The Big O (TV Series 1999–2003) Poster

(1999–2003)

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8/10
Sweet...
RoninDeVamas29 May 2004
I am a fan of the Cartoon Network anime lineup, and by far this is the best show out of them all.

Unlike the other, more 'famous' anime shows (hence the Dragonball series), this show actually has realism in it. It isn't all action-packed. The show mostly surrounds negotiator Roger Smith uncovering information related to the jobs that his clients often give him or uncovering deep secrets about the forgotten past, in which an event forty years ago erased everyones' memory. It's pretty much talk, but it's interesting talk, because the talk that goes on throughout the show really relates to real-life situations--political corruption, the love for lost ones, and the desire to know the truth. Though this would bore an adrenaline-junkie, it would catch interest to those that I'd like to call 'down-to-Earthers', especially with the most wonderful music that is just too good to be put in a cartoon series.

But that doesn't mean that there isn't action. The battles that premiere in the series have enough action to supply that adrenaline junkie with all the sweat he needs (and all within just about five minutes, too).

Big O is by far the most successful amongst the dying robot-themed shows. Though the Transformers series seems to be long-lasting, it too is dying out as animators grow tired of constantly putting in the details of machinery and head to using computers as a way to 'build' the robots and give them movement. This type of animation doesn't blend in with the rest of the animation, thus fails (as seen in Transformers Energon).

Which brings up another point. Notice how the animation throughout the entire series remains constant. Sure the lighting changed, but the animation overall has remained the same. It shows that the people who drew up the series were determined to have the animation remain constant and nearly flawless (unlike in the Dragonball series when different animators draw separate episodes). This (especially when having giant robots battling) requires a lot of patience and loyalty.

And let me assure you that they have not gone unappreciated for their loyalty to the animation. Kudos, animators!

Overall: life-like characters that grow throughout the series; life-like situations; incredible animation; dazzling battles; and (most importantly), the most wonderful music for a cartoon ever.

Rating: 10 out of 10. The battle music still makes my neck hair stand up...
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10/10
Red Balloons and Red Tomatoes
redcarpetroom28 July 2006
Big O is not like any other show I have ever seen. The writers clearly have extensive knowledge concerning Greek mythology and even Christianity. It is a cartoon sure, but the depth of the show is very subjective. The show itself gives the viewer just enough clues to allow one to believe that all of the other unending parade of questions will somehow be answered, but apparently, they won't. The show walks a profound balance of story and probability and divine vagueness.

I saw a few episodes of this show and became hooked like no other show I have ever seen. The overall themes are far from light. Two of them being memories and ultimately attempting to define life. What is the value of one's life without memories? What separates humans from androids in a futurist world without knowing which actually came first? And that is assuming who and what each character actually is, which is far from a given. My obsession with the show did eventually wane, largely because the show itself is rather slow at times. There are plenty of action scenes with enormous robots, also representing something I'm sure, to balance the pace, but those battles rarely excited me.

The truly strange aspect of this show is that the majority of it for me is window dressing. It's the symbolism that is scattered throughout each episode that elevates this show to atmospheric levels. This show is just smart enough and just open ended enough for each little mysterious detail to have some profound meaning. This show has everything within it to be the basis of a new religion in and of itself, seriously. The fact that all the answers can plausibly be answered, but aren't, makes Big O that much more life-like in nature.
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10/10
Anime for beginners or veterans
space_hog22 June 2005
The Big O. An anime series that has appeal to those that don't like anime. But don't be fooled! The series can be appreciated by anyone that has half a brain. I will give you three reasons to see The Big O for yourself: #1: The characters. Each one unique, and they all interact with each other very well. The voice actors for the English version are superb. It is hard to believe that the series was originally in Japanese.

#2. The depth. The series is as deep as any I have seen which makes it good for second and third viewings. There are subtle nuances that really set this series apart. The depth you will find in The Big O is impressive, but it is a show that you can enjoy completely on the surface as well.

