Getter Robo (Japanese: ゲッターロボ Hepburn: Gettā Robo, typically romanized as Getter Robot in the various manga) is a Super Robot manga series created by Ken Ishikawa and Go Nagai, as well as an anime series produced by Toei Animation. The series was broadcast on Fuji TV from April 4, 1974 to May 8, 1975, with a total of 51 episodes. The series was groundbreaking in the anime mecha genre: for the very first time, it introduced the concept of separate machines combining to form a Super Robot. Using three jets, Getter Robo could combine in three different ways to create three different versions of Getter Robo for different conditions and situations.
This idea was originally discussed during the creation process for Mazinger Z (the first Super Robot to be piloted internally), but was dropped and then developed for Getter Robo. This idea of combination and transformation proved to be a very powerful concept that has been used in the super robot genre ever since. Also, by adding three pilots to the robot was able to add an element of teen drama, probably influenced by the already popular anime sci-fi team show Gatchaman (better known in the U.S. as Battle of the Planets, G-Force: Guardians of Space or Eagle Riders).
The TV series, OVAs and manga are considered to be three different series because of the various differences between them. The TV series Getter Robo and Getter Robo G are Toei’s original version based on Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa’s concepts, rather than being adaptions of the manga. Getter Robo Go is a futuristic show that mimics the older TV series in style and family-friendly tone. All three follow a monster-of-the-week formula. The OVAs are mostly based on the Getter Robo manga, and sometimes other Ken Ishikawa manga like Kyomu Senki. Each OVA is set in a different alternate continuity and thus can be watched in any order.
The Getter Robo Saga manga compilation by Ken Ishikawa (Getter Robo, Getter Robo G, Getter Robo Go, Shin Getter Robo, Getter Robo Arc) is considered to be the main continuity of the franchise as each entry is connected to each other. The manga not by Ken Ishikawa, like Go Nagai’s Devilman vs Getter Robo and Getter Robo Darkness, aren’t considered in the Ken Ishikawa continuity.