Today we aren't reviewing a movie at all, but instead episode 1 of the Japanese imported series Super Robot: Red Baron. The basic plot of this show is that a young good looking man, who is part of a team of heroes, finds himself piloting a giant robot in fights against other giant robots. Thing is this is the plot of about a hundred other shows from Japan. Hopefully in the course of the episode reviews of this show we will find out what makes this show unique, but to be honest I'll just be happy if I can write a review for all 40 episodes.
So I guess we should get this party started. You will know it is time to turn the page when you here R2-D2 beep like this...let's begin now.
The theme song to this thing is catchy. I mean really catchy. Look it up on the youtubes. Even more catchy then Zorro [Shameless plug]see our past review of this film right here. [/shameless plug].
Most theme songs tell you the plot of the show, this one kinda does that too. Kinda. It tells us that the earth is beautiful, and that we can't let the Iron Alliance seize it. Granted we don't know who the Iron Alliance is at this point, but we will. Just wait for it. We are also told that Red Baron is a million horse powered robot. So I have to assume he has a BMW engine under the hood. And...AND FEEL THE MIGHT OF THE ELEC-TRIGGER AND BARON HAMMER STRIKE!!!! They threw that in too.
We start out in what I can only assume is the future given the future looking HO scale sets we open on, but it's also says we are heralding in the 21st century. So it's the future of the past I guess. Whatever, no big whoop. We are told that the World Robot Expo will be held in Tokyo. Countries from all over the world have for some reason built giant killer robots and are now bringing them under one roof. I sure hope some mad man doesn't steal them all cause then we will totally be boned, but I'm sure that won't happen right?
It turns out that while all these giant robots are being moved to Tokyo and set up, the scientist that invented them are being kidnapped one by one. Ken, our hero, arrives at the Expo to see his brother, who is one of scientist that have worked on these giant robots. Ken's brother confides that he fears that he might be next on the kidnappers list. He also points out that the disappearances are similar to their own Parents and younger brothers four years earlier. Ken's brother then asks that he come to his research lab, that he has something he wants to give him.
Ken tells his brother not to worry, that S.S.I is here to protect him. Ken's brother is reassured by this. Now, you may be asking "What is S.S.I?" and you'd be right to ask, but they aren't going to explain that too you right now, because now enters our comic relief; The Bicycle Inspector! His intro tells you all you need to know about this guy. He promptly falls down while pushing his bicycle, throwing his butt full on into the camera. Now I'm not really sure if this guy is an inspector of bicycles who fancies himself a crime fighter, or an inspector that happens to ride a bicycle. Later episodes contain evidence for both theories, but for this one I think we will go with the latter.
We will be calling the Bicycle Inspector, B.I. from now on out to make it a little easier. Anyway, Ken asks what B.I. is doing here. He tells him that his mission is the same as S.S.I (Still no explanation of what S.S.I is.) and that he is here to keep an eye on the expo and make sure no evil is afoot. No sooner has B.I. said this then they notice a head being put on a mysterious evil looking robot. Ken's brother check the plaque next to the robot which says it's name is "The Invasion Robot Troy Horse" built by The Iron Alliance Robot Empire. OK, who exactly in was in charge of letting these robots in? "Oh Troy Horse ...Invasion ...Robot Empire. Sounds safe enough. OK, take in guys. Next robot please. Nuclear Powered Child Raping Robot built by The Kingdom of Molesters. Sounds good. Second door on the right." I think it's time to get a head of security guys.
It's at this point that the Troy robot comes alive and begins to monologue. He proclaims that the Iron Alliance will conquer all of Japan, and that they will all become slaves. He also claims responsibility for kidnapping the missing scientists, and that now they have come for Ken's brother. The head of the robot opens and out jump Putties! OK, not Putties, but Putty like. They are evil henchmen robot of the Iron Alliance. You know the kinda fodder that all these kinds of shows have to have. They attack B.I. first, but he pulls out his magic bullet proof umbrella and deflects the shots. Then he pulls a trigger and mows them down with a hidden gun inside the umbrella. I can only assume that B.I. has broken into Penguin's house and stole a bunch of his stuff at this point.
