Paradigm City is a place without a past. 40 years ago, something happened that wiped the memories of everyone in it. Unfortunately, the people of Paradigm City were very busy before then, making Megadueses (giant robots) and monsters. People who were born after the memory wipe are gaining/recovering memories of the past and using them to build newer threats. With the help of The Big O (a faithful giant robot), his butler Norman and the android Dorothy, Roger Smith keeps Paradigm City safe. As problems mount and more memories surface, Roger’s past and Paradigm’s future begin to become suspect… – My Anime List
Based on 14 review scores:
Big-O is one of those rare overlooked and underrated gems in anime. Don’t let the big eyes and giant robots dissuade you from catching this series: Big-O is a clever and stylishly dark sci-fi series, and is highly recommended for fans of Philip K. Dick, Batman, or both.
This show also has its share of mindscrew moments. If you’re looking for a confusing series to watch, then this definitely is a recommendation, because when you look beyond the unanswered questions you can see that this show has a story that the creators put a lot of thought and effort into.
Anime News Network
The Big O’s first half is an excellent show. I enjoyed the hell out of it and I hope it is resurrected soon and interest returns. Nowadays it’s an underappreciated gem, shadowed by the more contemporary Cowboy Bebop and Trigun. But to me, it’s better than both.
My Shiny Toy Robots
To summarise, The Big O is an excellent series that draws on a variety of different styles and genres to create a unique science fiction story, but becomes far too wrapped up in itself and thus falls a bit short at the final hurdle. Until then though, it’s almost flawless – top notch animation, great character designs, an engaging narrative and characters and a wonderful musical score. Definitely one to check out.
It has an unorthodox presentation but it is nothing other shows like Ergo Proxy or Ghost in the Shell didn’t do in a far more refined and mature way. It is still a different watch from the usual but hardly a great one.
Life-like characters that grow throughout the series; life-like situations; incredible animation; dazzling battles; and (most importantly), the most wonderful music for a cartoon ever.
My Anime List
Again I gave this a 10 almost across the board, because It’s my opinion on the series. I felt it was a well told story.
The Anime Review
I admit that I am in the minority with my opinion of The Big O. There are a few Internet boards out there dedicated to trying to unravel the mysteries of the show and its mindslap finale, and many people there seem to think this show is much deeper than I give it credit for. However, I’m of the opinion that you can debate the meaning of the show forever precisely because it has no meaning — it completely depends on the viewer. The Big O had a lot going for it, and I must admit it has a few charms, but in the end, it felt like a waste. I’ve given higher ratings to shows that I didn’t like as much, but I only spent an hour or two of my life watching them. For the 650 minutes of The Big O I watched, I should have gotten a lot more back in return.
It’s not Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop, but it isn’t half bad.
The appeal of this series is twofold; it’s a mecha series that looks different and feels different. The western styled visuals and an attempt to merge two very different genres makes for a compelling series. Unfortunately it never lives up to its potential. At the end of the day, the series is episodic and incomplete, which is a shame because there are periodic flashes of genius.
A tragic display of style over substance for the most part, The Big O’s slick presentation, cool characters, and irresistible mysteries are priceless oases in a desert full of off-kilter dialogue, half-baked plot twists, and tedious filler episodes.