Melty Lancer: Underwhelming

Melty Lancer is an action comedy ova based off of a Konami game. You may know them as that company that seems bent on losing any good will it might have ever had with pachinko machines based off of their franchises and whatever the hell Metal Gear Survive was. The studio they got to work on this was Gonzo. The same studio that gave us Final Fantasy Unlimited, Solty Rei & Sunabouzu among others. How does this hold up compared to their other works? I’m guessing better than Sunabouzu, not that that would be hard.

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Story:

We open with a bunch of old, politician looking types approaching a prisoner. They offer him a deal. He leads a group they’re reuniting and they’ll give him his freedom. They don’t even care what happens with them. We cut to his aide travelling about to find the members of the titular Melty Lancer. Fortunately, they gather just in time to stop an attacking giant robot. Unfortunately, they seem to be pawns in some kind of political game, probably connected to the case Sylvie’s been working on. Will they be able to survive and conquer this perilous situation?

Honestly, the big issue is just that the comedy is so generic. We’re talking jokes that are super obvious and overdone like the old chestnut about men being a bunch of mindless apes who will lose it at the sight of a pretty girl. Because I know when I’m supposed to be guarding something I’ll just give a pretty girl access immediately. They also have the old jape about the powerful looking machine that has a really glaring weak point but it’s okay because they lampshade it. The series just never makes use of surprise or has anything uproariously funny. The best it can manage is being kind of, sort of funny. And that’s a big issue when you’re looking at a comedy. What’s supposed to make up for it? The strength of the plot? Because, I have to say, this isn’t a complex, compelling plot line.

That being said, there’s nothing in the series that’s bad. The comedy might be underwhelming but it’s not cringey or awful. The same is true for the script. It’s not particularly interesting, but it’s not bad either.

Characters:

The cast is pretty standard. They’re bland comedic characters. And a comedy having characters who are kind of one-note can work. We saw that last week with Galaxy Angel 2. The difference betwixt that series and this one is that that series had characters who had strong comedic interactions. That series had characters who were enjoyable to watch get into shenanigans. Whereas this one has characters who are just dull.

Art:

The character designs aren’t bad. They aren’t the most visually interesting group out there but they’re fine. The backgrounds and action sequences are perfectly acceptable. Again, not the most interesting you’ll see but they work.

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Sound:

They did get some strong actors for this. Ogata Megumi, Tange Sakura, Yukana, Ikezawa Haruna & Iwao Junko are all good actresses. (No, this isn’t a Cardcaptor Sakura reunion.) And their performances in this are good, not their best but good. The biggest issue is with Iwata Mitsuo. He has two modes in this series, mumbling and shouting. Maybe the director thought that would be a good quirk for his character but it’s not. It’s kind of obnoxious. Amano Masamichi’s soundtrack is decent enough. I won’t be listening to it on its own or anything but it was fine.

Ho-yay:

There are some moments that come across as a bit les-yay, but those are very few and nothing comes of them.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, Melty Lancer is a below average series. But hey, that still makes it better than a lot of Konami’s recent output. It’s not bad but it’s far from good. My final rating is a 4/10. Next week is my 400th anime review (obviously not counting the manga, cartoon, comic or live action ones) and you all know what that means. That’s right, time for some Star Power make up.

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April Bonus Review: C.O.P.S

Last month I said that I was going to look at a cartoon based off of one of Hasbro’s properties. Naturally, I had to pick their most famous toon, C.O.P.S. For the very few of you who haven’t heard of it, COPS was a late 80s cartoons based off of Hasbro’s toy figure line of COPS & Crooks. So, let’s delve into it and see how it holds up, before Michael Bay directs a shit film based off of it. 

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Story:

The show is set in the futuristic Empire city where the Big Boss and his gang of crooks are always up to some untoward activities. Fortunately, the city has COPS (the Central Organisation of Police Specialists) to fight against these nefarious schemes. Each episode basically deals to the Big Boss or one of his cronies coming up with some scheme to steal loot and the COPS having to foil them. 

