HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Raideen One Robot against the Apocalypse
Year: 1975
Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Stars: Akira Kamiya, Makoto Kosaka, Kiyoko Shibata, Ikuo Nishikawa, Keisuke Yamashita, Misako Hibino, Saiko Egawa, Osamu Ichikawa
Genre: Animated, Science Fiction, Fantasy, TV Series, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: After twelve millennia the Great Demon Empire return to seize control of planet Earth. From their secret volcano base King Barao and his minions attack humanity with squid-shaped UFOs, sentient death machines and rampaging giant monsters. Teenager Akira Hibiki (voiced by Akira Kamiya) is playing with his friends in the high school soccer team when a mysterious voice invades his head saying: "Awaken hero, your destiny awaits!" A sudden alien onslaught prompts pretty love interest Mari (Makoto Kosaka) to lead other kids in an escape attempt while Akira is drawn to the ocean. Risen from the depths an ancient pyramid bursts forth Raideen, a giant flying super-robot with an awesome arsenal of weapons plus the ability to morph into a robot eagle. With Akira at the controls, Raideen takes the fight to the Great Demon Empire, sparking an instantly rivalry with their bravest warrior, Prince Sharkin (Osamu Ichikawa).

Yuusha Raideen (Brave Raideen) is an historically significant anime serial for a number of reasons. For one thing the titular titan was one of the very first transforming robots featured in anime with the show itself among the first to reach an American audience, albeit in a poorly subtitled version aired in Hawaii and a Japanese community channel in New York. Nevertheless the show imprinted on a generation of anime fans. Raideen's other claim to fame is that, along with giant robots from the otherwise unrelated anime Combattler V (1976) and Dangard Ace (1977), it formed part of the Shogun Warriors line robot toys. Devised by American toy manufacturers Mattel, with a brand name cashing in on the then-hugely popular television mini-series Shogun starring Richard Chamberlain and Tôshiro Mifune, the line was launched alongside an equally popular Marvel Comics series that had the now-Americanized heroes interact with actual Marvel superheroes like Iron Man and the Fantastic Four. The toys, which included robots not featured in the comic from other unrelated anime shows along with Leopardon the very first transformer robot from Japanese Spider-Man (1978), sold like gangbusters in the USA. Thus paving the way for Transformers, that lousy cartoon and yes, those Michael Bay movies.

But what of the show itself? Even viewed today Raideen exudes tremendous energy and charm. It is a prototypical Seventies super-robot anime albeit heavily indebted to the pioneering work of true innovators like Go Nagai (Mazinger Z (1972), Grandizer (1975)), Ken Ishikawa (Getter Robo (1974) co-created with Nagai) and Mitsuteru Yokoyama (Tetsujin-28 (1963) a.k.a. Gigantor, Babel II (1973)). A hint of the Nagai influence liesin the abundance of off-colour (by western children's television standards) sex gags with accidental nudity and chunky comedy relief Dan Araiso's (Keisuke Yamashita) ongoing lust for the mini-skirted Mari. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's cute chara designs merge with a weirdly apocalyptic tone typical of the later, more serious giant robot sagas of genre auteur Yoshiyuki Tomino. In terms of both plot and imagery the show harks back to Japanese mythology (Raideen was created by the lost kingdom of Mu, Japan's equivalent of Atlantis – see also Toho's live action science fiction classic Atragon (1963)) but also Pacific War propaganda pitting angst-ridden teen heroes (poor Akira sees his dad turned to stone in the first episode!) in super-sized samurai armour against seismic disasters and implacable 'foreign' invaders in a conflict they barely understand. It took Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), made by the same team of Tomino and Yasuhiko, to explore and subvert ideas Raideen takes at face value but the raw elements lie here.

Instead of the usual alien menace the plot opts for a cool occult angle. Great Demon King Barao is a towering Lovecraftian entity assaulting the Earth with Cthulhoid terrors. Tomino and Yasuhiko juxtapose nightmarish surreal monster designs and set-pieces of pure horror with lovably cheesy comic moments (including sing-along rock ballads!) and, of course, gleaming sci-fi hardware. Aside from the robot lucky Akira rides a freakin' rad hi-tech bike called Sparker. Raideen itself has a disconcerting habit of screaming its name at the top of its, er, robot lungs. Yes, for some reason, it can talk. He or it also shouts out cool combat moves ("God block! Spin!") mimicked by countless kids in school playgrounds across the country while striking stoic poses. Lord knows, I did.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2531 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: