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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Daichis: Earth's Defense Family Vol. 1 - Dysfunctional Heroes
The Daichis: Earth's Defense Family Vol. 1 - Dysfunctional Heroes
Geneon // Unrated // December 14, 2004
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted January 13, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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The Show:

They are the most unlikely of heroes, a dysfunctional family that can barely talk to each other, much less work together as a team. When they get selected by the Galactic Federation to be Earth's defenders, and get the chance to earn some serious bucks in the deal, who can resist to call to glory? Comic high-jinx abound in Geneon's latest release, The Daichis: Earth Defense Family.

The Daichi family doesn't get along. Mamoru and Seiko, the mother and father, have been having problems for a while and only seem to scream at each other. He's a spineless computer programer who has his head in the clouds, and she's headstrong go-getter who is only interested in how much money the family can bring home. The children are no better. Their son, Dai, is a juvenile delinquent who runs through the halls at school lifting up girls dresses to expose their panties, and Nozomi is a virtual slave, doing all the cooking and cleaning. After years of suffering, Mamoru has filed for a divorce and the papers have come through. All that's left is to sign the papers and split up the kids.

Before pen can touch paper though, they get a strange fax. All it says is "Save the Earth." But as they stare at it the ink starts to swirl and a disembodied voice announces that they have been chosen to fight for the Earth. They are going to receive battle armor that gives them super-human powers and all they have to do is fight off alien invaders. Oh yeah, and they get 9.8 million yen (about $100,000) for each mission they successfully complete. Their first job is on the way, a giant space monster is heading straight for Japan.

So they jump right into action. At least most people would, but not the Diachis. They get into a fight. Mamoru doesn't want to risk her life fighting monsters, Nozomi won't even power up, and Seiko can't reason with either of them. Dia of course goes zooming into battle with his flying surfboard and laser sword, quite oblivious that he's totally outgunned.

The family somehow manages to defeat the monster, and completes a few more harrowing missions but a big surprise is in store. When payday rolls around they find out that they don't get any money. In fact they owe some. 99 million yen to be exact. Every time they use one of their weapons or technological devices, the cost is deducted from their earnings. If they quit now, they'll have to pay the balance by doing hard labor on the planet Siberia for 100 years. So now they are trapped into fighting, but they can't use their weapons if they ever want to get out of debt.

This is a really fun show. It has a lot of energy and action mixed with a liberal dose of humor. If I had to describe it (which I guess I do) I'd say it was a cross between Married with Children and Power Rangers. The Diachi's have cool power suits and attacks, which gives the show a lot of action, but their constant bickering and screw-ups add a lot of humor. An interesting show that looks like it'll be a fun ride.

The DVD:



Audio:

Unlike many recent releases, the English dub was in stereo surround sound, not 5.1. The original Japanese track is also pro logic surround. I viewed the disc with both soundtracks, and I enjoyed them equally. This would have sounded better in 5.1 since there is a lot of loud dynamic fight scenes, but the supplied audio tracks were sufficient. There was a fair amount of dynamic range, and audio defects were nonexistent. A good sounding disc.

Video:

The was a great looking disc. The colors on this full frame image were very bright and dynamic. The blacks of space were deep and solid, and the sky was bright blue. The image was only marred by some light aliasing, which was fairly minor. A excellent looking DVD.

Extras:

Extras on this disc include a non-credit opening, two minutes worth of Japanese promotional spots, and 30 production drawings. Pretty standard extras, but interesting none the less. Including an Earth Defender card in the case would be a cool extra that they'll hopefully think to include in future volumes.

Final Thoughts:

This humorous take on group action shows is quite good. It's fast paced and hectic, with a lot of humor and action. Be warned, there is a lot of low brow bathroom humor, but the kid in me really enjoyed that aspect. Well worth taking a look at. Highly Recommended.

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