What They Say:
From the crew that brought you High School DxD comes the timeless story of strange alien invaders known as the Penguin Empire, giant robots, henchmen running around in skintight animal costumes, and Earths only hope at survival: an easily excited teenage boy with a mysterious power fueled by oversized boobs.
Contains the complete series on Blu-Ray with both the English dub and the original Japanese track with English subtitles.
The audio has a 2.0 release in English and a 2.0 in Japanese – I watched the first disc in English and the second in Japanese, there were no other issues regarding sound quality, echoing, synching with subtitles, etc – the quality is high overall, but you always wish for the 5.1 for what it could have been, especially as the dub is rather good…indeed, perhaps too good for a show like this…
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. With the show combining animation and CGI – the colours are heavy and vibrant and transfer well to Blu-ray, though some of the static backgrounds does feel blurry and seems more noticeable especially considering the high action and movement of the show (both in battle and in…er…’other’ scenes). The sound synching in either language, no pause lag or in general, flows through very well – though when some of the penguin armies focus on a certain part of their body it does feel very crude animation style at times…
There was no packing for this test release.
The menu shows clips of the anime on a border screen with your options on a lower toolbar– options are Play All, Episodes, Set Up and on both discs extras. Like most Blu-Rays it has the pop-up menu option in-show, so you can easily return to the main menu without delay and no slowdown when selecting options. Standard but it works.
There are quite a few extras on this release – on the first disc we have two dub commentaries – the first one is on episode 3 with the ADR Director Gaber Chipman, joined by Jamie Marchi (Moriko) and Tessa Ellory (Ritz) – Tessa who not only is British but sounds incredibly alike to Luci Christian when doing an American accent (seriously, had to double take) steals the commentary with how British culture on US television has changed over the years, but unsurprisingly both in this commentary and the next one, the focus is the fact people are in a fanservice series, and not too dissimilar to Prison School, they mention that it can be problematic for actors so some do refuse…
The second commentary has Colleen Clinkenbeard (Chiako), Sonny Strait (Nelson) and Felicia Angel (Macaroon) who discuss similar things yet quite a lot of well known Vas did work on this (Todd Hakerborn, Matt Mercer and Cherami Leigh mentioned) – they do mention that the show is degrading to women yet still funny (your mileage may vary on this, I did wonder if they were saying some of this just because…) – they mention a very good point that the villains are actually more likeable than the good guys though which is something very noticeable in the review…
We have 6 OVAs as well and basically they are somehow even more fanservicy than the actual show – whether it is Koichi trying to get Kyoko to wear different outfits for ‘research’, the scientist girls having a strip bowling game, Ritz getting all pheromones up and going all sex-crazed, Chiriko trying to get more attention, Ritz’s convenient attack of destroying clothes but nothing else, the aftermath of the Ritz/Hombon fighting (69 anyone?) and the finale of the penguin feast. Yeah, there are a few funny moments but it manages to up the fanservice even higher.
We have the more traditional extras as well of commercials, promo videos, the textless opening and ending (the opening despite my feelings on the show is one of the best I’ve heard in recent years – then again it is Masaki friggin’ Endoh), the U.S Trailers and trailers for the following shows; Buddy Complex, Fafner, Good Luck Girl, Tokyo Ghoul, Space Dandy, Terror In Resonance, Riddle Story Of Dead and Haganai.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This year has been a weird mix of series I’ve reviewed. On one hand, there have been some of the best series I’ve seen in a long time (Charlotte, Erased, Snow White & The Red Hair) but also some of the most cringing and worst (Prison School, Shinometa) – and this one really falls in the latter. Yes, it is a fanservice series which isn’t my cup of tea in the first place, but combined with basically the main ‘power-up’ is pretty much insulting at times, combined with attempted running jokes which don’t really work, the only reason this isn’t worse than Shinometa is that it at least didn’t make me want to throw up.
It did however make me want to punch my television in anger.
The main reason is our initial lead characters – in particular the male Koichi. A bit of a deadbeat, you can tell what kind of series it is when to get away from school he gropes the endowed young teacher and flicks up the skirts of a few girls. Yeah…good start in trying to make our lead unlikeable. It doesn’t get better either – our main female lead, Kyoko, is a girl looking for people who are strong contenders for fighting against something called the Penguin Empire. However, said Empire are also looking for people who apparently possess Hi-ERO particles…
…which manifest when they get turned on.
….so basically this show turns into the ‘sexual harassment is OK’ show, yay! Urghh…
O.K, long story short, Kyoko is able to recruit him because she’s an ample beautiful young woman whom Koichi is able to take advantage of to power up the giant robot Daimidaler. Not helped is the Penguin Empire’s running gag of their ‘front tails’ pretty much looking like they all have erections which is about as funny as something not funny at all. Like penguins always having erections.
