OP Sequence

OP: 「聖剣なんていらない」 (Seiken nante Iranai) by 榊原ゆい (Sakakibara Yui)

「少年と竜」 (Shounen to Ryuu)
“A Boy and His Dragon”

Generic in both story and form.

Exposition & Introductions

Seikoku no Dragonar simultaneously did something very well and very poorly, and that thing was introducing characters and the world (exposition, in other words). Where it did it well was the very first scene. Unlike the opening scene for Selector Infected WIXOSS, which provided so little context I’ve already forgotten everything that happens in that scene, the opening scene of Dragonar did a good job of getting me interested. An unconscious girl, a bloodied boy, and a mysterious being that grows his arm back – yeah, interested! There was enough to pique my interest without giving too much away. That was nice.

Then there was the rest of the episode. Over half of the episode was given over to character introductions of blunt exposition that I can only call unsubtle. I know it was for the benefit of us, the audience, but they talked about information that all of the characters – being advanced Senios students and all that – should already know. Likewise with the character introductions – they listed out all this information, giving character’s life stories with little provocation. They did slip in how Ash is an exception to the you-can-only-ride-your-own-dragon rule nicely, though.

Honestly, if there were more going on this might not have annoyed me – as I think back on it, some of my favorite series did exactly this. Sometimes it’s necessary. Perhaps it’s the fact that none of what they said was particularly interesting that made me notice it.

Art & Acting

To my eyes, the color palette in this series looks cheap. It looks like something that would air 5-7 years ago in 4:3, not an HD anime airing in 2014. The acting, too–okay, honestly most of it isn’t bad. Takahashi Kouji is decent as Ash Blake, and I liked Inoue Marina as the amazing Rebecca Randall, but the first time I heard Silvia Lautreamont (Sakura Ayane) speak, I thought a boy was talking! I don’t know why Sakura Ayane is using such a low voice – she sounds like a boyish Saber, something which her hairstyle for part of the episode didn’t help – which, combined the fact that she was an asshole to Ash for no good reason, makes me not predisposed to like her. Which isn’t ideal when she’s a main character.

Incessant Gossip

Is it just me, or did the incessant gossip all of the minor characters engaged in about Ash, Silvia, and others really annoy any of you? I’m reminded of the first episode of Witch Craft Works, where the entire student body abused the main character so much I started off with a really bad impression of the series. Which was a shame, because I ended up liking it a lot! I don’t know if the same will happen with Seikoku no Dragonar, but the way that every minor character was badmouthing people behind their backs all the time…ugh. Was I just oblivious to that in school, or is it really bad in Japanese schools? Because I’d flip out all the time if I were Ash as well.

Looking Ahead – Final Thoughts

In all truth, this show isn’t bad. I’ve watched (and enjoyed) much worse than Dragonar earlier in my anime-watching career. What’s making it less enjoyable for me is that I’ve seen so much anime – much of which was like Dragonar, being the magical fantasy nut I am – that this comes out looking like a shallow imitation of better stories. If it’s still early in your anime-watching career, or you’re not used to watching fantasy shows of this sort, this might be worth the three episode rule at least. For me, I’ll see how I feel next week, but it’s going to have to start astounding for me to watch it all the way through. We still haven’t heard a peep from Eco (Ise Mariya) though, so maybe that’ll do the trick.

This may go without saying, but I don’t have any plans to continue blogging this show any further. Thanks for reading, and look forward to the (many) other introductory posts I and the other writers will be doing for the spring season!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Okay plot, average characters, cheap colors… Not the greatest start. And what’s with Sakura Ayane’s voice!? #doragner 01

Random thoughts:

  • Ash Blake, heh. His name is two first names!
  • What the hell–suddenly, transforming superhero battle armor in the OP? Not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad one. Terribly conflicted.
  • My favorite character: Raymond (Maeno Tomoaki), hands down. When Rebecca-kaichou offered the day-long date to whoever wins, I instantly thought “Someone lend me a dragon, I need to win!” Then Raymond says the same thing, HAH! Way to good, Raymond. By your absence from the promotional art, I’m sure we won’t see much of you from now on ;_;
  • That masked guy looked silly, and the way his ninja partner just watched Ash drop was unnatural. She wasn’t shocked or cold, just…nothing. Blank. I wonder why she hesitated, though…
  • And Ash lands safely from falling off a cliff, because reasons. What is this I don’t even.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Missing the point; You don’t get credit for the words you don’t write; Right, not best; and Three lessons from the editing desk.


ED Sequence

ED: 「MOST以上の“MOSTEST”」 (MOST Ijou no “MOSTEST”) by 伊瀬茉莉也, 佐倉綾音, 井上麻里奈 (Mariya Ise, Sakura Ayane, & Inoue Marina)



  1. Hmm.. What to think about this anime. Maybe I will give this a look at some point. I’m getting some Zero no Tsukaima vibes from this.

    Heck Eco even looks like Louis just with dragon horns.