#3. The music. The soundtrack for this series is simply breathtaking. Of course there are some tracks that are a little silly, but they fit the scenes well. The main tracks are ones that will rope you into the series even if you don't like the story. Finding music of this quality is not common at all.

The only thing I regret about this series is that more people haven't seen it. I would love it if this series was one that all people at least tried out. Then maybe the producers would make additional acts for our viewing pleasure. The story is left open for additional seasons to be added, let's hope that they do.
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Cast in the name of God, ye not Guilty
JohnnyJohnHildegaard5 August 2001
The Big O is one of the most creative efforts to ever come out of Japan. Combining the rather dark style of Batman: The Animated Series in animation, the giant robot action of yesteryear, and combining some really surrealistic elements, it manages to entertain such people. It is not your fast paced show with action at every minute, but it has rather impressive fight sequences with cleverly designed mechs I might add. Then you add the rather interesting characters that somehow develop during it's 13 episode run, and you've got a rather impressive series.

It's not for everybody, but I'd recommend Big O to even the most avid fan of animation.

The only bad part is that it's only 13 episodes and it stops rather abruptly, so let's hope it can get more soon.
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10/10
Cast in the Name of God, Ye Not Guilty
moldwarrior2 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
When I was a little kid I watched this show like crazy. I picked it up recently and re watched the series. It was a superb show with a very Gothic and noir feel. The characters were very interesting and had a good bit of development. The anime has been loved and ridiculed but for me it will always be my favorite mecha anime ever. I would say not to watch season 2 it was very strange and I didn't enjoy the ending. I also found the action was the focal point of the second season and not the mystery of Paradigm City. The animation however was good and the dubbing was also very well done. Overall I found this anime to be the best and most nostalgic anime I watched. I suggest picking it up and watching it.
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Great but Short Series
Fury903325 April 2001
This series is extremely well crafted. They have commented on Cartoon Network that this show is mix of Batman: The Animated Series and Blade Runner.

It is, but more. This show showcases true hardcore Science Fiction world, with mysteries, drama and element of imagination that hasn't been seen in rather long time. Dark look on the future, what may happen.

Also resurrects old Giant Robot theme, which has virtually disappeared from American Television.

However, the show as it show now, in April, is lacking in only one thing.

A ending.

The show was released without any additional episodes. Only 13 and blunt and sudden ending. We can only hope that more episodes will released soon.
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Big O, Season II: American Ending
Fury90332 November 2003
Thru pure determination, Big O has lived up to its catch phrase... "Big O, its Showtime!"

Second Season of Big O (Which should be considered a second series) has arisen due to the efforts of Cartoon Network in the United States.

The series was re-edited to be more a Big Robot show than the more sophisticated show it original was for Japanese audience.

However, despite it being changed, it still a winner of series with Season 2 coming out swinging (literally) as first episode of season 2 starts off with the battle which had begun at very end of Season 1's last episode.

However, due to Time (1998-99) Now it was redone in (2002) the series has been made bit more clearer for the American audience which is made for. Sadly the old future or direction of the show which it was going in season 1 is without a doubt has been changed radically. I believe,this is due to the limitation of 13 additional episodes for Big O. The series' timeless one off episodes which leaves a clue on what world is about and where series is going has been put into OVERDRIVE, sped up to resolve rest of the series.

(2003) Series, deals with Roger dealing with fact his life maybe not his own but of someone else, elaborate stage to relive the live of original Roger Smith and his giant Robot, Big O. Whom for some reason has been given to him to resolve the cities biggest problems.

Without spoiling anything, the series resolves itself in way that will throw a long time viewer off their rocker or throw away any ideas they've been given on what has been going on for entire 2 seasons.

The show is still a fantastic ride, even if its Americanized. It is a down right well put together. The series is a nicely done mystery/action series that will suck you in and makes you think.

