (as opposed to combining cars, the original idea) to Ishikawa, while the rest was made without his involvement. Nevertheless, Getter Robo is now closely linked in the minds of people who think about that sort of thing with Nagai's Mazinger trilogy. Do note that Getter Robo IS considered part of the Dynamic Publishing family, so its crossovers with Go Nagai's robots have pseudo-canonical status. That, and most super robot fans LOVE having those robots mix it up.
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