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Godannar, Vol. 5 - International Affairs
If you find yourself lacking a gratuitous amount of T&A and robots then Godannar is the series for you. 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. This series pays homage to shows of the past while slightly parodying itself with a great sense of humor and crazy amounts of fanservice. It doesn't take itself serious at all 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 last volume Shizuru came back from the dead, which needless to say surprised everyone. Anna also came back into the picture and kind of forgave Goh for seemingly still holding a candle for his old flame Mira. The volume also stuck with the same Mimetic Beast attack formula as it has done with every episode it seems. Things got a little boring towards the end of the fourth installment though so when I sat down to watch the fifth I entered cautiously.
My first impression of the fifth volume was "wow, there are only three episodes?" I guess it had to happen at some point due to the amount of episodes in the series, but I have to admit that I was kind of hoping it wouldn't. Anyways, things get started off on a different foot. Sure the Mimetic Beasts show up and raise a ruckus but this time around it's up to the Russian team to deal with it. There's a little bit of development for the characters of Ekaterina and Kukrachyov (from Volspina) and they get most of the screen time here. Goh and Anna are seen a little bit as well, though their bits mainly focus on Anna's training as a pilot.
In the second episode a herd of young Mimetic Beasts has been located so the Genesister and Volspina teams are assigned with their destruction. They find something that they were quite expecting though and we see something familiar happen to Genesister member Shadow. The strange affliction that is happening to these pilots is termed "Rabid Syndrome" or the Insania Virus. In the last episode we learn a little more about it and see it take hold of even more pilots. With two volumes left this could turn out to be a depressing end to a rather upbeat series.
As Godannar comes closer to its end the show is gathering a much more serious and darker tone than the earlier volumes featured. The T&A, humor and action is still there in spades, but the plot is becoming a real downer. If you find yourself looking for an energetic and different giant robot anime then you may want to check this series out. Don't come to the series looking for an epic story. Instead if you come wanting to be mindlessly entertained with explosions and breasts you will not be disappointed.
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. Some of the animations are reused during the action sequences, but overall this is a great looking shot with a fantastic transfer.
Godannar gets the current standard of 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.
A few features make their way onto the fifth volume, though to be realistic they aren't any different than stuff we have seen before. Clean opening and closing animations, some character and mechanical profiles, as well as some production sketches. Aside from that all that remains are some previews for other ADV series.
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 three episodes on this volume offer a lot of action and add more to the mystery of the Mimetic Beasts and the strange affliction that has impacted several pilots to this point. With two volumes left the series seems to be heading towards darker territory, but that could be either good or bad. This show feels best served when its focusing on the jokes and lighthearted dialogue so a darker path seems a little awkward.