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Languages: English & Japanese with subtitles
Video: 4:3 NTSC Standard Aspect Ratio
Audio: Dolby Digital
American Release Status: Unavailable
Director: Seiji Mizushima
Character Designer: Mitsuru Ishihara
Music: Kohei Tanaka
Animation Director: Mitsuru Ishihara
Animation Studio: Production I.G./Xebec
American Producers: ADV Films
Title: Hostile Takeover
Running Time: 125
Number of Episodes On This Volume: 5
1: Disaster From the Sea
2: The Fort at Night: Huge Offensive-Defensive Battle
3: Circumstances of a Hero
4: The Heroine's Melancholy
5: Can't Run Facing the Setting Sun
Episode 1: Disaster From the Sea
The city is threatened! An alien life form, called a Heterodyne, is running wild through downtown, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The military valiantly attempts to stop the creature but its weapons seem to have no effect. Watching the battle is a young Ibuki; a small girl swept up in the chaos. Her eyes well up with tears as the monster devastates the city.
Twelve years later Ibuki and her teammates Akagi and Aoyama find themselves at a seaside weapons show in Odaiba. They are the pilots of Dai-Guard, a huge self-defense robot on display at the show. But, the pilots are not there as triumphant heros, they are there as tour guides and public relation minions for their employer. As they hand out balloons to kids, they have to grin and bear the snide comments of the visitors about their giant paper mache robot. Akagi finally cannot stand another snicker and he positions a group of kids in front of the robot and then cause the machine to vent a powerful stream of air, knocking the kids flat. Ibuki races up and chides him for his behavior, especially since Akagi happens to be wearing the costume of the company's mascot (a large hawk like bird) at the time.
Ibuki and Akagi retire to the rest area and sip vending machine beverages. Akagi wishes aloud that they could just demonstrate to the crowd that Dai-Guard is real but the front office supervisors remind Akagi that the cost of simply starting Dai-Guard up is equivalent to his one month's pay. Akagi sighs.
Meanwhile, in a monitoring station nearby, observers detect a large energy disturbance. They report the findings to headquarters which, in turn, calls a board meeting. The directors grumble at being called in and complain that there is nothing for them to discuss - the machine will not be activated! As they squabble, the disturbance reveals itself to be a Heterodyne, a large shark-like alien, and the creature erupts from the sea just offshore from Dai-Guard. It attacks the gathered crowd and traps them behind a wall of burning cars on the only escape route. The board acts swiftly - they order Dai-Guard and all employees to evacuate immediately. Do not, under any circumstances, engage the enemy.
The orders are relayed to Odaiba and Akagi, Ibuki, and Aoyama are ordered to evacuate. But Akagi refuses. The people need to be saved, and Dai-Guard is the only one who can do it. He immediately goes to Dai-Guard and prepares to launch. Unfortunately, all three pilots must be on board for Dai-Guard to operate and neither Ibuki or Aoyama has agreed to join Akagi. Ibuki watches the devastation and driven by her memories, she agrees to disobey orders. Aoyama, outnumbered two to one, relents and joins his teammates on board.
As the ground crew yells out helpful advice such as "Be careful" and "Run away if it gets too dangerous", Dai-Guard stomps off into action. The local militia sweeps into action, launching missiles at the monster and complaints to the hapless supervisors over the unwanted interference from Dai-Guard. Dai-Guard, meanwhile, sweeps the burning cars into Tokyo bay, clearing the escape path for the visitors. As they do this, the Heterodyne, unaffected by the actions of the military, attacks the robot.
Dai-Guard grapples with the tall purple and white alien. Its red ball "head" looms large on Dai-Guard's control screens and its whip-like tentacles wrap around Dai-Guard. But, Akagi and crew fight back and two creations leave a trail of smashed buildings as they tussle. The supervisors orders Akagi to push the Heterodyne back into the ocean and they wrestle their way to the water's edge. There, Akagi gives the alien one last punch to its red ball "face" and sends the creature tumbling into the sea. It disappears under the surface and from the screens of the observers.
Back in the boardroom, the directors watch the action via satellite. They are outraged at the pilots, but the chairman sits with a Cheshire cat smile on his face and asks his assistance if the pilot of Dai-Guard is her cousin. She replies yes and apologizes. The episode ends with an image of the battered Dai-Guard at the water's edge.