Now Ken joins up, with what we were kinda told, were the members of S.S.I and they begin to fight the evil henchmen with KARATE! HI YA! We finally get to find out what S.S.I is here. S.S.I stands for Scientific Secret Investigation Team. Wouldn't that be S.S.I.T? Guess not. I guess we should just be glad that it was wasn't Scientific House Secret Investigation Team. S.S.I's mission is to expose and destroy the enemies of mankind. That doesn't sound like a very scientific investigation to me. And with these flashy costumes, fighting out in public, they aren't very secret either.
We also start to get our introductions to the members of S.S.I at this point, along with the mandatory magical costume change. As each are introduced they are shown changing into a costume that looks like a Cowboy outfit that would have shown up in the 50's minus the hat. They also each have a color coded scarf which is also mandatory in these shows.
The members are as follows:
Ken Kurenai- He is our hero. In the real world he works a car dealer. His scarf is red or course.
Minoru Daigo- He is captain of the S.S.I. He owns a auto repair factory in real life. His scarf is white.
Tetsuya Sakai- Standard second man. Not as brave or good looking as the main Hero, but almost. He is an Auto Salesman in real life. His scarf is green.
Daisaku Hori-The pudgy comic guy. He is almost always the dumb one as well, having to have things explained to him and getting hit by the other members a lot for saying or doing something stupid. In real life he is Newspaper Copy Boy. His scarf is blue.
Mari Matsubara-The chick. That's pretty much all you need know, cause that's as deep as they are going to go into her anyway. In real life she is a News Photographer.
The team begins to fight better in their new Cowboy outfits and the tide turns in S.S.I's favor. This is when the Troy robot, who I guess has just been standing their this whole time, decides to get involved. B.I. pulls out his bicycle tire pump and aims it at the Troy robot. I don't know what he plans to do with that. It's just a pum....holy crap it's a rocket launcher! The pump handle also becomes a sword! Anyway he unloads on the robot to no effect. Ken grabs his brother and runs out of the building to escape the rampaging robot.
As Ken and his brother run for the car, Troy robot smashes through the roof of the expo center. Not only that, but robot henchmen follow them outside. As Ken fights them off, his brother looks on in horror as helicopters arrive and steal all the giant robots from the expo. Ken shoves his brother inside his car. The car speeds away as Ken continues to hold off the henchmen.
But Ken's brother isn't getting away that easy. Oh, no. Troy Robot notes the attempted escape and moves to intercept him. Ken's brother drives right into the giant robot's hand. Ken watches helpless, as the giant robot flies off with his brother as well as the rest of the stolen robots from expo. So right off the bat, our heroes have been soundly beaten by the forces of evil. They didn't save Ken's brother, they didn't keep the giant robots safe. S.S.I. sucks!
Now we cut to the stolen robots being carried out over the ocean. They are then dropped by the helicopters into the sea. Underwater trains are waiting to take the robots into the hidden Iron Alliance base. Now that is precision there. I mean what would they have done had the current pushed the robot a little off course and it didn't land on the train? Huh? Now you got a huge metal robot sitting uselessly on bottom of the ocean. And how come crazed mad men always have underwater bases? They always do. Eh, I guess these are questions for another day.
Anyway, Ken's brother is brought before the mastermind behind the Iron Alliance,Professor Deviler! Professor Deviler? What a name. I mean what other job could you go into other then super villainy with a name like that? Would you trust an OGBYN with that name? Or a Lawyer? Actually, maybe you would on that one. The point is, that like Doctor Doom before him, it seems Professor Deviler was destined to be evil.
Deviler now shows Ken's brother that the other kidnapped scientist have become "Human Slaves" (his words, not mine)and they are being made to modify the deadly giant robots they have stolen. Ken's brother asks if this is to be his fate too, but Deviler is after something else with him. He wants the Super Robot Red Baron! Ken's Brother refuses to turn it over to the Iron Alliance. Deviler then shows a video of Ken's Father, Mother, and younger Brother being killed. Deviler tells him that people who defy the Iron Alliance die. Ken's brother still refuses. The robot henchmen then knock him out, and prepare him for "Cybernetic Surgery" (again, his words not mine.) It seems that Ken's Brother is to become a human slave after all.
Things are looking pretty bad for the good guys here. Ken's Brother is to become a human slave. All the nations Robots are being converted into killing machines for the Iron Alliance. And Ken hasn't gotten into Mari's panties yet. It's bad people. So of course this is where I leave you hanging. Be sure to come back next time for the conclusion to this review, and see Red Baron go head to head with Troy Robot! See you next time on the front line.