What They Say:
The Galaxy Federation Police (GFP) desperately wants to cover-up its personnel shortage with new mechanized power-suits. Suzuo, 19-years old, desperately needs a job. Tampopo needs an earthling to fit the prototype of her company’s suit and declares Suzuo the perfect candidate! Strong competitors and the wacky A-class criminals fight against our hero in diapers, but they must not recognize each other out of costume or the test results will be a failure. Still, it’s OK if they all live in the same apartment building to save money, right?
I chose to listen to Dokkoida!? in the English 2.0 audio. Switching tracks to compare them brought no changes in audio as both are of a very good quality compared to other releases I’ve had recently where despite both being 2.0 the audio has been clearly better on one track compared to the other. The disappointment of a show with it’s comic over the top ness not getting a 5.1 release is nullified by a still quality release sound wise, with no distortion and no problem linking with the subtitles.
The video of Dokkoida?! is of extremely good quality – full screen compared to widescreen but that works for a high impact show like Dokkoida?! The high-octane colour ratio combined with the high-speed motion and linkage with subtitles makes it an easy show to watch in either language because it flows so naturally. It combines claymation with standard animation for an even more unique and free-flowing look so the show moves and looks stunning. One of the better visual releases in terms of flow and colour in quite a while.
In what is basically a thinpack, the Dokkoida?! collection had a very colourful image of Dokkoida, Neureloid Girl and Tanpopo on a starry stripped background, all in heroic poses. The back is very basic, with some small shots of the shows in the shape of stars, and a small image of Sayuri near the bottom. It’s a nice looking cover, but a bit plain at the back and quite disappointing (but understandable) when compared to the gorgeous box art from the original Geneon release.
On a two-disc release, the first disc has a menu same as the cover of the heroines and Dokkoida, whilst the second disc has all the girls (including Sayuri and Hyacinth, but no Kurika) – both discs have the same menu setup, yellow text on a red background whilst the extra menus have pictures of Tanpopo glomping Dokkoida and Sayuri looking menacing respectively. The weakness is that there isn’t an episode scene selection though which is always a pet peeve for me.
On both discs, there are a decent set of extras – there is the standard clean opening and ending, and also some trailers for Sentai (Daphne In The Brilliant Blue, Clannad, Orphen, Destiny Of The Shrine Maiden, Sakura Wars TV and Burn Up), and a Japanese promo but the main bulk comes from the creation of the ending animation which covers about 12 minutes altogether – basically talking about the creation of the claymation sequences and the cardboard cutouts of the ending animation and the opening entry when Dokkoida flies in. It’s filmed at 3 am in the morning so it’s quite amusing to see a lot of tired animators and directors trying to explain the process and what their most difficult challenges were…such as making a clay version of a PS2.
There’s also a live performance of the catchy opening theme by Psychic Lover (though I would have loved to see a performance of the Dokkoida song – still can never find a CD of that), and also a cosplay show where two actresses/models cosplay as Tanpopo and Sayuri and re-enact parts of the show putting them in place of the animated characters. This was a very unique extra and sadly way too short as would have loved more scenes and/or characters in this way. Overall, a nice selection of extras considering the price.
Dokkoida?!! was a series originally released in the mid-00s by Geneon, re-released by Sentai in a cheap thinpack but managing to keep the extras from the original release at a good price. The show itself is pretty hard to describe because it’s basically slapstick central. However, it’s a hilarious package that has to be seen at least once, especially if you are a sentai/Power Rangers fan, and just see how over the top it can be whilst trying desperately hard not to mock itself. And fail miserably.
We are quick introduced to Tanpopo, a young girl dressed very strangely like an alien apparently looking for something…or someone. Cue the male lead Suzuo, a college student done on his luck, and looking for work in the midst of a recession. Because of him being normal, poor and needing for work, Tanpopo sees him as a perfect candidate for her ‘job’ – a seemingly innocent toy belt – which would transform you into a superhero of justice – a diaper/nappy wearing blue sentai parody named Dokkoida. The plot, as it is, is basically a competition between her company, Toys Of The World, and a rival companies superhero, Neuroloid Girl and their Emerald Company. Suzuo is quite suspicious and refuses what he thinks is a toy company, but when one of the main supervillains sent to Earth to help ‘test’ out the suits in return for a suspended prison sentence Dr Marronflower causes havoc (i.e. destroys all the possible other job opportunities Suzuo could have come to), Suzuo changes his mind and transforms into Dokkoida. With hilarious results.
