By Marc Bernardin
June 22, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Big O: Volume 1

type
  • Movie

There have been plenty of tales that have counted the locale among their cast of characters: Gotham City, Oz (both the fantastical city and the grim prison), and the Overlook Hotel are as crucial to their respective worlds as the people who walk through them. Now we’re introduced to Paradigm City, a mystery metropolis in which 40 years ago everyone inexplicably lost their memory, leaving the populace with no anchor to the past and an almost paralyzing fear of the subway system. With more than passing nods to the Batman animated series, James Bond, and ”Blade Runner” — especially when it comes to the dapper hero, wealthy freelance negotiator Roger Smith — The Big O exudes savoir flair at every turn. The deco design, the Nagel color palette, the languorous film noir pace: You almost wouldn’t know this is Japanese animation if there weren’t also battling giant robots. In an age in which ”Pokemon” and its hyper, attention-span-defying ilk dominate episodic animation (”The Big O” currently airs on the Cartoon Network; the first four installments are included here), the existence of a ‘toon so classically entertaining is refreshing indeed. B+ –Marc Bernardin

The Big O: Volume 1

type
  • Movie
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  • The Big O: Volume 1
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