Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Jimmy Sparks-Antarctic Badass

Just before I hit the ice I was in New Zealand for a few days looking for old robot cartoons to watch while I'm down here. There aren't any Suncoasts or Blockbusters down here (duh) but I wonder why. When you think about it, what reason is there to keep someone from opening any sort of major retail chain in Antractica? I know I could use a place to shop for old cartoon robot DVDs. The station store in McMurdo does have free DVD rentals but the selection's pretty slim when the station runs at full capacity. I know last season they had that first He-Man cartoon box set that wasn't a complete season but more of a greatest hits. They also had the Cowboy Bebop movie DVD. So they did pretty decent for me because I hadn't seen any of that stuff. Oh, and they have like 4 copies of every Star Wars movie on DVD, plus the all of The Prisoner tv show. That alone makes being down here survivable.

These wavy lines mean somebody pissed off Jimmy Sparks and now lots of cartoon people are going to die robot death.

So in New Zealand I picked up the region 4 DVD release of Gigantor, a black and white cartoon from a long time ago before I was born. I think it was originally a Japanese release from the late 50's and made its American debut in the early 60's. That was as much as I knew about it when I got it.

So I was watching it last week in my room and I was totally blown away. I couldn't believe how chock full of death and violence it was while still being a little kid's cartoon. It's awesome. It's centered around a twelve year old kid named Jimmy Sparks who packs heat, flies fighter jets and knows kung fu. That right there would hold my attention for hours but he's also got this remote control box that controls a 100 foot tall giant robot named Gigantor. Jimmy Sparks is just a total badass. There's one episode where he's in a car chase with the bad guys in close pursuit and he's not afraid to whip out his firearm and shoot at bad guys while he's DRIVING THE CAR, and I swear he shoots to kill. You are totally screwed if you're a fighter pilot and Jimmy Sparks hops in his jet to come get you because if his fighter jet skills don't kill you, he'll whip out the Gigantor remote control box and kill you with his giant flying robot WHILE HE FLIES HIS PLANE. Hot damn if I saw this cartoon when I was a kid I would have killed myself trying to do half the insanely cool crap Jimmy Sparks does.

This is the face of awesome in the year 2000.But as if all this isn't enough to connect with me on a primal level, the first two episodes take place in Antarctica! Holy crap who knew this was gonna happen? I randomly pick a giant robot cartoon from the 50's and the first two episodes happen in Antarctica where I'm watching it! Is it synchronicity or coincidental events that seem related? Whatever it is, I have concluded that I want to live my life like Jimmy Sparks. For the first step I'm going to take a picture of him to the hairstylist here and tell her, "Here, this is what I want to look like."

So the first episode is named "Struggle at the South Pole". It starts off in the future-the year 2000-with a bad guy named Dr. Katzmeow claiming he's the rightful owner of the South Pole and he's destroying Antarctic base camps of all the other countries by deploying troops from his secret base. The UN and interpol are asked to intervene but they might as well forget about it because someone just told Jimmy Sparks.

Now Jimmy Sparks might be a total badass but he's still twelve so he needs some things explained to him. Like who gives a crap about Antarctica anyways. For that we have scientist Doctor Bob Brilliant and super spy Dick Strong. Dick Strong is the greatest name ever. Bob explains that Antarctica is rich with valuable minerals like uranium, platinum and gold but screw that, the real strategic value of Antarctica is that earth is a giant magnet and it repels radiation at the poles, making Antarctica the ideal place to launch manned rockets to Jupiter! WTF? Who's writing this? I wish I was! Did I mention the killer robot penguins with rifles? It's fantastic!

The episode continues from there and the crew all go down to the ice. The bad guys show up and Jimmy uses Gigantor a couple times and kills lots of enemy troops. I won't spoil the details, but they don't totally blow their load right out the gate in episode 1. The Antarctic adventure continues in Episode 2-"Battle at the Bottom of the World". It's the greatest cartoon ever.

Jimmy Sparks kicking ass on the ice with his giant robot.


Anonymous said...

This is awesome, sounds better than the edited version. Wish I could see all that violance

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I didn't know there was an edited version. I thought Gigantor came out before censorship so even though it was dubbed for the American audience most of the edits done were for time and localization. I can't imagine how what I have on the Region 2 DVD would differ from the version aired on US television.


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