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Gad Guard #2: Corruption PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Thursday, 14 September 2006 00:00
VOlume Two (Cover Art)Time for the second installment of Gad Guard, and while Hajiki continues to help Catherine with her quest to find more Gads and discovers that not all of the mysterious stones will turn into easily-controllable Techodes, Arashi begins to suffer from a bad case of envy as she longs for a Techode of her own.  Just how many rampaging robots can Night Town handle?

5 - And Then the Rain Will Fall
Try as he might, Hajiki can't quite seem to get rid of Arashi - she's insisting on following him everywhere, even into the less salubrious parts of Night Town, where Hajiki's gone to try and track down Katana.  His snooping around only ends up landing him in trouble, but he's rescued by Takumi.  By coincidence, he's also trying to track Katana down, but he's not inclined to join forces with Hajiki.  While everyone's out looking for him, meanwhile, Katana's making good use of his new Techode to cause all sorts of chaos...

Sticky situationCaught red-masked...

6 - The Five Masks
Catherine has what she thinks is a lead on another Gad - an artefact stolen from a private art exhibition - which means she wants Hajiki to go track it down for her, and she's not about to take "no" for an answer.  She's not the only one looking for a Gad - Arashi's suffering from just a touch of jealousy at not having one of her own yet.  Meanwhile, Aiko's "let's all be friends" mission continues when she tracks down Takumi - the two get on quite well at first, but when Takumi finds out that Aiko knows Katana and where he's hiding, his attitude soon changes...

Down in the junkyardTakumi attacks

7 - If I Could Fly
Catherine's search for a Gad continues, and is as fruitless as ever, while Arashi tries to follow in Hajiki's footsteps by taking on a part-time job of her own.  It's not likely to earn her enough money to buy herself a Gad, but at least she gets to feel like she's making the effort - although the occasional sight of Hajiki and the other Techode owners tearing up the town doesn't really help her mood.  While Arashi's wondering how to get her hands on a Techode, though, Aiko's wondering how best to put hers to use - Takumi's "warrior of justice" gig has a certain appeal and she approaches Hajiki about joining forces, but Hajiki's too used to working on his own to be interested...

A few words of wisdomNew toy

8 - Wandering Pair
Time for a trip away from the city, and a look into the lives of Seikai and Isa - survivors from Unit Cobalt who make their living destroying "Gadrians" - or Techodes & Atechodes to you and me.  Their only experience of Gads is that the machines and creatures they spawn are only good for killing - so when they learn that Techodes are running free around Night Town, they simply have to pay the city a visit and deal with the "problem".  First to run into the self-appointed Gadrian executioners are Takumi and Thunderbolt - but during the battle, Seikai and Isa soon notice that the city's Techodes seem to be able to take orders...

Gadrian hunterLightning powers up

I could have sworn Takumi was a she when I first saw him, but no, definitely a he.  The rivalry between Hajiki and Katana steps up a few gears, with Katana determined to avenge the defeat that Haijiki & Lightning inflicted on him the first time they met.  I've never been much of a fan of that sort of rivalry - it's always seemed kind of pointless to me, especially when Hajiki clearly isn't interested in an unnecessary rematch, but the two of them do get into some interesting scraps along the way and even find themselves reluctantly working together at times.  With Katana being the only obviously "evil" Techode user, I do wonder how long it'll be before something happens to either change his mind and bring him onside with the rest of the gang, or remove him from the picture.

Away from his confrontations with Katana, Haijiki continues helping Catherine with her so-far fruitless search for more Gads.  The interesting thing about Catherine - about from the way she uses her charms to get her way - is that she seems to know a lot more about Gads than she's willing to admit.  Certainly she's not the least bit surprised when one transforms into an Atechode, and there are other bits of information fed throughout these episodes that suggest there's immense destructive potential locked up within a Gad, which could cause problems if it falls into the wrong hands.  I wouldn't quite go so far as to say there's a conspiracy going on, but I'd bet there's more to her search for Gad stones than there appears to be, which could lead to some interesting possibilities later in the series - if the writers make the most of the opportunity.

A lot of the disc, though, looks at the various Techode owners (Takumi, Katana, Aiko and eventually Arashi) and their personalities and motivations.  I did enjoy this part of the story, as it made the characters a little more three-dimensional and less just people there to move the fight scenes along.  Be it Takumi's innate sense of justice, Arashi's need to prove herself to her father, or Aiko's desire just to see everyone get along, for the most part the stories here move the characters on a bit and make them that much easier to connect with - which in turn makes the series more enjoyable to watch.  Katana's the exception to the rule, as his main motivation ("beat Haijiki!") leaves him very much the two-dimensional villain.

If there's an ongoing story here, they're hiding it well - the episodes all have a standalone feel to them, as each one focuses on a different character or another of Catherine's wild goose chases.  I'm hoping more will be made later in the series of the Gads' true nature and that side of things, as there are some good possibilities there, but for the moment were very much in adventure-of-the-week territory.  That works okay, but I do think Gad Guard isn't quite living up to its potential yet.  Here's hoping the remaining volumes try and make some use of the show's early promise.

Rating - ***

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