Dangaioh is a short OVA series that plays around with some very stereotypical, albeit likable formulas. And since most of the fun is in execution then I say it did a great job for what it is all about.
The best aspect of the show is its animation. It is uber for its time and feels great even today to the most part. The way landscapes and robots are drawn is simply amazing, with extremely high detail and smooth motions, while explosions throw around dozens of small debris, each with its own trajectory. Shadowing and lightning effects are also very good, with multiple layers on objects and characters, as well as providing the proper mood at every different scenery. You even see blurring filters that represent gusts of wind, along with the accompanied huge clouds of dust moving at the proper direction. The only things that displeased me a bit were the rather generic character figures and the occasionally frozen panels of people. But even that seems to go unnoticed as it lasts too little and women in this show are all running around in tight spandex, so kinda forgiven there.
The worst aspect is the story, which is simple and even incomplete. It starts as four youths being brainwashed to be super soldiers and piloting a powerful robot in the name of an interstellar evil group of space pirates. The procedure fails and they escape along with the robot, and after that they are constantly fending off soldiers and robots that are after them, or protecting planets that have been taken over by the pirates. The plot is very simple and straightforward; you will probably predict everything early on. It is mostly battles and superficial drama that ends abruptly, leaving the story incomplete. Yes, it ends with a cliff-hanger. Bummer!
But hey, it’s mostly epic battles with awesomely drawn huge robots, skimpy-dressed chicks and devastated landscapes. If action and suspense is what you are looking for, you will get it in spades in here. Plus, the characters even manage to be fleshed on a basic level amongst all this mess, as each episode is dedicated on one member of the team. The thing is, you are hardly given any info about the lead female character, Miya. I mean, she has some really broken powers and by the end of the OVAs she is the only one without immersion. They probably aimed to make some sort of sequel about her but the project got cancelled.
The OST is equally good, as the BGM during battles is blood-boiling and the OST during OP and ED are extremely good rock/pop pieces that become easily memorable.
Voice acting is otherwise ok, without ever getting any props. The context of the dialogues is really cheesy to the point of laughing at it. Which can also count as entertainment.
It is a very enjoyable piece of sci-fi action I recommend to all mecha fans as well as anyone who wants to check out how great robot battles could be drawn decades before computers came along. Just don’t expect a great story or fully developed cast. That is a major bummer.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 9/10
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Animation 2/2, Visual Effects 2/2
SOUND SECTION: 9/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 4/4, Sound Effects 3/3
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 0/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 0/2
VALUE SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 1/3, Memorability 3/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 7/10