Mecha Discussion: Can Getter Ray technology exist in real life?

The majority of the mecha franchises that exist belong to the sci-fi genre, especially those with giant robots, with some explanations as to how those mecha are powered, moved, and controlled. As such, many mecha series feature fictional technologies that power the robots as well as their weaponries. Some of them clean and revolutionary, some of them are downright dangerous and risky to utilize. Nevertheless, they are thought-provoking and can spark your interest in scientific topics. I’ve made speculating about fictional energy sources and the connection to today’s technology one of my pastimes. And the first technology we’re taking a look at today is one of the earliest introduced in the franchise: Getter Ray reactor.

In the Getter Robo franchise, Getter Ray is a type of cosmic radiation that is prevalent throughout the universe. It bombards the Earth regularly, just like cosmic rays in real life and is depicted to affect the genetic mutation/evolution of living beings. In the Getter Robo series,  Dr. Saotome of the Saotome Research Institute developed an engine to harness the power of Getter Rays, called a Getter Ray Reactor, which, in turn, is used to power the transforming Getter Robo series of robots.

Getter Ray is a very powerful source of energy with a profound impact on the environment. It can be outright lethal to some species that cannot stand high concentrations of it in the ambience, such as dinosaurs (yes, the first antagonists in this series are sentient dinosaurs), but is harmless to human beings and the present-day natural environment. However, If a reactor went into a meltdown such as Musashi’s in the beginning of Shin Getter Robo Vs Neo Getter Robo,the resulting explosion can destroy an area the size of New York City. The Getter Ray itself can be used as a direct-energy weapon, this being the famous and powerful Getter Beam, a trademark weapon of all Getter Robos that utilize Getter Ray Reactors. In some cases, it even gave rise to sentience within the Getter Robos themselves, enabling them to act on their own and become a living machine, such as Shin Getter, Shin Getter Dragon in Getter Robo Daikessen, and the terrifying Getter Emperor.

With more powerful enemies appearing to threaten mankind, the Saotome Research Institute creates a newer, more powerful series of Getter Robos. Starting with Getter Robo G, up to the monstrous Shin Getter Robo, and its successor, Getter Ark. The existence of more powerful Getter Robos also brings mankind closer to the true nature of the Getter Rays, and what its consequences for mankind will be in the future.

That being said, Getter Ray Reactors do not create noticeable byproducts; the robots that run on them do not even generate fumes or pollute the environment under normal operational conditions. It has many parallels to real-life nuclear energy. 

Neutrinos energy can be harnessed from solar radiation

In real life, Scientists are researching Neutrino Energy, harnessing the power of cosmic radiation. Scientists Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald in 2015 proved that Neutrinos have mass, and in turn, contains energy. Scientists at UC Berkeley, Sherry Mo, have published the Interplanetary Radiation Harnessing Voltaic System, where a voltaic system is used to generate photovoltaic effect from Neutrinos using a NaI scintillator, a type of radiation detector,  in combination with a standard silicon solar panel. And, just like Getter Ray, the Earth and us are constantly being exposed to such radiation

Another cosmic rays-harnessing technology is in early stages of development, where a Neutrino Power Cell built from layers of silicon and carbon will generate resonance when neutrinos hit it,which in turn will be used to generate electricity. Interestingly, unlike solar cells, the process of generating energy does not require sunlight because neutrinos bombard the earth even at night. The Neutrino Energy company in Germany is in the process of developing it. This real-life parallel is certainly less risky and controversial than the fictional Getter Rays (since it doesn’t result in sentient robots that want to dominate the universe for one), although we need to know the levels of energy density from such systems to decide whether it is feasible or not.

Reference 1:

Reference 2: 

Kajita (2015) Discovery of Atmospheric Neutrino Oscillations, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, The University of Tokyo, Japan.
Mo et al.(2019) Interplanetary Radiation Harnessing Voltaic System [online] available at


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