Oct 16, 2015
The long awaited sequel to Dancougar is finally here. I'm not sure how much in demand it was. Just the fact it was made at all has to mean something, but this movie came only two years after the series. Which got cancelled. Does it matter? It's 2015 and I'm one of the few Dancougar fans, and I'm damn pleased it inexplicably got the support it needed to carry on. To find out why I'm a fan, you'd be better off referring to my review of the original series. Most of my thoughts about it apply here as well, and I won't go into too
much detail for the sake of redundancy. And redundancy is the whole game here, folks: it's a super robot series.
But to give credit where credit is due, God Bless Dancougar retains the special qualities of the original series that make it a standout of its time, to the point many of them are still palpable today. Though peace on Earth has finally been obtained, terrorism has become somewhat common and citizens are restricted by the overseeing government and master central computer. The Cyber-Beast Force are busy training new recruits when they're called in to fight against another enemy. When the mission goes awry the team is framed and discovers many things that are the exact opposite of what they seemed.
As a fan, there were two major reliefs as soon as I started God Bless Dancougar. One, the budget is now higher than ten dollars. Two, the realistic dialogue and banter between the team that was the series's best quality is completely intact. Unfortunately, this isn't exactly the focus. I found myself enjoying the movie the most in the beginning when there was no plot and time was spent celebrating the team's return to the fans, reminding us why we liked the characters in the first place and being happy they're back. When the conflict comes all time is spent on exposition and action, leaving characterization and dialogue behind. Shinbou and Sara were always the most focused-on members of the team but the balance is downright unfair here. Ryo has a moment or two, and though Masato has a small important part in the plot it's pretty much all he does and it's not relevant to the viewers based on anything we knew about him before. The Dancougar series did a great job at making the team actually feel equal, and while the individuals are as competent and likable as they always were two of them don't really get the chance to show off.
Seeing Dancougar with decent animation is almost surreal. Though there are still framerate issues and lazy movements it's almost unnoticeable after getting used to the series, and for 1987 it all at least looks very nice and movie-worthy. So color me shocked because I have no complaints here. The music is the same quality, featuring many of the same theme songs while the new ones fit in perfectly because they all came out of the same era as the series.
If you want a recommendation then this is absolutely worth seeing for the fans. For reasons that'll make sense once you watch it, it's a much better send-off than Requiem for Victims. The Real Robot series traits of some hard science and drama are still here, the characters are intact, the action is now serviceable with solid animation, and this is pretty much just Dancougar the series but "more". That's part of the problem, really. After the beginning this just feels like an extended special episode. Maybe the best Dancougar's ever had, but if all the good qualities of it can be attributed to it being so close to the series then so can the bad like a lackluster gutless storyline. When all's said and done, it did deliver Dancougar, and Dancougar makes me happy.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7
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