Celebrating Father’s Day With Giant Robo: The Different Faces Of The Word “Father”

Giant Robo still fascinates me even after multiple viewings. The first viewing gave me what I thought all it had to offer at face value, and I couldn’t find fault in it. The second one was critical for me, because I got an even more powerful experience especially watching its climactic scenes. I watched it less at that point to get the plot, but as a person who began to feel for the characters on the show. The third viewing, which I did today, had a specific purpose: To do justice for all the father figures from that played a great part on the show.

Please pardon the spoilers that will follow for anyone who hasn’t watched, or plans to watch, Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Giant Robo

Robo was built by Kusama Daisuke, the deceased father of protagonist Kusama Daisaku. Although it was not the intended purpose, Robo embodied everything that Daisuke wasn’t able to do for Daisaku. It protected Daisaku from harm when Daisaku was being attacked by one of Big Fire’s robots. It helped Daisaku defend the Earth from the evil Big Fire organization. It even risked itself being destroyed multiple times, just for Daisaku. It was as if the robot had Daisuke’s soul, a clear reason for Robo’s “selfless love” for Daisaku.

Taisou

Though his relation with Daisaku is somewhat ambiguous, it’s certain that he cares for the boy. He phases in and out of being a father figure and a brother figure, to the point where he even gets his wife, Youshi, to care for Daisaku. Taisou does not only see the importance of being with, and protecting, Daisaku. Rather, he simply sees a boy with a tragic past. A boy whose past robbed him of his father. A boy who yearns for a father, a mentor, a family. Taisou and Youshi was fortunately there to fill in, even if they showcased their affection to Daisaku for but a brief moment.

Oh, and he’s voiced by Emperor Wakamoto. ANYONE would want him as a father.

Franken Von Vogler

Cue in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore – “Una Furtiva Lagrima” .

I have to really hand this one to the guy: Franken Von Vogler is the ultimate father in Giant Robo. He loved his children, and he wants them to have a future ahead of them. He selflessly devoted himself into creating the future he sought, even at the expense of his colleagues, his reputation, and himself. Though it was regrettable that his actions caused his family to deteriorate, he never lacked any qualities of a father to Emmanuel, to Farmelle, and to the beautiful night he created for the world.

Our fathers have many different faces, many different ways to show affection to the people who love them. We need not count the ways (including those given in this post) to prove that they are one of the most important people in our lives. It’s only obvious that we give due credit to all the loving dads in the world.

Happy Father’s Day, daddies.

Further Reading

A little more of what you need to know about the great daddy scientist Franken Von Vogler (ghostlightning 2010)

About Shance

Author of the all-in-one blog, Rainbowsphere. Also an illustrator, programmer, IT professor, IT consultant, and gamer.
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9 Responses to Celebrating Father’s Day With Giant Robo: The Different Faces Of The Word “Father”

  1. Robert Weizer says:

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love the way the Japanese VAs pronounce Franken Von Vogler?

  2. Jack says:

    Lovely post.

    I just finished up my first watch of Giant Robo about a week ago, and I had found it interesting at the time how many of the father figures were actually good role models, as a opposed to absent/bad father trope that we see so often.

    • Shance says:

      The absent and bad father tropes are still there, but the show gave a more positive light on them (Professor Kusama personifying Giant Robo to protect Daisaku, and the true intentions of Franken Von Vogler). I can go with ruling out with these two like you did.

  3. SignOfZeta says:

    This is the best OVA ever.

    • Well, it’s certainly up there with:

      Macross Plus
      Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
      Aim for the Top! Gunbuster 1 & 2 (Diebuster!)
      Legend of the Galactic Heroes

  4. Jack says:

    After starting up Towards the Terra again, I’m now feeling compelled to write about “The Different Aspects of Mother” in Towards the Terra , although clearly I would need to save that for Mothers Day.

  5. Matt Wells says:

    Having watched Tetsujin 28, I must say neither Dr. Shikishima, not Professor Kaneda conform to these strong, positive role models of fatherhood. Shikishima spends more time with the 10 year old son of his dead mentor than his own child, and he fakes his own death for close to two months before reconciling with his family.

    He also considers leaving his current family to start a new one with his long lost first wife, forgetting the small fact he abandoned both her and their creepy sentient robot baby in the aftermath of WWII. Kaneda in contrast was at least a little more responsible, opting to seal away the giant robotic WMD he created as a replacement for his supposedly dead son, though he still commited suicide while his son in fact was alive and well. Professor Franken (who you may recognise as Prof. Von Vogler in Giant Robo) also comes off unfavourably, creating a giant killer robot in a futile effort to kill his own son, whom he reanimated into a Frankenstein’s Monster.

    The only decent father figure in the show is Police Chief Otsuka, and he’s more a surrogste mother to young Shotaro. He also allows his foster son to operate a giant robot without a license, live alone in a giant mansion and drive his own car, as well as encouraging him to investigate dangerous criminals and mobsters. He also allows his secretary, Miss Tamikazawa, to spend time alone with Shotaro, despite the fact she is a massive Shotacon.

    Basically put, Shotaro Kaneda should have twice the psychological issues Shinji Ikari does, and all at the tender age of 10. Imagawa’s shows tend to offer more bad fathers than good ones, though Giant Robo is the exception. G Gundam has both Dr. Kasshu, creator of the messanic Ultimate Gundam, and the traitorous Dr. Mikamura, who coveted the three properties of DG cells. Shin Mazinger does have Juuzou Kabuto for both Kouji and Shiro, while Yasu the Weasel and Detective Ankokuji somewhat fill those role for little Shiro. But there’s also Schtroheim Heinrich, sacrificing the life of his android daughter just to prove his work against Juuzou’s, and Kenzo Kabuto…

    Jesus CHRIST, the shit Kenzo’s pulled on his family would make freakin’ GENDO IKARI say, “Damn, that’s a fucked up thing to do to your kids!”. Though interestingly, despite her noble goals, there’s not much to defend Tsubasa Nishikiori’s treatment of her children as every bit as bad as her husband. Both treat their kids like garbage, the only difference being Kenzo’s trying to conquer the world, Tsubasa is trying to defend it.

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