The series took awhile to grow on me, the animation and character designs looked under-par, the characters themselves seemed a bit cliched, and the pacing seemed....off switching between a somewhat dull but pleasant everday life to hectic action scenes. That beng said as I watched more and more of the series the damn thing sorta grew on me. Between the humdrum slice of life chapters, and the giant robot vs. kaiju fights of varying quality I began to realize that Dai-guard possesses somethin rare and precious, genuine heart. Dai-guard gets by with a initially flat cast of characters who I eventully grew to admire and care about. When we are intoduced to the series "hero" Akagi we are intoduced to a "hot blooded, idealistic, hot shot mecha jockey, who is also oblivious to love", and his two "co-pilots" Ibuki a "self assured but cute office girl with daddy issues", and Aoyama "a handsome, cool, snarky introvert who serves as the piloting trio's logical one". Off to a good start? Not really, and as the series progresses these charcters don't wildly deviate from these pre-assigned "archetypes", and you know what? They don't really need to. Their growth as people is subtle, but not in the least inferior to Noriko's transfrmation into a space monster busting warrior goddess, or Kaiser Reinhard's descent into an all powerul but painfully lonely Prince of the Universe. Akagi wouldnt be Akagi if he didn't love mecha, but that doesn't mean that he can't eventually become a "professional" not only in terms of skill but in attitude as well. Ibuki and Aoyama eventually learn to respect and trust Akagi(to an extent), and we even get to see little snippets of their life that give us as viewers the POTENTIAL to see them beyond their archetype. This applies to all of the cast, it is hinted that each character has some sort of "hidden" talent, hobby, or simply some other thing going on in their life. Nothing particularily important to the plot, but thats the point. What we are seeing is only a part of these characters' lives, they're daily 9 to 5. This isn't war drama, its something far more "real" and gritty, its the daily grind. Dai-Guard's "Heart" ultimately stems from this subtltey. It's not the prettiest, the smartest, or the best, but check it out if you like light hearted fun, that also manages to be intelligent.
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