Danguard Ace

DVD Review: Danguard Ace

By Robert “Rob Base” Greenwood

(Most parts taken from Wiki)

Planet Robo Danguard Ace (惑星ロボ ダンガードA (エース)) was a Japanese anime series created by Leiji Matsumoto & Dan Kobayashi. It was licensed by Jim Terry Productions as part of the Force Five TV promotion as simply “Danguard Ace”.

The English dialog was written by Lynn Garrison, who later combined a number of episodes into a feature length presentation which gained a cult following on Showtime network during the late eighties.

The lead robot also appeared in Marvel Comics’ Shogun Warriors series, as well as the Mattel toy line of the same name.

In 2009, William Winckler Productions produced three all new English dubbed movie versions edited from the original series. Producer William Winckler, known for Tekkaman the Space Knight, wrote, produced and directed the English films, which are seen on broadband in Japan.

Danguard  Ace is Matsumoto’s only contribution to the giant robot genre.

Danguard Ace takes place on a future Earth in which nearly all natural resources have been depleted. People have begun looking toward other planets to survive, in particular the fictional tenth planet, Promete. Although people had hoped to peacefully begin settlement there, disaster strikes as the first explorers are destroyed by betrayal.

After this event, an individual named Mr. Doppler leaves toward Promete on his own ship, and declares himself Chancellor of the planet. Using Promete’s resources, Chancellor Doppler constructs a vast military force greater than that of Earth’s. He forbids anyone approaching the planet, under the insane belief that only he is entitled to it.

To gain control of Promete, the governments of Earth begin constructing massive combat robots. Doppler is able to attack and destroy all robots before they are completed, except for Danguard Ace. The forces sent to attack Danguard’s base were destroyed because of the efforts of Captain Dan. Nothing is known of this mysterious man, save that he previously served Doppler while under mind control.

Takuma Ichimonji, son of the man who betrayed the initial Promete exploration team, becomes a cadet at Danguard’s base. Ichimonji hopes that he might restore his fathers honor by fighting against Doppler’s forces.

Some of the main characters designs were similar to characters from Space Battle ship Yamato or known in the U.S.  as Star Blazers.

Takuma Ichimonji character resembles Space Cruiser Yamato character Susumu Kodai. The doctor on the show resembles Dr. Sakezo Sado from Space “Cruiser” Yamato.

To hardcore Anime fans, series such as Danguard Ace and Space cruiser Yamato are more nostalgic than iconic.  As new younger fans come into the world of Anime and Manga these new breed of fans don’t have a connection to the older works and unfortunately great series like Danguard Ace will eventually disappear from the Foreign (American and abroad)  mind completely.

Hopefully with great DVD releases coming from Shout and Sound foundry we will help a new age discover what started the flood.

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First look: Dragon ball Super Goku


The first image has surfaced of Goku from Toyotarō’s manga adaptation of the upcoming Dragon Ball Super, the first Dragon Ball television anime in 18 years.The manga will launch in the double-sized August issue of Shueisha’s V JumpDragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, who’s credited with the “original story and character concepts” for the new anime, also provided the manga’s story.

The author of Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission, Toyotarō previously drew the three-part adaptation of the new anime film Dragon Ball Z: Revival of “F.”

Debuting in July on Fuji TV and other channels in Japan, Dragon Ball Super is set a few years after the defeat of the planet-destroying Majin Buu/Majin Boo, at a time when Earth is peaceful again.

The Wonderful World of Miyazaki

It was relatively recently announced that superstar anime icon, Hayao  Miyazaki, is retiring from the business. He was semi-retired back in 1997 but came back with a vengeance. Mixed emotions have spurred up the internet with so much bravado that I feel compelled to write this article.


But, before I go jumping the gun, let me explain who Miyazaki is.  The co-founder of Studio Ghibi and anime director of classics like Spirited Away and My Neighbor, Totoro. He has been working in the business for 50 years now.

