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Big O


Grade: B-

Genre: Mecha, Sci-Fi, Mystery

Reviewed: Dub shown on Cartoon Network

Epsiodes: 26

Notes: See the movie "Dark City" instead which has a similar premise.


Roger Smith the negotiator, assisted by Dorothy the android, his butler, and his mecha (Big O) solves cases while pursuing lost memories in Paradigm City, also called the city of amnesia where everyone lost his/her memories 40 years ago. But nothing is as it appears and tomatoes are everywhere.


Designs are of the sharp black edge type and relatively flat. The atmosphere is of film noir 1940s style detective movies. Roger Smith is really cool, perfectly designed for the character. Mecha designs were fairly interesting, and mecha action was okay. But worst opening theme ever! Rest of score is nothing special. Dub voices, however, were very fitting.


Mostly episodic, but if you're trying to figure out the mystery of Paradigm City, watch it in order, but it probably won't help anyway. Premise had potential, but it never pays off. There are some good verbal exchanges and a nice relationship between Roger and Dorothy. There is way too much pretentious rambling about how important memories are by Roger Smith and other characters. Ending was disappointing even if you could understand what happened. Apparently, this was originally a 13 episode series that did not do well in Japan, but was a big hit in America so they produced another 13 episodes. The lack of planning may have contributed to the unsatisfactory ending. This would have been better as a non-mecha detective story.

Similar to a great movie called "Dark City" where people's memories were being manipulated by aliens. See "Dark City" instead, that was a great movie, this is a mediocre anime.

Rated PG-13. Some violence but younger children (some adults too) may not be able to follow the convoluted dialogue and plot. For mecha fans and those who don't care whether the ending sucks.