The Big O

TV (13 eps)
1999 - 2000
Fall 1999
3.5 out of 5 from 7,135 votes
Rank #6,286

Forty years ago the citizens of Paradigm lost all of their memories, and live their lives without any knowledge of their past, or any hope for the future. Roger Smith is a man who performs the much needed task of negotiator in Paradigm. He provides his services to the wealthy with the help of a peculiar android named Dorothy and his mechanically inclined butler Norman. When greater evil arises, he calls on his magnificent relic of Paradigm's past, the Megadeus Big O. With Big O at his side, Roger Smith may be Paradigm's only hope of surviving in this new world without memories.

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This anime is good mostly for its aesthetics rather than its application on screen. It is a tribute to various things and there more of the following list you like, the higher the chances become for you to love the show. And those things are:1) Tribute to 60’s mecha. All machines are drawn weird, reflecting the simple and bulky feeling of the first generation of super robots. That makes the show to stand out from the average Gundam rip offs of modern anime and gives an artistic value to the action. 2) Tribute to Queen music. The opening song is exactly that.3) Tribute to film noir. The entire city is dark and gloomy, and the stories are around detectives and mysteries. That is uncommon in anime and again makes it feel special. 4) Tribute to Batman. Well, the main hero is a rich man fighting crime with hi-tech gizmos, lives isolated in a mansion, has a battler and a super computer, and makes deals with the police and the mayor. A major villain is also acting pretty much like Joker as well. On the other hand, this is not a show for everyone. Not many are fond of such retro mecha looks, or film noir. I don’t know any who dislike Queen or Batman but I guess there are some of those as well. Taking out those who are annoyed with just one of the above, the audience of this series is shortened to a small group. Furthermore, there are two flaws of sorts in this show that further lower the chances of you liking it.1) The story. It starts very mysteriously and cryptic, in a city where people one day just forgot all their memories and now try to rebuild their lives from scratch. Most episodes are in fact about the human psyche and deal with memories, ideals, ambitions and the dark side of greed and ambition. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to see other than a basic premise. The first half is practically stand alone mission, while the second has a loose and messy plot that ends in a very rushed and almost tasteless way. If you expect to see an amazing revelation or a great chain of events, you will be greatly disappointed. 2) The action. Seriously, the mecha action is hardly exciting. The lead robot pretty much owns every adversary fast and it exists as nothing but Deus Ex Machina. The hero summons it when things get rough and it pretty much becomes cheap panacea instead of using wits and cunning to escape or win a battle. A hit or miss element is the cast. All of them are very simple in personality, almost stereotypical. They reveal sides to themselves as the episodes go by but don’t really develop. The interaction between the main duo, super rich and smart Roger, and his android cooldere assistant Dorothy, is very interesting but it may become tiresome along the way because of the simplistic plot. If pacing and simple personalities is not a problem for you then you will love them. As I said, it is mostly aesthetics that matter in this show and not the actual plot or story. It has an unorthodox presentation but it is nothing other shows like Ergo Proxy or Ghost in the Shell didn’t do in a far more refined and mature way. It is still a different watch from the usual but hardly a great one.


This anime could have been so much better.The first seasons story is episodic, with the only thing tying everything together being a single; the question being: Why did everyone lose there memory 40 years ago. It became the only thing I cared about in the show, but the main character made it his first rule to put the past in the past. Instead we get stand alone episodes of the main character being told to handle a negotiation only to end up battling some scientific monstrosity. It became formulaic and dull very quickly. The questions surrounding the city the story takes place in start to be revealed in the end, but for me that was too little too late. I read the synopsis and found out the second season is not episodic and actually does some world building, as well as giving the story a pretty decent (though open to interpretation) ending. Looking through all the fan theories has been a lot more enjoyable for me than actually watching the show. I should have just skipped the first season to begin with, but I didn't know and so now am left not wanting to watch the second.The only character I liked was dorothy. Angel was looking for memories, which is what I would have been doing, but we don't see much of her or figure out what she is all about until the second season. Richard Smith (aka blissfully ignorant batman) suffers from boring main character syndrome. He's to punch robots, but if he questioned anything the plot would have to advance and we couln't have that or we wouldn't be able to fill 13 episodes.The animation was janky. Some of the designs were pretty cool but things moved pretty oddly at times. It's an old show so I can't say I expected much.

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