Anime Meta-Review




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Title Info

  • seen: 2-3 of 3
  • type: OAV
  • grade: flawed
  • genre: mecha
  • Series state: Don't intend to watch more.
  • made: 1987
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Another commercial tape rescued from disposal...although probably unwisely. The first thing to note is that while the tape is labelled as `dangaioh' is is actually a 10 minute reprise of the first OAV followed by the concluding two episodes. Which is a shame, because the first one looked like the most interesting. In any case the story is pretty simple, so it doesn't take too long to catch up. In this far future there is an alien empire full of unbeatable bad guys that has got mankind on the run. In this environment four young things (one male, three female) awake to find their memories blocked out. The crazy scientist who performed the act informing them that they have psychic powers and a new role. That role being as pilots for the four jet fighters that transform into the giant psychic mecha robot dangaioh...the only weapon capable of standing up to captain garymond (head honcho on the bad guy team). There's a couple of problems of course, because the bad guys are into huge mecha as well. And in addition to the dangaioh team having personality problems there's also the good old `tragic past' to upset them and provide a storyline before we get to the (inevitable) giant robot powered destruction.

In other words it's a very, very average and completely unoriginal experience. It starts off with some human drama, generally springing from the hidden past of the dangaioh members, to upset the team and make us care. Leading up to some non mecha action and then concludes with the `good' mecha getting beaten by the `bad' mecha. This continues until the team has worked out their personality problems and / or found the will to continue after which they do their named attack and blow the enemy away. But it's even more average than this. The characters are awesomely shallow, the story development silly and the dialog bad beyond belief. The world is merely an arena to fight in and it's all so terribly artificial that you just don't care after a while. Add in that it uses every cliche in the book and you are left with an anime that, unless you're really into the giant robot thing, has no reason to be watched. And at only two (and a bit) OAV episodes it's much too rushed to go anywhere. Fortunately the conclusion of the series, while not completely disallowing the prospect, would seem to make it fairly difficult to produce more.

Mind you, the production does this one no favors at all. The first thing to notice is that the animation is very bright, sharp and detailed. But as a result it's all very `stiff'. Lots of surface flash but very little actual movement leads to some very dull action. This is mostly true for the robot and other machinery though, with characters being less impressive and their design (and possibly personalities) seemingly `borrowed' from elsewhere. Although this may be more due to the lack of originality involved. The action is every bit as archetypal and artificial as the story. It's also `staged' in a very artifical way, feeling more like a sequence of actions than a believable conflict. Indeed the most interesting game with the production is working out how a decent slab of money, and a well established genre, could lead to the production of such a lame product. And then you get to the dub (no matter how you wish to avoid it). The dialog is terrible, but the presentation makes it feel even worse. The failed attempts to do drama, the synchronised screaming in the mecha, the terrible `filters' on the aliens, it's all just horrible. And the sound mixing is also strange, with the voices much lower than the `zoom and boom' making it really tough to hear what's going on. Add in some energetic but empty music and I predict you'll be clawing for the remote.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:16 WST 2009