This leads to the initial gag that all the heroes and villains begin to live in the same house under their alternative names/forms. Tanpopo becomes Suzuo’s little sister Kosuzu, Marronflower becomes a retired scientist named Kurisaburo, and his robot assistant transforms into the beautiful granddaughter Kurika. Neuroloid Girl, Dokkoida’s rival and possible love interest becomes a beer swilling lovable rogue named Asaka, and later we get the other two main villains – a young girl named Ruri who has a crush on Suzuo who becomes her apple cutting coach is the clay monster creating super criminal Edelweiss, and the hilarious Sayuri, am S&M big breasted dominatrix type (combined with slave Pierre) who wants to snag Suzuo herself, becomes Hyacinth, a…well, pretty much the same as her normal persona, just with more leather who can whip Pierre into submission to turn into a ferocious animal…with mixed results.
The comedy is near never ending – the idea of how dense the characters are at how similar they are to their superhero/villain alter egos is good enough, but each episode is episodic, yet never out of place and absolutely hilarious. One episode they call time on battling each other to go for a race to see who can go to the pool in an unbearable heat…and promptly destroy said pool during the race. There is the evil Sister Princess parody when the other females wonder what really is between Suzuo and Tampopo (with Kurisaburo hilarious as the dirty old man – he plays gal games in his spare time), Suzuo realising he got the short end of the stick regarding the pay he gets for being a superhero and he tries to use his powers to get more cash, and the Big Brother style episode when the Galaxy Police try to get ratings for cash by getting the Cosmos House cast into rather…risqué positions. It all ends in tears of laughter.
Interestingly, despite the incredible comedy, it has its tender moments as well. When Ruri is introduced, she’s a powerful villain but also a lonely little girl who is touched by Suzuo’s kindness, making their relationship quite sweet without being creepy as Suzuo is not interested, rather he’s interested in Asaka during the pool ep, in a rare tender moment there – and the Kurika episode is the only one not done for laughs, and shows there may be more than coincidence that the cast of Cosmos resides together. And the last two episodes when the final battles hit, Tanpopo nearly made me cry.
It’s only real weakness is basically the plot only really ties in with the final two episodes in an abrupt way, but it makes you cheer because heroes AND villains, every single character of Cosmos House are likeable in their own way so you cannot hate them. So when they figure out each others identities, it’s a crowning moment as they all work together – no longer the superheroes/villains for a job, they are friends and housemates. The ending is fantastic, albeit predictable and utterly heartwarming. So whilst it’s 90% comedy, the end is great, and gives you a sense of satisfaction that some series don’t even with 100% more plot. And also, the dub is very over the top but hilarious and works surprisingly well in English despite the sentai like setting. Ever wanted to hear Light Yagami if he was a blue diaper wearing hero? Now’s your chance.
Dokkoida?! is not a show that you should try if you are looking for an in-depth story, character development or something that makes you think. Dokkoida?! however is a show where you want to grab a few anime loving friends, have a drink or two and simply laugh out loud at the comedy, the insane battles and the parodies aplenty. Combined with elements of tenderness, a satisfying ending and a great language track in both English and Japanese, Dokkoida?! is a show that is definitely worth a rent as it deserves so much love. Recommended for everyone, highly recommended for lovers of comedy.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Filming the Closing Animation, Psychic Lover Live, Cosplay Show, Clean Opening/Ending, Japanese Promo
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B+
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: August 25th, 2009
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1,33:1
Toshiba 37C3030 – 37″ Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV – Tangent Ht-50 Home Theatre System Multi-Regional DVD Players/Speakers – Tangent Subwoofer 50-150 Hz, Impedenced 8 OHM.