Most fans have a feeling of sadness due to this news of Miyazaki’s retirement. His films have transported us all to worlds of magical excitement and thrills. All the while, he kept all the movies family friendly.

His partnership with Disney has allowed a new age of fans, who aren’t gifted in the world of anime, to simply enjoy his works. This new audience will probably feel the most lost due to them just recently discovering his films.

I first discovered the world of Miyazaki through his first film in what will become known as Studio Ghibli, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. I saw it dubbed in English back in 1985 on HBO. I didn’t know what the film’s name was so I called it “HBO science fiction movie.”

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika, 1984), was an adventure film that introduced many of the themes which would recur in later films: a concern with ecology and the human impact on the environment; a fascination with aircraft and flight; pacifism, including an anti-military streak; feminism; and morally ambiguous characterizations, especially among villains.

I have watched that film so much that I tend to judge all other Miyazaki films by this standard. This is a grave mistake on my part since Miyazaki will not simply rehash an idea. Never will two films capture a similar feel or style.

This brings me to what critics feel is his greatest film, Princess Mononoke. In 1995, Miyazaki began work on Princess Mononoke, which uses the ecological and political themes of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,  but tells the story in vibrant color and action. The story is about a struggle between the animal spirits inhabiting the forest and the humans exploiting the forest for industry. The film was released on July 19, 1997 and was both a financial and critical success; it won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Picture.


Shortly after Princess Mononoke’s success, Miyazaki went into semi-retirement. In working on the film, Miyazaki redrew 80,000 of the film’s frames himself. He also stated at one point that Princess Mononoke would be his last film.

Of course, like all the greats, Miyazaki could not retire fully and returned to the world with Spirited Away. Critics across the globe loved and cheered this film.


With 50 years of fantastic, imaginative and downright enjoyable films along with few very good mangas under his belt, the great Miyazaki has a legacy that may never be surpassed and he can retire and bask in the admirations of his peers and his devoted fan base, young and old.

The real question is will he stay retired this time? With icons like Stan Lee at 91 years young still working the business, the real question is why should he retire. His imagination is great and his talent is still strong,  which he still might be able to contribute more to the world of anime and manga.

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History of Anpanman


Anpanman (アンパンマン) is a Japanese picture book series written by Takashi Yanase since 1973. The anime adaptation Soreike! Anpanman (それいけ!アンパンマン, Let’s Go! Anpanman) is one of the most popular anime series amongst young children in Japan. The show has been on the air in Japan continuously since October 1988. On October 4, 1996 (Episode 398) the show changed its time slot from Monday to Friday. On November 10, 2000 (Episode 588) the show was made with digital editing. On August 28, 2009 the show had aired 1000 episodes. Since April 2, 2010(Episode 1029) the show started airing in High Definition. As of 2011, the titular Anpanman is the most popular fictional character among people age 0 to 12 years in Japan in 10 consecutive years, according to 2chan the show was originally going to premiere in 1987 and it was originally going to end with 24 episodes, according to research by Bandai. Although the series is popular in its country of origin, the franchise is not well known outside of Japan.

Heavily merchandised, the Anpanman characters appear on virtually every imaginable children’s product, from clothes to video games to toys to snack foods. The Anpanman books have collectively sold over 50 million copies in Japan.

Many times during the Second World War, Yanase became faced with the prospect of starvation, which made him dream about eating anpan (a bean-jam filled pastry).


This inspired the creation of the Anpanman character.


Kōichi Yamadera and Mika Kanai, the voice actors for Cheese and Melonpanna respectively, are married. This is also translated in a way to the cartoon as Cheese spends most of his time in Melonpanna’s company in the episodes she’s in. Yamadera also does voices for recurring characters in the show, such as Kamameshidon. They divorced in Spring of 2006.

The series spawned a short lived spin-off show featuring one of the more popular recurring characters on the show, Omusubiman.

