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  1. Haja Taisei Dangaioh ( 破邪大星ダンガイオー ) AIC/ARTMIC/Bandai Visual, 1987-1989 U.S. Renditions, 1990-1992 (Out of Print) Directed by Toshihiro Hirano (Hades Project Zeorymer, Fight! Iczer-One) Not Rated (Suggested 13-Up). Contains graphic violence and strong language. (Author's note: This review covers the original subtitled release, not Manga Entertainment's butchered version.) "Cross-Fight! Dangaio!"Cast Mayumi Shou (Yuratei in Hades Project Zeorymer, Chi-Chi in Dragon Ball/DBZ/DBGT) as Mia Alice Akira Kamiya (Roy Focker in Macross/Macross Zero, Ryo in City Hunter) as Roll Kran Maya Okamoto (Emma in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Liza in Macross Dynamite 7) as Lamba Nom Naoko Matsui (Katsumi in Silent Möbius, Rally in Riding Bean) as Pai Thunder Takeshi Aono (Dakuan in Ninja Scroll, Katsuhito and Noboyuki in Tenchi Muyo!) as Dr. Tarsan Shigeru Chiba (Shiba in Patlabor, Megane in Urusei Yatsura) as Gil Berg Kenichi Ogata (Genma in Ranma 1/2, Azaka in Tenchi Muyo!) as Galimos Ichiro Mizuki (legendary anime and tokusatsu singer) as Yoldo Mitsuko Horie (legendary anime and tokusatsu singer) as Dira Masako Katsuki (Emeraldas in Harlock Saga, Lucette in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083) as Shazarla Kazuhiko Inoue (Cyborg 009, Jerid in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam) as Burst. Synopsis Four psychic teenagers - Mia Alice, Roll Kran, Lamba Nom and Pai Thunder - are brainwashed by the scientist Dr. Tarsan as pilots of his greatest experiment - the giant robot Dangaioh. But as their memories slowly return, these pilots use their abilities and Dangaioh to combat the tyranny of Captain Galimos and the Bunker Space Pirates. Story: B- Next to Gunbuster, Dangaio was among the first set of subtitled anime titles in my collection. It's not as good as Gunbuster, but it has a decent plot, great mecha action and okay character development. The U.S. Renditions release is also infamous for mistranslating Psychic as "Side-kick." Aside from that, Dangaio has many elements that giant robot anime enthusiasts love. Unfortunately, the series ended in a cliffhanger that has yet to find a true ending (and no, it's not that poor excuse for a sequel called Great Dangaioh). Animation: A The animation quality of Dangaio is outstanding, even by today's standards. And it's hard to beat Shoji Kawamori's (Macross, The Vision of Escaflowne) design for Dangaio itself. Character designs by Toshihiro Hirano. Supporting mechanical designs by Masami Obari (Bubblegum Crisis, Fatal Fury) and Koichi Ohata (Gunbuster, M.D. Geist). Soundtrack: B- Since the 1970s, Michiaki Watanabe has composed memorable soundtracks for anime titles like Mazinger Z, as well as live-action shows like Jinzou Ningen Kikaider. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much of new material in Dangaio; the soundtrack uses BGM recycled from his other works (the Psychic Wave BGM on episode 1 is taken from Uchuu Keiji Shaider). As a matter of fact, Dangaio's soundtrack would later on be recycled in the 2003 TV series Shinkon Gattai Godannar. At least Dangaio has a catchy opening theme performed by veteran anime vocalists Mitsuko Horie (Choudenji Machine Voltes V, Candy Candy) and Ichiro Mizuki (Mazinger Z, Getter Robo Armageddon). Cross-Fight! Cross-Fight! (Cross-Fight!) Just cross for love Atsuku atsuku atsuku tatakae! Dangaio! The Bottom Line Dangaio is fun for old-school robot anime fans. Too bad you can't get a decent version of this title in the U.S. anymore. Reference Anime News Network
  2. Hello once again! Following on the success of my previous releases, I'd like to propose a re-issue of my 1/48 resin kit BABY CRAB (Mospeada Inbit Eager doppleganger) as my next project. The kit would consist of: -2 Baby crabs: one with legs & beam guns, one space version equipped with flight booster (no beam guns.). Base price $134 CAD -Price: $163 CAD shipped in the US or Canada for 1 set, $302 CAD for 2 sets. -Overseas: $186 CAD shipped for airmail. If you require a shipping method w/tracking, please contact me for specific rates but be warned: the fees are heart attack-inducing! I'd need 10 committed orders to go ahead, with payment due up-front. Who's with me?
  3. Riding Bean (ライディング・ビーン) ARTMIC/Youmex/AIC/Toshiba EMI, 1989 AnimEigo, 1990, 2002 Directed by Yasuo Hasegawa Based on characters created by Kenichi Sonoda (Gunsmith Cats, Bubblegum Crisis) Running Time: 46 minutes Not Rated (Suggested 16-Up). Contains graphic violence, nudity, mature situations and profanity. Cast (Japanese) Hideyuki Tanaka (Otacon in Metal Gear Solid) as Bean Bandit Naoko Matsui (Inez in Martian Successor Nadesico, Pai in Dangaioh) as Rally Vincent Mami Koyama (Chiyoko in Millennium Actress, Oyuki in The Dagger of Kamui) as Semmerling Megumi Hayashibara (you already know most of her roles...) as Carrie Kei Tomiyama (1938-1995) (Susumu in Uchuu Senkan Yamato, Duke Fleed in UFO Robo Grendizer) as Detective Percy Chieko Honda (Kurumi in Kimagure Orange Road, Miku in Hades Project Zeorymer) as Chelsea Grimwood Nobuo Tobita (Kamille in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Aoshima in Ah! My Goddess) as Dick Jun Hazumi as George Grimwood Cast (English) Who cares? These guys suck! Synopsis Bean Bandit and his partner Rally Vincent are couriers for hire - transporting clients and delivering goods in Bean's custom sports car "Buff the Roadbuster" for a hefty price. But when they are hired to escort a kidnapped girl named Chelsea to her home, they don't realize they're being framed for kidnapping as their former clients Semmerling and Carrie plan their escape with Chelsea's father and the ransom money. Story: B+ Long before Gunsmith Cats existed, there was this one-shot OAV that had everything a guy could ever dream of: guns, girls and fast cars. Riding Bean was one of the first few direct-to-video anime titles licensed in the U.S. Like most action films, Riding Bean has a shallow plot, but it's compensated with some likeable characters and a heaping of comedy. It's like watching The Blues Brothers and Smokey and the Bandit in anime form. Animation: B+ The character designs by Sonoda are a favorite among many hardcore anime fans, not to mention the Roadbuster and Percy's 1967 Mustang Shelby GT500 (a similar one also appears in GSC). Animation quality is similar to Bubblegum Crisis (which was produced by the same companies, anyway), but even by today's standards, Riding Bean boasts one of the best car chases ever animated. Soundtrack: B+ Since the story takes place in Chicago, the soundtrack consists of American jazz and rock. Not really something to warrant a CD purchase, but still goes well with the anime. Sub vs. Dub Don't even bother with the dub. Not only does the voice acting suck, the re-recorded sound effects are even worse. DVD Extras: C- Just a gallery and the original Japanese trailer. Nothing else.Blu-ray review coming soon. The Bottom Line Next to Gunsmith Cats, Riding Bean is a must-buy for anime fans who also dig cars and guns. Reference Anime News Network
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