It boggles my mind that eight years after its last episode aired The Big O is finally getting some decent toys. Even during its heyday on Cartoon Network the best we got toy-wise was a couple of Megadeus figures. So I was truly blown away when Figma announced an R. Dorothy Wayneright.
You might have heard me say this before, but I’m going to say it again. The Big O is my favorite anime. Ever. On the surface you get an entertaining noir story about the Batman-esque Roger Smith and his adventures in Paradigm City. He’s aided by his butler Norman, and his maid/ward/friend Dorothy. When negotiations often break down and trouble rears its ugly head, usually in the guise of a giant robot, Roger ditches the subtle approach and battles it in his own giant robot, Big O.
All in all, pretty fun to watch. But what I truly love about the Big O are the multiple layers and serious depth that encompass the overarching story. Scattered amongst the anime clichés of giant robot battles are questions about who we are, what makes us human, and whether we get to choose our own destiny or if we are cursed to repeat our mistakes in a never ending cycle that leads to destruction. The metafiction of The Big O runs just as deep as Evangelion, but in much more subtle ways. So much so, that I’ve even written notes of commentary on the episodes and someday I might actually get around to publishing them.
We are introduced to R. Dorothy Wayneright in the first episode. She’s been kidnapped for ransom and Roger is hired to negotiate the terms by her father. But, in classic noir style, not everything is as it appears. Dorothy is actually a robot, and the old man who built her, her “father”, is murdered. Now Roger must figure out why he was killed and connections it has with the giant robot that’s now attacking the city.
Dorothy is one of the most interesting characters on the show. As a robot, she claims to have no emotions, yet she’s displayed fear and even jealousy. Throughout the series she’s even shown to have a strong sense of sarcasm, especially when it comes to giving Roger a hard time. She’s extremely guarded, even if she doesn’t know it herself. But these traits work to make her very likeable, not just to the fans but also the other characters on the show. Even in a world of domed cities, giant robots, and amnesia, Dorothy stands out as truly unique.
Looks wise, Dorothy is perfect. Although she has a couple of different outfits in the series she’s almost always seen in her maid outfit. The design is extremely simple, but there are a couple of things to note. First off is Dorothy’s hair. She’s got a pageboy haircut, which is something you don’t see that often. Not just in anime, but anywhere really. I really appreciate how well the sculptors did with her hair. Looking at the anime it may seem simple, but when you transfer it into 3D it gets much more complicated. But they nailed it, and it looks right from every angle.
The second thing I wanted to mention was more interesting than anything else. Since she’s wearing a dress, the sculptors had to give her underwear. What’s curious is that they chose to give her white bloomers. They look fine, and they work great with the look of the outfit. I just want to know where the decision came from though. It’s been a while since I’ve watched some of the episodes, but I don’t remember seeing a peak at Dorothy’s underwear in the entire two seasons of the show. The Figma people are pretty spot-on with detail, so I’m wondering if this information actually came from the creators of the show.
Dorothy’s paint job is even simpler than her design. Although she’s seen in both a green and red dress originally, Roger’s house rules dictate that the people who live in his house wear black. Almost her entire outfit is molded in black and given a few spots of white for detail. The most color she has on is the shiny teal button on her collar. Dorothy’s hair is molded red, like it should be. But instead of giving her white skin, like in the show, they molded her with a very pale flesh color. This originally bothered me in the promo pictures, but now that I have her in person it’s not so bad. The pale skin is just different enough to help differentiate it from the whites of her costume. Which I think is why they chose that color. Continue to page 2…