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Thursday, April 24th, 2014

'Gaiking' May Be the Next Movie to Cash In on New Giant Robot Trend

You will have one of two reactions when you hear that Gaiking may become a feature film: “What’s Gaiking?” or ”Gaiking? Really?” Which one you have depends on your general familiarity with animated Japanese giant robot television series (Of which there are many). For myself, I had both reactions. I’m familiar with the names of most of the major robot shows (Like Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mazinger, Voltron, etc), I hadn’t heard of Gaiking. So it sort of baffled me that this is the property that’s going to be headed to the big screen first.

Gaiking (Full title: Demon Dragon of the Heavens Gaiking, which I would kill to see become the title of this movie) was produced by Toei Animation and originally aired from 1976 to 1977. It followed the tribulations of humanity attempting to defend itself from an alien invasion, with the titular giant robot at the head of Earth’s defenses. The movie will presumaby follow a similar plot.

There have been attempts to get this film off the ground before, but it looks a whole lot more likely now that Gale Ann Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment have put it into development in partnership with All Nippon Entertainment Works. The image you see above is concept art of Gaiking. For comparison’s sake, here’s what it looked like the cartoon:

Notice something? Yeah, it has color! Heaven forbid anything have a look other than gunmetal these days. Otherwise, how could we take the enormous robot with horns and a skull on its front seriously?

Anyways, it’s not at all shocking that we’re seeing more giant robot movies in the wake of the success of Transformers. Frankly, I expected the wave to roll in sooner. If Pacific Rim does well, it could even solidify the genre as here to stay, maybe even make giant robots the new superheroes (but I’m spitballing). We’ll see as this project moves forward.

Comments

  1. Wow.
    Notice my name???
    It comes from the series of robots cartoons called the Force Five series.
    In the US, they played one episode a day from each of the 5 series.
    Mondays was Danguard Ace, Tuesdays was StarVengers, Wed was Spaceketeers, Thu was Grandizer and Fridays had Gaiking.

    Gaiking was a robot piloted by a pitcher from the Japanese leagues, he could throw a pitch that seemed to curve and move out of this dimension. This became needed as he was almost assassinated during a game. His big move was to grab an energy ball and throw it at the evil guys.

    In the scheme of things, Grandizer should have had the first of the live action movies, followed by Gaiking. However, Spaceketeers has had MANY live action movies already as it is based on the storyline the Monkey King.

    There is a Japanese movie floating around that shows these 2 battling, one time they are against each other, another together. Grandizer wins each time. In fact Grandizer was a winner against the Mazingers as well. although once again they had to come together to beat a force from out of space..

    Another interesting bit, in the US, you only saw maybe 1/3 to 1/4 of the episodes that made up each series. Many of the episodes were deemed to violent for the US as in Grandizer, there are scenes where saucer enemies ray gun women and children to death. I know at least Grandizer was popular in many other countries as well, Only in the US is he Grandizer, most other places he is known as Grendizer.

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