Dokkoida!? Vol. #2 (of 3) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, November 29, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2004



What They Say
The rigorous and scientific selection of the power suit that will save the Galaxy Federation Police force continues. Hardly! While none one in the Cosmos house have realized that the A-Class criminals are neighbors to Dokkoida and Neruloid Girl, they have instead set themselves to flirting with each other's human disguises and alter-egos. Still, when not asking for a raise, taking breaks because of the heat or being distracted by summer festivals and love simulation games the villains will continue their battle for freedom against our heroes! ?Maybe?

The Review!
Dokkoida continues to play fast and loose with the realm of super-heroes, particularly in the Japanese sense of the phrase, and this series is all over the map with comedy, philosophy and amusing S&M.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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.

Packaging:
With pretty much all of the main characters here in their battle uniforms, you wouldn't have to look too far or hard in a US comic book shop to find a cover there that looks pretty much the same. Dokkoida continues to play up its comic book nods with this piece and it looks good with the real leads being fully colored and with his diaper pretty much glowing at this point. 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 the front cover. The back of the insert has a nice illustration shot of Asaka in both regular and armored mode. A neat extra included in this release is an iron-on of the little chick that shows up in the show. Geneon also goes the extra distance with this release by doing a fully reversible cover. The reverse cover is once again a more serious looking piece with the philosophical episode material being used here with Kurika while the back cover provides two four-panel comics from the show.

Menu:
Night's menus for this release, utilizing the same layout but tweaking it nicely, fit perfectly here. 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.

Extras:
The extras are fairly amusing this time in a certain sense. Included is a two-part making of session that covers how the end credits were made. What's terribly amusing about it is that they start off the video interview session by stating that it's 3 AM where they are and then just go right into it. While there's always the tradition of an animation studio not knowing what time of the day it is no matter when it is, you can tell these folks are dead tired and not all that communicative. It perks up here and there as they go into some of the design sessions and remember the tightness of the production and there's some interesting things to learn, but just watching these four tired folks go on about it is rather amusing to me.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When we first saw Dokkoida, the phrase of "Diaper-man" that some had applied to it was pretty strong. When we actually watched the show, I was surprised to find it as funny as it was and as raunchy as it was as well. While there are plenty of parody series out there and send-ups of various genres in the last few years, most of them go so far over the top or are just continually "on" that they wear out their welcomes pretty fast. Dokkoida manages to avoid a lot of this but still manages to be very amusing and right on the money with what it skewers.

Moving into the second volume, the show continues to play with its characters and settings but also trying to go a bit more philosophical than one would expect in an overly serious episode that gives hint that there may indeed really be something more to this show in the long run. One of the things that Marvel Comics did with their characters that made them popular for ages was bringing in heroes that were short on money. Dokkoida follows that route as Suzuo plays up the eternally poor guy routine pretty well. The job of being Dokkoida pays him a real pittance as it turns out and he's not allowed to get a second job while working this one. Most of the time he can't even afford the cafeteria food for a lunch. Tanpopo promises him some packed lunches but with the way she cooks he's not all that keen on it after he thinks about.

His down attitude starts to show up in his work and when one of the battles starts, he actuallyasks the others where they get the money to afford their upgrades and power suits. The answers just strike him down hard since it becomes apparent that he's really the lowest page wage slave of the group. So his goal to get a raise from Tanpopo and the company becomes his main focus and it's a lot of fun watching him trying to get one. Between his attempts to do so while trying to get a meal or just trying to find another way to make money lets the episode flow nicely and it just had us laughing with what he has to go through.

Dokkoida also knows when fanservice can be done properly. When the heat hits the city and none of the heroes or villains can bring themselves to fight due to the humidity level, everyone decides that the best thing to do is to just slink back to their other lives and head down to the pool. I'll admit that in general the standard pool or beach episode can be a lot of fun and this one really isn't any exception, especially with the cast of characters assembled here. Sayuri of course takes the cake with having everyone fawning over her but Suzuo gets some grief himself due to the Ruri. Since she's got the hots for him in an older man/younger woman kind of way, she does her best to spend time with him but gets stymied by Kusuzu. Some of the best moments here, which actually get a bit tender, are between Suzuo and Asaka though. Lots of fanservice, amusing situations and general tomfoolery makes this one of those good episodes that seem to make their way into most series these days.

Dokkoida goes in an interesting direction later on though when an episode about the summer festival creeps up into the show. Much like the pool/beach episode, these are pretty standard in a lot of series. Suzuo ends up getting a package from home with his summer kimono as well as Kusuzu's, which is amusing in itself since she's not really related and the mental suggestion placed on his mother is pretty weak, but it gets the job done and as everyone comes to visit the room they all decide that they should go together. This infuriates some of the girls who continue to want Suzuo for themselves for some unknown reason but it does allow for everyone to have a reason to be together.

While this series has been mostly comedy and comical action sequences, it does try to bring in some different material as well. One episode on this volume is just plain out there and I really have to wonder how it fits into things in the larger scheme. When Kurika decides that she wants to go to the summer festival with everyone, she goes to tell the good professor just that only to find out that he's planning some sort of device and event for the festival that will allow him to see into everyone's thoughts. Something goes awry and we get a surreal experience of a mixture of dreams and potential thoughts from everyone as Kurika seemingly travels through much of them as well as her own. It's all fairly nonsensical in a lot of ways and I really have no idea what they're trying to say here. It doesn't fit within the series but at the same time it almost feels natural to go through something like this.

In Summary:
Dokkoida continues to build upon the energy of the first volume since it has less setup and exposition to do and focuses just on the comedy and fun. Going from allowance issues all the way to what brother-sister love is truly all about, the characters here are just a lot of fun to watch as they live their dual lives within the same household without even realizing it. In a way, everyone comes off as sympathetic in their own way and they all provide a good deal of humor to the series. And simply put, Pierre is just the best character there is. Dokkoida's a lot of fun and a nice change of pace from a lot of the far too over the top kind of parody series that have been out in recent years.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Making of the Ending Part 1,Making of the Ending Part 2

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 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
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dokkoida!?