Dai-Guard Vol. #5 (of 6) (Mania.com)

By:Paul Jacques
Review Date: Friday, December 26, 2003
Release Date: Monday, November 17, 2003

What They Say
The danger keeps getting worse. The pressure from the bosses is too intense. The DAI-GUARD pilots have more than enough reason to look for new jobs. But a real hero never lays down his robotically enhanced weaponry until the last foe falls. And these three pilots are all the hero the world needs. Can they prove themselves as the final battle for humanity becomes even scarier?

The Review!
In the last volume it looked like the end Dai-Guard and PR division 2, can these four episodes bring hope to the our favorite salary men?

I watched in alternating Japanese and English sound, I found both tracks to be clear, rich, and without error.

I can’t find fault with the DVD, it’s a perfect transfer from the original.

At first glance the front of the box looks strange, with the characters in a dark blue shading, and a Heterodyne replacing Ibuki’s eye (she is pretty focused on destroying them). On the rear we have four stills from the episodes. Inside the box there is a single sheet insert which shows Aoyama and Arisa with their backs to each other. And the disc itself is printed with Dai-Guard and Aoyama.

A simple, but functional menu, made to look like a construction sign (perhaps), with the episode selection down the left side and options along the bottom. All hotspots worked and did so quickly.

Apart from the clean Open & Close, we have a hand full of sketches to gaze upon, but it’s nothing to get excited about.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Episode 18 starts very dramatically; danger in the board room, as it’s announced that PR division 2 has been suspended; danger in the streets as a new Heterodyne appears to menace the population in Tokyo. When Dai-Guard is sent into to deal with the threat - guided by the new military combat team - they make a complete hash of it and the Heterodyne gets away- Corporate embarrassment is high! When the Heterodyne appears a few days later, the new Dai-Guard team once again botch the job. When the bad guy turns up a third time, the Dai-Guard is finally able to kill it thanks to some unconventional changes both on the team and back in the board room.

Episode 19 and 20 are a two part story. It starts very well, with PR Division 2 re-instated with all it’s original members. A Military encounter with a Heterodyne over the Sea of Okhotsk leaves the civilian administration debating the powers of the “Anti Heterodyne” forces. Meanwhile the Dai-Guard team are sent on a PR exercise to the Sapporo Snow Festival. Whilst there, Aoyama encounters an old flame (Arisa), and it’s clear that they had a thing going in the past, and that Aoyama dumped her. Their relationship is a thread that runs through this two part story, and it’s interesting to watch it play out.

A Heterodyne appears, and despite orders to the contrary the Dai-Guard team engage the wee beastie, but it gets away. Just to make things more difficult the political turmoil is seriously interfering with Self Defense forces ability to take action. And then a threat of invasion, from a foreign country, appears on the horizon, this really make the situation complicated. And just when things couldn’t get worse, Akagi’s friend Ishihara steels the Dai-Guard fighter (out of guilt)!

In the end the heterodyne is lured to a hot spot, and at last Dai-Guard gets a clean shot at taking the Heterodyne down for good, but it requires the help of others to do so.

The final episode on this disc sees the focus on Ibuki and how she is dealing with the memory of her father. Only Ibuki’s obsession about protecting the nation from Heterodynes is clouding her mind to the hurt she is inflicting on her family. Later we find out that Ibuki’s father had researched the Heterodynes considerably, and that Domeki has been using his research to better understand the enemy. During their lunch time conversation together much is revealed about Ibuki’s motivation, and it’s Domeki who suggest that perhaps Ibuki has misunderstood her father’s motivations. Of course, it isn’t long before a Heterodyne turns up and by a strange quirk of fate it’s the same type that appeared 13 years ago, the one that could only be destroyed by an OE weapon (which killed everyone). A fierce battle ensues and the story is left on a cliff hangar ending with Dai-Guard severely damaged and burning in the ruins.

Overall, another great disc, with plenty of scenes to bring a smile to your face.

In summary- This series continues to keep coming up with the goods.

English Language in Dolby stereo,English with Song Subtitles Dolby stereo,Japanese with English Subtitles Dolby stereo,Clean Opening & Close,Production Sketches

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 21” Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones.

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 2 - Europe
Released By: ADV Films UK
MSRP: £19.99
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dai Guard