This is a part of series of posts relating to Fight! Iczer-1 franchise. Please see Robot related materials above for further content on the subject
The intention of this post is to cover main appearances of Iczer Robo and its main different versions and successors from the Fight! Iczer-1 franchise. This is not an exhaustive list of all appearances and images, but an overview on some notable ones. This post is heavy with images, so the click below for more.
Rei Aran Originals
Original Iczer Robo
The original Iczer Robo debuted in Comic Lemon People issue 21, 1983, and would be mostly seen in Issue 22. These pages are from Robots and pretty girls Best Works Selection – Lemon People 1982-1986, 2001, which reprinted the original two-chapter run alongside other Comic Lemon People one-shots.
Rei Aran’s original Iczer Robo is unique among mecha of the time. Rather than being visually very technical, it follows classical Super Robot style with its sleeker body and lack of clear mechanical visuals. It could be mistaken as a power armour of sorts without the comic’s context. A clear body shot and view on the design can be seen in Aran’s artbook NOTICE from 1985.
Original Iczer Robo would get a design tweak for Lemon People Extra Issue Vol.52 Fight!! Iczer-1, 1986, where Rei Aran draw an additional chapter. This was also reprinted in 1992’s Minna Genkai Kai!!, a collection of Aran’s comics.
While the core design is the same, changes include changing the face design, shortening of the forehead fins, slightly bulkier torso, additional detailing everywhere e.g. in the joints region and tweaking of surface patterns, like the ones on the knees and on the chest.
In the same year, Iczer Robo’s face would appear in its current iteration with high amount of detail alongside with revised design of the series’ main character, Nya A.K.A Iczer-1.
THE ICZER ONE
Rei Aran’s remake of his original work would debut in Comic Lemon People #184 , 1994. Iczer Robo would make its first appearance in THE ICZER ONE Part 7, Comic Lemon People #195, 1995.
While Iczer Robo would be appearing during the rest of the series’ run, the following chapter from 1996 January’s issue would only show head design.
Both Iczer-1’s and Iczer Robo’s designs are based on their 1986 redesigns, with far more refined linework and detailing. While the basic design is the same, the end result is very different.
Iczer Robo still maintains a very feminine hip region and overall rounder shapes, the amount of visible armouring and segmentation is visible. Backshot shows us a clear backpack-like unit, while the torso has been significantly extended forwards and given more layers. Sadly, for the rest of the series we mostly get headshots and silhouettes.
While the original pitch for the 1985 OVA pitch was far more closer to the original comic, including Sir Silver as a character and using Aran’s Iczer Robo design, it was ultimately redesigned from scratch.
The OVA Iczer Robo is the most iconic version. It retains the idea of a female mechanoid and opts for a grey overall colour with green accent colours.
Initial run of the Fight!! Iczer-1 VHS came with Story Board books, where we see Iczer Robo’s character model better from all necessary angles. However, the two following episodes would largely veer away from this clean and round look, opting less smooth and more masculine look. This breaks the uniqueness of the design and defeats the intent and purpose of of the design.
Perhaps it should also be noted that Iczer Robo is one of the first almost purely biological mechas, alongside Aura Machines of Dunbine, something that Neon Genesis Evangelion would play with to a large degree. We can see Iczer Robo’s internals in ICZER-ONE MediaMix Special from 1986.
The same OVA design was used in the 1989 Light Novel adaptation of the OVA. However, at this point it has shed some of its smoother lines and has slightly bulkier look. Its second appearance in illustration shows the back of Iczer Sigma without its cape.
OVA Iczer Robo also made its appearance in Rei Aran’s Minna Genki Kai !! in one panel, doing its Get the hell out here! beam attack.
The second episode of the OVA introduced Iczer Sigma, which is by all ends and purposes, the superior evil counterpart of Iczer Robo.
These production sketches from 1985 showcase Iczer Sigma with and withouts its cape as well as detailing of its face and hand. In the OVA itself, Iczer Sigma is largely inanimate and does not remove the cape. Iczer Sigma’s closeup was used promotional materials as well. Notice the uncharacteristic double-bladed energy sword on Iczer-2.
Iczer Sigma also provides the background detail that the alter egos of Iczer-series of artificial life are gestated in a transparent artificial womb while mechanical parts are being crafted to them.
We get a full colour body shot of Iczer Sigma without its cape, alongside its main pilot Iczer-2, in Fight!! Iczer-1 Part 2 LP record.
To contrast to Iczer Robo, Iczer Sigma’s palette is colder grey with blue or purple hue to it, with red highlights. It is completely original design that had no basis in the original comics.
Adventure!! Iczer-3 Audio drama
Adventure!! Iczer-3 is an audio drama series released under Radicase Comics label in 1988. The drama has been described as “Extra edition” rather than a sequel. Differences are in the setting; places one year after the events of the original novelisation of Fight!! Iczer-1, Iczer-3 is the daughter of Iczer-1 and overall tone being more more comedic and parodying Japanese comics and television. It contained two unique Iczer Robos, with transformation being their main gimmick.
Iczer Dragon heavily relies on the OVA design. Its base design is pretty much the same with tweaked proportions, with the addition of Dragon form change. This leaves Iczer Dragon’s right arm to function as both a whip weapon as well as the Dragon mode’s tail. This mode is first shown and described in the Vol.1 of the drama.
Iczer Griffin (or Griffon or Gryphon, depending on your preference) is mostly unique and original design, partially dictated by its Griffin Mode. It made its first appearance in Vol.2
However, there are numerous recognizable elements that are telltale signs of an Iczer mecha. First, its face is slightly more angular version of OVA version. Secondly, its torso has a similar bulbous shape and a slit down the stomach. Legs, while mostly original, have hint of Iczer Robo-ish shape while the feet have a similar, long and sharp form to them. Hands have more digits than normal, but their sharp and spiky nature is from previous Iczer Robos. Notice the use of Crescent Moon motif on both mechas.
Adventure! Iczer-3 OVA
There is, effectively speaking, only one Iczer Robo in the 1990 OVA series and it does not have any other particular name. Iczer-3 calls it simply as Robo, and the production material names it as Iczer Robo alone . Also note the difference between the Cassette drama and OVA versions; the other is written with one exclamation mark, the other is with two.
Due to the DVD’s having a very bad Laserdisc transfer that look almost like they used a random VHS source, using screenshots from the show is not exactly best way to showcase the design. However, this one shot toward the end of the series shows that while this Iczer Robo is recongizable as part of the franchise, changed elements include more bulk and a visible secondary cockpit for the synchro pilot, i.e. Nagisa. We see more details in the production materials.
There are numerous changes to this iteration of Iczer Robo. While the base design is mostly a tweak OVA original, with additional bulk and angles, red as the choice of colour and head design is very much derived from Iczer Dragon. Additionally the main attack, Iczelio Bomber, has a designed launcher within the forearms.
We see almost a full body shot of Iczer Robo with proper colours in Adventure! Iczer-2 B-Club Special, 1991. Interestingly, while Original OVA Iczer Robo only had three fingers, this iteration has full five. While the basic core torso is the same, with the slit mid-section armour protruding beyond ischium, the extra bulk and new shapes come from the additional armours and change in upper torso design.
Technically speaking, there is no Iczer Robo in Iczer Girl Iczelion. Neverthless the main character wears a power armour formed from a smaller sentient robot named Iczel, who is very much a child-sized version of OVA Iczer Robo. You can see its production materials in this post.