Godannar Vol. #1 (also w/box) (Mania.com)

Review Date: Monday, September 12, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Review!
A Giant Robot show full of action, humor and fanservice gets a unique and enjoyable twist when the main couple are already married.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Five years ago, during the Memetic Beast Wars, two life-changing events happened to giant robot pilot Goh Saruwatari. His partner and girlfriend Mira died in battle. He also saved the life of 12 year old Anna Aoi. Now, five years later, having finally come to terms with Mira's death, he's ready to move on and marry the now 17-year-old Anna. She's a perky, stubborn and very skilled pilot in her own right, even if she's still in high school. She also happens to be the daughter of his boss, the impossibly buxom Kiriko Aoi. With Goh and Anna in the middle of their wedding ceremony, he's summoned away to help battle a new Beast, leaving Anna at the altar. But she's not the sort of girl to just wait for her husband to come back. She finds a giant robot of her own and joins him in battle. They their first domestic squabble in the middle of a life-or-death struggle with a horrifying monster.

Anna, with the backing of her mother, joins the forces fighting the beasts. If Goh accepts her, that is. He's already lost one woman he loved to the Beasts, and he doesn't want to go through that again. He trains her as hard as he can in an effort to get her to give up. Back at home, they've now moved into a small apartment on the base, along with Goh's younger brother and Anna's classmate in high school, Shinobu. The friction of having a third wheel in their little love nest doesn't sit will with Anna and leads to another argument. When a new Beast attacks and targets Anna, Goh is forced to face his worst fear.

Having resolved his issues with Anna fighting along side him, he takes her on a honeymoon, but it's interrupted by another Beast attack. It's the largest of the Beasts anyone's ever seen, and two-person teams of robot pilots from England, North America , China and Russia all appear to fight it. But Goh's planned ahead, bringing his and Anna's mechs with him.

In Summary:
This preview disc came only with an English 5.1 audio track. This is one of the most interesting dubs to come out in quite some time. Instead of the standard English dubbing practice of recording each actor individually, ADR Director Matt Greenfield recorded his actors in groups, and in full scenes instead of line by line. With a cast of several dozen characters in numerous combinations, the logistical nightmare of juggling so many different actors' schedules paid off in a dub with the sort of chemistry that comes only with actors playing directly off each other.

Godannar is the sort of show that brings a big smile to my face. It's both a parody of and homage to the great giant robot shows of the past. One of the more unique features of this show is having the main couple married in the first episode, rather than the last. It puts a whole new spin on the genre that is very enjoyable. It also give the show a sense of humor that is all its own. And the women are beautiful beyond belief. The combination of frantic action, manic humor and delicious fanservice is near perfection.

Review Equipment
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player

Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: n/a
Video Rating: n/a
Packaging Rating: n/a
Menus Rating: n/a
Extras Rating: n/a
Age Rating: TV MA
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Godannar