Episode 2: The Fort at Night: Huge Offensive-Defensive Battle
With the battle against the heterodyne over, the PR war has begun. Akagi meets with reporters and gives a very enthusiastic interview to all - much to the chagrin of Ibuki, Aoyama and the entire 21st Century Defense Security Corporation. As the reporters leave, Akagi and team notice all the victims of the battle waiting for medical attention. Concerned about their well being, Akagi devises a plan in which all the injured would ride with the parts of Dai-Guard on their transport aircraft. The team springs into action and begins to shepherd everyone aboard.
But, the local army is unhappy with Akagi's action. They complain that the removal of victims will lead to improper record keeping and other complications. Akagi counters, saying that the military is more concerned about covering their butts than caring for the people. The army relents but on one condition - an observer will travel with the group and 21st Century Defense Security Corporation will be responsible for collecting all the required information on the army's behalf. With that settled, they load up the robot and the victims and take off.
Meanwhile, the army scours the sea, looking for the heterodyne that Dai-Guard shoved off land. Helicopters and submarines crisscross the waters as they search. Suddenly, a sub picked up a signal directly beneath it and they barely manage to surface to safety as the massive alien rises from the deep. It attacks the helicopters and heads towards Tokyo. The army relays the info to the observer about the Dai-Guard transport, and he advises them to keep the news secret from the Dai-Guard force.
Back at 21st Century Defense Security Corporation headquarters, the various heads of departments argue over who will bear the cost of the recent Dai-Guard action. Sales say it is Operations expense, Operations say "no," this is a Production budget line item. Finance announces that there will be no increases or emergency appropriations approved. While all this bantering occurs, the planes carrying the victims and Dai-Guard land next to headquarters and disembark to waiting ambulances.
Suddenly, the Heterodyne emerges from the ocean and approaches the crowd. The ambulances panic and become trapped after two collide at the narrow front gate. Akagi, wanting to buy time for the victims to escape, pleads for them to assembly Dai-Guard but it cannot be done. The robot has no fuel left. Fuming, they are left helpless before the approaching heterodyne.
But, two things occur that change the situation. First, the monster turns away and begins to head towards the 21st Century Defense Security Corporation headquarters tower. Secondly, the Dai-Guard ground support unit arrives and they rip a hole in the fence, allowing the ambulances to escape and then they begin to assemble a spare Dai-Guard on the spot. This version includes an upgrade - a spinning drill in place of a hand for the right arm. Up in the tower, the board stops all their fighting and frantically starts signing all the appropriation bills authorizing the deployment of Dai-Guard to stop the Heterodyne.
Outside, with the Dai-Guard nearly assembled, Akagi and company board. Akagi decides that there is no time to wait and he causes the robot to leave before it is fully charged. The ground crew scatters as the support cables, and other scaffolding comes crashing to the ground as the robot heads out. Dai-Guard quickly catches up to the Heterodyne but the new drill proves to be an ungainly thing. Dai-Guard is whipped about by the spinning device and soon finds itself in a dangerous position. But, Akagi carries the day and manages to use the drill to destroy the beast. As he does so, the board applies their final stamp of approval for deployment. This is where the episode ends.
Episode 3: Circumstances of a Hero
Having saved the Board of Directors and Tokyo from another Heterodyne, Akagi rides subway into the work with a smile on his face. That same smiling face adorns the front of every newspaper and magazine and Akagi chirps out a cheerful "Good Morning" to everyone he meets as he walks down the hall to his office. He opens the door to discover a room buzzing with activity and noise. His coworkers have been swamped with calls asking for interviews, more information about Dai-Guard or demands for restitution for damages caused by the giant robot. Akagi makes his way to his desk only to discover it covered with paperwork - forms to describe the events, justify actions, satisfy insurance claims and the like.
In the middle of this, the Chief arrives and requests that Ibuki and Akagi join him for a meeting. Soon enough, they find themselves before the Board of Directors, the very same board that was scrambling to save their butts the night before, which now accused the pilots of reckless behavior and rampant disregard for cost or property. Akagi grows angry but the Chief reigns him in. Once the blame-game is done, they return to their office only to learn that Aoyama has decided to quit. Aoyama explains that he accepted the job because the pay was good and the duties minimal (no heterodyne had been seen in 12 years). Aoyama packs up his stuff, loads it into his car and leaves.
