Densetsu Kyojin Ideon

Title:Densetsu Kyojin Ideon
Space Runaway Ideon
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - SUNRISE
R1 License - Sentai Filmworks (ADV)
Humanity's pursuit of knowledge leads them to the planet Solo, where they find mysterious remains of a long dead alien civilization, including the 3 part super robot 'Ideon', and a powerful warship. Using these, the Earthlings sent to investigate the ruins defend themselves in their constant conflicts against powerful aliens called the Buff Clan, who are in pursuit of 'Id', the mysterious energy that powers the Ideon.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

39-episode TV anime that premiered on May 8, 1980.
Animated by Sunrise.
Licensed by Sentai Filmworks.
See series sequel, Densetsu Kyojin Ideon: Hatsudō-hen.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 5 6 5 6 7 Ggultra2764 [series:3545#1552]
Following his work on the famous Mobile Suit Gundam, director Yoshiyuki Tomino moved on to direct what is yet another one of his famous works in the mecha genre with Ideon, an entry in the super robot genre focused on humanity's clash with the alien Buff Clan by utilizing the titular mecha of the series.

Personally for me, Ideon felt like a step down with what Gundam contributed in being one of the grandfathers of the "real robot" anime genre, though has some glimmers of potential. Whereas Gundam took the time to explore its world and offered enough fleshing out of both the Federation and Zeon factions to show both had their morally grey areas, the same can't really be said for Ideon to a good extent. While a number of the human characters do get some fleshing out like Cosmo and Bes, nearly all members of the Buff Clan remain as two-dimensional characters in conflict with the human crew of the Ideon. Also, the series mostly focuses on the Ideon crew's conflict with the Buff Clan, with the latter continually spawning "mecha of the day" plots to attempt getting the Ideon in their possession and killing its human crew. Not helping matters is that it does take the series nearly a dozen episodes to start picking up steam with offering up some story development.

And said story development does gradually start to deliver if you can survive past Ideon's earlier episodes. Later episodes of the series offer some interesting twists in the anime's story as the Ideon's crew start to learn more about the mecha's mysterious origins and question the very force that empowers it. Some solid character development is offered with the character of Karala, a Buff Clan member who defects from her race to join the human Ideon crew and develops a relationship with Bes. Also, the anime tosses in some twists to the "robot of the day" formula for later episodes when the Ideon crew also have to evade apprehension from human military forces who want to claim Ideon's power for themselves or assume the crew is in league with the Buff Clan. Still, this doesn't stop the formulaic plot setup and largely shallow members of the Buff Clan from rearing their heads throughout Ideon's run and the anime is also left abruptly unresolved during a major point in the anime's plot thanks to the series abruptly being cancelled during the time it aired. However, this issue would be resolved a year later with the release of Ideon's film sequel, Be Invoked.

Visually, Ideon hasn't aged all that well. The character designs are a product of their time with the seemingly disco vibe that many characters sport with their appearance like Cosmo's afro and the Buff Clan's clothing looking like anything you may seen worn in retro sci-fi titles like The Jetsons and Flash Gordon. The animation quality can vary from looking terrible to decent during battle scenes, which are mostly not too spectacular to see for their choreography due to how slow and played out they are.

Overall, I suppose my reception to Ideon is mixed. While touches of Tomino's story direction are on display in later episodes to make the series somewhat engaging, its flaws still stick out like a sore thumb compared to other mecha titles of the time period he directed like Gundam and Aura Battle Dunbine. Still as I hear Be Invoked is what is Ideon's most memorable use of Tomino's "Kill Em All" moniker, I suppose I'll be continuing my viewing of Ideon by checking out the film.

Last updated Friday, July 20 2018. Created Friday, July 20 2018.

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