Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mekanda Robo: TRY ATTACK!!

I love giant robot cartoon opening themes. And even though I used to hate giant robot cartoon closing themes as a kid, I grew to love them too. That is pretty much the extent of my maturation process. Anyway, I was running searches on all those giant robots of my youth ("Giant Robots of My Youth" -- what a great title for something. I call dibs), and I found this, which I wish to share with you. It is a thing of beauty. It is the Mekanda Robo opening sequence.

Mekanda Robo was one of those B-list robots that never achieved the popularity here that, say, Voltes V or Mazinger Z or even Daimos did. But man, check out that opener. First of all, the song is insanely catchy, and gloriously silly: "Mekanda Mekanda Mekanda Robo! TRY ATTACK!!" It gets even better during the volt-in sequence: "Mekanda ONE! Mekanda TWO! Mekanda THREEE!!" Thrilling!

And DUDE. The ASS-KICKING. Mekanda Robo will FUCK YOUR SHIT UP. Did you see what he did to that first monster? First he tears out its guts using his spiked shields, and then he slams the shield-spikes together on the monster's head and then he tears him in half with the blade-edges of his twin shields. Fuuuuuccckk.

The second opponent -- some stupid-looking piece of crap with antlers -- gets it worse, if that's even possible. First it gets the back of its head torn open by a kick -- a kick so lightly tossed off that it oozes contempt -- and then, when it tries to fight back using its ultimate technique (spinning like a saw blade), Mekanda just flash-fries it in mid-air with his chest flame throwers. Chest. Flame. Throwers. And then finishes it off by doing a cute little flip and launching a missile from his foot. A missile shaped like a shark. Holy crap. And then KABOOOM, that's all she wrote.

Mekanda Robo. Just one of the many reasons why I'm so well-adjusted today.


Ian said...

When I did my personal ranking of the "Questor 5" on who would win in a battle royal, Mekanda Robot was always near the top of the list (second only to UFO Grandizer). He just seemed to have more kickass weapons than the other robots (Mazinger Z seeming the lamest to me)

The thing about Mekanda having to finish off his opponent in 3 minutes and then shut off to avoid the homing missle fired by the bad guys in every episode seemed kinda lame though... (couldnt they have, you know, just FIRED the missle at him while he was fighting??) Maybe that's why he didnt fare as well as Daimos and Voltes V.

Ah, Memories.....

Luis K. said...

Hi Ian! :) Man, I'd love to see a giant robot battle royal like that. The most I can hope for is probably finding Grendizer vs Great Mazinger on DVD, though. ;p

There were always these weird limitations/ conventions that came with the giant robots -- even as a kid, one would wonder, "Why doesn't Voltes just whip out the laser sword at the very beginning of a fight? And why do the monsters always just stand by and let him assemble himself in the first place?"

I've almost totally forgotten everything about Mekanda though. I seem to recall that he got busted up in one episode and then rebuilt to be more kick-ass. Did that really happen or am I mixing him up with Great Mazinger? ;p

Ian said...

I can't remember if Mekanda got trashed and rebuilt, but I DO remember that they switched from jets to CARS driving up Mekanda's Back, and Mekanda growing in size (probably utilizing the same technology that Soundwave the Decepticon uses to change from a tiny cassette player to a giant robot)

Of course, THAT made me wonder if they had that kind of tech, why didnt they just grow Mekanda big enough to just step on his opponent? I think I may be too picky for my own good....

Charles said...

Ian: I can confirm that... I remember the cars/jets being driven by the individual pilots but I always got the impression that they went behind Mekanda's back (i.e. think Daimos or Mazinger Z's spaceship) rather than actually forming the robot body (i.e. Getta Robo).

Luis: Alas, Grandizer vs Great Mazinger is one of those few crossovers that actually have two robots fighting each other. Most robot shows with that title are more like team-ups than battle royales.

P.S. That last tidbit is a staple of most robot shows, a.k.a. the mid-season upgrade. Mazinger Z got the jet pack although it did finally get destroyed (or near it) in the last episode (where it was saved by Great Mazinger).

Luis K. said...

Hey Charles. :) Sooo... where can we get copies of these classic Giant Robot cartoons? Mwahahaha!

Seriously though, am afraid they probably wouldn't hold up if I were to watch them today. Am wondering if the 'updates' are good though -- wasn't there a recent version of Getter Robo? And did they update any of the other classics?

Will do Google and YouTube searches. :)

Charles said...

Comic Sale Central actually has a lot of the super robots on DVD: Getter Robot, Getter Robot G, Mazinger Z, the Great Mazinger movies, Grandizer, Shin Getta Robo, Shin Getta vs Neo Geta, Mekanda Robot, Mazinkaiser TV, Mazinkaiser OAV.

The website is at and

Charles said...

Getta has had three remakes. The one I liked best (although less faithful to the original) was Shin Getta Robo which has a darker mood to it. Then after that there's this Shin Getta vs Neo Getta 4-episode series, and finally a New Getter Robo series which I haven't seen.

If you're more of a Mazinger fan you should check out the Mazinkaiser OAV and TV series which is again, more darker but the first episode is a must watch if only for seeing hordes and hordes of Dr Hell's robots fighting Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger (and eventually winning over them). Also thank God that the robots smartened up and actually attacked the cockpit of Mazinger Z.

In the early 90's there was also an update of the super robot Raideen, although few people (especially here in the Phil.) who actually know about Raideen.

Actually for old super robot shows, goofiness aside, you probably should watch the Yoshiyuki Tomino batch of Super Robots. Tomino was later responsible for Gundam which started the real-robot series but he did direct a couple of super robot shows such as Voltes V, Zambot 3, Daitan 3, and Raideen. Tomino has a reputation for being sadistic and tragic and one can easily compare Voltes V to the other super robot shows and find how tragic it is (death of parents of the Voltes team, death of their mentor, death of the general, etc.).

The original Getta Robo series (not Starvenger) also had a semi-mature ending with the pilot of the 3rd robot (fat guy archetype) sacrificing himself to save the world (and why in the beginning of the sequel, Starvengers they look for a 3rd pilot).

P.S. I should also loan you my CD of super robot songs...