One thing I liked about growing up in Seoul was the fact that there were so much Japanese animes being broadcast on Korean televisions. I definitely took advantage of that and watched many, many animes in my elementary school days. However, I decided around sixth grade that I was “too old” to watch these “cartoons” and simply stopped watching them. I regret doing that, but thankfully my friends bought me back into the anime world in ninth grade with Slayers.
Once I got back into the wonderful world of animes, in the last ten years or so, I’ve been trying my hardest to reconnect myself to all my favourite animes from my childhood. To be honest, it proved to be a rather frustrating task. See, the animes that were shown on Korean televisions were all dubbed into Korean, Japanese titles were changed into Korean ones, and even the names of characters were changed to Korean names! Needless to say I had a fun time searching the American or Japanese titles for Tekuu no Escaflowne or Fushigi Yuugi. But the one that took me a while to find and had a pain of a time looking for due to it not being popular in Japan happened to be Mado King Granzort.
I mentioned that this isn’t popular in Japan. Well, I can’t really back that statement up, but I’ve yet to see any news about it coming to the states, and considering how practically only Koreans and Europeans are the only ones who knows about it, that give me the indication that it didn’t fare that well in Japan like say the Gundam series. However, I can say with certainty that it was popular in Korea from around 1992ish to 1994ish, or whenever they first aired it! I mean, come on, if there were sneakers with MKG’s characters on them being sold for children, then that meant the show was popular. This series is known as 수퍼 그랑죠 (Super Gurangjyo), and along with this one other anime about dodgeball (another story for another day), these two animes were the epitome of my childhood. Here’s the plot summary from Wikipedia:
In 2050, after a great earthquake, the Moon got an atmosphere and conditions for normal human life. 50 years later, the Moon is inhabitated by humans and a great tourist attraction. A boy called Daichi arrives on the Moon and hears the strange stories about people with rabbit ears. Soon he meets V-Mei, an old witch and her granddaughter Guri Guri, the members of the Long-Ears race which is in war with the evil Jadou Clan who wants to conquer the world. Sensing a power in the boy, V-Mei gives the magic gun to Daichi and reveals to him that he is the chosen Madou Warrior who will save the Long-Ears race and their land Rabiluna from the evil Jadou Clan. With the magic gun, Daichi can summon Granzort – the Madou King of earth – a giant robot to fight against the monsters of the Jadou Clan.
Soon, Daichi, V-Mei and Guri Guri meet two other boys – Gus and Rabi. Gus receives a magic bow that summons Winzort – the Madou King of Wind, while Rabi receives a magic top that summons Aquabeat – the Madou King of Water. Together, Daichi, Gus, Rabi, V-Mei and Guri Guri travel to the world of Rabiluna in order to free it from the Jadou Clan.
This anime is filled with everything: action, adventure, comedy, drama, angst, stupid but awesome antagonists, really cool mechs, and a fun plot with awesome characters. Sure, it came out in 1989-1990, so it has that 1980s feel to the entire anime, but this anime has its charm. I was won over even more when I realised that Hayashibara Megumi was one of the voice actresses. Like, hot damn!
Needless to say I was thrilled when I found a couple of places that sold the DVD set. I was even more amused when I saw that the plot summary (used to be on the first site, but now they changed it — it’s on the second link) was actually taken from my old-never-completed fansite for the series. Hahaha. Regardless to say, I still purchased it. I was shocked to see that it was probably some pirated copies, but I was even more “EH?!” when I saw that the subtitles used some weird names for the characters. Otherwise, though, I was able to follow through the whole series and finally watched it as a whole. I’m glad I did. That gave me some feeling of fulfilment in my life.
I mentioned how Korean televised animes are changed and whatnot. Well, one thing they changed for this anime was the opening song. The Korean version is awesome — so awesome that they put the song in as a song selection in Korean karaoke! Yes, I sing this song at the no rae bangs, sometimes. Hearing the Japanese version made me cringe, actually. I wanted to cry in distress after listening to it. Here, just listen to it yourself!
On a closing note, I usually do not care for mecha animes. Usually, they bore me to death. But this one is not the case. This is one of the rare animes where I don’t mind some giant robot action! Also, if you have this thing against carrots like Daichi, I advise you to tread with caution if you ever decide to watch this. XD
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