Dragonaut ~The Resonnance~ Review

13 04 2008

Studio: Gonzo
Genre: Action, ~tildes~ , “Dragons”
Episodes: 25

Warning: This review deliberately contains spoilers.

It’s rarely a good sign when the fansubbers seem to hate the show they are subbing. With the final episode accompanied the following message:

Thanks for watching… kind of. This series has been a real train-wreck so if you made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back. This has been the only time I’ve ever wanted the power of love to lose. – Shouta

Good ol’ Shouta. Anyway, I can’t help but agree, but also question why this group would go to the trouble of subbing 25 episodes of shitty show. Possibly for the same reason that I watched 25 episodes of shitty show, whatever that is. Well I’ve thought long and hard about it and have come to the probably incredibly controversial opinion that it isn’t actually terrible. I mean it is definitely terrible, but sort of objectively, it’s not ‘terrible’. It’s probably at worst, below average. It’s a good sign that a show like this is considered terrible as it indicates that the quality threshold for anime currently is very high.

Thanatos, a planet with an apparent abundance of Dragons

In the somewhat distant future Pluto exploded, and a weird new planet called Thanatos showed up. Naturally Thanatos is a planet totally stuffed with dragons. Some of the dragons make their way down to earth, accidentally killing the main character’s family on the way. Speaking of the main character, he is Kamishina Jin (I always hear this as ‘Commissioner Jin’ whenever it is said), a youth struggling to cope with the loss of his family. He was about to take his first SPACE HOLIDAY, when one of the dragons smashed the shuttle thing up, but saved him out of guilt. The other dragons crash all over earth for no adequately explained reason.

The dragons in this show aren’t the Smaug-esque or Sean Connery voiced variety, in fact they barely even look like dragons really. They also have a ‘resonance’ with the first human they come into contact with, and afterwards the dragon can turn into a human looking form. This resonance binds the dragon and human together as a friend, lover, or uh a butler (Who doesn’t want a dragon butler, seriously). Of course the government gets their hands involved in all of this and forms the ‘Dragonauts’ who are a group of people and their associated dragons who fight…other dragons. Commissioner Jin gets involved with all of this when the dragon who originally smashed up his family shows up (who happens to take the form of an attractive girl) , and the Dragonauts try and capture her.

Commissioner Jin and Kazuki, or ‘twats’ as they are known to anyone who has seen a single episode.

Jin is sort of highly unlikable as a character, he’s a mopey bastard and he’s oddly obsessed with a girl he’s only known for about 4 minutes, but he isn’t nearly as unlikable as his best friend and occasionally best enemy Kazuki. He is supposed to be Jin’s childhood friend, but a few dragons get between them, and he spends most of his time pathetically screaming about things and losing fights. Every second he is on screen raises questions about precisely why such an unlikable fuck needs to be in the show. The rest of the cast are rather bland characters. A few of the female characters have comically enormous breasts, which is sort of at odds with the serious nature of the rest of the show. It’s fair to say that it takes itself extremely seriously, and there aren’t even any of the usual comedy characters thrown in, it’s all serious all the time.

Anyway so what else is wrong with the show? Well biggest problem, apart from all the horrible characters, are the dragons themselves. Gonzo, while sometimes capable of producing pure excellence; have in this case seemingly used the same style of effects that made Transformers Cybertron look rubbish to bring the dragons to life in laughable blockiness. The CG dragons aren’t capable of interacting in a way that doesn’t look godawful, so when half your show is dedicated to the fighting of these things, you have yourself a bit of a problem. Gonzo are currently making a show called Blassreiter which also has 3d things fighting each other, but these look several times more convincing than anything seen in Dragonaut.


One problem with the action scenes is that they usually don’t include any ‘fodder’ type enemies, so lengthy fights often occur between characters that need to live to be in the story later, which makes them quite unsatisfying as no-one is capable of defeating anyone ever. I call this the ‘Gundam Seed’ effect, due to it’s abundance of fights between the two main characters which never get resolved satisfactorily.

Oddly, the overall plot isn’t actually all that terrible, and manages to be mildly entertaining at times. It’s just whenever characters speak, or action happens then it all begins to break down. Towards the end, the show tackles the edgy subject of ‘Can humans and dragons peacefully coexist and have sexual relationships?’. The answer to this unimportant question is apparently ‘yes’ as answered by the ending in which the tedious power of love conquers everything.  

The nauseating power of love!

At the beginning I was saying about how it’s not ‘terrible’, but I realise that I have somehow failed to prove that in this review. Oh well. Anyway, please learn from my mistake and spare yourself from this rubbish example of anime. If even one person doesn’t watch Dragonaut because of this review, then it will have all been worthwhile.

Arbitrary Rating: 3 – Charmless Guff