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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Godannar: Complete Collection
Godannar: Complete Collection
ADV Films // Unrated // July 10, 2007
List Price: $69.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted August 1, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The Series:

Like many otaku, the thing that got me interesting in anime was the giant robots.  Robotech is still a favorite of mine, the various Gundam hold a special place in my heart, and I get a lump in my throat every time I think about how amazing Neon Genesis is (well, except for the last two episodes...)  Over the last few years however, the genre has grown tired and stale.  It seems like every series is just like the previous one with young kids battling monsters to no real end.  Shows like Divergence Eve and Gravion have worn me down so when I hear that a new mecha series is coming out I no longer get excited.  One show that puts a lot of the fun back into giant robots however is Godannar.  The series was previously released over seven volumes (you can read Todd Douglass' reviews here) and now the series has been collected in thinpack and is available at a bargain price when compared to the original releases.  While the extras have been stripped off, this is still a great way to watch this solid series.

The year 2042 saw the conclusion of the war with the Mimetic Beasts, giant monster that want to destroy humanity.  The beasts were ultimately defeated by the Dannars, huge human controlled robotic suits that were the only thing that could face the Mimetic Beasts.  These giant instruments are really two mecha robots, one male, one female, that can link together to form the perfect fighting machine.  Near the end of the war, the best Dannar pilot, Goh, lost his partner, and lover, Mira.  The guilt and anguish caused him to leave the corps.

As the series opens, five years has passed and things have been pretty quiet.  Goh still feels ten loss of his partner, but has managed to move on and is even getting married to Anna, the 17 year old daughter of the woman who runs the Dannar base located in Japan.  As they are saying their vows however, a Mimetic Beast attacks and Anna's mother and husband-to-be fly off to see what they can do.  Not being one to be left behind, Anna jumps on a motor-scooter and follows them and eventually ends up in a robot fighting the monster.  This in turn convinces Goh (eventually) to become a pilot once more.  He and his wife form the robot Godannar!

At first, this seems to be a monster-of-the-week show, but it's really more than that.  There is a fairly substantial plot which takes some unexpected twist and turns over the course of the series.  There is more to the Mimetic Beasts than meets the eye, and when some pilots are captured and ingested by the creatures, they seem to be different when they escape.

The show has a nice balance between the monster battles and character interaction too.  While the characters are never fully fleshed out into three dimensional people, they do get deeper than I thought they would.  As the Mimetic Beast attacks become more and more frequent, the stress the pilots are under increases dramatically.  They start to crack at a time when they can least afford it.  Anna is particularly well developed.  She's only a teenager but over the course of the series she matures and grows stronger.  There's a lot she has to deal with too, not only being killed by a horrible monster, but dealing with the emotions that well up when her husband's ex-lover comes back from the dead, a woman who turns out to be better than Anna at just about everything.

This series is a fun tribute to the mecha shows of the 80's.  It doesn't make fun of those programs, rather it embraces the genre and all of its rather silly aspects.  Every time someone climbs into a robot they have to shout its name and pose, and yelling really loud makes an attack even more powerful, or so it seems.  Instead of making the series dumb, this makes it enjoyable and humorous.  The program doesn't take itself too seriously.  There is a lot of comic relief but never so much that the show becomes a farce.  (I particularly enjoyed the mecha mechanics who always provided some good laughs.)  It's like the creators are winking at the audience saying "This may be corny, but isn't it cool."  The battles are exciting and visually interesting but they don't go on for ever, which is another nice part of the show.

The only aspect of the show that got a little old was the excessive fan service.  Every woman had DDD breasts, at least, and perfectly rounded rears that showed their panties every time they bent over.  The women all jiggled obscenely as they jogged down the corridors, and every hug had a man's face squished between to massive mammaries.  Even the female robots had excessively large breasts.  Come on, give me a break.

The DVD:


The complete series of 26 episodes comes on five DVDs each of which has its own thinpack case.  The five cases are housed in a nice, sturdy skipcase that has images from the show on all sides.

Audio:

Like the original release, these discs come with the original stereo audio track (with optional English sub-titles) and a DD 5.1 English dub.  I have to admit that I found myself watching more episodes with the dub that with the Japanese track.  The 5.1 track just has more *umph* which works well during the mecha battles.  These fights were enveloping with sound coming from all corners of the soundstage and this track had a nice lower end.  The Japanese track sounded a bit anemic in comparison.

Video:

The 1.78:1 anamorphic image looked really good.  The colors really jumped off the screen and the lines were nice and tight.  On the digital side, things also looked really good.  There was some minor aliasing but otherwise the disc looked fine.  A really nice transfer.

Extras:

If you wanted extras you'd have to pony up the money for the individual releases.  This set has none.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good series that puts the fun back into mecha shows.  While the characters and situations are all things we've seen before, the creators managed to throw in enough surprises to keep the series interesting while not taking it far from is 'giant robot' roots.  This isn't the type of show where you'll call up your friends and demand that they watch it, but if you're looking for an enjoyable series that's pretty solid you could do worse than this.  Recommended.
 

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