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ADV Films presents
Dai-Guard #5: In the Red (1999)

"The Dai-Guard Enterprise can now exercise its full power."
- Osugi Haruo (Masashi Hiroshige)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: April 09, 2003

Stars: Kentaro Itou, Akiko Hiramatsu, Shin'ichiro Miki, Masashi Hiroshige, Ken'ichi Ono, Takaya Hasi, Joey Hood, Lana Lesley, Steve Metz, Mick D'Arcy, Edwin Neal
Other Stars: Michikio Neya, Yukari Tamura, Hiro Yuki, Mayumi Shintani, Katsuyuki Konishi, Makoto Higo, Shoji Izumi, Christa Kimlicko Jones, Larissa Wolcott, Lane West, Shaneye Ferrell, Michael D'Alonzo, Michael Kranes, Corey Gagne, Dan Dietz, Jennifer Haley, Martin Burke
Director: Seiji Mizushima

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+ )
Run Time: 01h:32m:24s
Release Date: April 01, 2003
UPC: 702727018725
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B BA-A- C+

DVD Review

For some reason, Dai-Guard hasn't had me clamoring to view the next disc when it arrives, but at the same time, once I get going with it, I find it quite enjoyable, and it hasn't let me down yet. The storyline has enough complexities to be intriguing, and the characters have a range of quirks that keep them interesting. Aside from the opener here, the remaining three episodes tie together for a new arc, as the show winds into its final phase. This isn't your everyday giant robot show.

The fifth disc in the series picks up where the last left off, with the personnel of 21st Century Defense Security Corporation's Public Relations Division 2 scattered about Japan, now that the sector has been dismantled by the new, self-appointed president, Osugi Haruo. The Dai-Guard team is likewise dispersed, with a new military crew taking over the responsibility under Saeki Toru. This squad has been trained on simulators for all manner of situations, but when they actually face their first Heterodyne in the field, their ineptness at real life combat is glaringly obvious. As the population watches them stumble, so do Dai-Guard's former crew, who take it upon themselves to converge on the next predicted location for a Heterodyne attack. The embarrassment is laid squarely on Haruo's shoulders when Akagi and his reassembled team take over the Dai-Guard to finally defeat their foe, forcing his resignation and a reassembly of Public Relations Division 2.

With things getting somewhat back to normal, the Dai-Guard team is called on to perform PR duties, being hired out as an attraction to the city of Sapporo for their annual snow festival. The affair, which includes an ice sculpture contest, is being organized by a woman from Keiís past, who has a strict agenda for the team's participation, which creates some friction. When a Heterodyne emerges, they are restricted from combat by their contract, meanwhile international forces are descending on Japan, eager to deal with the Heterodynes themselves.

Dai-Guard maintains its appeal throughout this disc, as the personalities and situation they are in remain entertaining. Particularly rewarding on this disc is Saeki's handling of his new position, where everything that could possibly go wrong does. The return of PR Division 2 to operating status resets the clock, so to speak, and the new story arc broadens the influence base as we get set for the final collection of episodes, bringing in foreign governments and their interests in the Heterodynes. The political and administrative aspects remain in sight, as do some low level romantic tensions. The characters are also further expanded with more of their backgrounds coming to light. We'll have to wait to see whether the show can successfully wrap everything up with a bang, but for now the ride is pretty fun.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality remains very good, with nice color saturation, and solid black levels. Aliasing is about the only issue, but is minimal. Again, no real complaints.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Original Japanese and English dub stereo audio is solid. Dialogue is clean and easily discernable. Directionality is used judiciously, with a primarily centered presentation. Other than a minor difference in volume levels between the audio tracks, no technical issues were noted.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Zone of the Enders: Dolores, Noir, Saiyuki, Sakura Wars TV, and The Devil Lady
Packaging: Scanavo
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Clean opening and closing credits
  2. Line art galleries
Extras Review: Extras are a little lighter here. Clean opening and closing credits are back, and another 31 images in three line art galleries covering even more character designs and locations.

The trailer section includes Zone of the Enders: Dolores, Noir, Saiyuki, Sakura Wars TV, and The Devil Lady.

Our review copy has the menus flagged for the wrong aspect ratio, which causes some anomalies on the DVD-ROM player.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

It may not have you at the edge of your seat, but Dai-Guard still remains an entertaining series, with enough complexity in the plot and characters to hold interest, while also doing a good job in the humor department. These four episodes swing things around to set up the concluding episodes on the next disc.


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