Lobster Quadrille Anime Review: Big O

Big O

(Note: This review covers both season 1 and season 2 of the series. Both are available separately)

Genre: Sci-fi/Mech/Mystery

Studio/Creator: Sunrise

Distributor: Bandai

No. of Episodes: 26 (13 from each season)

Age Rating: 10+

My Rating: 8/10

Summary: No one in Paradigm City has no memories of the past. Megadueses (mechs) appear all over the city, deepening the mystery of what happened forty years ago. Roger Smith, an expert negotiator, protects Paradigm City along with Big O – a giant mech. Roger and friends keep searching for the truth behind all the strange events.

Review: The Batman parallels are part of the reason I like this series. Roger Smith is Batman, R. Dorothy is Robin, Officer Dastun is Commissioner Gordan, Norman is Alfred, Gabriel is Joker, Angel is Catwoman, Beck is the Riddler, Schwartzvald is the Scarecrow. It’s great for those who were fans of the anime or are fans of Gundam and/or Batman (my fave superhero!)
Music/Score: The music’s kind of cheezy, but it suits the series pretty well for the most part. The only bad part is the music we hear every time Big O starts a fight. I much prefer the drumbeats in Evangelion better.

Sub/Dub: The subtitled version’s okay, but I found Norman’s voice too deep for my taste.
Violence: (4/10) This series has a lot of your typical mecha style violence.  Additionally, in episode 12 there are a string murders, in which we see some murdered characters with a fair amount of blood. Later on there’s a bit of blood on some of the characters during intense action scenes, but there’s really no gore or extreme violence in Big O.
Language: (2/10) The first “season” of Big O (episodes 1-13) contain no coarse language, in the dub. The second season, however, does contain a small amount of language. Nothing beyond PG-13 level, though.
Nudity: (2/10)We briefly see Angel’s back in episode 7 but there’s no actual nudity in Big O– just a bit of fanservice from Angel. Still, I wouldn’t say it’s something to be concerned about
Sexuality: (2/10)In one episode Roger and Angel are trapped in a building together. They make a few tame jokes that reference a bit of sexuality, but it’s nothing raunchy. Also, in this scene Angel is in some skimpy clothing. Throughout the series she tends to show some cleavage, and wear some short cut clothing, especially in the “second season”.
Religion: (3/10) To be totally honest, there is a LOT of religious material in Big O that most tend to overlook. It’s similar in a way to Neon Genesis Evangelion, with some Judeo-Christian symbolism, but wouldn’t really be considered offensive (to some) like NGE.
The recurring phrase that is shown on Big O’s (and other mech’s) screens is “Cast in the name of God, Ye not guilty.” While the meaning of this is never actually stated, it can be debated. In one of the early episodes, the giant serpentine mech is considered an “electric god” by the city it invades. Also, during the murders in Act 12, the murderer leaves the “Cast in the name of God…” phrase at the crime scenes. There’s not very much religious symbolism in the first season, but it starts to get pretty heavy in the second half. In the second season we see a lot of symbolism, like Alex Rosewater becoming a sort of “anti-Christ” and proclaiming to be the “Son of God”. His father seems to take a sort of “God” role himself. There are some references to the number of the beast, 666, near the end. Roger in a way becomes the savior to the people. If you look, you’ll notice a lot of symbolism. All of the “Big” robots are designed after creatures from Jewish mysticism. There are various other things one could analyze, but they really shouldn’t be a turn off, nor considered offensive in any way.

Review Queue 11/27-12/18

11/27: Chobits

12/4: Last Exile (original)

12/11: Cowboy Bebop Top 10 Best Songs

12/16: Legend of the Millennium Dragon

12/18: Azumanga Daioh



  1. #1 by The Cajun Samurai on November 27, 2011 - 5:57 pm

    “Big O” is the kind of show that I like but not love. I mean, the characters are intriguing, the characters are intriguing, the animation style is nice, and the acting is great (Steven Blum can do no wrong voice-wise) but the story is a little boring to me…it didn’t have any pop to me. There were episodes as I recall that had nothing but monologues…granted the battles were nice, but it was still dull…add to that the kind of overly-melodramatic music and you got an anime that means well, but puts me in dreamland 9 times out of 10.

  2. #2 by aghammer99 on March 29, 2013 - 2:54 pm

    Good comparison to Batman and certainly has kind of a vibe that I would equate with some of the US made Batman cartoons. I really dig Big O although I also like G Gundam, so that takes for what it’s worth.. fun series. I wish they made more although I know it wasn’t terribly popular in Japan.

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