Sunday, Mar 26, 2023 | Last Update : 03:35 PM IST
India's Govt. owned National TV Channel Doordarshan (DD) used to telecast English cartoons from 12.00 Noon to 1:00 PM during summer vacations in a programmed titled "Fun Time". Fun time included two cartoon series in an hour. Cartoons like Spider-Man, Giant Robot, He-Man etc.
Fun time was extremely popular among kids and school children used to take time out from their busy vacation playtime to assemble in front of their TV sets only to watch their favorite cartoons aired by Doordarshan.
Giant Robot was the most popular show on DD's Fun Time hour. It was a Japanese series titled 'Giant Robo' or 'Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot' in the United States. It had elements of sci-fi, fantasy, action and adventure. This 26-episode TV series was produced by Japan's Toei Company and was first aired in the year 1967 in Japan on their NET TV channel. The English-dubbed version of the series was developed by Reuben Guberman for American television and was produced by American International TV. It was directed by Manuel San Fernando
The Evil Gang: The world is invaded by a terrorist gang called 'Big Fire/Gargoyle', a group led by the alien Emperor Guillotine (a blue-skinned alien who has tentacles extending from the bottom of his large head). Guillotine spends almost the entire series in a multicolored space ship hidden at the bottom of the ocean. This terrorist gang has been capturing scientists to create an army of monsters to create havoc on earth.
The Good Guys: A boy named Johnny Sokko and a young man named Juro Minami are shipwrecked on an island after being attacked by a Sea Monster. They are captured by Big Fire.
Both the good guys end up on an elevator that leads to a complex where the hero Giant Robot is being built by a captive scientist Lucius Guardian. Lucius gives Johnny and Juro the control of its device. Lucius helps Johnny and Juro escape from that island before being shot dead. Lucius activates Giant Robot which obeys Johnny Sokko's orders. The boy is invited by Juro and his chief, Azuma, to join Unicorn and fight the evil Big Fire with the help of Giant Robo.
Giant Robot vs various Monsters in each episode:
This was the best part of Giant Robo. In each episode, Giant Robot fights with a unique Monster created by the Big Fire. In the final episode the Giant Robot fights with the evil boss.
The opening theme:
This was the most memorable part of Giant Robot series. The opening theme song video shows the powers of Giant Robot and the animation was extremely good for those years. Many toys based on the Giant Robot made their way to Indian homes thanks to this series. This series is available online. Do check out the theme song for Giant Robot below: