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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Dandoh The Super Shot Anime Legends Complete Collection
Dandoh The Super Shot Anime Legends Complete Collection
Bandai // G // April 1, 2008
List Price: $49.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted April 26, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Series:
 
Bandai has previous released Dandoh in three double disc sets, and now they've collected the whole series in one six-disc 'brick' case under their Anime Legends banner.  The only thing that is legendary about this series however is how inane it can be.  The plot twists and golf shots are so implausible as to be laugh-out-loud funny.  Aimed at young boys, this show has aims to teach fair play and the value of friendship.  Unfortunately the program doesn't have the charm of shows like Princess Nine and Fighting Spirit.  There isn't much drama and the plots are a little too simple for older viewers.

Tadamichi Aoba, or Dandoh as his friends all call him, loves to play baseball.  One afternoon after breaking the principle's bonsai plant, the administrator extolls the virtues of golf to the young kid.  Dandoh isn't that interested in the game until he learns that golf pros can make millions of dollars.  At that moment he decides to become the best golfer in Japan.  He wants the money so that he can locate his mother, who he's never seen.

Along with his two best friends Yuka and Kohei, Dandoh starts practicing even though his father is violently opposed to the boy playing golf.  Be a fortunate accident, Dandoh and company bump into Shinjo.  He's was a very gifted golf player who had to quit the game after a car accident, and agrees to coach the trio.

Soon after starting lessons though, Dandoh and his friends are teased by a bully.  In Dandoh's anger, he agrees to enroll in the Kumamoto Junior Championships in order to prove that he has a talented coach.  There's only two weeks until the tournament though, so they trio practices as much as they can.

In each tournament Dandoh enters the same pattern is followed:  people cheat but Dandoh keeps a cheerful spirit.  In the Juniors Tachi Suon is his rival.  This kid taunts Dandoh by calling him "little brother" and cheats on every hole.  He puts grease on his clubs to make the ball roll farther and steps on Dandoh's ball while no one is looking.  Even with Tachi's condescending manner though, Dandoh act like they're the best of friends.  He tries to encourage Tachi to do better, but that only makes him cheat even more.  Even though Dandoh has had his clubs tampered with and gets some unlucky breaks, he continues to be happy and cheerful while making some amazing, and incredibly unrealistic, shots.  In the end, Dandoh's rivals often become his biggest fans and renounce their evil ways.

This set up is basically repeated in every tournament and match that the young prodigy plays.  Not only does this make the series predicable and a bit boring, but it makes Dandoh seem like he's a bit touched in the head.

I enjoy sports anime in general but this one left me flat.  Dandoh is really different from other shows in the genre.  Most others spend a lot of time discussing the rules, strategy and problems associated with the sport, which in turn makes the show worth watching.  Dandoh doesn't do this and really fails to make the sport interesting.  The strategy and tactics that go into golf are glossed over.  They don't define a lot of terms, explain the use of the clubs, or even list a lot of the rules.  I don't play golf, and so I was confused in parts, especially when someone switched a ball in Dandoh's bag.  You can't switch ball brands in the middle of a game?

Also, Dandoh isn't playing the game because he loves it, it's because he wants a lot of money.  Granted he has a good reason for this, but it does seem a little mercenary of him.  The show also wants to establish that he has a lot of talent, mainly by having people say "Wow, that kid sure has a lot of talent", but he ends up relying on luck most of the time.  The wind will blow his ball into the cup or across a ravine.  The first time you can let it go, but by the third time it gets a little hard to swallow.

Instead of making golf look like a fun game, the show makes it look like the sport of idiots.  Dandoh not only holds his own, but does incredibly well after only a couple of weeks of practice.  So do his two friends!  This is the first time they have EVER played a real game (Dan Don has admits at one point that he's never held a driver), they make some really dumb choices at various time, and they all get incredibly low scores.  (Yuka gets an 82 on her first two games.)  They make it look like any dolt can play well if they would only draw a smiley face on their balls.

I might be able to overlook that but through out the series stupid plays and unreal setups are the norm.  This show has player, playing in a tournament mind you, taking shots while standing in trees or in water hazards.  There are several laughably bad moments too.  In one case, a player launches the ball with a superhuman amount of force and hits the flag.  His ball then spins around and around the pole, spiraling up and flying up into the air.  It then drops straight down into the hole.  Apparently the laws of physics don't apply in this show.

The worst part about this show is that they totally dropped the overriding plots and didn't resolve them. *spoiler* Dandoh's mother does notice him playing on TV, travels to where he is a few days later, and then never talks to him.  What?!  That's the whole reason Dandoh starting playing golf was so he could see his mother!  The plot with his father not wanting him to play golf was never resolved either.  Those were one of the few things that made the show slightly interesting and to have them never be resolved takes away what little appeal this show had. *end spoilers*

Even though there are many flaws with this show, it's not all bad.  Dandoh, though he's a flat two dimensional character, is likeable enough and they manage to eek out a little drama over the course of the show.  The program comes across as light entertainment and if you don't think about it too much it can be enjoyable.

Oh yeah, be sure to watch the end of the "next episode" bits.  At the very end of each episode they have a golf ball with a character's face on it and a voice over.  Some of these are so bizarre that they are humorous.
 

The DVD:
 
This 26-episode series is contained on six discs that come in a 'brick' case with pages for the DVDs.

Audio:

Viewers have the choice of watching this show in the original Japanese or an English dub, both in stereo.  I alternated between tracks as I watched the show and both sounded good, though I preferred the original soundtrack slightly.  The English actors did a good job and their voices fit the characters well.  There weren't any obnoxious phoney accents either, something that I was glad to hear.  Both tracks were free from distortion and other audio defects.  There are also optional English subtitles, or sign only subs.

Video:

The full frame video also looked good.  The lines were tight and the colors were solid.  The image was a little jerky when it came to pans across static images, but not distractingly so.  Digital defects are very minimal with even aliasing being very minor.  Overall a good looking show.

Extras:

The only extras that are included in this set are clean opening and closings.

Final Thoughts:
 
Well, after watching all 26 episodes, I can't really think of anything good to say about this series, even when you take into account that it's aimed at younger viewers.  It's not as mind-bogglingly bad as Saint Seiya, but it is close.  The characters are dumb, the plots are simplistic and, worst of all the laws of physics are bent and broken whenever it's convenient.  At first I could enjoy the show for its innocent charm, but that wore off way before the series ended.  Even die hard golf fans will be disappointed in this anime.  Skip it.
 

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