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Several hundred years in the future, Earth's natural resources have been depleted. Sixteen year old, Hajiki Sanada, who works part-time at a moving company called Hachisuka Express, encounters a TECHODE (a kind of humanoid robot) named Lightning.

 

Many people have searched for it, many have stolen it, and many will kill for it. The Gad a seemingly magical stone which, once making a strong spiritual connection with someone, will grow into a very powerful robot known as a technode – a mechanical being that embodies the will of the bonded person. This is the story of Hajiki Sanada, a boy struggling to help support his fatherless family in an electricity impoverished city known as night town. One day he encounters the Gad and a special bond is formed. Now his life will never be the same again…

 

The first disc contains 4 episodes

Episode 1 – Looking up at the same sky – Hajiki is called upon to deliver a package to day town, the object seems to have a mysterious connection to him. The stone, also referred to as a Gad seems to be attracting plenty of attention, many have stolen it, and others are willing to die for it.

Episode 2 – Putting the Pieces together – The power of the Gad has been discovered, pulling pieces of all machines around it, a new heavy metal robot known as a Technode had been formed. Others have come into contact with Gads and in doing so they’ve bonded with them, all having a heavy metal Technode of their own.

Episode 3 – On a street corner in Night town – The search for the missing Gad has begun, but it has already been turned into a Techode named Zero and is under the control of Katana, obsessed at destroying Hajiki. A confrontation is coming between the technodes who will survive?

Episode 4 – With bright eyes – A rash of jewel thefts by heavy metals gains the attention of Hajiki, but what of this new Technode that appears? Is it and its pilot responsible for the thefts or are they there to help prevent them?

The animation for the first disc was nothing short of amazing, from the each of the characters own unique style to the individual appearance of each of the Technodes. One characteristic that is noticeable for this series, is that each of the main characters, have different outfits, for normal day use and then for battle attire. In some instances, some of the characters clothing change on a daily basis. The audio for Gad Guard was just plain amazing, with bilingual Audio featuring English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0. With two English subtitle streams dialog and signs or signs only.

The extra’s for this disc were slightly disappointing, the only real extra besides an Art gallery showing the different characters and Technodes in different poses, would be the reversible front cover and a small pull poster of Hajiki and his Technode Lightning. The other extra’s for this disc include a non credit opening, a promo trailer #1,Geneon previews for currently released or upcoming releases and the DVD credits for those who worked diligently to bring this disc to light.

My initial impressions of Gad Guard, were kind of mixed, thankfully I had the opportunity to view this disc a couple of times. On my first viewing, I felt that the series was a poor cross between Digimon and Gundam. The idea of kids coming into contact with machines that stem from “magic stones”, once created they’re able to control, to pilot them against the bad guys. Well initial impressions can change, and while the similarities are there, the main character Hajiki wearing the goggles or the main villain known thus far Katana is a well dress, educated individual that is bent on destruction. Thankfully the similarities between the series seem to end there, as for the Gundam reference, they’re not really sitting in the Technodes controlling them, they’re more like extension of their personalities, sort of a will to do something great that manifested itself.

After experiencing the first disc, I’ve come away with three noticeable dislikes, the first being the English voice actors aren’t really suited to the characters, at some points I was actually annoyed with them. I should have been watching it with the original voice actors and subbed titled, but it’s kind of hard to take notes and read at the same time (damn my lack of not being able to understand Japanese). The second problem thus far would be the story, after the first disc, it really hasn’t taken on any form as of yet, and my third dislike (which is related to my second), is that there’s just enough of a story to keep me interested so that I have to watch the second disc in the series.

Gad Guard, a story about several individuals that have nothing in common, with the exception of being able to turn a Gad into a Technode, without being corrupted by it’s power. What does the next disc have to offer? I can’t wait to find out.

Animation:9/ 10
Story: 7/ 10
Audio: 8 / 10
Video: 9 / 10
Extras: 6 / 10
Impact Rating: 6 / 10


Overall 45/60 or 75%

by Matt Capranos

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