Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2015: D
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2015
Director: Shimon Doi
Writer: Uuronta Yoshida
Actor: Eimi Naruse, Ryota Murai, Koichi Ohori, Kouji Tsujimoto, Robert Baldwin
Keywords: anime, mecha
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 three-minute episodes
Website category: Anime 2015
Review date: 20 October 2016
Ep.1 is funny. I enjoyed it. However four of the next five episodes are just the same again, with only cosmetic differences. (There's a throwaway gag in ep.5 of Doamiger-D accidentally knocking aside a TV reporter, but otherwise you might as well be watching ep.1 on a loop.) The show's second half finds more variety, but...
Well, it's a 1970s giant robot show. Yes, I realise that's the point. It's a loving homage. However it's still a 1970s giant robot show.
This show is two things at once. Firstly, it's a beautiful reconstruction of Mazinger-Z and its ilk, complete with period animation and deliciously perfect credit sequences. They even have an authentic 1970s Manly Anime Song. They've kept the old-fashioned aspect ratio. They're doing appropriate character designs. It's a retro pleasure to watch... but visuals aren't enough in themselves to carry a story.
The show's other identity is as an advertisement for Kyoto's sweets industry. There are a few other short-form series like this. Some Japanese prefecture will decide that an anime is the best way to publicise itself. However Kyoto has the advantage of being famous already, so you could imagine this show being made even without local government sponsorship. (It would be a bit surreal, but that's never stopped the anime industry.) The joke is that every week a mechalossus starts rampaging, whereupon Doamiger-D will blast off from its underground base and save the day... by cooking some sweets. Fighting? What fighting? That would be unseemly! These sweets are so delicious that the mechalossus explodes, leaving only the human that had been being shapeshifted into it. Hurrah! Doamiger-D has saved Kyoto!
This is funny... the first time. The fifth time, you'll be wondering if you should take a break and watch something else instead.
The show does have a plot, though. There's a villain making all these mechalossi and he even has a meaningful secret identity. There's also a non-villainous antagonist, who's a perfectly nice American called Robert with automated sweet-production capabilities. There's nothing wrong with this, but it's counter to the Spirit Of Personalised Kyoto Sweet-Making that our hero subscribes to! Thankfully Robert's played not by a Japanese voice actor doing badly chosen nuggets of Engrish, but instead by an American voice actor doing authentic (but probably exaggerated) bad Japanese.
Robert also has a quiff. If you think that's big, wait until you see his father's.
It's a good-natured show that means well. I want to like it. I just don't think it's that interesting. Partly it's probably the fact that it's a giant robot show, despite also being a subversion of one. The characterisation is what you'd expect, for a start. Our hero is Daijirou Kyougoku, who makes sweets and pilots giant robots. He's the fifteenth in a long line of traditional Kyoto confectioners and he takes his craft seriously, like his father and his late grandfather. Our hero runs the family business. He's a likeable chap, but he's not a complicated soul and the show's done well to give him even this much characterisation in the available story time.
The show builds some respectable father-son material out of this. I liked it. However it's still just men being men, while the only female character is that TV reporter and she's just an extended cameo.
It's a pleasant, amiable little show. Disposable, of course, but I approve of the central joke and I think it's succeeding at its goals. It's done what it set out to do. I can't complain. Its retro 1970s-style production is flawless and it manages to tell a complete, meaningful little story about robot-making Kyoto confectioners, despite the abbreviated running time. There's even a sepia-coloured origin episode set in the Edo era. I like the idea of the show. However the actual episodes weren't actually that interesting and I can't believe I'll ever want to rewatch it. It's a mildly amusing curiosity.