a.k.a. Dai-Guard: Terrestrial Defense Corp.
a.k.a. Earth Defense Enterprise Dai-Guard
a.k.a. Chikyuu Bouei Kigyou
13 years ago, a race of mysterious aliens called the Heterodyne attacked Earth, then suddenly vanished. The military’s then high-tech weapon, a giant robot called Dai-Guard, is thereby rendered obsolete, so it was sold to 21st Century Security Corp. Now, three, young office workers must pilot Dai-Guard to stop the sudden re-appearance of Heterodyne… but can they handle the workload?
summary by Ender
Highs: Likable characters; worthwhile premise; fitting music
Lows: Awkward designs and animation; plot often fumbles
Director Mizushima Seiji has been a curiosity to me as of late. He recently brought to us Fullmetal Alchemist, so I think I should give some of his other works a lookover. I thus picked up Dai-Guard, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.
The first thing that popped into my mind when watching this anime was “Mazinger meets Patlabor.” I adored the concept of giant robot pilots being salary men and women with illusions of grandeur, and not some hot-headed, generic, Evangelion clones. If you have ever worked a nine-to-five shift, then you have something to relate to with this cast. However, I did find the plot a bit more heavy-handed compared with the premise. The dealings of the three pilots (Akagi, Aoyma and Ibuki, for those keeping score) were far more interesting than the weak story involving the military and the Heterodyne. True, given the genre, the fights with the Heterodyne were indeed necessary, but that doesn’t mean they were particularly exciting or attention-grabbing. Plus, do we really need a military in every giant robot anime? Give me more of the suits and less of the uniforms.
The Heterodyne, as stated before, are not only uninteresting, they look it, too. Instead of appearing like beasts, they come off as random patterns from a high school Geometry book. Likewise, Dai-Guard resembles a rejected Shogun Warrior action figure. Thankfully, the music seems to pick up the slack dropped by the production team. The series’ score carries that old school, faux heroic appeal featured in anime of the ’70s and ’80s. In fact, whenever Dai-Guard goes into battle, there is one track that sounds suspiciously like the theme from Tetsujin 28 (a.k.a. Gigantor). And the opening song, Back Alley Space Boy, sums up the fun nature of this series.
There is a lot to like about Dai-Guard, and despite a few faults, this is still a very entertaining series. I recommend it to otaku whom come home every day from a cruel and unforgiving job because once you take this anime out for a spin, work suddenly becomes the last thing on your mind.
Dai-Guard can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.