Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dan Doh!! The Super Shot! Anime Review

Dan Doh!! The Super Shot!
Bandai Entertainment
Complete Collection - 6 discs
650 mins. - 26 episodes
$49.98 (2008)
$79.98 (2006)
$29.98 (2005-06) Vol. 1-3/ea. (2-disc sets)
ISBN 669198262876
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Hidetoshi Oomori
Studio - HoriPro/Tokyo Kids

Synopsis: Fifth grader Tadamichi "Dandoh" Aoba is a star baseball player, but gets into trouble with the principal and is introduced to the game of golf.  He considers it a challenge and ends up really enjoying the game.  Two of his friends, Yuka Sunada and Kohei Ooike, try golf with Dandoh.  They're all lucky enough to be students of former up-and-coming star professional golfer, Shinjo Mikiyasu.  His promising career was cut short after a tragic car accident.
From left (front): Yuka, Dandoh, Kohei 
Shinjo teaches the three friends to trust themselves and take chances.  They are only allowed to use a six iron club until they are ready for learning the rest of their clubs.  They enter their first tournament and must play difficult rounds with some harsh competitors.  Yuka must deal with a pair of cruel players in her group, but manages to overcome their taunts with help from Dandoh.  Kohei suffers from a lack of self-confidence despite being a more powerful hitter than Dandoh and excellent putter.
Dandoh accidentally gets in trouble with the principal
Dandoh's positive attitude is infectious and he always plays fair.  All the players who first dislike him as someone they consider to be a naive kid end up admiring and even considering him their friend.  It's an amazing phenomena, but that's Dandoh!  He takes on impossible shots and learns from every mistake.
The three friends start practicing golf together
He meets hard-luck former pro Takuya Akano who washed out of the professional circuit by hitting another player.  Shinjo somehow talks Takuya into accepting Dandoh as his caddy and sends them to a professional tournament against some of the top golfers in the world.  Can Dandoh's youthful spirit revitalize the dispirited Takuya back into the game?
Takuya has a bad reputation among other golf professionals
Dandoh's mother abandoned his father, older sister, and him when he was very young over money problems.    He hides deep abandonment issues and hopes to someday catch the attention of his mother by winning at golf.  All the players who come into contact with Dandoh are changed by his amazing spirit.  His contemporaries, professional players, groundskeepers, and even officials can't help being enlivened after watching him play.
Yuka excels in the girls' junior competition
Dandoh plays in several juniors tournaments against a host of talented young golfers.  Can his positive energy compensate for his lack of experience?  Will he ever see his mother again and what about his disapproving father who doesn't want him to play golf?  Yuka and Kohei support their friend, but are amateurs themselves.  Witness the exciting journey of Dandoh as he learns to play golf!
Dandoh's father disapproves of him playing golf
Pros: Opening/ending theme music was surprisingly catchy (by Bullet 77), very positive message to work hard and have a good attitude, some minor sports drama during the tournaments, it tries to make golf more exciting
Dandoh's competition are very talented
Cons: Simplistic and childish, unrealistic, character designs are silly (Dandoh's blue spiky hair and some of the other golfers look goofy), makes golf look like a video game with power boosts for big shots, long series and slow-paced, dub voices and acting are pretty bad
Dandoh feels the pressure at a particularly difficult hole
Mike Tells It Straight: I like to play golf and Dan Doh!! piqued my interest as the only golf anime show I had ever heard of released in America.  I was expecting a cross between golf and Pokemon which was mostly true.  The character designs were pretty silly with Dandoh's spiky blue hair, his buddy Kohei's bleached-up bangs, and Takuya's dark green locks.  Whenever a player hit a really powerful drive the ball would make little sonic booms in the air (wish that effect happened in real life!).
Dandoh plans his next shot
Dandoh marks his ball by drawing a smiley face on it (and starts calling it Smiley Ball!), Kohei puts eyebrows on his ball, and Yuka draws eyes with eyelashes on hers.  The plot was pretty standard - kid is a great baseball player and then tries golf (if he played hockey it could have been Happy Gilmore!), his powerful swing makes him a natural long-ball driver, and he's an instant golf prodigy.  I wasn't expecting much from an obviously shounen (meant for younger viewers) and Dan Doh!! was not a surprise.  Just another typical sports anime.
Dandoh eyeballs a putt
The themes of the show are fair play, trying your best, and sticking up for your friends.  All good messages and obviously preachy.  Dan Doh!! is aimed squarely at young boys who like sports (maybe some young girls since Yuka is featured).  It's a fair effort, but nothing makes it stand out from other sports shows (maybe the opening/ending themes which are pretty catchy).  I mostly watched it in the background while doing other things and could still follow along perfectly well.  I guess if you want to introduce a kid to golf then this show might make it more exciting.  My 3-year-old daughter was entertained and loved the Smiley Ball (I made her one to play with)!  As far as I know Dan Doh!! is it if you're looking for golf anime.  
Let's go Smiley Ball!  Smiiiiiiile shot!!!
TO BUY and Recommendations: