HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Luck & Logic
Duel of the Masters
Three Musketeers in Cavalier Boots
Hunter's Prayer, The
Country
Absolution
Rough Draft, A
Battle of the Godfathers
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
   
 
Newest Articles
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
   
 
  Dangaioh The benefits of brainwashingBuy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: Toshihiro Hirano
Stars: Akira Kamiya, Mayumi Shou, Maya Okamoto, Naoko Matsui, Shigeru Chiba, Kenichi Ogata, Takashi Aono
Genre: Animated, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Four psychic teenagers - space-bikini babes Mia Alice (voiced by Mayumi Shou), Pai Thunder (Naoko Matsui) and Lamba (Maya Okamoto) along with token big-haired anime guy Roll Kran (Akira Kamiya) - are abducted and brainwashed by benevolent (really?!) alien scientist Doctor Tarsan (Takashi Aono). Under his tutelage the kids learn how to fuse their powers and combine their space fighters to form the enormous super-robot, Dangaioh. As their memories slowly resurface, our young heroes use their amazing abilities and Dangaioh to battle the tyranny of the evil Bunker Space Pirates whilst eluding their emissary, the fanatical Captain Galimos (Kenichi Ogata) armed with an indestructible cyborg body and wacky flock-of-seagulls haircut.

Bonkers, baffling but sporadically entertaining, Dangaioh marked a rare misstep for Toshihiro Hirano, among the most consistently intriguing anime auteurs whose artfully idiosyncratic fusion of epic space opera, Lovecraftian horror and quasi-lesbian eroticism made Fight! Iczer-One (1985) a genuine classic while his low-key, character-driven vampire serial Vampire Princess Miyu (1988) remains a minor gem. The giant robot anime is also notable for the presence of an array of future big name directors among its staff: the great Shoji Kawamori handled the mecha designs alongside fellow genre staples Masami Ohara and Koichi Ohata while none other than Hideaki Anno is credited as chief animator. On a production level it is a class act but the plot is Saturday morning cartoon fluff dressed up with flamboyant set-pieces, an unnecessarily complex set-up and, on the region two DVD release, oodles of childish profanity courtesy of an infamous Manga Entertainment dub. Listen out for Robert Glenister, future star of conmen comedy-drama Hustle, as the voice of Captain Galimos!

The English dub makes a right hash of an already barely coherent re-edit. Its first ten minutes are a potted summary of the inexplicably excised first chapter of this three part serial. Such patchwork bogus feature films had been been a staple of the anime scene since the days of U.F.O Robot Grandizer (1975) and Starbirds (1978), but somehow always seemed a lot more easier to follow back then. Dangaioh’s breathless opening act is choc full of revelations about a host of characters we barely know. Once that is out of the way, what follows is fairly lively, sexy and cool for die-hard anime fans, though likely alienating for everyone else and somewhat derivative. It lifts its vast space armada and crustacean alien villains from the landmark Superdimensional Fortress Macross (1982) - on which Kawamori was the central creative influence - along with core concepts from the entire oeuvre of giant robot supremo Go Nagai, while its cast of angst-ridden teenage superheroes are indebted to the Tatsunoko stable of Ippei Kuri, the Stan Lee of anime.

Aspects of Hirano’s distinctive imagination and skill with psychological complexity seep through, the giant robot battles and space dogfights are at least visually engaging and liable to leave some seasoned anime fans nostalgic for the days when swimsuits were standard attire for nubile robot pilots. Producer Toru Miura was among the first to realise otaku would rather watch a lone guy amidst a group of sexy superheroines than a largely male cast, a formula he honed to later blockbuster success with the Tenchi Muyo (1992) saga. While the flustered storytelling scarcely allows viewers to become emotionally involved with the characters it is worth noting that the finale is deeply unsatisfying, letting the villains off the hook and leaving the heroes free-floating in search of a resolution that never arrived. A belated sequel: G-Dangaioh (2001) featured an all-new cast of troubled teens intercepting a space message from Mia Alice but otherwise did not bother to continue the original story.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1278 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: