Jinzo Ningen Kikaider

Title:Jinzo Ningen Kikaider
Android Kikaider: The Animation
Artificial Humanoid Kikaider: The Animation
Kikaider: The Animation
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: ISHIMORI Shoutaro
R1 License - Bandai (Defunct)
SEKI Tomokazu
Based on the 70's live-action TV show, Dr. Komyoji is working in his lab when there is a horrible accident. Soon after, Jiro is a human-looking male who awakens with no memory of who or what he is. Meanwhile, Komyoji's daughter Mitsuko attempts to discover what her father was doing and stumbles upon his android project. Jiro is in fact the battle android known as Kikaider who is equipped with a malfunctioning conscience circuit known as Gemini. Is he a mad machine or is he something special? Why does Professor Gil want Jiro dead?

R1 Licensed by Bandai Entertainment.
13 TV Episodes.

The sequel to this is Kikaider-01 the Animation.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 6 6 7 8 7 Ggultra2764 [series:591#1552]
Given the fact Kikaider is adapted off a tokusatsu series from the 1970s, I'm quite surprised at how decent this animated adaptation was, even with some major flaws. The show does a good enough job of fleshing out its prominent characters and looking into the connections that Dr. Komyoji has with Professor Gill and the DARK organization, consistently retaining a dark and melancholic mood throughout much of its run. Kikaider, in particular, finds himself struggling with the complexities of having human emotions as he finds himself an outcast among both humans and robots due to appearance and his ability to feel emotions respectively. The mystery surrounding Gill and Komyoji also did enough at keeping me hooked on the show throughout its run as plenty of light is shed over time concerning what led to the present problems faced by Kikaider and the Komyoji children. The animation style was intentionally made to resemble a 1970s look as a homage to the era meaning you should get used to the simple, awkward details with character designs and the subpar animation.

Kikaider is not without its major issues that keep me from wanting to rank it a Buy. Many episodes of the show run in a "enemy of the week" style plot in each episode when Gill tries to kill off Kikiader and the Komyoji kids with one of his robots, only for them to get inevitably offed. Professor Gill and his DARK organization also come across as your typical shallowly evil foes as they lack any kind of depth whatsoever and no details are mentioned on how the group even came to be.

Despite its flaws, Kikaider does make for a decent title to look into as it explores the challenges faced by Kikaider coming to grips with accepting his human emotions and the developments concerning Gill and the DARK organization that Mitsuko tries to unravel.

Last updated Thursday, May 26 2011. Created Thursday, May 26 2011.
Buy dhrachth [series:591#962]
Very nice dramatic anime. Lots of personal issues and trauma with some action to bring it all together. It's not a title for people looking for laughs, but it's good.
Excellent characters and a very tidy plot.

Last updated Thursday, September 11 2003. Created Thursday, September 11 2003.
Buy 8 8 7 9 10 10 Anshii [series:591#810]
Android Kikaider is almost guaranteed to be an underappreciated anime (especially in America), which is sad. This animated redux of a live-action Japanese classic from the 70's is not perfect. However, it is so good that it demands a larger audience. Kudos go to Adult Swim for bringing this title to American TV!
The story intentionally positions itself against the story of Pinocchio -- the wooden puppet that wanted to be a human boy. Kikaider is an android (duh) created by Dr. Komyoji; he has a "conscience circuit" that is supposed to guide him to do the right thing. While fighting to protect Dr. Komyoji's daughter (Mitsuko) and son (Maseru), Kikaider is also dealing with the deep philosophical question of what it means to be human. The android longs to be human. He looks like a young man most of the time, but he can change his appearance to that of a rather cheesy looking robot (he usually only does this when he has to fight, though -- who would blame him looking like that?).
It's really hard to describe what makes this series great. The series has an emotional gravity; it makes you care, even though the story of "robots wanting to be human" is not new. The story is NOT for children, though ... there is violence and some definite chemistry between Mitsuko and Kikaider (which brings up disturbing questions about what a human woman and android would do together, but I'll back away from that)!
A note: the character designs are intentionally retro, something that may relegate Android Kikaider to the status of "an acquired taste". I did not care for the design of Detective Hatori -- which contrasts strongly with the rest of the character designs -- but that is a minor quibble.

Last updated Friday, June 27 2003. Created Friday, June 27 2003.
Buy 10 10 8 8 7 7 Kari [series:591#798]
Don't allow the classic character designs of Kikaider give you the wrong impression...or the shape of Jiro's round lower body for that matter. One of the female characters, Etsuko, even looks like Velma from Scooby Doo. Detective Hatori resembles Detective Zenigata of Lupin III. Anyway, it's a pretty good show.

