Dragonaut: The Resonance
In the future, Pluto is destroyed by an unusual asteroid known as Thanatos. Some on Earth know this asteroid is of alien origin, and pieces of it have already fallen to earth - in the form of dragons. An organization called the ISDA is formed, and they've started to create their own dragons. These however need to form a partnership with a human.
Years ago, Jin's family was killed when an asteroid collided with the shuttle they were on. Only Jin survived. These days he's a loner, and doesn't fit in. Jin gets involved with the ISDA, and a mysterious girl named Toa. The two grow closer together, but will their love survive when Jin finds out that she's a dragon from Thanatos, and the one responsible for the death of his family years ago?
It's rare for me to rate a title this badly with decent character designs, animation and soundtrack. I've tried to write this review three times and failed. Every time I'd end up ranting about how stupid Dragonaut is. I give up, I'll just rant about Dragonaut. I apologize for this. You can skip most of this if you want the summary.
-- Begin Rant --
Early on it becomes obvious there is something not quite right about Dragonaut. It starts with shoddy character development. The relationship between Jin and Toa is a good example. They meet early on, but there is hardly any relationship progression. It's like they've been lovers for years even though they just met. Don't give me that "magical connection" BS, they've got 26 episodes to develop this relationship. Before Toa reveals she's a dragon she says "don't look at me", and later "You probably think I'm a monster, goodbye", all the while Jin had been blabbering to the contrary that he doesn't think that at all. Dragonaut however, is determined to invent this kind of drama, even if it doesn't make sense.
I hate insane villains who have no reasoning behind them. Dragonaut doesn't just have one of these, but many. The worst one is Jin's ex-friend Kazuki. He goes completely psycho through the entire show because the dragon Geo (intended for him) alies himself with Jin. So Kazuki's pissed because he doesn't have a dragon right? Actually no, another dragon named Widow decides to align herself with him. (Dragons are supposed to go insane if their human partner dies, but Widow has none of these problems... why? It's Dragonaught, don't ask) So Kazuki throws a steady stream of tantrums until the last 2-3 episodes where some divine light of stupidity redeems him. Then it's like, "OH! That really was stupid of me". Everyone completely forgets how he had been acting for the last 20 episodes. Considering his actions never made sense to begin with, this is easier for the viewer to accept than you'd think.
Aside from stupidity in the story, Dragonaut is plagued with logic problems in the details. In one scene, Toa stands on the moon looking up at the Earth with tears floating near by (good imagery actually). From then on Dragonaut forgets the moon hardly has any gravity. What if the colony has artificial gravity? That doesn't explain the fights on the lunar surface outside the colony. This anime is riddled with these logic holes.
Also located in the moon colony, is a conspicuously placed hot springs. The ISDA crew decide to track down Jin and Toa by going incognito as to not arouse suspicion of the civilian population, and especially not do things like enter combat (which is exactly what they do btw). Of course this means the cast has to dress up in swimsuits. Fine, at least they got the hot springs episode out of the way. Or not. What kind of title needs TWO hot springs episodes? Dragonaut apparently. While hiding on Mars, someone says "wouldn't it be great if there were a hot springs here". While still slapping my forehead over that one, next comes "doesn't this look like a chapel". Noooooo! Oh yes, mock wedding -_-; Worst hot springs episode ever.
The character designs of Dragonaut would be attractive if it weren't from the grotesquely huge boobs on the females. I'm a guy, don't get me wrong; I love boobs too, but I found the boobs disturbingly massive. Toa is the smaller chested girl at a D cup. The other women can't be measured in bra cups, and would require buckets. The other art drawback is the dragon designs using cheesy CGI that looks very out of place. Aside from those two points, Dragonaut looks pretty good.
Then there's the finally. What it comes down to is "the power of love". At other key points, the "love power" became a plot convenience too. For example when Toa was confined to a glass cage no one can break. Not until Jin stands with his hands against the glass and then she says "Oh, Jin..." and he says "Oh, Toa...". Magic sparkles appear and the glass shatters. Considering this happens a few times in the story, it's not totally unexpected the end goes this route too. However, is this EVER the appropriate way to resolve the plot in a sci-fi show? Despite how I've ranted about stupidity, the end is the biggest reason I recommend avoiding this anime. At least it has a happy ending, even if it's a travesty how it gets there.
-- End Rant --
Is there anything good about this show? There is a stand alone episode 26 which is a comedy fluff piece. The first half of this episode is entertaining enough to possibly watch even if you skip the rest of Dragonaut. It's an over the top parody of.. a high school something or other. What really makes this episode worth watching is the hilariously weird dialog - especally in the dub (which is quite good). The second half of this episode is based off the dragon characters acting the opposite of their normal personalities. Lame as that sounds it's actually pretty amusing. The final episode feels like much needed therapy after watching the rest of Dragonaut.
I feel bad for putting down a show that's essentially a sci-fi love story - something I'd normally like to watch. It could have been good, but fails simply because everything is done completely half assed. There's no excuse for that. Nearly all points of inconsistency and stupidity could have been caught by 3rd grader. I'm sympathetic to how difficult it is to invent a story, but honestly these guys are paid good money to come up with this stuff. It has a fair start but tumbles into a rat's nest of stupidity that becomes increasingly difficult to ignore. The story also lacks direction, only to conclude with a terribly thought out ending. Some people think Dragonaut is ok, so it's not universally accepted as bad. I can't see how anyone with any level standards would think it's good though. I'd really recommend you avoid this one.
Toa: Not even reinforced titanium armor 5 inches thick with a kevlar coating could stop my armor peircing love!
Screen Caps: >