(Tetsujin 28-go and his archrival Black Ox)
The single robot that started the ENTIRE super robot genre was Tetsujin 28-go, known in america as Gigantor. Tetsujin 28-go was created by manga artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama in 1956. Wildly successful when it came out, it has spawned several animes and manga sequels. The titular robot in the series was controlled by 10-yr old Shotaro Kaneda by means of a hand-held remote control. Let's take a second and zoom out here. A gigantic, super-powerful, humanoid robot is controlled by what amounts to an Atari controller. ?!?!?! As if. This is the crux of the super robot genre, though.
In 1967, Yokoyama was asked to write a premise for a Tokusatsu TV show (tokusatsu is a genre of Japanese television that translates out to "special effects" it covers everything from Atragon, to Gojira, to Zuranger [power rangers] I LOVE IT). Yokoyama wrote a premise for a show that he called Giant Robo; "A robot that can only be controlled by a hero" In Giant Robo, the titular robot is controlled by Daisaku Kusama. Daisaku controls Robo by speaking into a watch. ONLY Daisaku can control Robo (as opposed to Tetsujin, which anyone could use as long as they got the Atari stick). Giant Robo was constructed by Daisaku's father for the international terrorist group, Big Fire. Naturally, he has a change of heart at the conclusion of Giant Robo's construction, and hands over control of Giant Robo to his son. This is a start of a really charming precedent in the giant robo genre of the main robot having been built originally for EVIL! Giant Robo had a run as a manga and as a live-action TV show (known in the US as Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot.)
That's it for the Giant Robot history/rant...FOR NOW! Next time: fanart and Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still!!!