The Baron Watches "The Super Robot Red Baron" (SPOILERS)

This is another tokosatsu of which I had never heard, but a collection of which I was sent, and so you all get to enjoy (?) my reactions to it.

 

We start with:

 

Episode 01:  "Conspiracy of the Robot Empire"

We meet our hero, Secret Scientific Investigation (hereafter "S.S.I") agent Ken Kurenai (in "real life", he's a car dealer) and his older brother Kenichiro, a roboticist. Their life has bene marked by tragedy - their parents and their kid brother Kenzo (Yes, Ma and Pa Kurenai named their sons "Kenichiro", "Ken" and "Kenzo".) We meet Ken's colleagues on the S.S.I. team, who are guarding an expo of all the world's giant robots.  They are:

 

  • Minoru Daigo, Captain of the team, and sometime owner of an auto repair factory.
  • Sakai Tetsuya, in civilian life he's a car salesman.
  • Daisku Hori, also a newspaper copyboy
  • Mari Matsubara, a news photographer, and the team's sole female.

 

We also meet Inspector Kumano, a bike cop who wields an unbrella gun, sort of like the Penguin used to. He appears to be the comedy relief character, of the sort so beloved by the makers of these shows and which I have always found profoundly unfunny. However, as with Maxwell Smart, bumbler though he is, he does well in a fight, which i just as well, as it at least gives some clue as to why theothers put up with him.

 

Anyhow, the Robot Expo is raided by the somewhat awkwardly named Invasion Robot Troy Horse (a somewhat unimpressive robot design) under the direction of Professor Deviler of the Robot Empire of the Iron Alliance. While the S.S.I. battles the Alliance's foot soliders, who seem to exist to get beat up, the heels kidnap Kenichi and steal all the robots. 

 

Kenichi is brought before the Professor, who implants him with a control collar, and sends him home, where he meets Ken, who singularly does not ask him what happened to him or how he escaped. Kenuchi presents Ken with the robot Red Baron, which he has been building in secret. I have to say that the Red Baron is not my favorite robot design, but it's OK.  Kenichi gives his brother the guided tour of the robot and has him touch the controls, which imprints them on  Ken, so that only he can use them. Troy Horse shows up, and Ken pilots Red Baron in battle against it.  Red Baron exhibits several attacks, such as the Elec-Trigger, a sort of energy attack, and BARON PUNCH! and BARON BARRIER!, which I foresee will furnish me with endless amusement.  Once Ken has won, the Professor reveals that he sent Troy to attack in order to put RB through its paces, then orders Kenichi to hand it over to him. Um, if he rwanted RB for himself, shouldn't he have ordered Kenichi to hand it over before the latter let Ken imprint himself on the thing? Sloppy planning there, Prof!

 

Thwarted, the Professor sends the robot Big Bison to stand there looking large but otherwise unthreatening, and threatens Kenichi with punishment for his disobedience.

 

Cliffhanger:  Kenichi's control collar is killing him!

 

Overall: This comes across as quite fun show, I am hopeful of getting quite a bit of entertainment out of this.

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As Tracy mentioned, we have started watching Super Robot Red Baron, too, and are now caught up to Bob. (Darin, look for your set to arrive in the mail Wednesday.) I am now ashamed that I selfishly wanted to finish watching Johnny Sokko before watching SRRB, first because Bob’s hosting a discussion, and second because it’s totally awesome! Like Johnny Sokko, SRRB is a children’s fantasy show, but unlike Johnny Sokko, it is in many ways like a live action version of an animated cartoon. A TV show can often be judged by the lyrics of its theme song, and they bear repeating here for those of you unable to experience it for yourselves.

This Earth of ours is beautiful
So we can’t allow the Iron Alliance to seize it
In hearts that love peace
The Iron Alliance can’t be forgiven

SUPER ROBOT RED BARON

Red Baron, Red Baron

A million horsepower super robot
Crush their evil ambitions and
Destroy their fiendish Mecha Robos
Feel the might of the Elec-Trigger!
See the Baron Hammer strike!