If you are able to get this series on DVD, I'd grab it. Please don't let the fact original first season being re-done for American Audience scare you off. Its still down right very good show.
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Big O is a big success by this great critic
MovieCriticMarvelfan17 April 2001
Big O 2001 by Sunrise and Bandai Entertainment who brought Gundam Wing, and who made the Macross and Gundam games is one of the greatest cartoons I've seen in the year 2000.

This is a great series, one of the newest Japan Anime in 2001 and surely one of the best cartoons out there.

American animators cannot emulate the Japan Anime cartoons and Big O is proof.

It's gritty, romantic, touching, action packed and full of stories, and that is in every episode!!

The star is Roger Smith who is the head negotiator in breaking or sealing criminal cases or any cases where the police or military is afraid to get involved in.

He lives in Paradigm city, a dark city that has been torn by crime, military action and corruption.

In only his first days on the job, he catches the idea of an attractive and elegant young lady called "Dorothy".

Dorothy is not you're average woman, she is a whiz on the piano and has a certain way with people. Oh yeah Dorothy is a robot.

She is virtually indestructible,yet her softness in characters reveals she is not made entirely of metal.

Dorothy is cared for by her Grandfather. The Grandfather knows Dorothy is a robot but he protects her like his own daughter.

A hoodlum by the name of Beck Gold plots to steal Dorothy and Smith (having suspicions about Dorothy) tries to intervene. Dorothy's Grandfather is shot and Beck kidnaps Dorothy .

Smith rescues her eventually and they develop a mutual friendship between man and machine.

The series works because of it's likeable characters, musical soundtrack which uses the piano to produce a feeling of what's going on in a scene,and above all incredible animation. The musical scences with the piano also convey a soothing feeling to a long day.

Smith controls an undercover machine knows as "Megadeus" which is Big O.

The series reminds me of Voltron because Megadeus fights many bosses in every episode in spectacular fashion.

The series has been dubbed in English and currently showing in Cartoon Network's lineup.

The dubbing is amazingly good. It's one of the best dubbing jobs, I've seen so far. David Lucas (Roger Smith), Lia Sargent(Dorothy) lend their great voices to this anime.

Made through Bandai and Sunrise which produced Gundam Wing and Macross, these guys just keep making the hits.

Take it from this great critic, Big O is a big success.
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The Big O is once again a big success with this great series
MovieCriticMarvelfan17 October 2003
Well 13 new episodes arrived in August and I have to say theyre are the same level or higher than the first 13.

Roger and Dorothy combat new enemies including copycats of Big O and Roger must again combat his former enemies and learns that his memories as a child in Paradigm city.

The only real complaint is that the son of a bitch, City Executive from last season is now portrayed as this wuzzy, weaking who didnt get along with his dad. LOL Who the hell cares besides that. The new episodes are great, they answer some question and leave a couple open.
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8/10
Timeless first season, but goes downhill in the second.
rassberrymilkshake23 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The first season of Big O is a timeless noir-mech genre blend with a great overarching mystery. The characters and dialogue are witty and funny, the animation is great, the overarching mystery is bizarre and intriguing, but always remains in the background to let the individual episodic narratives shine. The mech battles feel rather out of place, but are well done enough so to not decrease the shows quality. The villains across both seasons are great, Schwarzwald especially. But things go downhill with the finale. It's far more heavy on the overall mystery, there are revelations left and right, and the entire thing feels like it's ramping up to some climactic conclusion.

And then it just.... ends. Abruptly, no conclusion, no anything. Luckily Adult Swim was able to fund a second season, but, sadly, couldn't get the same crew on board. And this is when the real issues begin.

In season two, the episodic narratives from season one take a back seat to the overarching mystery. The noir atmosphere also seems to be far less present, which is a pity seeing as it was such a large part of the first season. But, by far the biggest change is the tone and storytelling. The first episode of season two isn't a classic noir mystery or a stylish monster of the week caper, it's a mind bending psychological trip through time and space which explores an alternate version of Roger before the collapse 40 years ago. It's not bad, but it doesn't feel like the Big O of the last season. Season two feels like they took the title of "Batman but also Evangelion" waay to literally. Actually, no, this is tripper.

