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Good For What It Is.
12 February 2005
It's kind of ironic that this anime was airing in Japan at around the same time as Shin Seiki Evangelion, another mecha anime that is truly much more than the average mecha anime. Evangelion was a story about angst, mystery, divinity, and the question of life. Dagwon isn't. This is an anime made in conjunction with Takara for one purpose - to sell toys.

Of course, although this automatically disqualifies it from even deserving to be mentioned in the same breath as Evangelion, that doesn't mean Dagwon is total kiddy junk food. Although the animation is weak compared to the legendary animes airing around it (Evangelion and Escaflowne, among others) it still features the trademark well-made transformation and fusion sequences which characterized the Yuusha series. The characters start out weak and develop slowly, but eventually we really get a sense of their personalities, if they are extremely stereotypical - En, the punk kid with a heart of gold. Kai, the no-nonsense by-the-books student. Shin, the big guy with a love for the ladies. Yoku, the short nerdy geek. Lastly, Ryu, the free-spirit. With a call of "Try Dagwon!" and a flip of their wrist henshin braces, they become the ultimate fighting force: Yuusha Shirei Dagwon! There's plenty of changing and combining robots, and everyone goes home happy in the end. But there's still a charm to this series that's hard to place - a great sense of good vs. evil, and a sentai team concept that works well, even if it takes a while for said team to actually start working as one. While it's not as good as GaoGaiGar (farand away the best of Takara's Yuusha animes) Dagwon is still a fun,engaging, happy storyline that will more than please the young and the young at heart.
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