Friday, October 12, 2012

Fang of the Sun Dougram thoughts


Over 6 months i have been marathoning this mecha classics after seeing this series being highly recommended by fellow /m/an. At first i got some difficulties getting into the series due to aging animation and at some point i think is Dougram is about cavemen fighting with robots. However this early work of Ryousuke Takahashi, the creator of Votoms turns out to be one of the hidden gem in mecha animation history. Dougram revolves around a group of youths called Fang of the Sun who waged guerilla warfare against Earth Federation fighting for a Earth colony planet's independence named Deloyer. The main character is Crinn Cashim who is the son of most powerful man of Earth who decided to separate his way with his Father and become the lead pilot for the Fang of the Sun.

On the surface, Dougram seems to be rather underwhelming due to lacking visual appeal and mediocre mecha action. The story of the series is better than Votoms despite being slow paced and the political aspect is a top tier one comparable to Legend of Galactic Heroes. There are some really well written character in the series mainly due to the political stunts they pull like Dr Samalin, Denon Cashim and definitely Lecoque who is really awesome dude which he would have made a great team with Job Truniht from LOGH. If the first Gundam is considered to be the pioneer of Real Robot genre, then Dougram is responsible for revolutionizing it since Dougram contribute some major elements for the genre that has been used constantly on mecha series. The major gripe of this series is that the series have 75 episodes which some people will find it to be challenging to get it through and slow paced story. If you are a diehard mecha fan, you will miss some great stuff if you haven't watched Dougram since it is arguably the best Takahashi's work when it comes to story. I would really love to see if there is Seinen version of Dougram since this series theme doesn't mix really well with Kid's anime. After Dougram i think i will move on to Panzer World Galient which is another Takahashi's work.

3 comments:

  1. I just watched Dougram followed by VOTOMS, both for the first time, and completely agree that Dougram is a lot better written than VOTOMS. VOTOMS was a disappointment to me after Dougram despite having some very atmospheric scenes in it and beautiful music. Seems like one of Dougram's other writers besides Takahashi must have been responsible for plotting out Dougram as that establishes a very clear set of character conflicts in the beginning and works them through carefully until they are all resolved. It tells a very compelling mixture of family and political stories which interact with each other subtly enough that I could often feel sympathy for the villains. In VOTOMS by comparison I sometimes had trouble feeling sympathy even for the heroes!

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  2. To me Votoms is all about mecha action and some one man army slapped to it which is why the story feels underwhelming compared to Dougram.

    Dougram is one of the few anime series that i actually root for the main antagonists instead as i find them more interesting compared to the main characters. I also believe that there is a possibility that there are other Writers than Takahashi who contribute the writing of Dougram story because frankly to say Dougram feels slightly different compared to other Takahashi's stuff.

    I think you will like Legend of Galactic heroes if you haven't watched it.

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    1. I will definitely check Legend of Galactic Heroes out based on your recommendation. I was probably too harsh on VOTOMS above. I had a lot of nostalgic feeling watching it until the last arc, and some of that impatience/numbing at the end could very well be due to me shoving the episodes down my eye holes much more quickly than the series was originally aired. When it was on TV in Japan, people had to wait a week between episodes, but I was watching one or two episodes a day. Thanks for writing about Dougram, by the way.

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