What They Say:
Take food fights to the next level in this bite-sized homage to mecha anime of the past. In modern day Kyoto, young Daijiro Kyogoku has finally taken over his family’s traditional Japanese sweets shop. One day at the shop, Daijiro comes across a mysterious giant candy-making robot named Doamygar-D hidden in the shop’s basement.
This robot is a master of treats, and along with Daijiro, they make the perfect dessert crafting pair. When evil monster-like robots take over begin attacking the city, Daijiro must man his newfound candy-making mecha to feed the insatiable hunger of these foes and turn them back into harmless humans. There has to be someone behind all these transforming treat-loving terrors, and that someone might be closer to Daijiro than he ever thought possible.
Doamygar-D contains episodes 1-13.
The audio presentation for this series features only the original Japanese language track in stereo and is encoded at the low 192kbps Dolby Digital form. It’s no surprise that this didn’t get a dub but I really wish that the did since it’s such a low commitment with few actors required and could have been a blast to both record and listen to. The show works a fairly standard forward soundstage mix with what it does here since it’s trying to recreate the days of old. It works well because it’s bold and boisterous and loud with plenty of shouting along the way that’s captured right. The mix is pretty clean and problem free and it’s not one that’s going to win any awards for creativity but it does everything it needs to in order to bring the show to life.
Originally released in 2015, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is encoded for anamorphic playback. The show proper is a full frame series but they have the faux windowboxing on the side to give it more of that old time feeling to it. Animated by ILCA, the show has a very flat design to it that mimics the works of the 1960’s and that charm and love is fully apparent in the animation. The transfer captures this pretty well here in standard definition as we get a clean mix that brings the right kind of color definition forward as it’s not intended to have a ton of pop or vibrancy, while maintaining solid detail and solidity. Doamygar-D isn’t a series that’s going to wow you but you will love that it’s such a loving homage to what came before that you can’t help but to admire it and this transfer does it right.
The packaging for this release brings us a standard sized DVD case with an o-card that replicates the artwork, but again it looks brighter and more colorful thanks to the cardstock. The front cover puts our leads together with the simplicity of their designs really making it clear this is old school material in all the right ways and it has some fun pops of color and little bits that makes it feel old and loved. The back cover works a deep purple for the background with the Doamygar-D along the top, using the same piece from the front cover as there’s little promotional artwork out there for this, while the rest of it is a little more problematic. We get a decent selection of shots from the show along the left but the right side with the summary of the premise is done with a red font on the purple background that’s just not as clear and easy to read as it should be. With little to the disc there’s some empty space to be had – there aren’t even production credits taking up a big chunk like normal! – but we do get a simple but clean and clear technical grid. No show related inserts are included while the reverse side goes for an all red cover with a line work version of the front cover used that’s very thin and light..
The menu design for this release uses the same artwork as the front cover but with a different background to blend into the right panel. The left panel features our two main characters standing tall and strong with a purple background to them that has their artwork stand out more while the right side carries a deeper purple on top of which we get the colorful logo and the navigation. Since there’s nothing here besides the show and some trailers, navigation is simple and easy for the single disc that it covers. The layout is standard fare and it works smoothly and without problems.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Originally airing in the winter 2015 season and brought out for streaming by Funimation in the fall season. Doamayger-D is welcome because it’s the kind of thing short-form shows can do best; something that stands out against the sea of everything else. With it being done in windowboxed form and old school style animation, we get something distinctly 60’s and early 70’s here with lots of little gags as the mecha Doamayger-D deals with all the confectionary problems in the land. These come in the form of old school monsters in simple form and is essentially the big action end sequence from shows of old – complete with the theme song playing throughout the majority of it. It’s so old school that it actually wraps right back around to the present.
The series, which clocks in at just about two minutes or so per episode, focuses on a young man named Daijirou that’s the owner of a fifteenth generation sweets shop in Kyoto. He discovered fairly recently in the basement of the shop that there’s a giant 70’s style mecha in there called Doamyger-D, which is used to defend against the invading mechalossus, giant mecha beasts that play to the era in a really fun and creative way where they have to get involved in all sorts of cooking battles of sorts. With the running time of the episodes it’s not something that’s going to make sense nor is it going to work in a traditional sense but rather a show that goes for quick hit gags and silliness while playing up the love of the anime from the era. It wants to be simple, weird, and nonsensical and achieves it through being bold and fun and not really giving a damn.
While I watched and wrote this series up during its simulcast, marathoning it in this form with the DVD really does reinforce that there’s not a lot here to truly talk about. The show plays to the cliches of the past with such a loving movement about it that you have to admire it because it does it with a sense of fun as well. It’s an homage to a different time done by a creative team that knows it and understands it well. How else to explain giant robots fighting by creating different dishes to compete against each other. Or a reporter that’s always getting the scoop but not the one she wants. Daijirou is a simple character to be sure but he’s one that’s doing what’s needed here while not getting caught up in it. It’s all about protecting the shop and the city. When the series does try to dig into the backstory toward the end of its run there’s a sense that it’s not really necessary and slows things down since it works with his relatives, but in the end there’s far more to like here than there isn’t.
Doamygar-D is an odd little series but is also the kind of show that really does reinforce why I’ve enjoyed short form shows a great deal the last few years. It’s able to take an idea and have fun with it while not dragging it into the ground over the course of a normal length episode, overly contrived plots, and too many episodes. Very few of these types of shows get actual home video releases here so I’m definitely happy to see this weird and quirky show find its way here, even if I would have loved to have heard a dub for it as it demands overacting. Fans of the old mecha shows will get a lot out of this with all the little nods, many of which zing past me since that’s not my favorite era of anime, and it has such a light and breezy tone about it that it’s just a delight to watch.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles,
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: August 30th, 2016
Running Time: 33 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic 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.