Sure enough, just after Aoyama has left, another Heterodyne appears. This one is airborne and slowly moves over Yokohama harbor. The army deploys to confront it, but they are quickly overwhelmed. Dai-Guard is called out and ponderously assembled. Ibuki and Akagi attempt to operate the huge machine themselves but quickly discover that they are not capable of the task. Meanwhile, Aoyama, stuck in traffic, tunes in the news and learns of what is happening. After a brief moment of introspection, he decides to join the team and he makes his way towards Dai-Guard. With a little help from the military, he is there within moments.
With the team assembled, they turn to battle the monster. It is equipped with a powerful beam weapon, and it is preparing to fire. Acting swiftly, Akagi picks up a car and throws it at the monsters back. Surprisingly, the alien's back proves to be its weak spot and Akagi launches the "rocket punch" at the heterodyne. The massive metal fist smashes through the alien, destroying it, and then sails on to land in a baseball stadium. The Dai-Guard crew heads over there to recover the hand and is stunned to find that another team has beaten them to the site. But, all they want is a piece of the alien that the fist snagged and they leave without even acknowledging the arrival of the Dai-Guard crew.
Back in the office, the team faces more paperwork and questions but they take it good-naturedly and that is where the episode ends.
Episode 4: The Heroine's Melancholy
A rumor is flying around the office that Akagi, Ibuki and Aoyama will be removed as pilots of Dai-Guard. The responsibility for operating Dai-Guard will belong to a new division and that group will hire new pilots drawn from the armed forces. All this upsets the team, and they fume at their treatment.
Meanwhile, up in the boardroom, Special Agent Shirota sits in as the board hears a report from the science division. They inform the board that the creatures appear to be life forms from an alternate dimension that encase themselves in a shell made from Earth materials when they arrive here. They are brought by large disturbances in the electromagnetic field caused by earthquakes. The science division predicts more earthquakes in the near future and that they will occur more often, thus, more Heterodynes will appear. But, the directors are not dismayed at this news. In fact, they smile broadly, since more people will be wanting protection from Heterodynes and only Dai-Guard can provide it.
Still concerned over the rumors, Ibuki heads home only to have an argument with her father about her role as a Dai-Guard pilot. He doesn't want the notoriety associated with being a family member to a Dai-Guard pilot while she resents his self-serving, since his fear is driven by his desire to be elected University President. Ibuki excuses herself and heads to her room, where she tosses herself into bed.
While she sleeps, she has a dream about a time when she was younger and playing with her father. They run and smile, but the dream ends badly, with her father being swept away in an explosion. She awakens to the sound of her phone ringing. It's the office - another Heterodyne has been spotted.
Ibuki arrives at the assembly site on her scooter. Akagi and Aoyama are already there. The Chief and Special Agent Shirota come out to greet the pilots and apologize for the middle of the night call. They then inform the team that their objective is to capture the Heterodyne, not to destroy it. They explain that Dai-Guard is now equipped with a net cannon and that they will be collaborating with the army to capture the huge rolling Heterodyne sphere.
Dai-Guard sets out and heads to the area where the army has trapped the sphere by using vibration mines to create a sand trap that stops the movement of the rolling ball. Dai-Guard approaches but before it can fire, the Heterodyne counters by increasing its size and escaping the trap. It knocks Dai-Guard aside, damaging the net cannon, and heads toward town. On Special Agent Shirota's orders, Akagi picks up another mine and throws it at the sphere but it has no effect. They grab another mine and chase after the sphere. They manage to catch up to it but again, the mine has no effect and Dai-Guard gets knocked to the ground.
Ibuki urges them to get back up and move to protect the town but the engines have stalled. Aoyama attempts to restart them but has no luck. The Chief and Special Agent Shirota arrive with a generator in tow and they power up Dai-Guard. Interestingly, the generator seems to attract the Heterodyne, because it stops and comes back towards Dai-Guard once it was powered up.
Special Agent Shirota orders the team to retreat since the net cannon is not responding, and the mines have failed. But believing that this is their last mission together, the three pilots decide to fight. Ibuki leaves her cabin and crawls out onto the malfunction net cannon. She tells Akagi to aim, and he moves the arm into position. The computer locks on, and he yells "fire" to Ibuki. She pulls the manual firing lever, and the net shoots out towards the sphere.