  2. For those who thought WIXOSS was cliche, they have another thing coming. Another common romance/humour/fan service based show that is always present in every season lineup, differing only in setting. So far this one looks like Machine Doll with dragons; both the artwork and setting are similar (including the fascination with large breasts). Character-wise not only do we have the Sabre imitation (glad I wasn’t the only one to think that), but we also have what looks quite similar to Lucy from Elfen Lied in the form of Eco (just substitute the pointy ossified cat ears for a bear’s).

    Quite clear this is going to be a fan service laced show trying to be serious. I’ll give it a couple more episodes, but unless the character interaction and humour is good there is not much here that separates it from the rest of the pack (and there is a lot of competition this season).

    1. I just realized what the artwork reminds me of: Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita from the Fall 2013 season. Same colourful yet dull colour palette combined with a light and open atmosphere (little in the way of “dark”). Not to mention the character design themselves.

  3. Thanks for the series introduction Stilts. I have to agree with most of the stuff you are saying about the colour pallet looking so dated and the whole story being ultra cliche. It was good to check out first episodes of the Spring season, but I won’t be continuing with this one.

  4. and the way his ninja partner just watched Ash drop was unnatural. She wasn’t shocked or cold, just…nothing. Blank

    Eh? Her eyes were wide there. She was obviously shocked that he’d saved her.

    I don’t know why Sakura Ayane is using such a low voice – she sounds like a boyish Saber, something which her hairstyle for part of the episode didn’t help – which, combined the fact that she was an asshole to Ash for no good reason, makes me not predisposed to like her

    No comment on the voice (it didn’t bother me), but I was thinking about what they may be trying to do with her character. I think we’re supposed to conclude that she’s developed a persecution complex because people in the school hate her for something her brother did, while she’s trying to uphold we she sees as her family’s standards for behavior (which ends up coming off as cold and haughty to everyone). So everyone treats her badly, and any time anything bad happens to her she thinks it was deliberate (because most of the time it would have been), which is why she was so harsh against Blake for the accident during training. I could see the sort of girls who were blocking her during the contest doing something like Blake did during practice, only on purpose (or something worse that gets her hurt) and saying it was just an “accident” afterwards. I think that’s what they’re trying to tell us, anyway.

    On a whole thought I do agree that the most interesting part was right in the beginning. What happened there? Where are they? How did they get hurt? Who was the girl? Is she still alive? Jumping to generic fantasy highschool with the beginnings of a generic harem story being told in a generic way was… a fair bit weaker than that, let’s say.

    1. Eh? Her eyes were wide there. She was obviously shocked that he’d saved her.

      Perhaps, but her eyes are always pretty wide, so I didn’t see much of it. Going back for another look and I can see what you mean. It still felt a bit…abrupt, but not as bad as I thought.

      And I got her character, and I understand it, and I even think she’ll prove herself to be better than that shortly – okay, so I’ve read the manga enough to preview it, so I know she will – but she was still being an ass. Honestly, a symptom of not enough good going on that I look harshly on the things that normally I’d more or less ignore, or at least wait and see how it develops.

  5. I like the manga so far. I really didnt expect much,everything feels like its been done but still , I’m gonna stick through this series. Thanks for the first impression .

  6. Usually I hate the use of the word ‘generic’ because it’s used much too often and much too often for the wrong reason, to avoid saying “I do not like it”. However this anime might be one of the few that actually fit the word.

    While the important characters are mostly likeable, I cannot feel much originality in them, neither from the design nor from their characterization. The “worst offenders” are probably Ash Blake who’s a misfit main character with a unique power in a school setting and Silvia who is pretty much a copy of Charlotte Belew from Kikou Shoujo (they even have the same kind of hat and both have a flying dragon).

    However, while it feels cliched, I still enjoyed this first episode, so I will continue to watch it.

    1. @Zannafar: …Silvia who is pretty much a copy of Charlotte Belew from Kikou Shoujo (they even have the same kind of hat and both have a flying dragon).

      Good point. IDK why I didn’t think of that before. Definitely agree there’s a strong similarity between the two though Silvia is certainly more well endowed than Charlotte – to Yaya’s relief no doubt. XD

      I’d also add that the mysterious masked guy reminds me of Magnus from Kikou Shoujo. Hmm… in retrospect this series does appear to have more similarity with Kikou Shoujou (even if superficially) than I initially thought.

  7. I gotta say, I already hate a majority of everyone in this anime. The only exception is Ash and his actual friends. All the other characters are guilty until proven innocent!

    I just want Touma to transport into this universe and punch the shit out of that blonde bitch. You don’t slap a man who was trying to apologize for something he didn’t even have any control over. I am glad Ash was about to show her some Gender Equality, but Raymond held him back.

    Don’t get me started on there being a character named Navi. Oh no the trauma is coming back to me “Hey Listen!”, I can do it on my own dammit T-T!

    1. Yeah, but then Ash kind of ruined that moment later on when he suddenly decides to defend her from that group of girls during the race because he suddenly feels sorry for her because of what happened with her brother. I just can’t buy into such total 180 character flips like that.

