The Influence of Johnny Sokko

From what I've learned, Giant Robo exists in three incarnations. It started out as a manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama. Next came the 60's live action show, Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, which appeared both in Japan and then on U.S. television in the 70s. Then for a long time there was nothing, until director Imagawa resurrected Giant Robo and many of Yokoyama's other manga creations in Giant Robo: The Animation.

I have never seen Yokoyama's original GR manga (and probably never will) and I wasn't around yet when Johnny Sokko was on the air. However, thanks to David Haug, I was able to obtain a copy of the entire Johnny Sokko series for a very reasonable price.

If you're thinking of buying Johnny Sokko in the hopes of getting a cool live-action version of the anime Giant Robo, beware, it is actually quite different. The story is much simpler, and the acting and special effects are, well...You'll either laugh or groan. As crazy as it all was, I personally liked it, and I now see why so many adults who grew up watching Johnny Sokko cherish the series.

For your information I have created a list of things I noticed in Johnny Sokko that carried over in some form to the Giant Robo anime. There are some spoilers here. ('Giant Robot' refers to the robot of the 70's and 'Giant Robo' refers to the robot of the 90's.)

Here are some things in Johnny Sokko that are very different from the anime!

And what I thought were the most memorable scenes:

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