What They Say:
The earth is under attack by the alien Penguin Empire and only heroes able to produce Hi-Ero particles need apply. Piloting the Daimidaler mechs are master pervert Kouichi with his take-no-prisoners libido and Kiriko, a girl who can level cities just by thinking of her boyfriend. It’s up to them to dodge the massive front tails of the filthy penguin commandos and go toe to toe with rival mechs powered by a girl who loves penguins a little too much. Experience an overflow of Hi-Ero power with brave Daimidaler!
The audio presentation for this release is pretty solid all around as we get the original Japanese language track in stereo as well as the new English language dub, both of which are encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The show works a decent balance of action and dialogue but goes big with the action sequences throughout. It uses the forward soundstage very well with what it does in providing for some good impact with the mecha fighting sequences as well as the general whizz bang of the various attacks and the motion of it all, conveying it across the screen as a whole. Dialogue is more about the placement from time to time, particularly in the cockpits, while most of the time it’s fairly center channel oriented. all it comes across very clean and clear however, making for an engaging and solid experience.
Originally airing in 2014, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episode are spread across two discs with nine on the first and three on the second, which also has the six short OVAs and other extras. Animated by TNK, the series has a slick and glossy look with a lot of detail and strong designs that harken back a touch to mecha shows of old while still feeling firmly in the present. Colors, in particular, have a whole lot of pop and vibrancy and there’s a strong solid approach to it throughout that really comes together well. It’s a very active show in a lot of areas with a good deal of fluid scenes that end looking great here, especially when you really want it to look top notch. It’s a very appealing looking show and the transfer captures it well.
The packaging for this release comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case that holds the four discs across two formats inside on hinges. The case in its first release comes with an o-card slipcover that replicates what’s on the packaging itself but in brighter and glossier form. The front cover goes for the ever familiar image of the main cast bursting forward in a group, all of them different sizes and different expressions while also throwing in some of the penguin people as well. It’s a dark background that helps to provide some contrast to the white and brighter colors of the character artwork, but it’s not a cover that’s going to sell itself with the merits of the show. It’s very restrained compared to the show. The back cover works the same background while giving Kiriko a bit of time on the right as the main artwork piece. The bulk of it is the logo and the summary of the premise which it covers well enough, but again undersells the fanservice side of it. and it does that with the shots from the show as well. The rest is standard fare with the production credits and technical information that it conveys clearly. While there are no inserts included, we do get artwork on the reverse side that brings out six of the girls across it in their various undergarments, which is the only part of the packaging that really shows off its fanservice side..
The menu design for this release is one that’s decent and a little different even if it is a bit underwhelming in the end. The navigation strip along the bottom uses the red and black strip from the front cover with the logo and replaces that with the actual selections in block white letters. It’s functional, fits the theme of the show well enough, and is definitely easy to get around in and problem free while navigating through languages and extras. The main image is a clip from the series with the cityscape playing out before us with the large TV that has the penguin empire making their statements. It’s a busy and colorful piece that when combined with the style of the logo along the top feels like it’s pretty distinctive.
The extras for this release certainly have some of the familiar with the various trailers, Japanese promos, and the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences. We also get a couple of English language commentaries which are fun to listen to when dealing with raunchy material like this. The big extra for many, and ones that Funimation went the distance on, are the six OVAs. These aren’t often dubbed but they did it here since they culminate in about another episode worth of time overall as they run about three to five minutes each. They’re slightly raunchier versions of fanservice stories from the show with the cast having more fun. They’re not still-animation pieces but solidly done ones that put its budget in the fanservice, making them very worthwhile as a bonus.
Based on the manga Kenzen Robo Daimidara, Daimidaler: PRince Vs Penguin Empire is a twelve episode anime series that aired in the spring 2014 season. The original manga came from Asaki Nakama and ran for about four years before ending in 2012 with four volumes. A second series kicked off in 2013 that has two volumes to its name. The anime adaptation is one that didn’t get a lot of attention when it came out and Funimation simulcast it largely because of the weirdness of its name and how little promotion there really was out of Japan for it. With its Japanese name before the licensors got involved being Damidaler the Sound Robot, it wasn’t something that was going to do a lot for most fans. Little did they know that a good portion of the High School DxD production team worked on this.
