Though I mentioned the Sci-Fi Experience a few days ago, it seems I’ve posted very little in that realm. I think it’s time to remedy that.
Be forewarned, though, that what follows is not a review. Oh, no, dear readers, what follows is a complete and total nerd-out. A nerd-out in which I attempt to create a flimsy connection between a beloved animated feature from 1999 and an obscure anime series from approximately the same era.
I therefore say unto you that The Iron Giant could share a timeline with The Big O.
If you are unfamiliar, The Iron Giant is an animated film set in 1957, in which a huge amnesiac robot falls from space and befriends a boy named Hogarth Hughes.
The Big O is a techno-noir anime series set in an unspecified year. Beneath the domes of Paradigm City, the City of Amnesia, live humans and androids who lost their memories forty years previously. The city’s top negotiator, Roger Smith, can call upon a giant robot called Big O to defend the city from other giant robots.
Consider that The Iron Giant takes place in the 1950′s. Stylistic elements in The Big O seem to suggest that The Event of Forty Years Ago occurred in the late 1960′s, (not to mention the fact that the series aired in the 2000′s, forty years after the 1960s.)
In a deleted scene, the Giant had a dream of others of his kind laying waste to an alien city.
Suppose that the Giant regained his memories, or at least some of them, by the end of the film. Let us suppose that while he sat in the ice waiting for the lost pieces to return, he recalled that the others he dreamed of were already on their way. He might try to return to Rockwell to warn Hogarth of the impending invasion, but he might well be tracked and intercepted by the military en route.
Let’s say that the military takes the Giant’s warning seriously. How could they possibly defend themselves from giant alien robots? Why, with bigger, gianter robots of their own! Studying the Giant leads to the creation of the Archetype, the base model Megadeus. (A term for the most giantest of giant robots.) The Giant’s alien technology also enables advanced androids to exist in the 1960′s.
Then, sometime in the 1960′s, the Other Giants land and are met by a horde of Megadeus… es. Megadeii? Whatever. The ferocity of the battle results in a nuclear winter scenario that makes the Cretaceous-Tertiary Event look like a gloomy day. And thus, “the sun stopped shining.”
With the Others defeated, the survivors build domes over remaining settlements, and start to build a Big Dome over at least one city, but construction is for some reason abandoned. The reason for this could well be related to the memory loss event.
Human nature being what it is, especially during the Cold War, the Megadeus pilots would probably splinter into factions and go to war with one another. Perhaps the only way to prevent humanity from ironically wiping itself out after defeating an alien invasion would be to erase some memories.
To prevent further wars, the remaining Megadeus units would be put to sleep, though one would always remain active to stand watch, in case the Others were to return.
Now, this still doesn’t explain the weirdness of the final episode, what with things vanishing into a strange luminous grid. I would like to interpret this as happening in Angel’s mind. As she questions the authenticity of her memories, she questions reality itself. The last thing she can deny is Roger Smith and his concern for her, and in accepting this fact, she returns to reality. Roger himself went through a similar identity crisis at the start of the season when his implanted memories began to surface. It was his android sidekick, Dorothy, who drew him back to reality by calling him Roger Smith. If that was Dorothy needed Roger to be, then that was who he would be.
Now you may be wondering where the Giant and Hogarth Hughes would have been during all this. Hogarth, though he lost his memory just as badly as everyone else, even forty years later, he still dreams of a smiling metal face. A face which still slumbers, far below the City of Amnesia.