Dokkoida!? Vol. #1 (also w/box) (of 3) (

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, August 23, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2004

What They Say
The Galaxy Federation Police (GFP) desperately wants to cover-up its personnel shortage with new mechanized power-suits. Suzuo, 19-years old, desperately needs a job. Tampopo needs an earthling to fit the prototype of her company's suit and declares Suzuo the perfect candidate!

Strong competitors and the wacky A-class criminals fight against our hero in diapers, but they must not recognize each other out of costume or the test results will be a failure - but it's OK if they all live in the same apartment building to save money, right?

The Review!
Looking like an Ultraman reject and having the subtitle of "UItra Diaper Man", Dokkoida was nowhere near the top of my to-watch list.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series has a rather good stereo mix to it with lots of action going across each side and being rather distinct at times. Listening to the English track while writing the review, we noticed just about the same kind of solid mix to it and a good sense of directionality and clarity to it. Dialogue throughout on both tracks is clean and clear and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally airing in 2003, the full frame transfer for this show just looks fabulous. The show is so rich in colors and vibrancy that it just shines a lot from there. But when you add in that cross coloration is non-existent, aliasing is hard to be found and I'm hard pressed to find anything else really wrong with it. With playback of this in 720p upconverted via a DVI connection, it just comes across as beautiful clean transfer with no issues.

Going with one of the traditional styles of the image of a rising sun in orange colors, the cover lets the characters launch out from the center point and we get to see the main trio in their battle costumes set just above the logo, which while written awkwardly still looks pretty neat, especially the casual way he leans against it in silhouette. The back cover has a few shots from the show and a nice character collage for the background with a brief summary of the shows premise. The episode numbers and titles are clearly listed along with the discs features and extras while volume numbering appears on both the front cover and the spine. The insert for the release has a number of animation shots on the front along with the chapter listings and opens to a two-panel shot of most of the characters we meet in this volume flying through space. The back of the insert has a nice illustration shot of three of the girls from the show. A neat extra included in this release is an iron-on similar to the image that Suzuo has on his shirt as the show goes on. Geneon also goes the extra distance with this release by doing a fully reversible cover. The reverse cover is a more serious looking piece with a mix of in and out of costume shots while the back cover provides two four-panel comics from the show.

A disc + box release was also done for this show. The box is a of the solid chipboard variety and is all black by using the artwork from the two-panel spread in the insert where the characters are all leaping into space above the planet. There is a lot of great little details to the image and it's definitely bright and colorful This is a great little box but not one that will have people flocking to it.

As soon as the comic book cover shifted down onto the screen and the pages felt like they truly flipped by, I knew I was being treated to a new Nightjar menu and just grinned. Mixing the animation shots into the usual comic book style and using dialogue bubbles for the selections, this is a bright and colorful menu that's just fun to look at. The selections are laid out with action emphasis on them and they chose some decent images to use for the main page of the menu. Even the transitional animations are so brief and well done that I can't complain about them because they don't feel like transitional animations since they flow so smoothly from one menu to the other. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load quickly. The disc also correctly read the players language presets which only added to my happiness.

The extras are a bit light but it doesn't seem too surprising as generally shorter series like this tend to not have many extras. We get the opening and ending sequences in textless form which is a plus since they're fun to watch. We also get a short promotional clip that was used to promote the show in Japan and get it some general media awareness.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the number of parody shows out there being so hit or miss for me lately, I wasn't exactly dreading this release but it wasn't something I had high on my list of things I wanted to see when I had a stack of new shows to watch. As it turns out it's a heck of a lot more fun than I expected it to be.

Dokkoida takes place in the near future where things are relatively as they are now but there's a whole universe of things going on the average person doesn't know about. We're introduced to a young girl named Kosuzu who has an interesting set of clothes that allow her to make wild jumps and practically fly around the town. She's searching out someone to take on the job of testing out a new power outfit her company has created and she ends up picking the unsuspecting young man named Suzuo. Suzuo's a down on his luck young man who can't find a job in the continually bad economy. When she approaches him, Suzuo sees the suit and suspects it of being some kind of toy marketing gig and turns it out, especially since it's so weird looking and tries to sneak away from her.

The timing is bad though as Dr. Marronflower and his evil creations are swarming up from below ground to take the city down. While Kosuzu tries to get Suzuo to wear the outfit, her competition in the form of Neruloid Girl arrives to take him down. As we find out, Kosuzu's company is in direct competition with the company Neruloid Girl works for to create the best power suit that's affordable for the Galaxy Federation Police. They GFP have decided to hold the test on Earth where the chief is continually sending down Class-A criminals to test against each company so that they can evaluate how good the suits are and what kind of weaknesses they may have. Suzuo reluctantly wears the outfit for the first few times as he alternates between feeling wickedly powerful and able to do things he never could before and getting his diaper-looking butt handed to him. Since Kosuzu actually does pay him when every other job fails, he ends up sticking with the job and tries to make the best of it as more of the criminals come down after him.

The criminals are a lot of fun. From a young girl that uses some malleable goo to create huge animal shapes that she can control to another sadistic whip-wielding woman who comes with her own masochistic slave-boy that can transform into a space-tiger, there's nothing traditional about what the show does with its cast. Suzuo's style of winning which uses a combination of attempted heroics, good luck and being friendly with the enemy often lands him victories he doesn't deserve otherwise. One of the best parts of the show is that since everyone is wearing these strange outfits, when the enemies are defeated and they retreat they go back to their lives of attempting to be a normal person in the city. This means going back to their small apartment at Cosmos House, which is where Suzuou and Kosuzu also live. Everyone ends up as neighbors and actually become fairly friendly with each other, not realizing who the other people really are. There's a lot of cute "Three's Company" type of humor that gets mixed into it because of this and it's a lot of fun watching them trying to play normal people.

Dokkoida is a very high-energy show that has a lot of fun with itself and the genre. The parodies are probably going over a lot of material I don't know but they hit upon a lot of the standards so there are definitely plenty of laughs to be had here. A lot of things are simple on-screen gags with characters and outfits that I'm sure I'm missing but there are some wicked digs in here. This is the only show I've ever seen that has even attempted a Grave of the Fireflies parody and then pulled it off beautifully. The style of the show is also using a lot of the high-energy to come up with some very limber characters, especially when Suzuo is transformed into his Dokkoida outfit and his legs are like pipe cleaners.

In Summary:
Dokkoida manages to hit all the right marks with its parodies and comedy and broke the streak of comedies that I wasn't finding all that funny lately. While there are plenty of over the top moments, they don't feel like they're going so far or so long for a gag that it turns un-funny. Combined with a gorgeous transfer, a solid cast for both languages and lots of solid comedy and parodies, Dokkoida is a good short show that tickled my funny bone just right. I don't expect a lot from it, got a good amount back and now look forward to a few more episodes to see how it all plays out.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Textless Opening,Textless Ending,Promo Clip

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
MSRP: 29.98/39.98
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dokkoida!?