To Serve and Defend, But Not to Spend is the second of six volumes in the twenty-six episode Dai-Guard series, which originally aired in 1999. Included here are episodes six through nine, titled:
Episode 06: Memories Taught Me
Episode 07: Fire and Ice
Episode 08: A Strange Day
Episode 09: Explosion! Knot Buster!
After having activated the Dai-Guard to repel the threat of the Heterodynes, three employees of the P.R. department of the 21st Century Defense Security Corporation – Akagi, Ibuki, and Aoyama – continue to work together to operate the three-person mech to combat the further appearances of the Heterodynes. The military, however, is less ecstatic of Dai-Guard's continued success, as the mech is being run by civilians. Agent Shirota liaisons between the two, but has his own plans for Dai-Guard.
Though it is reminiscent of several other anime series, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Patlabor, and Martian Successor Nadesico, Dai-Guard continues to be quite entertaining. The episodes on this new volume keep up the standards set by the first, again boasting a good amount of humor and some great writing. The three main characters continue to be interesting, thanks to some flash-backs and relationships. The business side of running Dai-Guard, though, takes a back seat to the action this time around, but there's still plenty to enjoy here.
Dai-Guard is presented in 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer is terrific throughout with vibrant colors and no instances of cross coloration. There is some aliasing, however, it is relatively minor and rarely distracts.
Dai-Guard is presented in Dolby 2.0 Stereo in Japanese or English. The stereo track is solid with some good instances of directionality. Dialogue is crisp and clean throughout with no distortion. Optional subtitles in English are included.
Extras include clean opening and closing animations, thirty production sketches, and trailers for other ADV releases.
Dai-Guard is a well-written and often humorous anime that explores some of the business aspects of running a giant mech. Fans of anime, especially mecha-oriented anime, should definitely give the series a look, as ADV has provided a great audiovisual presentation and a few extras at a reasonable price.