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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I think you're right about the Inspector.


My take on BARON PUNCH! is that his hands seem to be flying together as a unit, but what the physics of that might be is beyond me.

Here is a picture of Mari. Next is a 1,000 piece puzzle of Mari performing "High Kick."
When I did a search for Super Robot Red Baron toys, Jeff and Bob's avatars appear in the search results. :)

Tracy of Moon-T said:
When I did a search for Super Robot Red Baron toys, Jeff and Bob's avatars appear in the search results. :)

Awesome. Remind Jeff again what a lucky man he is.

Ah, Tracy's not telling you the whole story, though. As hit-or-miss as some of the robot designs are, I thought it would be cool to see if there were a complete PVC set of all of them. (the way some of the robots fight, just slamming their bodies into SRRB, it almost looks like the way children play with dolls.) She found those images posted above (and refused to let me buy the Mari puzzle for only 60 bucks!), but what she didn't tell you is that her board avater comes up under a seach for "bondage nipples" (okay, "Big Masai," actually). I just thing that's funny.

Episode 09: "Fierce Gambit: Uranium Mine in the Mist"

Inspector Bicycle is investigating a massacre near a uranium mine, while Mari and Daisaku attempt to cover the story.  They phone in to SSI while IB goes undercover as a hippie (!).  The kids follow IB and are threatened by IA thugs. IB has a fight scene to himself, and the SSI arrive in the aftermath. IB attempts to arrest a miner but is captured. The IA summons the robot Vesuvius from Italy, and Ken summons RB. RB fights Vesuvius while the SSI fights the IA as an extended version of the closing theme plays.  TheSSI rescue IB. Vesuvius uses a smokescreen to befuddley RB, who uses BARON SPIN! to blow it away, although how Ken survives this without vomiting all over the cockpit is beyond me.  RB blows up Vesuvius with the Elec-Trigger, and uses BARON PUNCH to take out the IA boss, which seems a bit excessive.  Prof. D says that he will never forgive RB, which I imagine is not a big concern for the robot.  We see Prof. D's face for what I beleive is the first time, and he's kind of goofy-looking.  We end with our heroes having fun in the pool, and poor IB can't even get drunk in peace.


Cliffhanger: None.  Not really a "cliffhanger" show, apparently.


Overall: Pretty much all one fight scene, really. Almost like an extended video for the closing theme.

I rather enjoyed this episode, myself. Yes, it was one big fight scene, but it gives one the opportunity to appreciate the show’s choreography. (Those leather belts the actors wear do more than look cool, they also provide excellent back support while doing acrobatic kicks and flips.)

Regarding the cockpit, I imagine it is gyroscopically stabilized (at least to some degree).

Seeing the bicycle Inspector (sounds like someone who inspects bikes) undercover as a hippie was a hoot! At least he stopped quacking.

“I see London, I see France…” Judging by that puzzle Tracy found (only one left in stock!) as well as this episode, I imagine showing flashes of Mari’s underpants is something of a motif on this show.

Judging by the language and the violence in some of the episodes, I often marvel that this was a children’s show. Personally, I find it perfectly benign, but some of this stuff wouldn’t have flown on U.U. tv, even back in the ‘70s.

The asymmetrical design of Vesuvius reminds me of an Alan Davis robot design (see below) or rather, the reverse. I wonder if Alan Davis ever saw SRRB?

The lyrics to the extended fight scene bear repeating here:

Across wide plains
Over mountain ranges
To the ends of the Earth
Ever-searching for evil
There you go!
Now we move out!
You villains, villains, villains
Engage jet engines Iron Hawk!
Protect the Earth S.S.I.

Through the skies across the lands
To the bottom of the seven seas
We’ll strike at the very heart of evil
Fire machine guns Iron Hawk!
With the brutal arial cross they’ll be blown away
Let your young blood burn S.S.I.

Our courageous warriors are without rival
Fiendish robots, your days are numbered
Launch missiles Iron Hawk!
Our scientific weapons score another victory
Preserve justice S.S.I.

The "panty flash" is something of a motif in Japanese popular culture in general.

The lyrics to the extended fight scene bear repeating here:

When I first read this sentence, my eyes settled on the words "fight scene bear", and I was imagining a kaiju-sized grizzly wresting with a giant robot.

Which, frankly, didn't even seem a little odd.

Doctor Hmmm? said:

The lyrics to the extended fight scene bear repeating here:

When I first read this sentence, my eyes settled on the words "fight scene bear", and I was imagining a kaiju-sized grizzly wresting with a giant robot.

Which, frankly, didn't even seem a little odd.


As long as Fight Scene Bear doesn't flash its panties, I'm all for it.

Episode 10: "Counterstrike! The Destruction Beam"

The kids and the Inspector have come to Daigo's garage to get their bikes fixed when the Troubalert goes off, indiciating susicious raido waves.  Daigo sends the team to investigate as we see some Mecha-Robos testing a death ray. The robot Mau Mau from the South African Federation attacks, and our heroes race to the scene, getting stuck in traffic on the way.  Red Baron and Mau Mau duke it out, while the SSI and the Inspector fight Mecha-Robos. Mari is seen using a whip (!) and the Inspector pauses in mid-fight to take a drink from a fountain! Ken uses BARON BEAM! but RB is knocked down by the death ray. Our heores find the beam projector, but are unable to disable it.  RB is getting pummeled, but Daigo detects a control signal, and sends the team in pursuit. They corner the IA boss, but he gets away. there's a prolonged fight scene - the M-Rs in this one seem particularly flimsy. Daigo catches the IA boss, and they have a long fight, as the SSI fight song plays in the background. Daigo seizes the controller, and uses the death ray on Mau Mau. RB blows up MM, and the day is saved.


End Scene: Our heroes all have coffee and goof around!


Overall: Another fun episode. It does seem like the fight scenes are getting longer.

Yes, I could have done without the extended fight scenes in two back-to-back episodes, but oh, well. This episode is an excellent example of the kind of “doll fighting style” I mentioned in an earlier post, i.e., the robots often simply rise into the air and slam their bodies into one another.

I’m going to have to try that umbrella trick sometime.

During the fight, Ken often says, “Engage Fight Lever!” before depressing the lever himself. I often wonder for whose benefit he says that? Maybe it’s a battle cry, such as “Flame on!” or “It’s Clobberin’ time!” (I’m also not real clear on exactly what engaging the “fight lever” is supposed to accomplish.) Anyway, after he said it in last night’s episode, SRRB made a distinctive burping noise. I think Ken may have depressed the “Release Gas Lever” by mistake.

I’ve gotten Tracy to call me “Boose!” when we’re canoodling.

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