The series is a really interesting one in its design and how it works while also basically saying that it has no larger goal or purpose in the end. The structure works a five/five-ish/two kind of episode arc run where it goes big for its ending in combining a lot of things but still not really being anything true in a sense outside of “love and ero make the world go round.” Not a bad message to end with but it does kind of undercut part of the series a bit because it doesn’t have a deeper meaning. That said, it doesn’t lessen one’s enjoyment of the series if you’re going into it with the right frame of mind of just having one heck of a dirty and pervy bit of fun. The show excels at this and makes it clear exactly what it is within the first thirty seconds of the prologue of the first episode. And that’s a good thing because boy does it catch your attention.
What we get with the show is your standard conquering villain storyline where the Penguin Empire has arrived to deal with the Hi-ERO particles that they need, things that are dangerous in the hands of humans. Of course, this is just human’s general level of perviness quantified so there’s little that can be truly done, especially when you have an otherdimensional race that doesn’t quite understand the nature of humanity. The Penguin Empire and its Emperor are amusing in their design as the grunt level guys all take standard human male form but their penguin tails are turned frontward. They look silly and ridiculous and all take basic American names like Bob, Daniel, James and more. They’re comical but earnest in their approach to serve their Emperor and do what’s needed as they search for the rare humans that can use Hi-ERO particles in a really intense way.
Enter Koichi Madanbashi, a young man who is discovered to be able to use these particles that gives him the ability to utilize the Daimidaler robot that a mysterious organization has put together to deal with the Penguin Empire after a peace treaty meeting goes horribly wrong. Koichi is able to activate his powers only when he’s heavily and strongly fondling Kyoko’s breasts, a young woman who works for said organization whose father died in the treaty incident. The more Koichi fondles and the more actual exposure to said breasts he gets, the more he’s able to power the Daimidaler and use it to deal with the weird giant robots that the Penguin Empire has. Naturally, Kyoko is resistant to him and what he does while he enjoys it while viewing it as the greater good – once he discovers the scale of the threat at hand. Of course, Kyoko begins to fall for him along the way as well so we get a lot of the usual fun here.
The really interesting part? About halfway through the season, the battle goes horribly wrong and Koichi sacrifices himself while ejecting Kyoko from the robot. This takes both of them out of the series for the next five episodes and instead shifts to Kiriko, a young woman who is also someone that can activate Hi-ERO abilities and pilot a different robot. Her history is a little more complicated and her activation is as well as she’s only able to activate when she feels romantic or erotic feelings towards Shouma, a longtime friend and now boyfriend of hers. He’s able to dampen her abilities by giving her affection in a basic form while also not being thrilled about being used this way in the battles she has to fight. It’s an interesting angle to play and I really like that the show ejected the main two character for half the series and let these two step up with only some carryover of the supporting cast and the main villain cast.
This dynamic definitely worked for me as I really liked both sets of leads and that they got as much time on their own rather than constantly sharing space and jockeying for position. That they all end up working together in different configurations in the final couple of episodes was also a heck of a lot of fun, especially since Koichi tries to take control but Kiriko is so firmly established in herself and her abilities – and her complete and utter lack of need of him – that it’s just wholly engaging. Since Koichi’s abilities require actual hands on contact whereas Kiriko just needs to imagine herself into a horny state it means that they definitely come at it all very differently.
While the core of the series is completely and utterly familiar in so many ways, it’s the trappings that make it work beyond the execution mentioned above. The design of the Penguin Empire characters makes for a whole lot of expected fun and gags, especially when they get a human girl named Ritz on their side to serve as a field commander. But what really works for me with the show is that it just so utterly enjoys the female form and embraces it in the home video version that I just delighted in it. Sometimes shows play it too coy and others never go there at all, which is all well and good. but the rare show that comes along and just dives deep into its fanservice, powered by boobs? That’s a winner for me, especially when it’s so beautifully animated. As much effort as you know a lot of team put into world design, mechanical design and so forth, you know this team was all about really going big with its fanservice. And it pays off handsomely.
One of the things I enjoy is going into a series with little knowledge, especially since there’s plenty of time that passes between simulcast and release that I end up forgetting what little I may have known in not seeing said simulcast. Daimidaler was such a surprise in that it felt like it was going to be this serious show with a weird title that instead turned out to be something so full of fanservice that I just kept laughing and getting more and more invested in it. This release just made me grin from ear to ear throughout it for the fanservice but it really got my attention with how the narrative shifts gears and the way it all comes together. It is, at its core, a straightforward and familiar series. But it’s also one that stepped up and did some creative things we don’t normally see and it did it with style and flash. This’ll be a show that I definitely revisit.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, 6 Bonus Shorts (Dubbed in English), Episode Commentary (3, 8), Textless Opening and Ending, Commercials, Promotional Vidoes, U.S. Trailer, Trailers
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B+
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: December 15th, 2015
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.