Series Recommendation: Dancouga Nova

Juusou Kikou Dancouga Nova


How do you make a sequel to an 80s Super Robot show? By making a show that actually doesn’t have anything to do with the original show aside from some namedrop. Juusou Kikou Dancouga Nova is the sequel of Choujuu Kishin Dancouga in all but name. By letting Obari-sensei taking charge of the series, we get a whole new different Super Beast God that is extremely badass.

The series is very straight forward, much more than Dancouga itself. War is breaking out all over the world, and the Nova team is assembled to even out the scale of war. But all that is just a prelude to the true purpose of the giant robot. Follow the team of four pilot with different characteristics: Aoi, Kurara, Johnny and Sakuya as they blazes through the battlefield in their triple changer and combining Super Robot.

+ Plot: The concept of preserving the balance of war is pretty unique. We have been very familiar with the heroes tipping the scale in favor of the weak and overthrow the evil bad guys. But in Nova, all they do is “even out” the battlefield and foster war to continue despite the suffering and casualties. Such a mission forced upon “normal” people would surely have an impact of them, and the Nova team react to the situation is definitely a good chunk of character development. Even so, with the short runtime, there’s not a lot of time to flesh out all the individual characters a lot. And of course, since this is an Obari show, story take the backseat in favor of badass animation. But overall, Dancouga Nova plot isn’t convoluted and is simple enough.

+ Animation: Obari-sensei and Ashi Pro teamed up for this project. The series is very reminiscent of the God Bless Dancouga and Blazing Epilogue OVA (since those have Obari-sensei’s participation too). Essentially consisted of over-the-top and dynamic shots, Dancouga Nova is just filled with Obarism. We get the Rocket Punch, we get the heavy but exaggerated punch, the iconic Brave Sword Pose and a modern Dankuhou. The series also use a lot of “shadowed” cut, basically showing all of half the robot’s silhouette shrouded in shadow and eye flare to make them looks more imposing and intimidating.

+ Mecha Design: Basically Dancouga but upgraded. The combination sequence is pretty much the same: Big Moth putting on a hat and shoes. All four individual components are triple changer with vehicle form, beast form and robot form. They are basically original Dancouga components with some modern changes and slapped the Nova to the name. However, instead of the blocky proportions we see in the Dnacouga TV series, Nova inherit the God Bless Dancouga dynamic proportion with lots of curves on the waist and biceps, etc…making it look, well, more Obari.

+ Music: Much like the original Dancouga, Nova music aren’t super hype for an Obari show. Whereas Gravion got Jam Project, Dangaizer 3 got a very energetic poppy tune, Nova got quite an upbeat and emotional song by Senri Manaka. “Tori no Uta” sounds very fitting for our main heroine – Aoi Hidaka, and of course she’s the pilot of the Eagle Nova. The ending song, which is also by Senri Manaka, is also quite a gentle song.

Overall, Dancouga Nova is a Dancouga sequel in all but name. There are a few namedrops and callbacks but they are not plot-significant in anyway. You can even treat Nova as a “reboot” of sorts. While the original series combine heavy military drama with Super Robot vs Alien action, the modern Nova focus on a straightforward plotline with plenty of Dancouga awesomeness. The original series took half the episodes for Dancouga to appear, and Nova is vastly different in that aspect. If you want to enjoy Dancouga from the start with a healthy dose of Obari-sensei’s signature style, then Nova is a great choice. It helps that you don’t need to watch the og series to watch this one either. But if you have watched Gravion, you’re in for a surprise 😉