The Big O might seem like a very simple anime to those that have seen an episode or two, and that's how I felt at first as well. The more I got into the series, the more I realized just how unique it was. There are elements of the show that are very heavily seated in traditional anime, and then other parts that just don't match up with the usual anime content we see. It makes for quite an entertaining analysis.
First and foremost, the visual style of The Big O is definitely not what you see in traditional anime stylings. The look of the show itself is much closer to American style animation. I've always compared the show's visuals to that of the Batman: The Animated Series. It's simply, has an art-deco color scheme and is fluidly animated. There are only a few key elements that qualify the visuals for something anime fans would recognize.
The design of the show's story is also something that is more usually seen in cartoons over here in the states. The show definitely has its serious moments, but it's usually more into heavy action or simple humor. The Big O reminds me of the other afternoon cartoon fodder that used to be on in the states. There's some intelligent stuff going on, but it's covered up with a thick layer of content that makes it appeal to any age.
There are some other elments of the show that I'm dying to talk about, but they're better suited to a later article. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how interesting The Big O is. Hopefully through the course of these next few features, I can convey my point in more engaging ways.