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Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga Review

by: sothis
October 2, 2004

story 4/10

Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga screenshot Remember when you were a kid and went to a fast food restaurant, and saw the extremely tasty looking hamburger on the menu? The lettuce looked crisp, the tomatoes firm and juicy, the burger tastily prepared and done to just the right consistency, and sauce seeping from the fluffy golden bun. Then remember when you actually got the hamburger? The crisp lettuce was actually a limp piece of puke green muck, the burger dry looking and uninteresting, the bun smashed from the overzealous teenager who was having a bad day, etc. Now, back then, you probably didn’t understand the idea of false advertising, but now, you surely do. Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga was essentially the epitome of false advertising, based on the intro versus what the story/animation was actually like.

My lettuce was limp, dammit! And I want that hour of my life back. The intro was easily one of the best intros I’ve seen, both for music and animation (see below for those sections), and the actual content that it seemed the OVA was about. In the intro, we see Hikari doing random things such as running and smiling, sitting by a beautiful waterway on a bridge, or standing in a field of grass in a hangar. We also see shots of the robots, and shots of school kids looking happy and merry. Honestly, I was very excited for this series based on the intro... but unfortunately, once the intro stops, it slowly declines into dullsville faster than a hungry dog devours ham sandwiches.

The general premise is that a group of kids are trying to get their robot licenses, so they can pilot robots around. Why? We aren’t really told, I guess robots are a thing of the present and people enjoy randomly driving them around places. One of the tasks they have to complete is even the dreaded "parallel parking"! Behind the scenes, however, there is something sinister and secretive going on involving things called x-particles and x-genes. What are these? Once again, we don’t really know. These are just two of literally dozens of plot holes that are never explained, and these plot holes comprise the entire two episodes, basically. From outer space then comes a giant robot, who is bad (though you can’t tell by looking at it, since you have no idea why he’s bad or why he’s even there), and out comes the Dinagiga, a previously non-mentioned robot that for some reason, has special powers and can kill the other big robot.

Makes about as much sense as a duck with no legs trying to swim. The tone itself is quite dark and depressing, but doesn’t end up being either because of the poor character development and lack of understanding. Couple this with the fact that you THINK it’s going to be a slice of life type school kids show with robots, with a light hearted tone, and it just makes for a bad storyline all the way around. I really felt like I was watching the prequel to a movie or series, and hey, maybe that’s what this was meant to be. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information out there about this title, so we may never know.

animation 5/10

If the story ended up being the limp lettuce, the animation and visuals ended up being the unappetizing burger patty. I seriously wonder if the intro visuals came from some completely different series, because they look NOTHING like the actual graphics, besides the general character designs. Imagery in the intro was crisp, vibrant colors with very newer looking animation. Think of something you’d see in a recent OVA, and that’s what you got the impression it would look like. Beautiful backgrounds abounded, and the robots had a crisp clean look to them. In general, it looked fun, exciting, and interesting all at the same time.

However, then the real animation starts and you wonder if the series has been replaced by a badly cloned copy. First of all, the overall style reminds you quite a bit of Eva (not talking about the mecha at all), which is somewhat negative considering the ten or so year gap between these series. Character designs, as well as backgrounds, had very simple shading, with drab and lifeless colors used. Hair colors were all over the rainbow, but still managed to be uninspiring. The mecha themselves were very generic looking, or something flat out weird. Hikari’s craft has a very pronounced chest with two large circle buttons on the front. Marie’s was very obviously female, and the rest were non descript. Their colors were also drab and plain, as was the ongoing theme. Dinagiga also possessed one of the weirdest and off topic "eye catchers" (the bit that’s shown at the commercial break) of all time. It showed a few of the girls, naked. Now, this might have fit for an ecchi series, but this wasn’t really ecchi at all! Furthering my assumption that the creators of this OVA must have been extremely high on acid.

In general, too much neutrality, and not living up to the quality that was shown in the intro. If the OVA is going to have poor visuals, at least make the intro crappy too, so people aren’t let down.

sound 7/10

Now, this is definitely the one area that was delivered as promised. The intro song was easily one of the best I’ve heard, and one of the causes of my thoughts that the OVA would be much better than it actually was. It’s hard to explain in words what the beat was like... let’s just say it was jumpy and catchy, and upbeat. A female singer wailed in English (partially), and the tone of the song really gave you the impression that this would be a great series. It gave me a very similar feel, just based on the song and animation style (in the intro), as Demonbane or something else campy and fun. The rest of the audio, though having quite a bit to live up to due to the rest of the garbage, was well chosen and helped liven up the series as much as it could have. Orchestral type music was fused with electronic sounds, which made for an interesting audio experience. Some of the music was lacking, but for the most part, this was easily the best part of the series.

characters 4/10

The characters were very shallow, and had almost no history associated with them. Hikari, for example, is virtually unknown to us except a very brief bit about her past, and she’s the main character! The secondary characters are even more of a mystery, especially Marie, who is supposed to be some sort of special character. Almost nothing is explained about her, or in general, why people that possess the "x-genes" are special. Or, why they have them at all, for that matter. In general, just like the plot, not a lot makes sense, and the interactions are shallow and uninteresting at best. You feel no empathy towards them (even when tragedy happens, which I should add also is never really explained), and care zero about what happens to them.

One character that should get a special mention is Hikari, who easily has one of the most annoying voices of all time. It’s nasal and whiny, but she also drags her voice up and down at the end of each word. It’s hard to describe what I’m talking about, just listen and you’ll hear it for yourself. At one point, she says a line "Why is Nana mad at me?" I felt like screaming "BECAUSE OF YOUR ANNOYING VOICE, YOU NASAL-HOBGOBLIN!"

overall 4/10

If Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga was that hamburger from Burger King, I would have thrown it back in the pimple-faced high schooler’s hands faster than the speed of light. What I’d suggest is not watching the intro at all. Then when the poor animation and thin story are unveiled, you won’t be as irritated that it is nothing like you thought it would be. Even for a mecha show, this just sucked. Maybe if there was another series in this universe that I could see which would continue where this left off, I might be a bit more satisfied. But since there isn’t that I know of, this goes straight to the virtual trash bin, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Period.

Anime Info

Touno Hikari, Inamura Airi, Unazuki Nao, Marie Vlaanderan, Tanakura Masao and Izumizaki Nana are six would-be pilots attending the robot training institute in Hokkaido. With the goal of gaining a robot license, the competition is fierce and the training is grueling in all kinds of weather conditions. But amidst the lighthearted teamwork, a great danger approaches Earth, and only the secret mecha Dinagiga and its x-genes-wielding pilots can destroy it! Only one question remains... who will be the pilot?!

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About the Author

sothis's avatar

sothis

My fav genres include sci fi and horror, but you'll find a lot of obscure reviews from me too, given I watch a ton to add to the database. My new reviews are written a lot better than my old ones, so when in doubt, sort by date! ^_^ Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.

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default avatar anmanre
Sep 7, 2012

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