As the synopsis says Kikaider is about an android created by a scientist by the name of Dr. Komyoji. The show is about an android dealing with life and emotions, when he isn't a 'living' being or even supposed to be capable of human emotions. Jiro/Kikaider is forced to fight to protect those he loves. He's faced with the torment of having to live with not being human, and has to deal with hatred from other androids, and fear from misunderstanding humans.

Even still, I didn't find this show to be anywhere near as boring as .hack//SIGN. Tomokazu Seki plays Kikaider, and Yui Horie plays Mitsuko Komyoji, doctor Komyoji's daughter. Yumiko Kobayashi plays Masaru Komyoji, Mitsuko's younger brother, and Jurota Kosugi plays the recurring villain Hakaider.

The dub sounds excellent, as I would expect from Animaze. In the dub, Jiro/Kikaider is voiced by David Wittenberg. He gives Kikaider just the right amount of emotion needed for a dramatic scene. Lia Sargent plays Mitsuko, and she played her role well.

Kikaider is a short series, and also affordable, so it's worth buying.

Last updated Friday, November 17 2006. Created Sunday, June 22 2003.
Buy 9 8 8 8 9 9 AstroNerdBoy [series:591#436]
I saw this on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block so have only seen the English dub of this 12-episode series. It is based on the live-action 70's live-action series which looked awful, but then what do I expect from a 70's series? However, Kikaider is anything but cheesy. It is dark, depressed, angry, moody, yet with rays of hope for better, brighter days ahead.

Basically, Kikaider is an android who has two forms -- his battle form where he is known ad Kikaider and his human form where he is known as Jiro. He was created by Dr. Komyoji and after a horrible lab accident, runs into Komyoji's daughter Mitsuko and young son Masaru. After a terrible misunderstanding, Jiro leaves, forcing Mtsuko to hire Hanpei Hattori and his assistant Etsuko to find him.

The story grabs you before you realize it and the 12 episodes just fly by. The characters are interesting and I was surprised at certain things which happened. The character designs are different as it merges two different character desines. Mitsuko and Jiro have a more realistic look while Masaru and Hattori have a more cartoonish look. Combine this with plenty of CGI and you have a weird merging of styles that actually works.

Bottom line: surprisingly good. I *think* there is a sequel to this but I'll have to check further.

Last updated Friday, July 04 2003. Created Thursday, June 19 2003.
Buy Stretch [series:591#628]
My first impression of Kikaider, judging from the relatively simple style of illustration, was that this would probably be a second-rate example of Anime. But I'm not one to turn down any form of Anime which is freely available on TV (Except DBZ, of course), so I loaded the VCR and sat down to take a good look. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Yes, the illustration of the charachters includes not much more detail than is necessary to tell the story, but I think this was intentional--perhaps to make it more difficult to differentiate between humans and androids. At first glance, it would be easy to mistake this for a children's cartoon, (especially after taking a look at the face of detective Hatori!), but in fact the plot is surprisingly deep. Are morality and ethics weaknesses? Would we be better off without them, like androids? Since we suffer as we struggle to do what's right, are we fundamentally flawed, like a robot with a defective conscience circuit? Considering the modest expectations I originally had for this series, it's ironic that it attempts to deliver so much--no less than an argument for the meaning behind existing as a Human Being. I just watched the final episode, and the impression I'm left with is "Whoa, that was one helluva series!" I'm reminded of Key The Metal Idol, which had a lot in common with Kikaider, except I can't help concluding that whereas I found Key to be somewhat confusing and overcomplicated, Kikaider told a story that was brilliantly simple yet emotionally far-reaching. In it's ads, Cartoon Network declared Kikaider to be a "classic Anime", which I initially thought was rather pretentious, but I now feel that estimation may well have been fully justified. Some episodes were better than others, but when it was at it's best, this show was good. It's difficult to assign an overall grade to a show like this; would I want--or need--to watch it twice? One thing is for sure: this is most certainly NOT a cartoon for children. Seeing a woman literally get her brains blown out made that clear.


Last updated Tuesday, February 19 2008. Created Thursday, June 19 2003.

Other Sites
Digital Eyes DVD http://www.digitaleyesdvd.com
Digital Eyes DVD is not an Anime DVD store. However, they sell any and all anime dvds that you would find at a store that specializes in anime only, for a much cheaper price.
Kikaider: The Animation http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/Animation/Kikaider/index.html
Official site, in Japanese.

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