South Korea’s Giant Robot

Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s 1956 manga Tetsujin 28-go (and subsequent anime series — known in the West as Gigantor) may have started the whole giant-robot mecha genre (though many consider it was defined by Mazinger Z, created by Go Nagai in manga and on TV in 1972), but politically South Korea wasn’t content to let the Japanese have sole rule of it. In the 1970s, Kim Cheong-gi took the mecha concept and created “a Korean hero for Korean children” in Robot Taekwon V (known in the US as Voltar the Invincible).

The show achieved great popularity and today Robot Taekwon V is present in Korean culture as a full-size sculpture, on ads and in various remade forms. For some time talk of a big budget live-action feature film directed by Won Shin-Yeon has been around, originally slated for release in 2009. It hasn’t yet appeared but evidence of its coming keeps cropping up, most recently with the establishment of a website — very basic as yet, but sporting an awesome poster of the Giant Robot in action, battling an enemy in the Han River — the body of water that spawned the monster from the Korean giant monster film The Host (click to enlarge):

As the robot’s name suggests, its combatic movements reflect those of the martial art Taekwondo, and this aspect is apparently being played up in the film version, as displayed by videos of test animation that have appeared on YouTube and elsewhere. Here is one where the test animation, created via motion capture, is compared to the movements of actual practitioners of Taekwondo:

The following trailer — which appears to be for a game version — sports footage that comes from the film or at least reflects it:

Below is Taekwon V as he is set to appear in the new film:

See Undead Backbrain for further information, images and videos.

Gallery: this gallery includes pictures of the film’s creators as well as other CGI images of Robot Taekwon V (not related to the film).

  • Source: Writing: Robert Hood  |  Research: Avery Guerra

Reach

Here’s a great little animated film by Luke Randall. It uses the idea of a newly “born” robot to create a brief, poignant mediation on ambition, desire and “in-built” limitations.

Reach (Australia-2009; short [3:50 min]; dir. Luke Randall)

The Evolution of Robots

This is a commercial for SATURN, a German electronics retailer. It was directed by Carl Erik Rinsch for advertising agency Scholz&Friends.

In case you think the evolution of robots into sexy humanoid form is unlikely, check out this real-world one:

A (Defective) Robot War

Two defective robots in a robot factory fight over a loose hand. It’s cute. And rather poignant.

The animator is Rani Naamani.

Source: AniBoom

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