A Flying Robot? WTF?

Johnny Sock And His Flying Robot

A little spy kid who lives in a space ship under the ocean and battles evil using walkie-talkie pens? A giant flying robot assistant that shoots missiles from its fingertips? A never-ending battle royale of weekly monsters, astro-crooks and lunar-tics hell-bent on conquering something/anything? Why is this not on TV every day of my life?

I should calm the hell down because now it can be. Johnny Sokko And His Flying Robot (aka, Giant Robo), a weekly Japanese action/thriller/sci-fi/cage match, which aired in the States as Gigantor (cool name) from October 11, 1967 to April 1, 1968, is available for the first time (sorta) on MGM DVD on Demand. You can also get the entire set 26 episode/676-minute/7-disc set on DVD from Amazon.com, but it’s one of those “print on demand,” deals, meaning they won’t make it until you order it. Cold, yet a sound business model.

In the first episode, which establishes EVERYTHING, an alien called Emperor Guillotine (great name) invades the earth. What a douche. Guillotine organizes a terrorist group called Big Fire to conquer the world. (Another douche, this one flaming.)

The group captures a scientist named Dr. Lucius Guardian and forces him to build Giant Robot. Shortly before his death, the scientist leaves the robot’s control device to a boy named Daisaku Kusama. (Way too hard a name for a young boy to have to spell.) Daisaku recorded his voice in the robot’s brain, and Giant Robot is activated to obey the boy’s commands. Daisaku is invited to join Unicorn, a secret police force organized by the United Nations. (Care Bears was thrown out there as a title, but Unicorn seemed to encapsulate their objective more completely.)

With the help of Giant Robo and other Unicorn members, Daisaku fights against Big Fire, Emperor Guillotine (again, GREAT name), and their cavalcade of giant monsters and robots.

Johnny Sokko And His Flying Robot

The must-have-at-all-cost collection includes space-suit staining shows like Dracolon, The Great Sea Monster, The Gargoyle Levine – A Space Plant, The Monstrous Flying Jawbone, Opticorn Must Be Destroyed (I’ll say), and The Giant Claw (who looks like a big lawn rake). A personal favorite is Hydrazona – A Terrifying Bacteria. If any one thing could accurately sum up the state of my refrigerator/toilet seat/reoccurring “under there” itch, it’s this one.

I don’t wanna rain on MGM or Amazon.com’s parade, but you can watch all the adrenaline push episodes of Johnny Sokko And His Flying Robot on Hulu.com – for FREE. That was Emperor Guillotine’s grand scheme the whole time.

P.S. How can they call it a space ship if it’s parked under the ocean? Might a better name be “submarine”? Just thinkin’ out loud.

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