What is even more annoying is the fact that Kyoko appears to have the classic ‘they killed my father’ plotline hence why she is desperate enough to recruit a pervert like Koichi for their team. It turns out all it was that her father was put into a coma because of the penguin’s flamboyancy and front-tails, so it doesn’t really make her that much more likeable especially considering the Penguin Empire actually is a lot more likeable and dare I say, the one decent thing about the show (especially their emperor who can be legit funny) because their backstory is actually decent and you feel they are more in the right (especially as Daim constantly destroys the city in defending against the penguins, a point that’s even lampshaded in a later episode). It doesn’t help when they have a human girl Ritz, who whilst a little weird with her love of penguins, at least is genuinely kind and sweet to them, so you do feel like rooting for her than Kyoko/Koichi.
They try and put more plot within it, such as Kyoko meeting a mysterious stranger (who turns out used to be a penguin, which is a bit of a plot point later) who doesn’t know whether to help or kill her, and in a shock, they actually do what I wanted them to do quite early, and actually kill off Koichi – Kyoko seems to also vanish, and that’s the good news.
The bad news is that the show doesn’t get any better. They introduce two new characters who are definitely better in one respect in Kiriko, a former pilot who is looking for a normal life, and Shoma, a boy who is nervously in love with her. Their relationship is a lot more ‘normal’ in case they are genuinely romantic, and here it is the girl who experiences the particles, which again happens if she is turned on. Fortunately she just imagines them rather than fondles Shoma (though yes, that is imagining what his…’frontail’ is like) – the problem here is that these two are considered abnormal by their bosses as they are way too lovey-dovey instead of full on groping…which really screwed with my mind at times in what direction the show is trying to take in. Yes, it is a fan service series and people will like it, but when you want to constant throw a rock at the screen, that isn’t a good sign.
A lot of the show (in both main duos) is the Penguin Empire vs. Daimidaler – helped by Ritz being adorably fun as the Penguin Empire’s mech, the penguins whilst perverted never take advantage of her (in the 1st episode they even tidy up Koichi’s porn stash before chasing after him, how thoughtful!) – this leads to the hilarious lampshade when the army comes over to destroy Daimidaler’s base as they point out what most viewers are thinking that they are the more destructive ones over the Penguin Empire and need to be got rid of…
….so unfortunately it is revealed that Koichi is alive (and it explains it not very well at all) and it does lead to a team up between Penguin Empire and the new Daimidaler’s against the army and a greater foe and…is it over yet?
So as you probably can tell…I am not a fan of this series. And also to be honest, I’m definitely not the target audience. This is one of these shows you are going to love for it’s over the top fanservice, or hate. And I’m obviously the latter.
The main problem is that there was potential with Kyoko’s character, but it was wasted on a joke of why she hates the Empire, the two new characters were lovingly sweet, but instead are treated more like abnormal and Koichi is the sane one, Koichi being insanely unlikeable and pretty much the poster boy of saying sexual harassment is OK makes the heroes not wanting to be liked (the scientists aren’t too bad but again seem to be there for titillation whilst the main commander is just as unlikeable as Koichi) – there is an attempt of story when Shoma turns into a penguin because it ties in with the mysterious stranger episode, but again it is retconned nearly as quickly (granted the show is only 12 episodes), and whilst the battle sequences are actually quite good, it doesn’t take away how they get that strong and the troubles the crew experience are usually perverted. When Koichi dies, you knew that he was going to be back but also hoped that wasn’t the case because Kiriko and Shoma had more potential and likeability, but instead were pretty much a running joke.
The only reason this ranks higher than Shinometa is because at least the ‘bad guys’ were mildly entertaining. Ritz again is a fanservice character (the wrestling match springs to mind) and the penguins clearly are happy she is there, but when a penguin empire with front tails that look like giant erections are clearly more stable than our lead characters, combined with a decent backstory of the Penguin Empire meeting Ritz and the penguins supplying the only few moments of genuine comedy throughout (and hey, who doesn’t love penguins?) you actually are rooting for the Penguin Empire to win, and in the end, they do share victory with Daimidaler at least so there is that.
And literally, just that.
O.K, the opening theme is also amazing and the dub is really good – both just feel wasted on this show though…
Daimidaler is basically a fanservice series hidden in a giant robot series, and not in a good way. It doesn’t know what it is at times (a comedy series?) – and because of that it becomes a mess, and not an entertaining one. Whilst it will obviously have its niche, a combination of poor plot, really bad aesops and outside the penguin empire, not really being funny, it is one of those series I am happy to never watch again. I’ll listen to the opening many times more sure but just pretend it was the opening to Gekigengar or something….
Content Grade: D
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B+
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: November 6th, 2017
Running Time: 650 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
PlayStation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.