Dragon Half was a two episode OVA based on a seven volume manga by Mita Ryuusuke. It was handled by Production IG. That’s right, the studio behind Chocolate Underground, Usagi Drop & Stand Alone Complex, to name just a few. So, how does this one hold up?
We open with our heroine, Mink, trying to watch a pretty boy idol on the television while her parents fight. She leaves the chaos to converse with her friends about Dick Saucer & his upcoming concert. Unbeknownst to her, the king, Siva, has the hots for her dragon mother and plans to kill her father for his crime of… not killing the red dragon he was sent to kill so he can get together with her.
Okay, I know this is a comedy and the story doesn’t matter that much, but why did the king send a knight to kill a dragon if he wanted to have carnal interactions with said dragon? Wouldn’t it have made more sense if he’d sent the knight to try to woo her for him or something?
In any case, the king’s wizard, Rosario, has a cunning plan, he’s basically Baldrick. If they kidnap Mink, her father will be forced to try and come to her rescue which will get him right where they want him. This rapidly devolves into schemes to get Mink from Siva & Rosario. All the while Mink and her friends are looking for a potion to make her a normal human because Dick Beaker doesn’t like dragons.
Okay, this gets on my nerves. She’s going to try and change who she is to appeal to this Dick Nugget? You know what? Just be who you are. If a potential romantic partner isn’t interested because they can’t handle what that is, they aren’t worth your time and effort. You should be able to be a dragon if that’s who you are. Just incinerate anyone who doesn’t like it because you’re a motherfucking dragon.
The humour of the series is largely based on absurd, over the top stupidity. For example, the ending theme tune uses a composition by Beethoven but gives it lyrics heavily focused on food and a lot of vocalisations that aren’t actual words but just weird sounds. There’s also the obvious gag of the antagonists having all their traps backfire. As a whole, it’s not bad but it’s also not really funny. About the funniest it gets is with Damaramu’s over the top entrances, followed by very anti-climactic exits.
There’s not much to them. Dick Sauce is a generic pretty boy. Mink’s friends have very little in terms of personality. Mink herself is just a hyperactive comedic protagonist. Now, I’ve talked about how comedies don’t need great, complex characters before. They just need characters who have strong comedic interactions. Unfortunately, that’s not really something we get here.
The bulk of the series uses a very simple, chibified style. Occasionally, it pulls out of it and uses a more standard action style. A lot of the time it pulls a Panty & Stocking and uses that for fan-service purposes. Because if you can’t be all that funny, you might as well show some boobs.
I will say, Mitsuishi Kotono is a really good choice for the protagonist in the type of fast-paced, absurd comedy they’re going for. Her performance has a lot of energy and, if it were paired with stronger comedy, it would be infectious. They’ve got some other good actresses like Sakuma Rei, Kouda Mariko & Kawata Taeko but I have to call them “good” based on their performances in other anime. In this one they’re just mediocre. The music is fine. I’d be tempted to call it better since they do use classical music, but they kind of weaken it with their attempt at giving it a comedic twist.
There is a scene where Mink’s elf friend decides that she should kiss Mink for a really stupid reason, but it’s obviously intended for a joke and they both have the hots for Dick Frisbee so, obviously, nothing happens.
Dragon Half does have a few funny moments but the comedy is largely just over the top nonsense and, overall, it’s pretty sub-par. If it sounds like it could be your type of comedy, I would still suggest trying it, especially since it is short. For myself, I can only give it a 4/10. It’s not bad, but it is weak.