      1. I thought it was just him wanting to have a fair fight at first, so she wouldn’t make any excuses if she lost, but I rewatched that scene and shook my damn head. Looks like she did what she said she would, put him in his place.

      2. its basic human decency.. if someone said mean things to me doesn’t mean I would want to suffer undeservedly simply because they had said harsh things to me.

        it’s not like she was extremely unpleasant to him, she just said a few harsh things. i’m reasonably sure most people would not take that as a reason to hold a grudge.

      3. I’m with grayne. It is still early, but her ‘dislike’ of him seems to be based off of something different than everyone else–or to be more specific she’s not being hateful to Ash for the same reasons as everyone else seems to be. And it’s not like Ash came out of nowhere to help her–don’t forget the whole “She has it rough, too.”–sequence, short as it was. There’s definitely some serious backstory to her being viewed in a surprisingly similar light to Ash.

    2. So is it some sort of self enforced stereotype that intolerance for people that are different makes everyone massive dick heads? Or is this just generic “make you feel bad for the character” stuff? Because we see this in so much anime, especially in Kotoura-san.

      1. “People fear what is different” is basically the best answer here. It’s a crappy answer, but yeah… and fear turns most teenagers into dickheads when they outnumber the “different” person because they want to look tough… or something :/

        The dislike of Ash was turned up to 11 compared to the manga though, so that was pretty annoying.

  8. i thought it was pretty good. interesting premise, good world building, MC with a spine.

    also – blake is a fairly common surname, e.g. james blake, well known american tennis player.

  9. Anyone notice how much extra animation was in this show? I doubt C-studio can keep that up, but it’s probably more than what the show deserves. It’s dumb, to be sure, and probably not worth sticking around for unless it was gonna go full perverse and just deliver the ridiculous overfetished sexual content that matches other fanservice-oriented shows, so it just comes off as kind of a watered-down execution that’s likely to please few. If you’re gonna do the titty jiggling and overbearing male gaze, just go for broke.

  10. Wow…. Just from the first 30 seconds of the episode + title, I successfully predict what was gonna happen through the episode. Okay, I didnt expect the fateful encounter to be with a masked boy and a smexy hot dark skinned loli, but most of my predictions were correct.

    That’s just how copy-n-paste this anime is. I’ll give it the 3 episode rules before passing judgement though.

  11. Meh, I got tired of this show halfway through already (though I did finish the episode). It reminded me of so many, many other shows…and the shows it’s reminding me of (Zero no Tsukaima, Machine-doll, Dragon Crisis) weren’t stellar to begin with. If you’re gonna rip something off, at least pick something that’s actually good.

    Because while the show’s first scenes caught my interest, everything after it was just either boring or annoying. Especially that princess, what a female dog. I really dislike those kinds of characters, because they rarely get called out on their behaviour because the show keeps falling back on ‘omg but she had to deal with trauma and stuff!’. Not expecting much plot from this show either, besides some half-hearted ‘serious’ episodes somewhere down the line.

    Nah, plenty of other shows this season, not even gonna grace this one with the 3-episode rule.

  12. Gonna give it a 3-eps try at the least. Yeah generic like hell, but characters seem likeable enough. And there will be always be jokes to be made about Ash and his Pokedragon…

  13. There isnt much things that is worth praising so far… The quality feels bad overall for now.

    One thing funny I find is even though this anime is supposed to be a fanservice harem anime, they didnt really try to put much scenes to attract the audience too aside from the Navi dream part and maybe the Naked Eco summoning part. I’m pretty sure there could be more but I guess they would want to do them in the DVD/BD instead…

  14. Well this series is called Dragonar of Tentacles for a reason..Not sure how much the anime is going to invest in that though.
    Talking about typical fan-service anime, I kind of wonder which form is better–the Dragonar type of cliche story/character/average art or the Kenzen Robo Daimidaler type of simply give up on them..This season brings shameless to a all new level, leaving last season’s Seitokai Yakuindomo and Nourin into pureness.

  15. Wow, that was… bland. Not outright ‘kill it with fire’ like Daimidaler, but… still pretty bad.

    It’s not even (totally) about the cliches… the main characters already come off as simultaneously inconsistent and irritating, logic already takes a back seat (how in the world were landbound dragons supposed to beat the flying ones, anyway?), and the writer’s hand is so blatantly evident everywhere it might as well be talking in sign language in front of the screen. Add to that not an ounce of originality to be found, and, well…

    I highly doubt I’ll still be bothering with this come episode 4. It’s not an instant hot potato like Daimidaler, but it’s not that far off.

    1. You didn’t notice the flying ones seemed to have an extra part of the course they needed to do? Now feel sad for the water-dragons that clearly can’t race it at all. 😛

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

  16. Ep 02:

    They are still on the Introducing Part. Today we got to see some new Person
    And they try a different way of Fan service. A Human Female Body without nipples and Genitals… Yes, we She is a Barbie Puppet. Nice Way to avoid censoring.. or they use it to show off her naked ass from behind, every time in bed…

    Well this Episode dont won me on more to watch it, but dont lose on me to drop it.. Lets say i wait for Episode 3


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