Recent events have made me aware of how out of the loop I am with the mecha fandom. Whereas I would’ve once known and posted about it within days of the first announcement, this time I wasn’t even aware of it until someone linked me to a video the day it came out.

(Thanks, Jorge.)

Probably the most surprising thing about the new game is that, finally, after something like 20 years’ worth of games in the franchise, the grandfather of the heroic giant robot, Tetsujin 28, has made its SRW debut. Now, all of the questions about how Shoutarou factors in will be put to rest (he doesn’t even appear next to the robot, meaning he won’t accidentally get smashed by falling debris).

Granted, it’s not the original 1960s Tetsujin 28 here, but rather the 1980 remake, Emissary of the Sun Tetsujin 28 (not to be confused with Emissaries of Light Cure Black and Cure White, or Brave of the Sun Fighbird). I have to wonder why they decided to go with this iteration, as opposed to the ultra-90s remake, or the more recent Imagawa adaptation, but I figure it probably has to be for one of two reasons (or maybe a combination of the two). First, its style meshes the best with all of the other robots in the series, and so it has the least chance of sticking out. Original Tetsujin, which also appears in the 2004 version, is too clunky and rough, and the 90s version is too beefy and doesn’t share enough of the iconic look of the original. Second, as per the reason Space Emperor God Sigma got into SRWZ (the director said, “I liked it as a kid so now it’s in the games), maybe someone just wanted it in there.

One thing I find interesting, however, is the fact that they managed to get Tetsujin 28 in any form into the game at all. I remember hearing that back when Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 came out that they were originally going to have Giant Robo: The Animation in, just as they had it in the first Alpha game, but that the license had become too expensive after the creator of Giant Robo and Tetsujin 28, Yokoyama Mitsuteru, passed away. But now years later we have what might be his most lasting legacy ever in an SRW game. What gives? Was that rumor merely just that? Is the cost perhaps the reason why there are so few new series in Saisei-hen? Does being an adaptation factor in, much like Godmars?

In any case, check out the game’s animation. It is fantastic.