Gad Guard Complete Collection Print
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R2 DVD Reviews
Saturday, 13 January 2007 04:00
Gad GuardGad Guard joins the long list of series that have been getting Complete Collections lately.  This is one of those series where full price always seemed a bit much for what you were getting, but this essentially half-price set may just bring it into the "worth a look" category.  Meet Hajiki, his friends, and their giant robots...

Hajiki Sanda, a resident of Night Town, a less-than-salubrious area where the power is cut off each night, never wanted much excitement from life, but when his job as a motorcycle courier brought him into contact with the Gad - small cubes of stone with the ability to transform into powerful robots known as Techodes - excitement's what he got.  After botching the delivery of a Gad (not that he knew what it was at the time), Hajiki attempts to recover the package & deliver it to the proper client - but after recovering the Gad he accidentally activates it, and finds himself the custodian of his very own Techode.

LightningArashi gets her wish

From there, the series runs through several story arcs - some battles in Night Town itself, Hajiki's rivarly with Katana (a Techode owner who's more interested in using his machine for his own gain than helping anyone), his efforts to find his missing father, and a look at the true nature of Gads and Techodes.  It's got an intriguing setting too, being set in the future, in a city that's grown up around the spaceport where humans first landed.  Since then, the town has split into various areas, according to the wealth of the residents: Gold Town, where 80% of the city's money is, Day Town, and Night Town, where the locals are poorer and the power is cut off each night.  Outside the city, the planet is split into Units, each with its own unique characteristics.  For the most part, the world looks normal, but there are little glimpses of technology here and there that give away the futuristic setting, always in a very subtle and low-key way.  It's a fairly interesting way of presenting the show's world - although not as much use of it is made as there could have been

Being infuriatingUndercover?

The characters are a less interesting bunch.  Hajiki just doesn't care, Katana's a two-dimensional revenge-seeker, and the various other Techode owners get little in the way of development - they're just there.  Arashi's the most interesting of the bunch, but that's not really saying much - she attaches herself to Hajiki for no apparent reason after moving to Night Town to get away from her overbearing father & plays very little part in the story until near the end, but she's cute and packs a mean punch, which should keep the fanboys happy.

Almost.....and score!

Gad Guard has its good moments spread throughout the series, but it never really seems to know what it's trying to be.  It changes track several times along the way, and while the final episodes do try to provide a sense of closure to the story the final explanations still leave too much unanswered for it to really be a satisfying end, although the journey there is certainly enjoyable.  The series is hard to really recommend, though - while Gad Guard's worth a look, especially at this lower price, the good doesn't rise far enough above the rest to make it a really worthwhile purcase.  That's a real shame given the potential that was there.

For more details on the individual episodes, check our reviews of the individual releases:
» Volume 1: Lightning
» Volume 2: Corruption
» Volume 3: Persona
» Volume 4: Collections
» Volume 5: Acquaintances
» Volume 6/7: Techodes & Star Travel

Rating - ***

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