[END CREDITS]

Across wide plains, over mountain ranges
To the ends of the Earth
Ever-searching for evil
Now we move out!
Engage jet engines Iron Hawk!
Full speed take off!
Protect the Earth S.S.I.

Tracy woke up with the “Red Baron, Red Baron” chorus in her head Saturday morning.

“Rock on bicycle Inspector!”

“I’m vexed!”

I'm sensing my world will never be the same again ...

I do intend to eventually get back to Johnny Sokko, of course...



The Baron said:

I do intend to eventually get back to Johnny Sokko, of course...



Oh goody?



Tracy of Moon-T said:



The Baron said:

I do intend to eventually get back to Johnny Sokko, of course...



Oh goody?
 
Who was it got me interested in these shows? Why it was my good friend Jeff, wasn't it?
Yes, I know. But you don't have to watch 52 episodes of AstroBoy too.

He also doesn't have to get to ... uh ... canoodle with Jeff.  We all have our burdens to bear.

Suh! I have nevah “canoodled” in mah lahf!

When I first started watching SRRB I was a little disappointed; I didn’t like it as much as either Ultraman or Johnny Sokko initially, but the more I watched, the more it grew on me. Now I’m hooked. Ultraman and the Giant Robot fought mainly giant monsters, but Red Baron fights giant robots exclusively. It’s fun to rate the designs and note which was attributed to which country. (I can hardly wait to see the United States’ design!) For example, Big Bison had twirling Horns, another had a sort of “electric ponytail,” and the less said about Black Masai’s “bondage nipples” the better.

Each of these series also has a token pretty girl, in this case, Mari. Mari doesn’t have a lot to say (mostly “Okay,” “Yes, sir!” “Boss,” Roger,” etc., but she also gets to drive a tricked out muscle car which would cause James Bond to turn green with envy. I’m sure got her episode five outfit from Sarah Jane Smith after she was through with it in “The Hand of Fear.” Mari is right in the thick of battle, even taking several punches to the face!

I’m sure got her episode five outfit from Sarah Jane Smith after she was through with it in “The Hand of Fear.”

Andy Pandy?

Complete with peppermint stripes.

Episode 08: "Invincible! The Devil of the Desert"

Bedouin G from Arabia attacks! The SSI and RB respond, but BG has the Magnetic Reflection Mirror, which reflects RB's attacks back at it, so RB must retreat. The SSI beleives that Dr. Fujido, inventor of the MRM, is dead, but Inspector Bicycle reveals that he is alive, but is pretending to be dead. IB takes them to Fujido's house, flushing out an Iron Alliance spy along the way. (It's good to see IB being shown to have alot on the ball, despite his occasional goofiness.) They find Dr. F living with his mute, paralyzed son Tsutomu. He refuses to help, but his son urges him to fight.  The IA catches up with them and lines them up for a firing squad, except that they somehow missed Daisaku, who frees them. Dr. F agrees to help, and he and the SSI develop the SPIRAL BEAM!, which can beat the MRM. Prof. D learns of this, and lays plans to capture it.  Later, Daisaku, Mari and IB are out walking Tsutomu when a teacup ride goes berserk, While the heroes are distracted, the IA kidnaps Tsuomu, and Prof. D demands the Spiral Beam in exchange for Tsutomu. 

At the exchange, Tsutomu speaks, telling his father not to do it. The IA shoots Dr. F, winging him, and Tsutomu runs to him! After a fight scene and a game of Keep Away, BG attacks, but Ken gets to RB with the Spiral Beam, and blows up  BG real good!

 

We end with Tsutomu riding a bicycle and our heroes chasing after him.

 

Cliffhanger: None.

 

Overall: Not a bad episode. Good to see them toning down IB's wackiness.

 

I think part of Inspector Bicycle’s job is to interact with children, so he chooses to play the fool.

On a technical note, how SRRB’s “Baron Punch” work, exactly? I mean, do his hands detach at the wrist and then bond together, or is it something he fires from elsewhere? Apparently it’s supposed to be his fists, but they fly away from him as a solid, V-shaped wedge.

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