Title: Big O! | Artist: Rui Nagai | Show: The Big O
March....March......M.....Mmmmmmecha? Sure, let's go with some mecha show songs for March. Why the hell not? It's pure coincidence that me and Dex both had the same idea to turn March into Mecha Month(or, I guess taking a cue from the major collegiate sporting event that happens this month, March Mecha Madness?), but anyways up first for me this month is quite possibly my favorite mecha series that most people forget even was a thing, The Big O. The best way to describe The Big O is, it is a noir mecha series starring Batman (complete with gadgets, a wise cracking elderly butler, a sidekick, a badass tricked out car, a good-natured cop friend, and a rich playboy persona) but he uses a giant mech to fight foes with rather than donning a bat-themed costume. This was pretty much intentional, because The Big O was made by Sunrise, who was a subcontractor on Bruce Timm's amazing Batman: The Animated Series. And this shows within this series, as the characters are drawn in a variation of Timm's distinct art style. But Batman: The Animated Series wasn't the only clear as day influence Western pop culture had on the series, and that brings me to the opening for the show's first season.
If you are wondering what influence the West had on this opening, well...just take a listen to the theme song for the 1980 Flash Gordon movie done by Queen:
Yeah, quite a bit similar, is it not? That's ok, because both songs are awesome in my opinion. And like always, there's a full version of this OP, which even has more clear Queen influence, as the beginning sounds a bit like Bohemian Rhapsody.
So, back to the show itself, the funny thing is, when I first saw it, I didn't even know it was an anime. The Bruce Timm style artwork made younger me think it was actually a Bruce Timm series, so I thought it was a Western animation series. Also, a fun fact, The Big O is one of the few, if only, anime series to be continued due to its reception outside of Japan. The series was a rather big hit on Toonami when it aired, and this got Cartoon Network to help co-produce the series with Sunrise and Bandai Visual to make a second season that had, at the time, one of the fastest times between airing in Japan and then airing in America; it aired a mere seven months after its Japanese broadcast.
The mecha used in the show, even now, are rather unique. While most mecha shows opt for fast moving robots with some having voice activated moves and whatnot, The Big O's mecha where slow, lumbering behemoths. They still had over the top badass moves, though, they just were more, I dunno, realistic in their movements (think how the mechs in Pacific Rim moved around). It's hard to describe, really, so in place of describing, here's a montage of Big O's various weapons and special moves(and yes, Big O is the name of Not-Batman's mech).
For the record, somehow someone who was in charge of the dub voice actors insisted they say the in series term of the mechs, Megadeus as "Megadeuce" rather than the correct pronunciation of "deus"....that annoyed me even when I was younger.....