In each episode, Anpanman fights with Baikinman and helps the people of the town. He always goes on patrol in the area around the house of Uncle Jam. He is a symbol of justice, fighting for the cause of justice every day. Anpanman has a long history and new characters are frequently introduced, keeping the series fresh. In 2009, Anpanman was verified as a Guinness World Record Holder for the highest number of characters in an animated franchise; as of March 27, 1,768 characters have appeared in the first 980 episodes of the TV series and the first 20 Anpanman films.

The Heroes

Anpanman (アンパンマン Anpanman)
Voiced by: Keiko Toda
The main character of the anime, whose head is a bun made by Uncle Jam. His name comes from the fact that he is a man with a head made of bread (Japanese: pan, a loanword from the Portuguese word meaning “bread”) that is filled with red bean paste (Japanese: an) called an anpan. The rhythm of the rhyming name might be loosely idiomatically translated in English as “Bean Bun Boy”. He doesn’t need to eat or drink to sustain himself and has never been seen eating, as it is believed the bean jam in his head allows him to sustain himself in this manner. His weaknesses are water and anything else that makes his head dirty (In order to prevent his head getting wet when underwater or in wet weather, he is usually seen with his head concealed inside a protective bubble in such situations). He regains his health and strength when Jam Ojisan bakes him a new head and it is placed on his shoulders. Anpanman’s damaged head, with Xs in his eyes, flies off his shoulders once a new baked head is made for him by Uncle Jam. Anpanman came to life when shooting star landed in Uncle Jam’s oven while he was baking. He has two special attacks: An-punch and An-kick (with stronger variations of both). When Anpanman comes across a starving creature or person, he lets the unfortunate creature or person eat part of his head. He also has super hearing in that he can respond to anyone that calls his name out in distress from anywhere in the world.
Uncle Jam (ジャムおじさん Jam Ojisan)
Voiced by: Hiroshi Masuoka
The creator of Anpanman, and a very kind baker. A skilled cook with knowledge of nearly everything in the world.
Batako-san (バタコさん Batako-san)
Voiced by: Rei Sakuma
Assistant to Uncle Jam. She’s dedicated and hard working, but is prone to forgetting things. Her Japanese name means “Butter Girl”. She makes and mends the capes Anpanman and the other heroes use to fly with.
Cheese (チーズ Chiizu)
Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera
A dog that lives in Uncle Jam’s bakery. He became a loyal friend after Anpanman saved his life in the manga. In the anime, a young Anpanman feeds Cheese, who is starving, a part of his head as a part of his very first patrol and became inseparable afterwards. Cheese tends be an effective sidekick when he’s around.
Currypanman (カレーパンマン Currypanman)
Voiced by: Michiyo Yanagisawa
Another of Anpanman’s friends. His head is made from currypan, a pastry filled with red-hot curry. He is quick tempered and hot-headed on the surface, but gives way to a kind and sentimental interior. Tends to be the strongman of the trio. Wields the Curry-punch and Curry-kick, which are similar to the fighting techniques of Anpanman’s other sidekicks. However, he can also use the hot curry concealed in his head as a weapon, using it to burn villains. He first appeared in episode 2b.
Shokupanman (しょくぱんまん Shokupanman)
Voiced by: Sumi Shimamoto
A friend of Anpanman. His head is made from sliced white bread (Japanese: shoku pan). He is handsome and level-headed and kind, but narcissistic. Tends to be the thinker of the trio. His job when not helping Anpanman is serving lunch to the schoolchildren. Dokin-chan has a crush on him. Wields the Shoku-punch and Shoku-kick, which are similar to Anpanman’s fighting techniques. He also has a multi-functional delivery van known as the Shokupanman-go with many implements to help avoid trouble. He first appeared in episode 3b.
Melonpanna (メロンパンナ Meronpanna)
Voiced by: Mika Kanai
Anpanman’s friend. Her head is made from melon bread. She is extremely softhearted, being caring and sensitive, and is sometimes clever. When she’s in trouble, she usually needs Anpanman or somebody else to save her, or if there is no one available, she calls out for her sister, Rollpanna. Sometimes she likes hanging out with Cheese. Her special attack, the Melo-Melo Punch, makes bad guys woozy with affection or awakens others from deep sleep. She first appeared in episode 200.
Rollpanna (ロールパンナ Rollpanna)
Voiced by: Mina Tominaga
Melonpanna’s older sister who has two hearts: A red one of goodness, and thanks to Baikinman, a blue one of evil. The sight of Anpanman can trigger her evil heart while the sight of Melonpanna can trigger her good one. She started out in the series as a loner at Baikinman’s beck and call, but she broke from his power and wanders the world doing good deeds, but stays away from others for fear of what she would do if her black heart is triggered. Her nickname is “The tragic heroine”. Uses a gymnastics ribbon as her main weapon. She can use it to wrap up her enemies or cause tornadoes. She first appeared in episode 300.
Creampanda (クリームパンダ Creampanda)
Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa
The youngest of Anpanman’s friends and the foster brother of Melonpanna and Rollpanna. He is 6 years old. His is head made from a cream bun and his eyes that looks like those of a panda’s. Despite his immaturity and relative weakness as compared to Anpanman and his hero friends, he is courageous, protective of his friends, and has a “never give up” attitude. He has a immature character causes him to sometimes get into petty squabbles and competitions of one-upsmanship with the other younger characters on the show. Because his head resembles a hand, he has a special headbutt attack called the “Guu-Choki-Punch” (Guu-Choki-Pa means Rock, Scissors, Paper in Japanese). Relatively powerful when it connects, it fails to connect more often than not. He first appeared in episode 469.