The sphere is trapped by the net and Ibuki scrambles back into her cabin. Akagi picks up the mine and races down to the Heterodyne. He plunges the munition into the monster and it dissolves into a pile of muck with the purple hexagonal disks of the Heterodyne disappearing beneath the surface.
The next morning, the team arrives at the office to learn that the rumor was just that - a rumor. They all still have their jobs and duties. Everyone turns to blame the heavily tanned girl that started the rumor and this is where the episode ends.
Episode 5: Can't Run Facing the Setting Sun
Although the rumor about a new division turned out to be false, Akagi and company still feel uneasy. And they have good reason to. Upstairs in the President's office, the "iron" general is demanding that Dai-Guard be turned over to the army immediately. The President counters that it would take the military two months to train pilots for the robots, so what would they do during that time if another Heterodyne attacked? The President wins the debate and the General leaves.
In the hall, he encounters Akagi, Ibuki and Aoyama as they return from a photo shoot. Akagi is dressed as the bird mascot of 21st Century Security Corporation while Aoyama is a Reindeer. They all notice the General going into Shirota's office and Akagi crouches down to eavesdrop at the door. They overhear the General stating his case to Shirota about transferring Dai-Guard to the military but are surprised to hear Shirota advise against it. Shirota concludes that the civilian population trusts Dai-Guard and that if the military seized it for what would look like arbitrary reasons, then the population would grow angry. He does admit that the crew of the Dai-Guard, especially Akagi, are untrained and reckless. This draws Akagi's ire, and he rushes in after the General leaves, demanding to know what Shirota is up to. Shirota dismisses him.
Back in their office, Akagi continues to grumble about Shirota. One of the office girls, Ooyama, brings him a drink and tries to cheer him up with small talk. Akagi turns and looks at her with an intense stare and the girl blushes, but the moment is ruined when it turns out that Akagi is not responding to her attention but just wants to know whether the drink is a new company product. Akagi returns to his desk just in time to have Shirota show up and tell him to rewrite his report. Akagi grumbles but agrees. Ooyama, upset with the way Shirota treats Akagi, decides to take matters into her own hands and she attempts to connect to Shirota by bringing him a snack and then later, asking him to join her, Akagi and others at lunch. Shirota declines, it is his habit to eat alone, but not before he requests Akagi to rewrite his report again.
Upset, Akagi starts to rewrite, using his laptop in a bathroom stall. It is then that the report of a Heterodyne sighting comes in. He dashes out of the stall and starts bounding down the stairs. He collides with a girl on a platform, knocking her glasses off and scattering her bag of snacks. He helps her collect the snacks and apologizes. He rushes into the command center to learn that no order to deploy has been granted - a director away on a business golf trip cannot be located and without his signature the operation is not sanctioned. But once it is learned that the Heterodyne has targeted a nuclear power plant, the President overrides all protocols and approves the operation.
The team arrives and quickly prepares for battle. Shirota directs the action remotely, remaining behind at headquarters. He orders Dai-Guard to stop the Heterodyne using a mine and Akagi agrees until it is discovered that there is an injured truck driver atop the huge alien. Akagi demands that they must rescue him but Shirota does not approve. He is more concerned about the long term damage that will occur if the power plant is attacked. Akagi refuses to listen and disconnects the remote video feed. The team mounts Dai-Guard and they perform a rescue mission.
Unfortunately, the mission, while successful in saving the driver, leaves Dai-Guard damaged and unmovable. Shirota takes matters into his own hands and swiftly orders the power plant shut down. The army initially refuses but relents after Shirota explains that the electromagnetic waves coming from the plant are what is attracting the alien. He then orders three helicopters to lead the Heterodyne back towards Dai-Guard, using radar waves to tempt it. Finally, he instructs Akagi to plunge a mine into the Heterodyne when it passes overhead. Akagi does as told and the creature is defeated.
In the aftermath of the battle, Ibuki pops out of her compartment and takes a deep breath, she looks around and notices that Akagi is out as well but deep in thought. Akagi runs through the battle in his mind and realizes that they could not have won without Shirota's guidance, the army's help and the cooperation of the power plant, all things that the Dai-Guard pilots could not have done. Meanwhile, back at headquarters, the girl that Akagi bumped into slurps her ramen and studies the displays before her. She comments to herself, wondering if they were lucky or not and that its time for her to get to work. This is where the episode and volume ends.