Now, you know what, that's fine. I came to accept it, and hey, the characters and dialogue where just as charming as last season. The mystery was entrancing, and as long as the solution was good I would be happy.

So... you know the dreaded dream twist? When the writer pulls a "IT WAS ALL A DREAM" with no foreshadowing, leaving the viewer feeling unsatisfied and to an extent, betrayed? Well, technically it's a simulation. But I still feel pissed. I never got to learn what happened 40 years ago, or who the man Roger was seemingly based on was, or what was going or with Gordon, or where the Megadeus came from, or what Schwarzwald found (well, he was killed offscreen, which itself is a irredeemable sin), or why Roger can pilot Big O, or why Norman was waiting for Roger.

I love artsy stuff. I love artsy anime. But when you set up a compelling mystery, characters and a world I want to learn more about, and then pull the rug out from under my feet with a dream twist of all things, I am going to be pissed, no matter what.

But yeah, first season great, second season good, ending can go burn in hell. There's lots of stuff I didn't comment on, like the heavy themes of class divide and political corruption, but I really just wanted to vent about the ending. Even though the endings bad, the first and some of the second is a timeless masterpiece, so the show is still great in my books.
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I love Big O
jrae112229 August 2006
I was up watching Cartoon Network late one night and came across this show. I've been hooked ever since! It comes on EXTREMELY late where I am, but it is definitely worth me getting up at 5 am to watch, take another 1 hour nap and get up for work. I'm not a big Anime person, I'm a 33 year old professional female with no kids, yet the characters are extremely engaging and I love the ending credit song. I've been trying to find out how to actually get it on my Ipod. I don't know much about the difference between the version from Japan and that in America, yet whatever I have been watching in the US has been excellent! I hope everyone tunes to Cartoon Network to watch!!!
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7/10
This show just seemed to try to hard to make the story surprising.
Aaron13758 November 2009
I liked this show for the most part, the main problem I had with it are the strange ending episodes of both the first and second season as it were. I was disappointed with the way the first season ended or the series wrapped up as a whole. I think the show was supposed to have ended after the first season, but Americans wanted more so it came back and was interesting again until it neared the end and once again it got a bit to muddled for my tastes. The show had it all though, James Bond kind of action and espionage and giant robots duking it out. Though most shows had a pattern of some sort of little mission for the main character Roger and then some super robot would come and he would summon his own little robot Big O and they would of course clash. Granted it does seem repetitive written here, however it played out very well and there were certainly some interesting story arcs going on. I was so interested to see how it all wrapped up, but it in the end did not work as I just thought Dorthy was not involved enough and Angel became this super important character out of nowhere. Still it looked good and for the most part most of the other episodes was very entertaining, just did not care for the cause of the strange city known as amnesia.
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He's back!
Perdicus7 July 2003
"The Big O" returns with all-new episodes on August 31, 2003. In the meantime, you can enjoy re-runs of Season 1, now showing on Cartoon Network. It's gonna be a long, hot summer; let "The Big O" cool you down! Check your local listings.
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10/10
What's it all about?
tintern10911 February 2009
Once you filter out the giant robot battles, which although important to the story, are mainly included for commercial considerations, Big O can best be viewed as an allegory for man's search for identity, and an exploration of the relationships between memory, imagination, and knowledge. As such, it doesn't always make rational sense, which is something we are conditioned to expect by Western cinema. When watching Big O, focus more on the ideas presented than the events.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the series is the character of R. Dorothy Wayneright. Rarely is such a fascinating character drawn with so few strokes. Her interplay with Roger is compelling and at times quite comical.

In all, despite the often shoehorned appearance of mecha battles, Big O is a remarkable work of art both stylistically and intellectually.
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