Critic's Log - Earthdate: November 23, 2012. Review #23: Dragon Half
Hey There! I hope your Thanksgiving turned out well. Well Black Friday has arrived and I did not participate in that early morning madness. Now that the Holidays are coming soon, I might have a slightly busy schedule on my hands coming up soon but I think I can manage to come up with some reviews in the meantime. I sure got one right now. So... without much ado about nothing, Here is Dragon Half!
Mink is the daughter of a dragon and a retired dragonslaying knight...
(*Record Scratch Sound Effect*) Wait, WHAT! A Dragon and a retired dragonslaying knight!? HOW THE HELL DOES THAT WORK!?, Also...WHY A DRAGON AND A RETIRED DRAGONSLAYER!? HOW DOES THAT ALL MIX!? (back to the sypnosis, I'm kidding about the freakout moment obviously)
Anyway, Mink sets out on a journey to get tickets for a concert held by Dick Saucer (Tehehe, can this sound any more suggestive?)
Dick Saucer is a world famous teen pop star and dragon slayer. Meanwhile, the corrupt king of the land is attempting to take her hostage to get at her mother, and his magic-using daughter seeks to foil Mink's quest out of sheer spite.
To be technical, this is a Kadokawa Shoten production and I'm also seeing a source saying that this is a Studio Takaranke production but according to AnimeNewsNetwork, it says "Kadokawa Shoten", so I think I'll stick with that source for now. This is an OVA which only lasts for 2 episodes and there's really not a whole lot to tell about this anime since it is really short, I do have some things to say about Dragon Half. As you can see, the animation is obviously old-school but it looks pretty good for 1993, I don't much to say regarding the animation so I'll move on to another topic.
The music is done by Kouhei Tanaka, This may not have been Tanaka-san's best work but he has had much more recognition for doing the soundtracks for some well-known animes since Dragon Half. If you are familiar with G Gundam or One Piece, he does the soundtrack for both those shows. I can say that I do find the music decent in Dragon Half but it's nothing too special. There is no opening in Dragon Half unless you consider the opening title screen as an opening. The closing theme on the other hand is somewhat funny since the song is about Eggs. an arrangement of Ode to Joy is thrown in the closing theme just for humor. The closing theme is worth listening to and worth watching while watching Dragon Half because the closing theme is so over the top. It is easily the highlight in the music section for Dragon Half.
The Japanese cast is great in Dragon Half, The English dub could have been better and this is an old dub which stating the obvious can't be avoided. This is obviously a dub that was not well-recognized and it's also a dub that is not all that good. It does have John Swasey in it but he has done better since. Tiffany Grant is also in the dub and sorry for sounding like a broken record but...She has done better since. Spike Spencer is in the dub too... and Amanda Winn-Lee (The original English voice of Rei Ayanami from Evangelion) is on the dub as well. This is a ADV films dub which obviously points out why I figured out that the English voices of Shinji, Rei, and Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion are on the dub. Matt Greenfield is the ADR director in this show and he was also involved in the dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion. In fact, he directed many dubs for ADV Films. The dub is obviously not as good and funny as the Subtitled version of the show because there are seiyus like Kotono Mitsuishi and Akio Ohtsuka are in Dragon Half. Mitsuishi-san voices Mink and I remember her role in Neon Genesis Evangelion where she voiced Misato Katsuragi and this was two years before Evangelion aired in Japan, I did a little research on the show after watching Dragon Half and I was completely unaware that Misato and Fink were voiced by the same seiyu. I think Mitsuishi-san is quite talented. Ohtsuka-san voices the over-the-top Damaramu and he's a talented seiyu as always in the roles since Dragon Half. The other seiyus are pretty good for the most part and they play their roles just fine. The dub may not be the best but it's not absolutely terrible to say the least. It may help to just stick with the Subtitled version on this one.
As far as characters go, there's really nothing too special about them but if there's something about the characters that do work, it would be that some of the characters can be funny in the long run. Mink can be adorable and funny at the same time, Damaramu (like I said earlier) is over-the-top when he fights. Dick Saucer is okay I guess, too bad that his name wasn't used for puns. The King and Rosario are so over-the-top as bad guys. The same goes for Vina, she even does an over-the-top evil laugh. The humor is one of the good qualities of Dragon Half.
I think what does hurt the show is the story. It is short and it does not have an ending at all. For being 2 episodes long, I sure as hell could say that this anime could have been a little bit longer, maybe 4 or 6 episodes long could've been good for an OVA project such as Dragon Half. This was one OVA that was worth seeing because there was some funny moments and a little more could've been what Dragon Half would have needed. I've heard some rumors that Dragon Half was originally going to be 4 episodes long. If that is so, I guess that the first two episodes didn't get the reception it was hoping for which probably explains why it didn't get an ending and the recognition it deserved. Even though it doesn't have an ending, it does have one of the funniest endings to an OVA in my opinion. I knew that Mink's breastplate was smashed to bits during the fight in the second OVA and she obviously covers her chest, it's how the OVA ends that I cracked up laughing. I like how the ending was built up to the scene where the viewer gets to see some boobies
The story is obviously incomplete since the post-credits scene leaves the show extremely open-ended. Since this is a comedy anime, the story is alright for this kind of show. I sort of wish it would go on a little bit more.
Dragon Half was available by ADV films, which sadly means that it is out of print. I sure as hell hope someone rescues it eventually. The manga by Ryusuke Mita has not been released stateside as of yet.
With all that said, Dragon Half is an unfortunately short series that should've been a little longer than it could. It had pretty good animation for it's time and had pretty good humor and some over-the-top characters as well as an adorable main character. This is an OVA worth checking out, you won't be disappointed except for the fact that there is no ending which leaves the anime incomplete. The manga however does have a complete story compared to the anime. The story's non-closure does hurt the show but the other elements are good enough to make this an anime worth seeing.
I give Dragon Half a 7.1 out of 10, it is GOOD!
Feel free to comment below and start looking for dragons in some video games.