Anime: DAIMIDALER: PRINCE VS. PENGUIN EMPIRE
Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: December 15th, 2015
Retail Price: $64.98
Nowadays there are a ton of anime series that cater to the polarizing aspects of fanservice, often geared towards a specified male audience of anime lovers – and are surprisingly some of the more successful series in Japan (and some even having found mainstream notoriety in the U.S.) The anime series Daimidaler: Prince VS Penguin Empire is another example that the sexually charged faction of series still finds a strong fanbase to continuously fuel the (sometimes peculiar) production of unusual anime. From the first moments of Daimidaler: Prince VS Penguin Empire it’s overtly obvious that the series aims simply to please two particular groups – mecha lovers and fanservice seekers, quickly introducing you to a character who, before getting into “plot” is already known for being a people watcher (and pervert) so there are no surprises when the anime continues to build one those two traits for 12 episodes of bizarre interests.
The series is created by the insanely popular anime High School DxD (but you can tell almost immediately when watching) and the premise entails an intergalactic threat of an alien race known as the Penguin Empire arriving to Earth. The only individuals who can actually make an impact or fight back against the alien invaders are people who can create something called “Hi-Ero” particles. These particles take on a magical appearance, and help create an additional power source for large-scale mecha droids that are required to battle the looming enemies that pop-up in every episode. On occasion the series feels like it actually has spoof qualities to the genres the anime takes on, and in those instances there are some humorous inclusions to the series for using a character to state how ridiculous the plot can be. A character named Kouichi is the primary centric character, a fairly young and stereotypical male anime fan that operates a mech known as the Daimidaler with his female companion named Kiriko.
Kouichi contains all of the attributes you’d expect from a protagonist in a series with sexual innuendos, often seen talking about the female characteristics he appreciates the most – and often without tact. His lack of respect greatly results in eye rolling scenes that make it practically near impossible to wholly enjoy him as a lead, but the casual viewers of these type of series will most likely find things to enjoy because he doesn’t stray too far from the model used for characters of this nature. There are the occasional moments of sincerity underneath his perverted persona, but they are scare throughout the anime, and he’s more used as a doorway to crude humor consistently in Daimidaler: Prince VS Penguin Empire. What makes him a more important character is the robot/mech/droid (or whatever name you’d prefer) the Daimidaler, which proved to be a primary weapon needed to stop the waves of enemies.
Kiriko on the other hand, is the character who mostly carries the plot and interest in the anime series. In the first few moments she seems to be a scapegoat and victim of sexual punch lines and unfair representation (she’s very much that specified character repeatedly) however the female lead does have overall better developed qualities to her personality that is explored in the abrupt and unexpected way by using her different brief or budding interpersonal relationships as an entry point to bring a little more depth to Daimidaler: Prince VS Penguin Empire. She calls out the stereotypical perversion that is used (for example, groping is a common occurrence for “power”) and has a greater sense of rationality unlike the others, but that is sometimes overridden by writing her as helpless stereotypical anime female to my dismay. Kiriko actually cares deeply for her partner, attempting to help him keep his personal life at bay and over time tries to persuade him that there will be more to his life than battles. There does seem to be a legitimate bond and romantic development between Kiriko and Kouichi, but because of the push for physical comedy it can get watered down to a subplot.
Daimidaler: Prince VS Penguin Empire may focus a vast majority of its time by trying to please those looking for a simplistic portrayal of comedy and fanservice, but I can’t discredit the series for at least trying to introduce additional elements that strayed from the expected approach to others I’ve seen. There are pop-culture references that are like fun easter eggs (a MySpace reference from 2006 resulted in some laughter) and slight character growth that actually managed to grab my attention in a different way than I expected. The English dub of the anime was another comical success of the series, often tweaking dialogue to a few English phrases and jokes that were nice alterations by FUNimation to remind viewers they want to make content more relevant. Although Daimidaler: Prince VS Penguin Empire won’t ever be one of my favorites, that doesn’t change the fact that there are a select amount of people who will enjoy the mecha / fanservice (ecchi) anime, available now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Overall Score: 5.3/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
-There are surprising moments of intrigue presented in Daimidaler: Prince VS Penguin Empire that doesn’t use the raunchy depictions to tell a story.
-I understand that the series wants to utilize fanservice, but toning it down (about 85%) wouldn’t have been a detriment to the series at all.
-Kiriko is the standout of the series, but I also enjoyed a random character inclusion of Commander Six for adding an air of mystery and sadness to Daimidaler: Prince VS Penguin Empire.