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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
I posted about Iczer in the Dangaio topic. I searched and there surprisingly isn't a dedicated topic on this show. This is an awesome old school anime. I just finished it during the holiday. I probably should have picked up the DVD instead of going the youtube route. There is a movie version which I'm curious to see if they added any scenes. What I watched on youtube seemed to have missing story elements. Every episode has the Japanese forces attempt to launch an attack against the aliens and failing. But there isn't any real development of that story. It's just Japan has a new method of attack every episode and boom. Unless that's just the old school anime story telling. Also a Blu-ray was released! The show probably looks amazing on Blu-ray. The animation and character designs are really good and worth being on Blu-ray like Dangaio. The Blu-ray is supposed to be a limited release though but I'm still looking into that and wondering if there will be a US release. Does anyone own any Iczer cels or have a list of Iczer items? Artbooks, posters, figures, laserdiscs, etc? I found the Iczer Battle Box laserdisc. It's tempting. I want to see if there is any overlap between the laserdisc booklet and the artbooks. I know Toshihiro Hirano has a few artbooks too with his Iczer works. So far I've just been searching eBay and Yahoo Japan to see what was released. One of the sad things I've come across is a lack of fan sites. I remember back in the early days of the Internet, there were always fan sites that would have all the items listed. Anyway here is a fan made "opening" or trailer type movie that I mentioned in the Dangaio topic. Anyone who hasn't seen Iczer yet should check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4pdFI_7EA0
Meioh Project Zeorymer (冥王計画ゼオライマー) AIC/ARTMIC/YOUMEX/Toshiba EMI, 1988-1990 U.S. Manga Corps., 1994, 2003 (out of print) Directed by Toshihiro Hirano (Fight! Iczer-One, Dangaioh)Running Time: 30 minutes per episode Rated 16-Up for graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations and strong language. Cast (Japanese) Toshihiko Seki (Legato in Trigun, Rau in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED) as Masato Akitsu Chieko Honda (Elpeo Ple in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Kurumi in Kimagure Orange Road) as Miku Himuro Hideyuki Tanaka (Riding Bean, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust) as Oki Mayumi Shou (Mia Alice in Dangaioh, Hitomi in Appleseed) as Yuratei Hirotaka Suzuoki (Bright Noa in Mobile Suit Gundam, Kaifun in Macross) as Taiha Kaneto Shiozawa (Vampire Hunter D OAV, Shin in the original Area 88) as Saiga Yuko Sasaki (Miranda in The Venus Wars, Kourin in Twelve Kingdoms) as Tau Rei Sakuma (Kazumi in Gunbuster, Nina in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083) as Aen Sho Hayami (Max in Macross, Wolfwood in Trigun as Ritsu Masako Katsuki (Lucette in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083, Emeraldas in Harlock Saga) as Rockfell Tessho Genda (Sanders in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, James in ZOE: Dolores, i) as Gisou Mahito Tsujimura (Jihl in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Tsukamoto in 801 T.T.S. Airbats) as Lurahn Issei Masamune (Chief in You're Under Arrest) as the narrator Synopsis Tekkoryu (Hau Dragon) - a secret Chinese-based organization bent on world domination. After the rise of their new leader, Yuratei, the Tekkoryu come out of hiding and unleash the Hakkeshu - a band of giant robots with lethal weaponry and equally skilled pilots. Before their quest for domination, the Hakkeshu must recover one of their own mecha: Zeorymer of the Heavens, stolen from them 15 years ago by a turncoat member along with the frozen embryo of a genetically engineered pilot. Caught in the crossfire is Masato Akitsu, a teenager captured by a Japanese organization and forced to pilot Zeorymer. Teamed with a mysterious girl named Miku Himuro, Masato must use Zeorymer to battle each of the Hakkeshu's mecha; at the same time, he must figure out why he was chosen to pilot the mecha and why he is able to adapt to it so easily. Story: B- After Dangaioh left us with a cliffhanger ending (I refuse to consider Great Dangaioh canon), I was unsure if I could trust another Toshihiro Hirano title. Then, I picked up Hades Project Zeorymer. It has a rather dark storyline using realistic giant robots and a protagonist with a personality disorder. Masato starts out as a kid that's so pessimistic, you'd think he's Shinji Ikari in another form. Then, when he's piloting Zeorymer, he becomes a maniacal psychopath bent on total destruction of his enemies. The plot and character development really build up on episodes 1-3. Unfortunately, it all falls apart on episode 4 with revelations leaving you asking what the hell just happened. And then the series ends on a rather sour note. Despite all this, Zeorymer is well worth watching. Hirano just needs to learn to end his anime titles properly. Animation: A Ah, nothing like some grade-A cel animation. For a title that's nearly two decades old, Zeorymer boasts some excellent animation and awesome mecha designs by Hideki Kakinuma (Bubblegum Crisis, Gall Force) and Kimitoshi Yamane (Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne), as well as some outstanding character designs by Michitaka "Kia Asamiya" Kikuchi (Silent Möbius, Martian Successor Nadesico). Zeorymer, Rose C'est la Vie and Lanstar are some of the sweetest robot designs this side of The Five Star Stories. Soundtrack: B Eiji Kawamura's (Black Jack) musical score has its moments, especially the battle themes. But for the most part, it doesn't warrant a soundtrack purchase. The ending theme reeks of Engrish. Sub vs. Dub Central Park Media's current DVD release features an all-new English dub, which sucks like every other CPM dub. Just give me a folding chair and a moment alone with the narrator. DVD Extras: B+ Two years ago, when I originally posted this review, I used the NuTech Digital DVD for reference. That disc set was merely a hard-subbed transfer with average video and sound quality. Today, we have CPM's new-and-improved DVD, featuring improved picture and sound, optional subtitles and extras like a photo gallery, line art and character/mecha descriptions (images & text with audio only). The Bottom Line If you're a fan of old-school '80s mecha, you owe it to yourself to pick up Hades Project Zeorymer. It still stands on its own against most of the newer mecha titles. Links AIC's Official Hades Project Zeorymer Homepage (Japanese) Reference Anime News Network