|Original title: UFO Robo Gurendaiza
Characters: Duke Fleed / Actarus, Koji Kabuto / Alcor, Venusia, Doctor Procton, Rigel, Mizar, Maria, Re Vega, Hydargos, Gandal, Lady Gandal, Zuril, Hayashi, Yamada, Hamon, Banta Haranon
Production: Toei Animation
Regia: Masayuki Akehi, Tomoharu Katsumata, Masamune Ochiai
Year: October 5th 1975
Broadcast in Italy: April 4 1978
Gender: Anime / Science fiction / Robot
Duration: 24 minutes
Recommended age: Children from 6 to 12 years old
was born in 1975 from the splendid imagination of the Japanese screenwriter Go Nagai, from the wonderful drawings of Kazuo Komatsubara and Shingo Araki and produced by Toei, the series "Atlas Ufo Robot"was broadcast for the first time in Italy on Rai 2, in April 1978 and was immediately a revolution for all the children and young people of that period. The science fiction plot, the hyper-technological drawings, the explosive animations and last but not least, the TV colors that began to enter Italian homes at that time, they made the cartoon of Grendizer, a true cultural phenomenon of those years. In fact it bothered sociologists, psychologists, the press, censors who saw in the violence of those cartoons, a possible threat to the educational development of children.
Actually, before that, he was used to classic cartoons animated films for children, such as those of Hanna & Barbera, Disney, Warner Brows or the Japanese themselves such as "Heidi" and the explosive battles of Grendizer to the sound of "rotating blades" and "spatial thunder" they questioned the educational role of this expressive medium, which filtered a lot of Japanese culture, at times very different from our Western mentality.
The story of Grendizer talks about Duke Fleed, prince of the planet Fleed, who manages to escape from his world invaded and destroyed by the perfidious emperor Vega. After years of traveling in the cosmos aboard his Ufo Robot Grendizer, Duke decides to land on earth where he finds the best living conditions.
It is found by a famous scientist, Dr. Procton, head of the Space Research Center, who adopts him and in order to protect the secret identity of this extraterrestrial, calls him Daisuke and presents him as his son returned home after a long journey. Daisuke (Grendizer), in all similar to the terrestrials, integrates with their life and is taken to work at a small farm, employed by a very funny man called Rigel, father of the beautiful Hikaru and of the little Mizar. Rigel is obsessed with sightings of UFOs and extraterrestrials and hopes one day to meet one, with his small telescope, but does not know he has one right on his farm which responds to the name of Daisuke. The only thing that differentiates Daisuke (Grendizer) from a normal human being is the fact that he is endowed with exceptional athletic and telepathic qualities such as super speed in running and extraordinary physical strength. But one day, the insatiable emperor Vega sets his eyes on the blue planet of the solar system: the earth and decides to conquer it. So Daisuke makes available his beautiful and powerful Ufo Robot Goldrake to defend the earth from the evil hordes and super robots of Vega. Goldrake is also helped (but with poor results) by Alcor's brave mini-ufo, by Hikaru and Maria, Daisuke's sister who appeared after some time and also escaped the destruction of the planet. However during the battles aboard Goldrake, Daisuke still bears the marks of the wounds left by the Veganians during the conquest of his planet Fleed. In fact, his arm has a wound that reopens every time it is hit by the proton rays of enemy robots. Despite the appearance, the figure of Grendizer and Daisuke is not prone to violence, indeed he hates it, but is forced to fight to defend the human beings who have adopted him. The part that most of all fascinates of the Grendizer cartoon is when Daisuke realizes an attack by Vega and takes action to intervene Grendizer. Here he then runs aboard his motorcycle, towards the space research center of Dr. Procton. With a prodigious leap and the cry of "Grendizer!", he transforms himself wearing a red and black jumpsuit, with stylized wings on his chest and a white helmet with visor that completely covers his face. Once he enters a part of the laboratory, he climbs aboard his Ufo Robot Grendizer and takes the controls, then he exits from a secret passage of the laboratory, hidden by a waterfall.
The battle of Grendizer against the monsters of Vega always begins aboard his flying saucer capable of launching "rotating blades" and "piercing missiles" located in the red discs at the end of the spaceship and the "rain of fire" that starts from the cockpit. When the air combat is ineffective, Daisuke, by operating the control lever, descends with the mobile chair from the cockpit to a lower level of the spaceship, which resides on the mouth of Grendizer's super robot, then proceeds with the detachment maneuver, the gigantic robot emerges from the disc and is ready for hand-to-hand combat with enemies. The weapons that are commonly used by Grendizer are: the "electronic boomerangs", two sharp boomerangs located on the shoulders,
that rotating they are hurled on the enemy and from their union the "space halberd" is born. Then there is the "piercing mallet", (which can also be double), the robot's fist that detaches itself from the arm and, thanks to advancing blades, is able to pierce the enemy armor. The "parallel disintegrators" and "digital missiles" from the fingers also come out of the fist. The "antigravity beam", which comes out from the chest, is used to lift the Venusian robot and immobilize it in the air, after which it has the possibility to activate the devastating "space thunder" that comes out from Grendizer's horns and that definitively destroys the alien monster.
Characters of Grendizer
what intrigued and struck a lot of attention, in the episodes of Grendizer, was also the characterization of the enemies and in particular of the emperor Vega and his monstrous subordinates Hidargos, Gandal and Zuril. Hidargos is an alien officer, green-skinned, thin and with long ears, who is defeated by Grendizer, who destroys his powerful spaceship.
whose physiognomy is very reminiscent of the famous Frankestain monster, he is the very faithful right hand of Vega, commander of the space base located on the hidden part of the Moon. the superior of Hidargos, and when he is defeated by Grendizer, he replaces him with Zuril, who however has his same rank of command and between the two arises a heated rivalry.
Gandal is perhaps the most characteristic character in that, when he argues with Vega, suddenly his face opens like a double door and a tiny witch named "Lady Gandal" emerges, his female alter ego, who after a terrible defeat by Grendizer, he turns into a unique being with his male part. Daisuke's greatest friend is Alcor, a UFO expert who helps Dr. Procton. Alcor supports Godrake in battles, in an attempt to give him support with his mini-flying saucer of his own design, but in most cases the small missiles launched by the brave boy, do not in the least scratch the armor of the terrible monsters of Vega.
This makes us understand that without Grendizer, the land would be doomed. After the destruction of the mini-disc, Dr. Procton entrusts him with the guidance of Grendizer 2, a vehicle similar to an airplane that integrates very well with Grendizer and increases its potential. Hikaru, Rigel's daughter, on the other hand, is madly in love with Daisuke and only halfway through the series does she understand that in reality the farmer hired by her father is none other than the pilot of Grendizer
He then decides to actively participate in the battles and manages to get the guide of the "Spatial Dolphin" another aircraft which, like the Grendizer 2, serves as a support to Grendizer. Even Mizar, while not having an active part in the fighting, contributes not a little to creating that fun and electrifying atmosphere that has made the series' fortune.
Mizar is like Hikaru, the son of Rigel and works together with Daisuke on the farm, which he values especially since he discovered his true identity. Thanks also to the weapons of Dr. Procton who greatly enhance Grendizer, Daisuke and his friends, after numerous battles, told in 70 episodes, defeats the empire of Vega, freeing the entire galaxy from its oppression. Daisuke and his sister Maria then return to their home planet, aboard the Grendizer.
The images and names of Grendizer are copyright Toei
- Go Nagai and are used here for cognitive and informative purposes.