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The Big O: Complete Collection

4.6 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Dec 31, 2003)
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4
$249.99

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The Big O (1999) represents an unusual fusion of American and Japanese elements: the designs in this mecha detective series have a minimal, Art Deco-influenced elegance that recalls Warner Bros.' animated Batman, but the cyber-Girl Friday Dorothy Wayneright continues the anime tradition of android females. Everyone in Gotham-esque Paradigm City lost their memories in a mysterious "incident" 40 years ago; since then, they've struggled to survive in the half-ruined metropolis. Officially, Roger Smith is a Negotiator who handles difficult situations for the police, but he's really a crime fighter in the Batman tradition. Unfortunately, the stories lack the depth of plot and characterization needed to support the stylish graphics. Most episodes follow a simple template: Roger goes beyond his mandate to capture a villain; when the going gets tough, he summons the title character, a giant "Megadeus" mecha suit; Big O beats the transistors out the bad guy; Roger returns to his luxurious penthouse.

In the final episodes, the film makers began to tie together the mysterious plague that destroyed humanity's memories, schemes to restore those memories (or implant false ones), the origins of Big O, the truth about Dorothy's nature, and the sinister plans of Paradigm Corporation head Alex Rosewater. This complicated story line was supposed to play out in the second season, which was never produced, and the adventure simply ends. (Rated 13 and older: minor profanity, occasional suggestive humor, mild violence, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mitsuru Miyamoto, Steve Blum, Akiko Yajima, Motomu Kiyokawa, Tesshô Genda
  • Writers: Chiaki Konaka, Hajime Yatate, Keiichi Hasegawa, Masanao Akahoshi, Shin Yoshida
  • Producers: Charles McCarter, Chieo Ôhashi, Eiji Sashida
  • Format: Animated, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Bandai Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 31, 2003
  • Run Time: 325 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AC8OG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,522 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Big O: Complete Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
When The Big O first premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami, I dismissed it as being "just another mecha show". It wasn't until it aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim that I actually sat down and watched the entire series, realizing how great the series truly is.
At first glance, Big O seems like just another giant robot show. However, if you dismiss it, like I did, you will be missing out on one of the greatest animes I have seen in a long time. In fact, it is very different from many mecha series in that each episode plays out as a sort of mystery, making it popular to compare this series to the animated Batman series.
The story of the series is very dark, telling of Paradigm City, a metropolis much like a run-down New York, where every inhabitant lost their memories 40 years prior to the events of the series. "Memories" have become precious commodities in the "city of amnesia". Fragments of these memories are the Megadeus's, giant robots that seem to have minds of their own. Roger Smith, the show's protagonist, pilots one such Megadeus, the powerful Big O.
The story may be dark, but the characters are certainly colorful. Roger Smith is a negotiator (think private investigator) who pilots the Big O. R. Dorothy is a female android who becomes Roger's sidekick and maid. Beck is a small-time criminal who seeks vengeance for Roger humiliating him. Many more characters appear and play important roles in the series.
The animation, voice acting, and musical score are supurb. The animation is very fluid, but the colors are often drab but help to convey the mood of the series. The voice actors all do an excellent job, and they may be familiar to the avid anime viewer. The music is epic and helps to draw you into the show.
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Format: DVD
Charles in the above review was completely wrong. Big O is much more deep than he make it out to be. At times it can be so complex that its confusing and begs to be watched again to understand it.(thats not a bad thing) As the members of the Adult Swim show blok on Cartoon Network will attest to on their message board. But Charles says "the stories lack plot depth and characterization" but then later says the plot is complex. He nneds to take a side and stick with it. The reason that most of the characters are not imediatly understandable is because You see more of them as the show goes on and additional information is revealed. In a city shrouded in mystery, it only makes sense for the characters to have the same qualitites and not just be readily apparent. It is a show that is worth watching and now that season 2 is out, more is explained and the show is pretty much resolved.
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Format: DVD
If you were at all familiar with Cartoon Network's Toonami block or its late night Adult Swim in the past few years, it's likely that you have at least heard of The Big O. This Japanese anime series flopped in Japan but was quite well recieved stateside. So after its first 13 episode edited run on Toonami a few years back, fans were left hungry for more, and the cliffhanger ending didn't help either. Enter Cartoon Network Japan. U.S. fan response was so great that the cable network entered into a co-production deal with Sunrise Inc and Bandai visual. So now Big O has returned for a second uncut run on Adult Swim, in addition, the new season is airing Sundays at 11 pm starting August 3rd.
This DVD set is a compilatiion of all 13 first-season episodes, which was brought fourth due the show's new beginning. Big O tells the story of Roger Smith, also known as "The Negotiator." He lives in a large mansion accompanied by his butler Norman, who aids not only in housekeeping, but also in keeping Roger prepared for action. He resides in the mysterious Paradigm City, a city where all of its citizens lost their memories 40 years ago. In addition to being Paradigm's best negotiator, he is the owner of the Big O, a gigantic robot, which he uses the protect the city from various threats. However, through his adventures, Roger is digging ever deeper into Paradigm's dark history.
The Big O is a stylish show which mixes noir style and mecha action, with a Batman-like hero all while presenting a mystery into human existance that resembles the Matrix in some ways. The Big O has a visual style that is more American in nature, but is well animated. The voice acting is excellent, coming from the people who dubbed Cowboy Bebop. The music is good, accompanying the noir slyle and action scenes well.
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Format: DVD
Imagine a crumbling domed Gotham City where everyone has amnesia, and Batman fights evildoers using a giant black mecha.

That's a fairly basic description of "The Big O," a strange and action-packed anime with an art deco style, a noir atmosphere and lots of giant robots and strange conspiracies. This is no simplistic action show -- there's a deep central mystery that each episode revolves around, and some deeper meditations on the nature of memory.

Negotiator Roger Smith is hired to get the kidnapped daughter of a client back... only to discover that "Dorothy" is an android, who asks him to protect her. When he starts investigating, Roger learns of her "sister" -- vast mecha "Dorothy 1" -- who can only be stopped by his own mecha, the Megadeus called "Big O." But when Dorothy vanishes during the attack, Roger must find her before a gang of thieves do.

With the help of Dorothy and his faithful butler Norman (and occasionally hardened cop Dastun), Roger uses Big O to deal with a series of increasingly bizarre mysteries. Among his problems: a giant electric eel, a skeletal mecha controlled by the psycho ex-reporter "Schwarzwald," a billionaire's missing son, a piano-playing android, a "sea titan" in a flooded city, a mysterious cat with horrifying origins, a Heaven's Day attack, and a mysterious woman haunting Dastun's dreams.

Things take a darker turn in the last few episodes, especially since Paradigm City's strange past becomes the most important part. Roger is hired to give a severance check to Schwarzwald, but becomes enmeshed in his plans for Paradigm City -- and witnesses the unveiling of another Megadeus, Big Duo.
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