Sunday, January 16, 2005

Johnny Sokko and the Giant Robot

When I was in fifth standard (and that was a long time ago), there was this really cool Japanese series on Doordarshan called Giant Robot (Actually, the series was called Johnny Sokko and his amazing Flying Robot but, when you are nine years old, these details don't matter).

It was all about this kid called Johnny Sokko who has this huge Robot. He would flip open his watch and speak to the robot and the robot would pretty much do anything he asked. The Robot was huge (like multi-story building huge).

Johnny belonged to organization called Unicorn. Their job was to fight this evil monster-king-thingy from outerspace who has a whole bunch of monsters at his beck and call. Every week, he would send one of these monsters up against the city. The monsters would break a couple of buildings, terrorize the neighborhood, Unicorn would be alerted and Johnny Sokko, his buddy and the Giant Robot would land up, defeat the monster, and peace would reign until the next week.

The Robot, could fly, thanks to the rocket booster in its back. He had a pretty impressive arsenal of weaponry. Missiles that would pop out of his fingers, heat rays from his eyes and so on and so forth. He would also, if the circumstance warranted, engage the monster in hand-to-hand (or tentacle, as the case may be) combat. Each monster would have a specific strong-point (cool rhino like horns, tentacles, heat-ray) and would mess up Giant Robot. Then of course, Giant Robot would gain the upper-hand (and/or Johnny would figure out what to do to defeat the monster).

I thought it was the coolest thing. I would be deeply upset if I couldn't watch it. Of course, my buddies and I would discuss each episode to its minutest detail. The Giant Robot would do a series of calisthenics before he could access his weaponry (right hand to chest, left hand to chest, and out come the heat rays!). We of course had that stuff memorized. When you are nine years old, these details matter. Then the series got over.

Fast-forward six years... I was in twelfth grade. They were showing Giant Robot again on Doordarshan. I made sure I watched it. And, man!, was it disappointing. The special effects sucked, the buildings were so clearly made out of cardboard, the monsters were badly animated rubber puppets, it was badly dubbed and the stroyline sucked. I could not believe that it was the same series that had so captivated me long ago. The next day, at school, a friend of mine said 'I can't believe I used to cry if I missed watching this serial.'.

You know, sometimes, growing up just sucks.


Mahesh said...

My relative who is in his early fifties said that it is harder to find happiness as you grow older. He gave this example: When he started working, he and his friends used to meet at this chai shop once in a while and have some food and tea. When he looks at the same chai shop now he looks at the dirty bucket, flies and so on.

As we grow up we look at the implementation rather than just the concept that we found appealing just a few years ago.

Another view I have about this is that life is like a PS2 game ;-) It becomes a little more interesting at every level you advance and you always find the previous level boring :-)

kd said...

"evil monster-king-thingy from outerspace" was called Guillotine. Guillotine was king of the "Gargoyles".

Giant Robot had a pretty cool theme song. Guitar virtuoso "Buckethead" has a cover of the theme. Maybe buckethead is named after Giant Robot, who did look like he had a bucket on his head.

Kogi Kaishakunin said...

Good one Sambar...
Here is another article on Giant Robot and this one even has pictures and screenplay. :-)

Karthik spartan said...

In tamil nadu thers a famous saying that it is "GAINT RABAT" almost max people use this word for mentioning a robot you know were it came from that's wright from same old "Johnny Sokko and his flying Robot". I actually dont remember this name or the characters but only the GAINT ROBOT with steel boxed face thats flys when thers trouble and fires bullets from fingers.

After long time i seen this again and the robot looks kind of funny today, but this show is like a god to me on those days. Some of other things i remember was a black car with red lights on front thats "Knight rider" and a black bike that fires rockets and lazers and its "Street hawk".

I have seen some scenes from You tube and google videos and its kind of instresting and i like to see it again in full. I can see lots of people were happy by recollecting there memmories so as i.,