The biggest issue with the series is just that it’s satisfied with being a generic children’s show. It never tries to do anything unique or interesting and it easily could have. And this was a premise that could easily have gone above and beyond.  Cops and Robbers with a sci-fi twist could make for an amazing kid’s show. All they needed were some ongoing story lines with character development. You know, like those 90s super hero cartoons that were coming out three years later. Instead, what we get is a bog-standard show where they foil the plot of the week and move on to the next one. I think the only time we even get a multi-part episode is the Case of COPS File One.

And you can tell the writers don’t care that much because there are pretty consistently things they don’t bother thinking through because they either can’t be asked or they want to just get the next episode out and they figure children won’t notice. So, you’ll have an episode where Bullseye has his helicopter stolen because he just leaves the cockpit open. Goofus leaves his expensive work helicopter out in the open while he buys doughnuts. Gallant locks it up and keeps the keys safely with him. In the aforementioned COPS File One there are characters who are called by their code names before they actually have Code Names. Because it’s hard to remember that Bulletproof’s real name is Baldwin Peabody Vess or that Mainframe’s is Tina Cassidy. There’s also one where they have invisible crooks and no one thinks to let the cyborg puppy loose to nibble on their bums. And I fucking know kids spotted that one because kids aren’t that stupid. They know dogs have great senses of smell. 

That being said, I can’t say anything about the show’s writing is truly bad. Yes, it would have worked a lot better if they’d taken more time to develop their scenarios and thought through them properly,  but  they’re kind of entertaining as they are. Honestly, if I was watching this as a kid I’d probably find it diverting enough. And it does have some awesome ideas like the cyborg pup or the crook with a sub-machine gun in his chest. Yes, this cartoon from the late 80s has actual guns. I wasn’t just talking shit when I said that 4kids is made up of overly sensitive cock munchers. 

Characters:

The big issue with the characters is just that they’re bland. the series could have really benefited from taking more time to give the characters real senses of personality and from having some crooks who could put on the façade of being respectable at times when they weren’t just trying to look good in front of their mothers. 

Art:

Honestly, this is not a good looking cartoon. There are things that definitely could have worked. The character designs, overall could’ve worked. The futuristic technology could have been great as well. Unfortunately, the animation itself seems to have had a very limited budget resulting in awkward movements and expressions. As well as stuff that’s just heavily recycled. Then we have the villainous bloke with dwarfism, Small Guy. He and his gang appear in two episodes and their designs change pretty noticeably from one to the other. It’s like they couldn’t even be bothered to go back and look at what they’d done before so they could keep it consistent. And the combination of crap animation and inconsistent art just doesn’t look good. That’s another thing this show needed, a budget that wasn’t being heavily embezzled for cocaine. 

Sound:

Honestly, the voice acting isn’t bad. It’s pretty “meh” but it’s far from the worst I’ve ever heard in a kid’s cartoon. It’s definitely better than Defenders of the Realm or Spectacular Spider-man. One issue with it is the budget. There are episodes where characters will appear and be featured quite prominently in scenes, but won’t say a bloody thing. Presumably because they didn’t want to pay for more voice actors. The music is pretty good, actually. The theme tune has a good beat and would’ve been pretty amazing without the lyrics, which consist of saying the word “Cops” periodically. In case you aren’t sure what you’re watching and need reminded twenty seconds before they show the logo. 

Final Thoughts:

COPS was a show that could have been amazing. I’d honestly like to see Hasbro get a studio that gives a shit with competent writers and revive it. Just to see the concept done justice. In fact, I’ll do it. I’ll even promise to not heavily imply that every single character isn’t straight. Which would be unusual for my writing. Still, the sixty five episodes are passable enough. If you’ve got a wee one at home, they’ll probably be entertained by it. My final rating is a 5/10. It’s mediocre. 

Galaxy Angel 2: Don’t Eat the Chestnut

I’ve talked about Broccoli Entertainment’s Galaxy Angel series before. A long, long time ago. Seriously, it was a very early review and it was a great series. Like Broccoli’s other franchise I’ve reviewed, Di Gi Charat the anime was handled by Madhouse. Does this one live up to its predecessor? Let’s look and see.

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Story:

Like the first series, this one has no real story. Each episode puts the Angel unit in a different bizarre situation, a lot of which use the lost technology to drive the shenanigans and some of which just rely on putting the characters into a situation and letting them be delightfully quirky.

The big issue with the series, like the first instalment, is that it has an inexplicably serious episode. Yeah, there’s an episode about Forte having a traumatic experience on the battlefield and her old enemy returns and she has to face her fears and go against it and the episode has, in total, one joke and it’s not a particularly funny one because it’s taking itself far too seriously. This is an anime that parodies game shows and sentai series, has an episode with the characters switching bodies and does a bunch of other crazy shit. A largely serious episode doesn’t fit. The gags in the Volcott reunion episode are kind of weak too. They’re pretty much built around seeing him bossed around by crones. But at least s has some.

Those halves aside, the comedy in this is is spectacular. It’s built on high energy, zany absurdity that’s excellently executed, with only those aforementioned exceptions that only make up… 12% of the series.

Characters:

This isn’t a complex group of characters. They’re built on their quirks and on having very strong comedic interactions. Which, to be fair, is a perfectly acceptable route to go down in a comedy. And the characters are designed in such a way that you can put any of them in a scene together and get something funny out of it. You don’t need any specific permutations. It’s hard to even say whether some work better than others. So, the comedic chemistry is pretty spot on.

Art:

I’ll give Madhouse credit on the artwork front again. They have some excellent backgrounds, strong object designs and really good visual gags. The extended chase scene with Vanilla being a good example of that. If there’s anything worth being critical about, it’s that the comedic art style shifts might be considered excessive for some people. But they also suit the comedy type, so I can’t say I had any real issue with them.

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Sound:

Tamura Yukari, Yamaguchi Mayumi, Sawashiro Miyuki, Kanai Mika & Shintani Ryuouko get to show off their acting chops a bit more in this series. Yes, they were good in the last one too and all my praise about the surprising levels of nuance still holds true. But the body changing episode has the group of them swap mannerisms and basically imitate the speaking styles of the other characters, which they do fabulously. We can thanks Itou Masumi for the soundtrack. She also worked on music for Phantom & Shigofumi. And I’ll give her full credit, she is excellent at composing music that suits the atmosphere of a series. I quite like the theme tunes as well.

Ho-yay:

Again, there’s a bit. There are points where Ranpha seems to lose her general boy crazy mentality and be more into the other members of the Angel unit. But there’s not a lot of that.

Final Thoughts:

Galaxy Angel 2 is a bit of an improvement over the first series. It certainly suffers from some of the same problems, but its high points are better. If you like that variety of off the wall crazy comedy, I’d highly recommend it. If you like your comedy to be more subdued, dry, raunchy or referential it’s probably not for you. For myself, I really loved it. I had a god time watching it and was very entertained. As such, I give it a 9/10. Next week I’ll look at Melty Lancer.

Yu Yu Hakusho the movie: Not the best episode

Yu Yu Hakusho was a good anime. I’ve also reviewed Hunter x Hunter, which had the same author and was great. Today, we’re talking about Yu Yu Hakusho the movie. They call it that, but it’s only the length of an episode so… that’s a thing. But I’ve reviewed shorter anime that were classified as films and the length, in this situation, doesn’t mater so much as the quality of the content. So, let’s look at it and see how it holds up.

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Story:

We open with Botan fetching Yuusuke & Kuwabara while they’re engaged in a brawl. She tells them Koenma was kidnapped and the culprit is demanding the golden seal, which is King Enma’s proof of office, in exchange for him. Naturally, Yuusuke borrows the seal, saying it won’t be a problem if he brings it back. He and Kuwabara run for the area where the exchange is meant to take place, not knowing their hosts have arranged for a welcoming party of monstrous menaces to munch their jugular veins.

The big issue with it is just that there’s not a lot of development behind anything that happens. Koashura’s motivations are weak which, to be fair, they lampshade and use for a bit of humour. But even that’s better than what we get for our big bad of the episode, I mean movie. Let’s call him super generic shounen villain five. A lot of the content also comes down to a running battle as they progress towards their goal and just tear into expendable henchmen on their way. Which doesn’t make for the most compelling content in the world. Nor does it ever do anything that’s unexpected and attention grabbing.

On the positive side, I did like the confrontation that Yuusuke eventually has with generic shounen villain five. It has some strong moments. I will also credit the work with giving Koashura some sympathetic traits in his cutaway scenes. And, speaking as someone who liked the series, it is nice to see more of this world and its characters.

Characters:

We have the same major cast as the series. Hiei and Kurama appear rather briefly and get a bit of banter. The focus is on Yuusuke, Kuwabara and Botan. They’re the same as they are in the series proper. None of them have undergone any life changing epiphanies. The main antagonist, old Five, is just bland.

Art:

The artwork is kind of good. I know, one of my issues with the series proper was the abundance of very noticeable art errors but this is a bit more polished. I noticed one sequence that was a bit awkward, but that was pretty much it for animation issues. The designs continue to be a bit odd but excusably so since it deals with supernatural beings.

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Sound:

The acting continues to be a strong point. With Ogata Megumi, Miyuki Sanae, Sasaki Nozomu, Hiyama Nobuyuki & Chiba Shigeru all reprise their roles just as strongly as they performed them in the main series. Our new characters are voiced by Aono Takeshi and Matsumoto Rica, both of whom do perfectly well. The music is the same as it is in the series proper, right down to the same theme tunes. And the series has good music.

Ho-yay:

You don’t really get any here. Our characters who were a bit homo-erotic in the main series have a couple minutes of banter but nothing that really conveys that aspect of their relationship.

Final Thoughts:

The Golden Seal is basically like a stand alone episode of the series and not like one of the better episodes. It’s decent enough and if you really liked Yu Yu Hakusho you’ll probably enjoy it as a little bit more. For myself, I give it a 6/10. Next week I’ll look at another franchise I’ve discussed before with a look at Galaxy Angel 2.

Dirty Pair Flash: Roughly On Par with A-ko.

Dirty Pair is, like Project A-ko one of those well known franchises that started in the 80s and ran well into the 90s. The Dirty Pair Flash OVAs came out in the mid 90s as an alternate universe for the TV series & OVAs of the 80s. Like those instalments, it was handled by Sunrise. Yes, the studio behind Gundam, Code Geass & Gintama just to name a few. How does this hold up? Let’s take a look and see.

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Story:

We open with a computer conversing with the chief of the 3WA about the status of the “lovely angel” pair of Kei and Yuri and how they’re rubbish at their job. Apparently, they both did well at practical exams but terribly at academics and they’ve also both been suspended a fair number of times. We cut to Yuri taking a walk down a street when she happens to run into Kei. She wonders how Kei can be out and about so care-freely when she’s currently suspended. An agent crashes in front of her and hands her a card that she has to get to the 3WA. Naturally, Yuri tries to pawn it off on Kei because she has a date. And the two end up getting caught in a wacky chase sequence leading steadily back to their headquarters.

The biggest issue with Dirty Pair Flash is that it’s not particularly skilful when it comes to switching between more absurd and more serious content. You’ll get a ridiculous action sequence in an airport and, not long after, the closure of Lady Flair’s supposedly tragic story. And these aren’t elements that work well together. In general the OVA doesn’t do well with trying to handle anything more serious because it’s always fresh from, or shortly away from cutting to, something absurd.

Now, I will give the OVA credit on that front. It has some really funny moments. The chase sequence from the first episode is quite good and the airport sequence is the OVA at its absolute best. Really, when it’s just going with absurd action sequences, it works. And the series is largely trying to be comedic. Those moments where it takes itself a little more seriously are rare.

Characters:

The characters in this are pretty basic. The OVA tries to add some complexity with the whole Iris and Molly story and by having Yuri work with someone who has all of her faults to try and force her to grow as a character but the characterisation never really moves beyond the very simple archetypes that we started with. Which works fine when the OVA is going with its absurd action and doesn’t really when it’s trying to be a bit more serious. One thing I do quite like about the way it handles the characterisation is the whole arc with Yuri & Kei coming together as partners. It’s definitely the closest the OVA comes to having real complexity with its characters.

Art:

The artwork is actually pretty good. It’s a bit dated by today’s standards, certainly. But it still holds up pretty well. The OVA does delve into fan-service a bit, although not as much as I anticipated, but it’s also got some interesting designs for its futuristic technology and the absurd action sequences are nicely done. Which does contribute to them being the height of the OVA.

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Sound:

Matsumoto Rica & Kouda Mariko do a nice job as our leading ladies. The rest of the cast is perfectly fine, considering most of them have very minor roles and those who have larger roles are very basic roles like the insane antagonist and the sympathetic antagonist. I quite like the music. Wakakusa Kei did a good job on the soundtrack. It’s certainly better than what he did for Hikaru no Go.

Ho-yay:

There’s not really any. We know Yuri dates a lot of guys and Kei doesn’t show romantic interest in anyone.

Final Thoughts:

Dirty Pair Flash is a decent enough anime. If you’re looking for an anime buddy cop work about a couple of ladies, it’ll probably satisfy you well enough. If you want something more complex or a completely unique take on that whole formula, it’s not the series you’re looking for. For myself, I give it a 6/10. Next week I’ll look at Yuu Yuu Hakusho: The Film.

March Bonus Review: Pryde of the X-men

The X-men are, without any doubt, one of my favourite super hero teams. At least, they were back when Chris Claremont was doing his nearly two decade long run on the team. When he was still a couple years away from the end of his run, there was an attempt at making a television series based on the mutant team. It was 1989 and Marvel wanted to follow in Hasbro’s footsteps of making successful cartoons based off of their licenses to sell toys. So, why did Pryde of the X-men ultimately fail, thereby forcing us to wait for three years before the team would actually get their cartoon? Let’s take a look.

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Story:

We open with Magneto being transferred, presumably to some prison, by a military convoy. Fortunately for him, the White Queen comes to his rescue. Weren’t his ties to the Hellfire club something he had for pragmatic purposes while he was the headmaster over the New Mutants and a member of the X-men? I guess the cartoon universe is just different. Cut to young Kitty Pryde driving to the X-mansion clutching a letter. Turns out, Xavier found out about her powers and, instead of wasting his time visiting with her parents to get her enrolled in his school (like what he did in the comics) he just decided to send her an ominous letter about how he knows her secret. The X-men run off to answer an alarm while Magneto leads the Juggernaut, who doesn’t even like mutants save for Black Tom, on an attack to steal a Cerebro circuit while Xavier is home with just the young Kitty Pryde. Now, it’s up to the X-men to foil his machinations and save the world.

The first issue with this as a pilot is just that they introduce far too many characters at once. Not only do we have the X-men, with Xavier, Kitty, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm, Cyclops, Dazzler and Wolverine but we also have a huge number of villains with Magneto, the White Queen, Juggernaut, the Blob, Pyro, Toad and little Lockheed hanging around their base for some reason. The next issue is with the action. We don’t actually see our heroes fight as a team or accomplish that much. Rather, the villains come at them one at a time and the X-men have one member bugger off to face the villain who shows up one on one. Save Storm who gets left behind to mind the atmosphere. And that doesn’t make for particularly compelling action. Seriously, compare it to the two part Night of the Sentinels from the good cartoon where we see the X-men fight as a team. We see every member contribute and we see robots getting torn to pieces in the final action sequence, which is about the same length as the big action scene here. Trying to connect all your major villains also really doesn’t work when you’re using a team like the X-men.

About the only bit of praise I can give this one is that the very basic premise could have worked. Having a seasoned team with a young mutant being added in who has to prove herself and learn to cope with her own abilities could have been used in a much better cartoon. You know, like the early 90s one where a team of seasoned mutants is joined by you Jubilee who has to learn to cope with her own abilities and prove herself. In all fairness, though, it could have also worked with the X-men team they used in this.

Characters:

So, fifteen characters was clearly too ambitious for a pilot introducing the whole premise and the natural consequence is that the cast is really under-developed. There are some more specific issues, though. The first is that Colossus awkwardly refers to himself in the third person. Then there’s Nightcrawler. Poor Nightcrawler. Every time he appears in a cartoon they seem to really screw him up. Even the good cartoon. In this one, he comes across as kind of pervy and as someone you really don’t want near children. Remember when his appearance made Kitty uncomfortable in the comics so he was nice to her but generally kept a respectful distance until she was able to get comfortable with him? In this he gets kind of aggressive about forcing the issue and Neil Ross’s unintentionally creepy voice acting just makes it so much worse.

Speaking of characters who seem to be written perpetually badly in adaptations, let’s talk about Shadowcat. In the comics, she’s a young genius who comes across as a very bright youngster but is still believable as a youngster. This suffers the same problem as certain other adaptations where they decide to make her far less intelligent and more of a generic good girl. Magneto also suffers from losing his complexity and being made a more generic villain, like he was in the silver age. I guess Larry Parr just didn’t want complex Jewish characters. Or he just isn’t good with complexity period. That’s also a distinct possibility.

Art:

This is one area where I can, as a whole, give the cartoon credit. Toei did a lot of the animation work on this and it does look pretty good. I also do like the costumes it uses. Even if they did forget Magneto’s gloves and just left his hands bare and they made Wolverine too tall.

Sound:

Any good will I might have from that is quickly cancelled by the sound. The acting in this is horrendously bad. Patrick Pinney gives Wolverine an Australian accent which is just stupid. He’s Canadian. What’s next, an X-men adaptation that has him voiced by an Australian doing a really poor fake American accent? No, I’m sure no production studio could possibly be that idiotic. The accents in this are just awful in general. Neil Ross’s Deutsch accent is bad. Dan Gilvezan’s Russian accent is terrible. The voice acting just comes across as low effort, no skill and they did get some people who can voice act. They got Frank Welker, for instance. The music is okay. Not anything good but decent enough.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, it’s not surprising that Pryde of the X-men failed to transition into a full series. It’s not the worst X-men adaptation I’ve ever seen but it is pretty bad. The writing’s a mess, the characters are completely uninteresting and some of them are handled in off-putting ways, the acting is atrocious and it just fails to do the team any justice. Which is a pity because, like I said, this team composition could have worked if they’d put some effort in. My final rating is going to be a 3/10. Still better than what Madhouse did with the group. I guess Marvel tried too hard to copy Hasbro without understanding why they were a success. In fact, next month I’ll look at one of Hasbro’s toy-based cartoons and let’s see why it worked for them.

Dragoon: Nothing interesting, nothing interesting… boobs

Dragoon is a three episode fantasy OVA from the late 90s. It’s kind of an obscure one too. I couldn’t find much information for it. I’ll be honest, the only reason it even caught my eye was because I saw the title and thought of the playstation classic, Legend of the Dragoon, although the two works aren’t related in the slightest. This is based off of a different game that I’ve never played. Still, I like fantasy as a genre. So, let’s give it a shot.

