Simply put, Godannar has absolutely everything a robo-fanatic could ever dream of. First off you have giant robots clashing and fighting through cityscapes with equally titanic monsters. Secondly those massive robots can combine with others to form even bigger robots to unleash yet more destruction and havoc. Even better is that the organization of pilots are paired into teams, so there are many partners to get to know and see in action. This series pays homage to shows of the past while slightly parodying itself with a great sense of humor and gratuitous amounts of fanservice. It doesn't take itself too serious and proves to be a ton of fun as it takes you along for the ride.
It's the year 2047 and five years have passed since the Mimetic Beast War had come to an end. The Earth was on the verge of annihilation and many of its cities lie in ruin due to the fierce battles. The planet had been saved thanks to the Dannars, who were a group that operated giant robots that were used to battle the monsters during the war. Those pilots are still operational, though one of the most quintessential among their ranks has been out of service since the end of the conflict.
Goh Saruwatari was revered among his colleagues thanks to his service and skill, but no matter how good he was, he couldn't prevent his partner and lover (Mira) from getting killed. Even though five years have passed, Goh is still haunted by her memory and has been out of commission. Time passes and old wounds begin to heal, so we join him as he is about to wed a pink haired girl named Anna, whom he happened to save during the war. Even though she is significantly younger than Goh, she quickly becomes a formidable pilot and member of the team. It also helps that her mother is running the whole show.
In the first volume of the show introduced us to Goh and Anna as their wedding was broken up by a Mimetic Beast. Anna stumbled her way to the Okusaer and the two fought the monster side by side. What a way to start the honeymoon, huh? As the five episodes progressed more monsters surfaced and were subsequently taken down by Goh and the gang. One of the groups pilots; and an old friend of Goh's was enveloped by one of the beasts and his fate was left up in the air.
In the second volume we learn a little more about what happened to Max and see him alive again in some manner. There is more to him than meets the eye and it would appear that he isn't entirely human anymore. Much to Goh's amazement, Mira also returns from the dead, though only physically. Mentally Mira is an infant, but to say that this causes some problems between the newly married couple would be an understatement.
There is a fair amount of continuity between these episodes as well and an event from one spills over into the next. The first pair mostly have to do with the Max plot and the second has to do with a flying mimetic beast that maroons Goh and Anna, as well as the team of the Dragliner, on a deserted island. In between all of these episodes though the Mira subplot remains and she does strange things that indicate there's going to be much more to her character than meets the eye. The re-introduction of the character certainly adds an air of mystery to the show and proves that it is more than a bunch of screams and explosions.
Along with the constant humor and action, there is also a ton of bra and ass-shots, as well as all manner of bouncing breasts. I've seen plenty of fanservice in my days, but some of what happens here really takes the cake. Every female has ridiculously large chests that stick out and defy gravity, perfectly round buttocks, and doesn't seem to mind flaunting them wherever they go. Even the female giant robots have equally preposterous bodies and "machine gun jumblies" as Austin Powers would say.
This is one of those shows that could have gone either way. The giant robot genre had pretty much dried up, but Godannar seems to breathe life back into the anime staple. This is mostly thanks to the fact that the show doesn't take itself seriously at all, as is evident thanks to the fanservice. It is a little silly at times, but it proves to be a ton of fun and a very easy concept to get into. The second volume continues the trend of the first and presents a show that has a lot of energy and some great overall quality. Sometimes you just want to watch a series that is an entertaining diversion with a lot of action and humor. When it comes to Godannar you can't go wrong.
Godannar is presented with a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and is positively gorgeous. I didn't notice a single bit of cross coloration, or pixilation. There were a few extremely minor moments where some aliasing and grain seeped into the image, but those were few and far between. The palette for this show is just about as vibrant as I have ever seen with a lot of very well pronounced colors and nice contrast.
I absolutely loved the design and overall style of the show as well. The style is a little old school mixed with new, and the animation is very frenetic and fluid. The artwork on the show makes use of a lot of dramatically thick lines that gives it almost a comic book quality. Sometimes animations are reused, but those are symbolic of the robot genre and not the result of a low budget. Overall this is a fantastic looking series that features some slick fast paced animation and a very high quality DVD transfer.
Godannar gets the standard English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 audio treatments. The English track provides a better sound effect and music presentation with some very nice directionality, but a couple of the voices leave something to be desired. The Japanese track offers the best voiceovers, but lower quality because of the stereo sound. This is a particularly loud show with a lot of screaming and explosions, plus all kinds of mechanical bits. This is a very good sounding show, but the aural presentation is certainly not as strong as the visual.
I am very pleased to report that Godannar volume 2 houses a decent selection of bonus material, though it is mostly informational. For starters there are some clean opening and closing animations, as well as some ADV previews. Some character profiles are also available with various artwork, information and plot points surrounding the characters. This volume offers profiles for Max, Mira, Knight Valentine, Ellis Valentine, Kagemaru, Konami Sasagure, Momoko Momozono (say that ten times fast), Shibakusa and most of his mechanics crew.
Some mechanical profiles are also available and focus on some of the robots and their combat techniques. Rounding out the profiles is a collection of information for the Mimetic Beasts that around battled in this volume. Aside from all of that the only other offering is a selection of keywords specific to the Godannar series, such as types of attacks, referential names, etc.
It may be a little corny thanks to all of the fanservice, but I have to admit that I really, REALLY, have gotten into Godannar. The show has a great personality and sense of humor, plus offers up a ton of action and eye candy. The balance between action and T&A feels much more refined in this volume, though there is a plethora of both. The Mira mystery should turn out to be something interesting and so far this is one of my more favorite series to arrive this year.
The DVD also offers some fantastic video quality with a nearly flawless transfer and amazing animation. The audio quality is great as well, though not without its minor annoyances. If you ever had a place in your heart for giant robots and don't mind excessively bouncing breasts, then Godannar could be the series you have been waiting for. Highly Recommended
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