Since July 20, Grendizer, a great classic of Japanese animation, has been available on the DNA platform. For nostalgic and neophytes alike, why is this series essential?
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
Vega, Grand Strategy War of the planet Stykades, seizes Euphor, a peaceful planet which he will ravage with his fleet of saucers and giant robots. During the attack that will lead to the final destruction of Euphor, the royal family is exterminated. Actarus, son of the king and prince, manages to escape after seizing Grendizer, the most advanced robot developed by scientists on the planet, and flees to Earth.
It is collected by Professor Procyon who heads the Center for Space Research. Continuing his conquest of new planets, Vega establishes a base on the far side of the Moon, from which he intends to launch the offensive on the blue planet. Actarus is then seen in the obligation to use Goldorak in order to avoid that the Earth undergoes the same fate as his native planet.
It is Monday July 3, 1978. The children’s program Récré A2 is launched, carried by Dorothée and her accomplice, Gérard Chambre.
“We have a new soap opera called Goldorak. It’s a Japanese soap opera that takes place in the year 2884 on a little blue planet and has a lot of stories. You will see, there are flying saucers. , there are rockets, there are a lot of things … Finally, we will see in a few moments the first episode “, explains the host.
GREAT ROBOT OF NEW TIMES
Without knowing it, the latter is launching the Goldorak phenomenon in France! The series quickly becomes cult and still has, more than 40 years later, a mythical, even mystical aura.
Created in 1975 by the legendary Go Nagai, Goldorak arrived in our regions through the intermediary of the producer Bruno-René Huchez, fascinated by this anime that he discovered in Japan.
Initially, the series is not respected at all; it is relegated to the “japoniaiserie” box. In 1981, an essay is even devoted to him to vilify it. At five years old alone with Grendizer, written by psychologist Liliane Lurçat, virulent criticism of the influence of the series on young people, reproaching it in particular for its violence.
Over time, the themes addressed by Go Nagai and the depth of his message manage to transcend these prejudices. Beyond its “mecha” aspect, Grendizer is much more than an anime featuring a giant robot fighting against bad guys.
In subtext, the Japanese mangaka talks about psychic manipulation and does not hesitate to kill important characters, making his story very dramatic and impacting. Robots are just a pretext to criticize the flaws in mankind. It is also a gigantic avant-garde epic, highlighting a certain idea of ecology. He also warned us about technological advances, terrifying if they are in the wrong hands.
From generation to generation, Grendizer has been passed down from parent to child, continuing to perpetuate its legend. Sarah Hatchuel, author of the book Grendizer, the adventure continues (with Marie Pruvost-Delaspre), evoked the anime at the microphone of Point in 2018.
A VULNERABLE HERO
“Contrary to the usual cliché, many little girls were fans of Goldorak. I have precise memories of these first images, of these very saturated, contrasting, shimmering colors, very different from those of an Albator that I do not didn’t really like, too dark. Grendizer was the hope and optimism of life. And then I was carried away by this melancholy, this sometimes poignant tone of the series and Actarus’ nostalgia for his lost paradise Euphor. A very vulnerable hero with his radioactive injury to his arm. “, analyzes the author.
Sarah Hatchuel also recalls that Goldorak also featured captivating and developed female characters, such as Phénicia, Actarus’ sister, “who has nothing to envy the current heroines.”
Grendizer also summons the trauma of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “This nuclear theme is omnipresent in Grendizer, whether it is the planet of Actarus ravaged by radiation or those Golgoths which always end up exploding in huge atomic mushrooms”, confides the academic.
WHY SUCH A BOX?
Why has Grendizer been such a phenomenon? For Sarah Hatchuel, “We had never seen that. For the first time, the children discovered a soap opera animated series with …