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Story:

We open with a battlefield where a naked woman emerges from a dragon machine that bears more than a slight resemblance to Chrono Trigger’s Dragon Tank. Don’t ask me why she’s leaving an armoured machine and making herself vulnerable or why she’s piloting a hunk of metal completely starkers. Anyway, that short intro ends and we cut to a different time where the same woman is being transported somewhere. She escapes after being threatened with rape and she’s found lying naked in the snow by Sedi, our protagonist. He takes her somewhere safe and warm, but can’t be bothered to find her any clothes, and asks why the soldiers are after her. She can’t remember because of that old RPG cliché, amnesia. She only knows that her name is Myuu. The pair eventually go on a journey to discover who she is and why the Empire is pursuing her.

The biggest issue with the writing in this is just that it’s incredibly generic. Every single major plot point: the invading Empire, the amnesiac with a mysterious power, the son of a hero going on a journey to come into his own, the character seeking revenge for their destroyed home, the evil minister who holds the real power in a monarchy… These are all common elements to not only RPGs but fantasy stories in general. And they’ve all been in works where the execution was vastly superior to this. This one just doesn’t do anything new or interesting with them. Rather, it reduces them to their most basic, bog-standard usage. It doesn’t help that the OVA also has plenty of moments that are just kind of stupid. The aforementioned dragon tank thing is one. Sedi randomly gaining new abilities because he’s given his father’s sword is another. No, he doesn’t just have them because he’s been training with his dad for years. He gains them because his dad levelled up his sword. The prince being unable to do anything even when he has proof that their minister is evil is another big one. Yeah, the minister has the real power but you’d think having proof he was aligned with the enemy would be enough to take that away from him.

There are some elements of this series that could have been promising. The mystery surrounding Myuu’s identity had promise. The way it mixes magic and machinery has potential. The indirect connection Sedi has with Bashua could have worked. All of this generic stuff has been used to great effect in other works. But using it well requires clever writing, taking some risks and subverting some expectations at times to keep things fresh. None of which are on display here.

Characters:

As surprising as this may be for an OVA with bland writing, the characters are completely trite. We have the hero, the mysterious girl who will serve as a love interest, the one who’s royalty (male variant), the tricky one and so on. There’s never a character you look at and think “well, that’s different” or even “that’s an interesting take.” No, what you get is just boring.

Art:

The artwork looks more like it was made in the early 90s than the late 90s. What I’m getting at is that it’s a bit dated, even for its time. But the big issue is with the fan-service. It’s like some knob decided that if they couldn’t have interesting characters or writing that was compelling in any conceivable way they’d make up for it by throwing in gratuitous boobs. Which they do a lot. Myuu spends long stretches of time nude. Lilith takes off her clothes at one point for no good reason and has a long bathing scene. We even see statues of topless women. It’s like they’re afraid that if they don’t show some tits every five minutes the audience will all fall asleep. Which may not be unfounded but you fix that by writing something interesting, not adding boobies to your generic schlock.

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Sound:

This is one element I can give the OVA some credit for. They did get some good actors. Our leads are voiced by Ishida Akira & Kouda Mariko both of whom can deliver really good performances. We’ve also got Koyasu Takehito, Imai Yuka & Ootsuka Akio. All of whom are really good. And their performances in this are perfectly passable, which is about the best you’d expect given what they have to work with. The best part of the music is Imai Yuka’s theme tune performance. The rest is, and I know this is super hard to believe given how innovative this series is, pretty standard fare.

Ho-yay:

There’s a scene where Millie randomly gropes Myuu. But there’s nothing about their dynamic to indicate it means anything. It’s almost like it was just tossed in for fan-service. But would this series really just toss something in for fan-service besides the egregious number of exposed breast scenes and some up-skirt shots and…

Final Thoughts:

Dragoon is an OVA, and probably based off of a game, that hasn’t an original thought in its head. Rather, it tries to make up for it’s lack of interesting content and dull characters by throwing in a bunch of tasteless fan-service. Which, ultimately, makes it a below average viewing experience.  The final rating is  a 4/10. Next week I’ll review Dirty Pair Flash. Which I’m sure has no fan-service based problems whatsoever. Well… maybe it makes up for them with something good.