The Villains

Baikinman (ばいきんまん Baikinman)
Voiced by: Ryusei Nakao
The villain from the “Germ Planet” and is the leader of the Viruses. His Japanese name means “Bacteria Man”. His ambition is to destroy Anpanman and spread bacteria all over the latter’s world, yet he is perfectly content to play tricks, steal, and bully those weaker than him. He and Anpanman were born at the same time, making them physical representations of moral dualism. He has a weakness to soap, which shrinks him to the size of a fly. He constructs machines and thinks of intricate plans to counteract Anpanman’s strength. His two famous phrases are signature cackle, “Ha-hee-hoo-hey-hoo!”; and “Bye-baikiiin!”, which he utters out whenever he’s sent flying by Anpanman or another character.
Moldyrunrun (かびるんるん Kabirunrun)
Baikinman’s henchmen. They have the ability to rot Anpanman’s head with mildew/mold (Japanese: kabi). They first appeared in episode 2a.
Dokin-chan (ドキンちゃん)
Voiced by: Hiromi Tsuru
Baikinman’s female partner in crime. She is selfish, demanding, childish, and greedy, but sometimes shows kindness. She has a crush on Shokupanman. Her Japanese name is a combination of “Doki”, the Japanese onomatopoeia for a quickly beating heart, “baikin” (meaning “germ”, also the case for Baikinman), and the diminutive/affectionate suffix “-chan”. She first appeared in episode 13a.
Horrorman (ホラーマン Horrorman)
Voiced by: Kaneta Kimotsuki
A skeleton who often works with Baikinman and Dokin-chan. Although he seems scary on the outside, he is very weak and often falls to pieces, and can magically put the pieces back. He is neither a hero nor a villain. His special attack is the Bone Boomerang, where he takes off one of his bones and throws it. He is also in love with Dokin-chan and often stalks her. He first appeared in Fly! Fly! Chibigon.

After the events of 3/11

A volunteer worker helping out in some of the worse areas affected in the Northen area of Japan started singing the Anpanman theme song to brighten the spirits of his fellow helpers and has become a tradition ever since!