November 18, 2006

R.I.P Ken Ishikawa.

Earlier this week in Japan, Ken Ishikawa, co-creator of the classic anime Getter Robo, suddenly and tragically passed away.

Ken Ishikawa was the protege to Go Nagai, creator of Mazinger Z, Devilman, and Cutie Honey. While Go Nagai is often credited with creating Getter Robo among the other franchises he gave birth to, he was not alone in this particular case. Ken Ishikawa did much of the work on Getter. I have a translated manga from back in the days when everything was flopped and published in the traditional comic book size of “Venger Robo“, which was essentially the English version of the “Getter Robo Gomanga. The credits are story by Go Nagai and art by Ken Ishikawa.

Getter Robo was pretty much the very first ever transforming robot, formed by 3 jets which could combine in different sequences to become one of 3 different super robots. If it were not for Getter Robo, there would probably be no Transformers, or Voltron, or anything else of that nature. That makes Getter Robo an extremely important part of popular culture pretty much anywhere around the world where people like robots.

I always thought that Getter was really cool. The 3 pilots were awesome, hot-blooded characters that helped to define a tradition. The robots and monsters were always very unique and creative. The two classic series are a lot of fun, and the more modern versions, Getter Robo Armageddon, Shin Getter vs Neo Getter, and New Getter Robo, are insane! This is a franchise that will continue to thrive for a long, long time. It will be remade and re-imagined for years to come, and will always remain a classic.




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