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The Asian ApertureJohnny Sokko and His Flying Robot Episode 1: Dracolon, The Great Sea Monster
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, February 18, 2013    Share

Eagerly anticipating Shout! Factory’s release of Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot: The Complete Series on DVD, with a release date of March 26th; I just couldn’t wait so I went over to Youtube and found the first episode. As I expected it is a dubbed version, which I tend to hate, however I wanted a small taste.

Episode 1: Dracolon, The Great Sea Monster begins in typical kaiju fashion as a giant menacing sea creature starts attacking and sinking ships. One day aboard a ship, Jerry Mono meets a young boy named Johnny Sokko. What is interesting about their relationship is that when Jerry first meets Johnny, they developed a real friendship. Naturally Dracolon soon arrives and is antsy and decides to attack their ship. Johnny and Jerry fall overboard and awake on a nearby rocky beach and after exploring the area, they are quickly held at gunpoint by a member of the dreaded Gargoyle Gang, (only in the US dub, aka Big Fire in the Japanese version.)

They are taken to a nearby building. Johnny Sokko and Jerry Mono, who is really a member of Unicorn, which is an International Defense Organization, manage to escape and acquire guns to blast away the bad guys. It is interesting that a young boy is able to fire a gun, with strict US censorship policies that didn’t edit those scenes out. Lots of anime was severely edited for violent content before being broadcast on US television and somehow Johnny Sokko was spared. The only editing done was to be able to fit it another commercial.

Johnny Sokko and Jerry Mono eventually meet up with the highly intelligent Dr. Lucas Gardion who is building the Giant Robot, (Giant Robot is the original Japanese title for the series.)
As Dr. Gardion explains, the robot will obey the first voice it hears and that happens to be none other than Johnny Sokko, using a pocket watch with a built in miniature transmitter. Dr. Gardion wants to prevent the Gargoyle Gang from using Giant Robot with the potential for tremendous destructive power, so he places an atomic bomb nearby in hopes to blow it up. However, the atomic blast is just what Giant Robot needs to be activated.

Johnny Sokko is able to control the robot’s movements through simple commands. The robot puts down one very large metal hand and Johnny and Jerry sit down into his big palm. Then they all fly through the sky to find and defeat Dracolon.

In true Ultraman fashion, Giant Robot and Dracolon battle it out in an interesting kaiju fight that is typical of 60’s tokusatsu shows.
Having whetted my appetite, I am ready for the main course. I can’t wait to see Johnny Sokko with the original Japanese language track, with the original sound effects track, and Taeko Yamashita’s jazz score that was replaced in the American dub.

So until the release date in March, I won’t watch anymore episodes on Youtube so I can enjoy the series as it was originally intended to be seen.

Expect a full review at that time.

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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