The main male protagonist with a face he will make a lot in the series.
The third 2011 title I’ve chosen for the ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ audition is Dragon Crisis! A typical shounen title with dragons in it, can it challenge the current frontrunner for the title which is another shounen title with zombies? Read on to find out.
The fact that he is the best character in this anime says a lot about the quality of this anime.
The main male protagonist is having a peaceful and fruitful day at his school, when suddenly his long-lost cousin appeared out of nowhere, snatched him away from his class and took him to the ride of his life. In the next instant, he found himself being chased by a shadowy organization after he stole a big suitcase from them. Suddenly, a stray bullet pries open the suitcase, and a dragon appeared to burn everything in its path.
After watching only 3 episodes or so that covers the first arc in this anime, it dawned to me that the storyline of this anime is fully laden with clichés and also predictable; it makes Infinite Stratos looks Evangelion-like in turn. There are plenty of the cookie-cutter shounen plots that is not dissimilar to Märchen Awakens Romance, but here even I think the latter is better. This anime starts with the wrong foot, pissing me not only with below average storyline quality but also inflicted more damage with a pair of very weak main protagonists.
Here we have a main male protagonist that makes his indecisive counterpart in Infinite Stratos looks badass. He is definitely one of the most infuriating main male protagonist since B Gata H Kei. Unfortunately, the main female protagonist doesn't help either with the 'woe is me' mannerisms and her fickleness. Character development is very minimal. Actually, only the two main protagonists, and the Level 10 Breaker priest to a lesser extent (his acting is wooden though), has distinctive character development path. The childhood friend, the werewolf girl, the main male protagonist’s cousin and others basically has non-existent character development at all. Despite of that glacial development, I like that dragon researcher at Society (another mysterious organization that is poorly explained throughout the series) the most. He is simply a natural at his role, and personally I think he should have more airtime in place of the red-haired Level 4 Breaker scientist.
This anime uses the multi-arc format, used in the likes of Index and The World God Only Knows. Here, the disastrously ordinary and infuriating opening arc was then followed by a few more arcs that is only barely better than the first one. I think the best arc in the whole series is the one that involves the Level 10 Breaker priest. Speaking of Breakers, this anime sure doesn’t want to clue in the viewers about who is a Breaker and what is the difference between Breaker levels. I think it was only near the end that I get the gist on those Breaker people, and I don’t think I fully understand Breakers even after the last episode finished playing.
As for presentation, the pacing in this anime is good, but story development are done better than what Infinite Stratos has managed. There are no skipped or skimped events at all here. Just like the rest of the preceding storyline, the ending is similarly predictable and also full with clichés. There is barely any improvement at all. Even Infinite Stratos doesn’t suck this hard. The ending is structured to have a second season though (or probably an OVA or a movie), with some similarities in execution with Seikon no Qwaser.
Some of the crazy perverted things he is doing in the anime.
The character design in this anime is good, although maybe ordinary. One thing I noticed about this anime is the huge amount of characters with black hairs, such as the main male protagonist himself. A very good thing considering the setting where dragons actually exists. A positive aspect for this anime.
Voice acting in is decent overall, but there are no outstanding performer(s) in this anime.
The OST of this anime is excellent and very prominent. Sadly, there are no efforts at all at making decent OP/ED themes here.
The childhood friend in this anime doesn’t have the same luck that her counterpart #1 in Infinite Stratos does.
In the course of watching this series, I encountered basically no problems, and as I watched more episodes, I started to lower my guard. Then, BAMMM, the final episode uses the blurry animation techniques in some of the action scenes in that episode. Damn! That technique wasn’t used at all in previous episodes, even in action scenes, but yet the director suddenly start using it in the final episode? One point docked from the final evaluation, just like I have done to Infinite Stratos.
That’s too bad, because the quality for character and general animations are great, even in fast-paced scenes. Integration between 2D and CGI animations are also done well. Some of the choreography severely tested the suspension of disbelief, like that Initial D-esque drifting by an airliner on Haneda airport (why that airliner doesn’t fall apart I don’t know), but is decent most of the time. The director is good in presentation and camera work, but not so for some of the wooden acting seen in parts of the series.
The classmates of the main male protagonist sure have very quick feet to desert the classroom in less than an instant as a missile locks onto him.
5 out of 10, same score as Infinite Stratos. And these two anime titles has to combine their scores just to match the score of the Highschool of the Dead OVA. Usage of the blurry animation technique really doesn’t help them either. I still haven’t decided what anime in the audition list to watch (see right sidebar), so you have to wait until the next review to know what I will watch next.
Quoted For Truth.