Dai-Guard Vol. #6 (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Release Date: Monday, January 19, 2004
What They Say
So far; so good. The DAI-GUARD pilots have beaten back the enemy. They've saved mall after mall from certain destruction. They even found time for a tune-up. But the battle for the human race is about to enter its final stage and all of humanity is one breakdown from defeat. Can our trio of heroes go the distance? Who will be left standing and how much will their insurance rates go up? Will they be given a heroes' welcome? Or will they have to work overtime, holidays, and weekends? The only way to find out is to watch. The final episodes of DAI-GUARD are in your hands!
Well, it’s the last five episodes in a series that portrays regular office workers saving the world (with overtime) from the Heterodyne menace.
I watched in alternating Japanese and English sound, I found both tracks to be clear, rich, and without error.
The good thumping opening theme is called “Back alley space-boy”, the lovely closing theme is called “run, run”.
I can’t find fault with the DVD, it’s a perfect transfer from the original.
The front cover shows the entire 21st Century work force posing in front of Dai-Guard. The rear cover has five stills from the volume, technical information about the DVD as well as the credits. The single insert sheet has Dai-Guard, Ibuki and Akagi. The disc itself is a nice print of Ibuki and Dai-Guard.
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 22 starts with the aftermath of the cliff hangar situation the previous volume left us with. The Heterodyne has gone, Dai-Guard is damaged and the three man crew nurse their injuries. Of course Ibuki is feeling terrible, as it was her loss of concentration that caused their defeat. And so the rest of the episode is about Ibuki, her feelings of guilt over the screw-up, her feelings towards the now tarnished idol that was the memory of her father. And this is important, because she cannot navigate Dai-Guard any more, thus rendering PR 2 an ineffectual team.
It isn’t long before another Heterodyne appears, and the dysfunctional Dai-Guard team are sent to intercept it. It takes Ibuki’s stepfather to remind her that it’s everyone’s responsibility to help others by doing those thing that are within their abilities. And so after Ibuki watches her stepfather tend to the needs of the injured she realizes that it isn’t vengeance that should motivate her, but compassion. This realization comes none-to-soon as Dai-Guard is getting it’s butt kicked. Finally Ibuki is able to get her head straight, re-join the team, and help finish off the Heterodyne.
The next episode is light hearted run through a day in the life of PR 2. And we get to see what happens when the various characters have a spot light (well camcorder) shone upon them. We get an insight into their feeling, and how they take pride not in saving the world, but in just doing the job to the best of their abilities, so that normal people can live a normal life.
Episode 24-26 (three part story) opens with Dai-Guard in a stand-off against a starfish shaped Heterodyne. The team dispatch the baddie in a by-the-numbers assault and it’s quickly forgotten. Then a couple of days later the mother of all Heterodynes turns up above the city, well out of the reach of Dai-Guard. Thus a City evacuation is ordered as the Heterodyne hovers menacingly overhead, leaving just PR 2 to wait and protect empty Tokyo streets.
After a week the army take upon themselves to attack the dormant Heterodyne, with disastrous results for Tokyo. More importantly how can Dai-Guard defeat a foe it cannot reach? Even worse the army are proposing to use the OE weapon, and this will obliterate Tokyo! Luckily Domeki comes up with a cunning plan, which is promptly ignored by the army (they need to save face ASAP). It takes a disobedient Shirota to bring Kokubogar and Dai-Guard together in a combined effort to kill the Heterodyne before the OE weapon is used. The battle is good stuff, and a whole episode is devoted to these two leviathans battle their way to the fractal knot. Along the way they have combat the Heterodynes basic defenses, but also it’s new secret weapon which no one has encountered before. During this time the clock is ticking down to the deployment of the OE weapon.
Although the super Heterodyne is eventually defeated, there never will be an end to Heterodyne attacks. As Domeki points out, the Heterodyne are part of nature and they can be no more eradicated than Hurricanes or Volcanoes. And this is fine, as the series was primarily character driven, with the Heterodyne acting as a disaster that ultimately brought out the best in those characters.
Can a regular Joe save the world during his lunch, heck yes!
Many other would-be Mech Anime would do well to look at this series first, as it demonstrates how to write good solid characters (with motivation). Overall this has been an excellent series; humour, action and great animation being de rigueur with each and every episode. After every volume I’ve always had a nice, warm, feel-good inside me from watching our heroes fight the baddies. The only minor let down (IMO) was the old style Mech design. If you are not bothered by Dai-Guards design then I think you’ll very much enjoy watching this series.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening & Close,Production Sketches
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
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dai Guard