Dangaioh

Manga

80 minutes
English Dub Only
Released: 01/28/2003
Reviewed: 04/05/2005

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Like a disgusting virus, Masami Obari keeps sneaking his way back into my life. First there was Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer, which I judiciously unloaded on my good friend Kyle for the princely sum of $30. But it was not then that the cruel pox would abate, because I fell upon a literal bounty of crappy anime at a time that unfortunately coincided with me being gainfully employed. As I lack anything even minute resembling farsightedness I was only too happy to sink $130 into a truckload of absolutely god awful DVDs. Virus Buster Serge was among them, and so was this. It was like someone was trying to shoot a giant purple warning flare directly into my groin and I still didn't get it.

There's probably a crucial difference between you and I, dear reader. While you scrupulously browse reviews and plunder for discounts and buy things that you know you'll adore, I spend the majority of time buying crap in bulk so I can rant about how much I hate it to the internet. How many times can you say you bought an anime that you knew you'd hate on purpose? I can say it about THREE HUNDRED TIMES.


 

This review of Dangaioh, then, is coming to you because of the unfortunate fact that I haven't been able to unload it on half.com for a princely sum (like $6), yet. If you want to thank your lucky stars for that then go ahead, but I have a decidedly less friendly bent towards it. As I write, I've formulated the idea in my head that I could pay $20 a month for Netflix and get all the ugly, stupid anime I want while at the same time renting movies that I do want to see at the same time. Of course, nobody's saying I'm industrious enough to do something like this... but it's a nice dream.

Dangaioh, as you can probably guess, is not the most enthralling way you can spend 80 minutes of your time. If I haven't adequately portrayed that then... it's probably no surprise. I understand that some of you might want some more definition and a portion of those reading have come here looking for naked psionic boobs. Whatever little remainder probably wants to hear the plot and execution and my thoughts on said plot and execution.


 

The Dangaioh team are a group of teenagers who pilot a robot and fight the evils of space. It's an OVA so were really not given more than a name for the badguys and a twenty second scene where they discuss their evil plot (that never gets resolved or even put into action). Of course, this scene happens part way through the second episode so by then I was already too busy organizing my archives of girl-on-monkey porn to recognize anything more than an inkling of what was going on. The fat robot pictured left seemed to be some sort of patsy, if that helps.

The teenagers are all psionically gifted, but each have a weakness that inhibits them in some way. There's the guy who's incredibly skilled but also extremely shy, the precocious twelve year old, and an incredibly tough woman who isn't very astounding psionically but makes up for it by being so damn incredibly tough. Stop me if you've heard this one before, but there's a girl who's a pacifist and doesn't want to hurt anyone. Even when they're about to destroy her home planet! Who the hell makes this stuff? If I had psionic powers I'd be blowing up Skabs's bed, Skabs's computer, Skabs's art table. Basically I'd break all the things I mess up when I'm drunk, but I'd be doing it psionically. Why do anime characters have to be such total sissies?


Normally I can last at least two episodes of something, but god damn it if Dangaioh wasn't boring from the very moment it started. There's a ten minute sequence that acts as a recap for all happenings prior to the story. Curiously, the OVA would seem to be the first event in the Dangaioh timeline and, as such, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED PREVIOUSLY IN THE STORY.** Over the course of ten minutes we're told in (not so) great detail about how the four pilots were trained, escaped their cruel master, killed a whole bunch of mercenaries while they were on the lam, then found out their cruel master wasn't so cruel and decided to hang out with him just like that! My favorite part is when the one girl tries to leave the team before the prologue is even over. Fortunately she's convinced to come back or we wouldn't have a show!

If only they had decided to compress the whole story into 20 minutes I would've wasted a lot less of my Sunday night. The characters, who irritatingly all refer to each other by their first AND last names, just bounce around from planet to planet uttering slews of profanity (thanks Manga!) and never really getting anything done. At what I guess is supposed to be the climax of the thing the evil doctor who's not so evil makes a noble sacrifice to save the Dangaioh team so they can make one final attack. They kill the bad guy and then the DOCTOR IS STILL ALIVE. What the hell?

I hate you Masami Obari.


**Unless there's a manga. But I 100% don't care enough to look that up.