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Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga

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Genre: Mecha
Company: Studio DEEN
Format: 2 episodes
Dates: 7/15/98 – 8/26/98

“Parallel parking is the flower of robot driving.”

In Hokkaido, there is a school for training giant-robot pilots. Among the many students are six who seem to have been selected for special attention by the instructors, and soon, these six learn that there is more to this school than meets the eye.

summary by Papa-san

Reviewed: 1/1/16 by

Grade: 60% av-Gendo

Highs: Music, mecha design, sense of mystery

Lows: Ends abruptly with no explanation of numerous plot points; Evangelion influence is very strong

Children learning to pilot robots, a quiet, grey-haired girl of mysterious origin, the sense that all is not as it seems, a devastating cataclysm cryptically referenced, and a fearsome invader plummeting to earth like a fallen angel: all vaguely familiar, you murmur, folding your hands in front of your mouth. But no, this is Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga, and nothing else: two episodes which were perhaps the pilot for a full series which never launched.

The first episode presents as a light spoof of the giant robot genre. We see some of the more mundane tasks which the aspiring mecha-pilot must first master: learning roadsigns, practicing jumps, even parallel parking.

The second episode turns somewhat darker, and the students begin to learn the true reason for their presence at this odd academy. Red-haired addle-brain Touno Hikari secures her place as the central character, observing “I don’t really understand everything…but it all means that there’s a bad guy out there, right?”, then waves us goodbye with, “See you again!”

Unfortunately, a number of plot points are raised and never resolved; presumably these would have been worked out over the course of a series.

The music is mostly light and engaging, but turns positively creepy at one point near the end — the kind of music you feel prickling at your spine. The visual art is average, not bad but nothing memorable.

The two episodes leave little room for character and relationship development, but one feels that this could have been quite a strong point of the (presumed) series: perhaps Evangelion crossed with Azumanga Daioh. Not to dwell on it overmuch, but a few sequences and scenes could have been alternate takes from Evangelion. Perhaps the reason there are only two of these episodes is that DEEN was served a cease-and-desist order from GAINAX.

Altogether, then, these 2 half-hour episodes are worth the watch, but be prepared to be disappointed one way or the other: either that you didn’t like it at all, or that this is all there is.

 

Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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