Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dragon Drive Is... Not As Amazing As The Name Portrays.

I was expecting this anime to be more of a gung-ho dragon fighting explosion fest, especially with that opening theme, but... not quite what I was expecting.

The anime is about Reiji, an immensely lazy high school wimp. He always sleeps in, his grades are deplorable, and he has nothing going for him. He's also the victim of occasional school bullying, but he is defended by his childhood friend Maiko. One day, she decides to take Reiji to a special underground arcade that specializes in an immersive virtual game called Dragon Drive. In this game, everyone is given a unique dragon that matches their personalities and hidden latent talent. Reiji takes one look at this setup and dives head-first into the first interesting thing he has found in forever... and gets paired with a tiny, puny, seemingly worthless dragon named Chibi.

I need to pause here because I have to focus on this character, Chibi the tiny white dragon. This thing is easily the second cutest dragon I have ever seen in my entire life. It is small, it is innocent, it is adorable, it has tiny wings, and it acts like a puppy -- God this dragon is diabetic-grade too sweet! I legitimately feel bad for the insulting words in the prior paragraph.

Anyways, after being handed his dragon in the form of a card, as well as a linking cellphone, he jumps into the 3D immersion world of Dragon Drive, and discovers he has to physically fight alongside this dragon in the virtual world against upwards of seven others and their monstrous behemoth dragons. Since this dragon was paired to Reiji because of his personality, Chibi copies his movements almost perfectly, which sounds amazing except... Reiji is still a lazy wimp. So the two run, until they can't anymore, and fight back. And just as you would expect, this dragon is a monster when it really tries to fight, almost instantly defeating anything it faces.

The series progresses and repeats the central point of 'big things in small packages,' as well as 'belief in oneself can achieve great things,' in its general overtone of how this character develops, which slowly helps him become better and less of a wimp... sorta. There's also a hidden plot behind the organizers of the Dragon Drive committee, and there is an alternate world that involves the dragons themselves in a secondary plot, but... the series is overall a bit dull and slow from start to finish.

The only thing that kept me going for the series was the little cute dragon, and the rest was either too slow and boring, or so far left-field I legitimately believe the two storylines were thrown together at the last minute. It's not poorly written, just not well executed, in my opinion. Still, I'd recommend it as an outside-the-norm series for a bit of change.

Also, the English dub's version uses the voice actor for InuYasha as one of the secondary characters, so... that's a thing, if you're interested.

If anyone wants to suggest a post, feel free! I'll talk about almost anything!

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