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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WING SABER TOYZ SPOTLIGHT: SOUL OF CHOGOKIN GX-13:- Super Beast Machine God ( 超獣機神ダンクーガ ) Chōjū Kishin Dankūga aka DANCOUGAR!!



DANCOUGA: -WHAT'S IN A NAME?!


Hey there folks! Warm welcome to yet another blog-post by yours truly Adam. I'd like to dedicate 
this particular special post all of you out there who are hard-core nostalgic Mecha- enthusiast  who are, one way or the other, fairly familliar with the uber -influential and quite unique 'old-school' Mecha Animes which were churned out by Japan (there were hundreds!)- and such were aired during the golden era of Super-robot shows of the 70's and 80's. To say that they don't make em like they used to is a huge understatement, ( not to mention by comparison to the   'kid-like and innocent' American and European continental cartoons) have always almost been depicted as being more dynamic and sometimes laden with heavily 'deep' philosophical and violently themed story-lines -- hard to believe that this was way back in the 70's! --  




"Dancouga - Super Beast Machine God (超獣機神ダンクーガ Chōjū Kishin Dankūga?) is a super robot anime television series. (The English name chosen by the Japanese companies is "God Bless The Machine Dancougar". When released on VHS in the USA, the release uses the literal translated title.) The show ran for 38 episodes from 4 April 1985 to 17 December 1985 and was produced by Ashi Productions (also known for their work in the Dorvack series). After the TV series ended, a number of OVAs were created. Juusenki Tai Songs featured music videos of the various theme and insert songs from the series to TV series footage. The 1986 OVA Requiem for Victims featured a recap of the television series and a newly-animated conclusion to the story. Additionally, there was a 1987 sequel OVA (often mislabeled a movie by American fans because it was animated in widescreen) God Bless Dancouga. In 1989 the four-part Blazing Epilogue OVA series presented a new sequel.

A show called Dancouga Nova (directed by Dancouga's original mecha designer, Masami Obari) began airing in Japan in March 2007. However, it appears to be related to the series in name and mechanical design only, the overall plot bearing no apparent direct connection to the original and seeming to fans as more of a third season to Obari's Gravion than a successor to its namesake."


Dancouga.jpg




^Text for the introductory story DANCOUGA style linked to wikipedia.






超獣機神ダンクーガ
(Chōjū Kishin Dankūga)
GenreMecha
TV anime
Directed bySeiji Okuda
StudioAshi Productions
NetworkJapan TBS
Philippines ABS-CBN
Original run4 April 1985 – 17 December 1985
Episodes38
Original video animation
Requiem for Victims
Directed bySeiji Okuda
StudioAshi Productions
ReleasedApril 1986
Episodes1
Original video animation
Jūsenkitai Songs
StudioAshi Productions
Released1986
Episodes1
Original video animation
God Bless Dancouga
StudioAshi Productions
Released1987
Episodes1
Original video animation
Blazing Epilogue
StudioAshi Productions
ReleasedDecember 1989-1990
Episodes4
Anime and Manga Portal



It's hard to argue that the Japanese Super- Robot genere to this modern day, still manages to leave a series of profound influence in the upper-echelons of pop-culture even after almost three decades since its beginnings. Which brings me to the soul reason to write this particular blog-post. Although to my memory, there were some really dynamic and 'one-off' anime series which never for some reason, made it to the local terrestrial television stations during my early to mid childhood. 


All images, info on DANCOUGA are credited to these Japanese web-sites inked  here, here, here , and not to mention the fantastic  Amiami Japan-English language web!






ME, A SOUL OF CHOGOKIN FAN?! Pffft!
(WELL, MAYBE)







To be perfectly honest, there was not enough a good reason/ a few valid ones for me to go all out to actually make the effort to go out and hunt for this particular line of 'collectors' edition'/ 
die-cast made, solidly built and very high Quality Control craftsmanship from the folks at Bandai Japan. The pricing, not to mention the likely difficulty which might be posed when the eventuality or decision to sell the Soul Of CHOGOKIN figures if and when I get bored of keeping them, was one of the main 'excuses' that I used time again to shy away and not validate my liking for them. 










^More detailed pictures  are linked to this uber  Japanese blog here (dont worry, folks, least some of you here start being picky and accusing me of using more stock online photos--without permission!) LOL-- Id be using a very minimalistic presentation this time around!






YOU-TUBE ROCKS!!




Been trying to understand and kinda 'school' myself in the Mecha Japanese genere since a couple of days ago and what better medium to really immerse myself with the click of a button than  blissfully simplistic way to watch some of those older and 'rarer' 1980's Super-Robot shows than the ever popular video-site YouTube?! From the get-go, it was very clearly shown that GOD BEAST DANCOUGA was not going to just be yet another tried and tested re-hash of the other previous Super-Robot franchises of the past. It had fire in the belly and was aimed at the most action-packed minded fan! The animation was pretty standard- i.e. lots of rough explosions/ swift battle scenes and the tried "Alien Invasion" storyline, but after watching some of the key episodes online, I've gotta say that overall it was stylishly made. 



Plot

"The series is about a team of four soldiers; Shinobu Fujiwara, Sara Yuki, Masato Shikibu and Ryo Shiba. They pilot the mecha Dancouga and fight to liberate Earth from alien invaders known as the Muge Zorbados Empire.
Dancouga is an example of the combining robot type of Super Robot. However, unlike the more traditional "component machines struggle against the monster of the week before combining and easily dispatching the monster" format, Dancouga does not combine until midway through the series. This means that, unlike the previously mentioned type of combining robot, where the components were generally of little use, the Cyber Beast Machines were all capable of effectively combating their enemies. The main components of the Cyber Beast mecha were able to follow the emulation of evolution. The mecha started out as four vehicles that could transform into beasts (an eagle, cougar, liger and mammoth respectively) to humanoid robots, and finally combining together to form Dancouga.
Many of the Dancouga story elements revolve centrally around religion (mostly Christianity, although the series also borrows heavily from Taoist philosophy), harmony, and music. The theme of "gods" is heavily present in most of the episodes."


Personally, the Red-head in the show, although the only female protagonist, is, aside from the main hero who pilots the Falcon mode / head of DANCOUGA is my favorite of the quint team. She's feisty, and like the GOD-BEAST COUGAR she pilots shown above, is a ferocious character off and on the battle-field!



FINAL SAY

As any true fan of this unique genere, the Super-robot franchise of the 70's and 80' were well and truly 
 in a league of their own.  Suffice to say, that the SOUL of CHOGOKIN DANCOUGA toy was so immensely popular, that to date, since it's initial release way back in 2003, there have been at least THREE re-releases of this huge and heavy Mecha since then. You know what's gonna happen to old WSX, dontcha'?! SOC GX-13 GOD BEAST DANCOUGA WILL BE BOUGHT HOPEFULLY
 BY YEAR'S END!! IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THIS RE-RELEASE WHICH WAS MADE IN 2008, CHANCES ARE THAT THE ONLY PLACE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO FIND IT IS ON EBAY. EXPECT TO PAY IN THE REGION OF BETWEEN USD$ 200 -- TO-- USD$ 300+ FOR THIS BAD BOY. HELL YEAH AND RECOMMENDED. PERIOD! A++






DANCOUGA is Copyright 1985 Ashi Productions/ TBS and 2003 Bandai Co. Japan.

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