Dokkoida!? Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • 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!?

Dokkoida!? Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     January 13, 2005
Release Date: January 11, 2005


Dokkoida!? Vol. #3
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


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!
Though it goes with a traditional ending, Dokkoida!? manages to provide some great episodes for its final volume and does the entire parody concept justice.

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:
Going with a serious look, pretty much all the lead characters get a shot at the cover here though only Dokkoida!? himself gets a fully lighted treatment which lets him stand out from the darkened area that everyone else is in. 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 everyone from Cosmos House playing around and doing a pigpile on Suzuo. The back of the insert gives time to the dual images of Ruri in both her normal form and her transformed side. A neat extra included in this release is an iron-on of the Dokkoida!? logo. 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 Marronflower getting the bulk of the canvas for his mug.

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:
With a show like Dokkoida!?, I'm glad that they managed to include some quirky extras as we've seen on past volumes. This one goes a step further with something normal and something very weird. The first is an acoustic session with the group that sings the opening song and it's a fun little bit and a good extra to have. The second is a cosplay bit that's done with two women dressing up as Kosuzu and Sayuri but in their transformed modes. So yes, one of them is in minimal amounts of black glossy clothing. They do a bunch of shots and twirls and it's all cute and mildly disturbing. Where it gets really quirky is that the start showing clips from a couple of scenes (which look bad, almost VHS-level quality imports) where the anime character is swapped out with the live action actress doing the spins and being overdubbed by the anime dialogue. It's… different. Different. Yeah, that sums it up.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Dokkoida!? has been one of those series that's been truly surprising at almost every step of the way. It wasn't a show that looked like it would be good, considering the hero wears a giant diaper and looks like an Ultraman reject – a character I already haven't liked for as long as I've known him – and it had practically no advance buzz with it and seems to have been under the radar not only before its release but during it as well.

With the final volume, it manages to have a bit more fun with the characters in doing some parodies and thoughtful moments before it shifts into the big moments where it tries to wrap everything up. To my surprise, other than the expected happy ending because anime can't do sad endings anime, the final episodes of the show just hit every mark right and was far more enjoyable than I expected. The show started off strong in the first volume but had a bit of uneven episodes in the second volume. With the last four episodes, it hits it pretty solid and while not quite out of the park with force, it's very, very close.

Before it gets to the serious stuff it hits up the parodies and comedy material head first. Right from the start it goes for a highly amusing Harlock parody as we learn that the good doctor Kurisaburo was actually known as one of the most feared pirates in the galaxy. Dressed up in great style like Harlock and sporting a ship similar to his, we see a time in his past when he left a beautiful young woman to wait for him only to never return as he ended up eventually captured years later. The woman, Marilyn Mororon, decided that she'd make sure that when he did eventually go searching for her she'd make it so that he could find her easily and so she began a movie career and has become the biggest megastar of the galaxy. But now having found out what happened to her dear Marronflower, she's slipped out of the hands of her handlers and gone to Earth so that she can confront him at last.

Naturally, this adds more chaos to the Cosmos House since the Galaxy Police ask Suzuo and Kosuzu to watch over her until she returns and make sure nothing happens to her. This just invites more parties in their room and elsewhere but eventually Marilyn and Marronflower get time alone and he tries to push her away, which leads to the Shark Gang showing up and kidnapping her for a massive ransom they plan to offer. It's pure chaos after that but with the number of flashbacks to their past as well as the way both of them have changed in the intervening years, both Marronflower and Mororon come across as very likeable here and it's a great bit of small parodies throughout based on the larger Harlock one.

One of the best episodes of the series is the second one here when the higher-ups at the galaxy police decide that they need to put a little publicity to their tests and allow a 24/7 live coverage of the Cosmos House residents go into effect with it being broadcast across the galaxy. Unlike what a lot of these shows are like where conflict is the main source of entertainment, this show goes for pure fanservice and every little sigh becomes a hugely erotic masterpiece. The manipulation done on the residents is priceless as the cameramen sneak around getting all the juicy footage that's sending the males around the galaxy into tailspins. To spice it up even more, Suzuou ends up winning a one-night weeknight trip to a hot spring which will push the ratings to unheard of levels when they try to go for full on nudity. It's a brilliant episode and is just played out to full effect.

The ending arc that covers the last two episodes brings to conclusion the power suit test fairly swiftly at first by canceling both projects as a Senator Woodpecker informs both parties that they were really just decoys for the real project, which is the Osabaki M5 automated project. Bringing that out and shuffling the others off stage, we get to see things close down on Earth as the criminals are denied their freedom and the other aliens have to leave in order to preserve things as they are supposed to be. This is done while out in space, the Osabaki M5 ships are actually easily hacked from the outside and a coup is instigated to take over the galaxy and install an absolute monarch over things. It turns into chaos out in space which is balanced with the new quiet days on Earth as those that remember their summer at Cosmos House think fondly upon it. Naturally, you can figure out where it goes and it's predictable but it's very well done because Suzuo manages to be an entirely believable hero of sorts that's dealing with a strange situation in the only way he can.

In Summary:
Dokkoida!? stands out as one of those hidden gems in a sea of popular titles that few people end up seeing but those that do end up raving about. It's release reminds of the similar feeling I had back when Black Heaven came out and it seemed like nobody was even interested in trying it because of the cover artwork, not realizing what a great show was hidden inside. Dokkoida!? manages to do a super-hero parody, something that's been overdone in the past few years, without going too far over the top or being too obnoxious or truly in-joke about it, instead keeping a fun and engaging serial story going along with the action and jokes instead of resetting it every episode. With a fun and quite diverse cast that hits a number of areas combined with some slick writing and great comical action moments, Dokkoida!?'s one of those series that I'll continually recommend checking out.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Cosplay Show,Psychic Lover Concert

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.

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