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AKA: ドラゴンハーフ
Genre: Fantasy slapstick comedy
Length: OAV series, 2 episodes, 30 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Discotek Media.
Content Rating: PG (violence)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Slayers
Notes: Based on the manga of the same name by Mita Ryuusuke.
Rating: Four StarsFour StarsFour StarsFour Stars

Dragon Half

Synopsis

Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom where a great red dragon lived. The king, being greatly concerned, sent out his best swordsman to slay the beast; however, much to his chagrin, the swordsman decided to marry her instead (just like in D&D, dragons can assume human forms too). The swordsman and the dragon were happily (well, sort of) married, and gave birth to a Dragon-Half daughter named Mink, gifted with all the charms of an uber-kawaii teenaged girl and all the fire-breathing, block-busting powers of a dragon.

The king, being greatly dismayed, decides that dealing with Mink is the best way of paying the swordsman back. Whether it be sending intrepid-but-dim-witted Damaramu after her, or convincing pop-singer/dragon-slayer Dick Saucer (no comment) into slicing Mink up into a dozen pieces, or tricking her into entering the annual Brutal Killer Martial Arts Tournament, there's sure to be plenty of unexpected zaniness going on!


Review

A dramatic, evocative tale of heroism, valor, and bravery in the face of unspeakable evil; a timeless classic illuminating the classic struggle between the forces of light and darkness...

...will certainly not be found in this title. What do you think this is, Lodoss War or something? Dragon Half is about as unashamedly comedy-oriented and irreverent as you could possibly imagine, and it seeps into every aspect of the anime. Fortunately for the viewer, Dragon Half also manages to pull it off nearly flawlessly at a frenetic never-catch-your-breath pace.

The art and animation are purposely done crudely with an almost ridiculous richness and variety of color. The animation style oscillates non-stop between the "normal" style and "super-deformed" (a squished-big-head look meant to achieve humorous effect) style. When the art is good, it's actually quite good; when it's silly, it's almost unbearably silly. The soundtrack echoes this motif, using enormous orchestral and instrumental swells to over-emphasize every mood.

And as for the plot...does the phrase "The Three Stooges" mean anything to you? If you're looking for an intelligent, ruminating storyline, you're in for a disappointment. But if you're looking for a good laugh (or two or three or four) without having to think, the story provides more than enough wackiness and action to keep you going. Lodoss this ain't. The silliness does come off as a bit forced in some areas where the action is low, but by and large you'll find yourself laughing more than scratching your head.

For a good time, call Mink.

Raphael See

Recommended Audience: Lots and lots of silly cartoon-style violence. Some brief nudity used mainly as a humorous point in the second episode, and some low-level toilet humor no worse than anything you'll find in an Ernest movie. Should be okay for the family.



Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (2/2)
Dragon Half © 1993 Ryusuke Mita / Kadokawa Shoten / Victor Entertainment
 
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