Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 315 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
Dangerous curves up ahead and aliens battles too.
I was about to roll my eyes at the thought of reviewing yet another anime where all the girls seemed to be blessed with pretty much the same enormous bust size jiggling their way through fight after fight. It’s not that the idea wasn’t appealing to me because I am a guy, after all, but these types of shows don’t really have any real substance or a meaningful story. Fortunately, Dragonaut: The Resonance, Part 01, is a series that has impossibly busty girls fighting but there’s a story here that is actually intriguing and worthwhile.
Dragonaut takes place in a future where nearby planets have been colonized and travel to the moon is possible via a transport shuttle. All is not well, though, seeing as the Earth is being threatened by an oncoming asteroid called Thanatos that is on a collision course that could destroy the planet. One day, something comes out of the asteroid and his heading towards Earth at a rapid speed that makes it impossible to stop.
With a destination to the moon with his mother, sister and his father who just happens to be the shuttle’s pilot, Jin Kamishina bids his friend Kazuki Tachibana farewell and gets aboard. Unfortunately, the shuttle doesn’t make it to its destination as three unidentified objects that were hurled from Thanatos collides with it. Miraculously, Jin is somehow survives the horrible accident. In fact, he’s the only survivor of this tragedy. With his father being blamed for the accident, a bitter Jin isolates himself from everyone he knows including his best friend Kazuki.
Then one day he meets a beautiful young girl with long red hair and a curvaceous body who saves Jin one night when he is attacked by what looks like a man-beast that has been killing women. She calls herself Toa and Jin is compelled to see her again but he is suddenly detained by members of a group calling themselves the ISDA. Their mission is to catch Toa who they all call the Album and as Jin manages to escape to be with the girl he becomes a target by the ISDA too.
Meanwhile, Kazuki – Jin’s friend – is working for the ISDA to become a Dragonaut. It seems that the organization has managed to obtain and tame alien life forms from Thanatos that the group calls “dragons.” These dragons have two forms, one of which is a human form and the other a more mechanized dragon-like appearance. When one is “born,” it must form an attachment to a human Dragonaut via an event known as the Resonance in order to form a master-servant bond. Kazuki’s dragon, who he calls Gio, somehow doesn’t bond with the boy and runs off to protect Toa and Jin.
As Toa, Jin and Gio run from the ISDA, we meet the other Dragonauts and their dragon servants. Many of them come in unique forms such as the elderly butler-like Amadeus who serves the blonde young cutie named Sigelinde and then there’s the really busty Machina who serves a girl named Akira … who happens to be the only female character that’s not stacked. My favorite is Howling Star, a fiery redheaded male who is very protective of his master.
Unfortunately for Jin, Toa is convinced that she should not be around Jin anymore and disappears. This leads the young man and Gio to look for her on the moon. Enraged by the fact that the two are working together, Kazuki develops a hatred for her former best friend and is determined to catch both of them. Gio, he thinks, belongs to him and Jin is not going to get away with stealing him away. Despite the fact that a dragon named Widow decides to help him, Kazuki is only interested in getting Gio back. His rage just makes him a most dangerous foe for Jin and their confrontations are angry ones.
When Toa turns herself in to the ISDA, another enemy has an interest in her as the Girouard Army sends the biggest breasts – that belong to the vicious Major Garnet – to capture Toa and bring her back to Mars where her employer awaits to claim Toa. Meanwhile, in ISDA headquarters, Jin plans to find Toa after he learns the shocking truth about the accident that killed his family.
Oh yeah, there’s more as Thanatos launches another projectile towards Earth. This threat is hostile seeing as it destroys an ISDA base and launches an attack on Earth itself. With no choice but to aid the other Dragonauts, Jin uses Gio’s dragon form to fight against this creature known as an Original. Jin finds that he is being aided by those that have been chasing him down as the boy fights to save Earth.
While the series takes its sweet time warming up, secrets about the dragons as well as the action sequences add more excitement to the series. There’s plenty of jiggle-fueled fan services that gets quite distracting especially when serious characters like Doctor Kitajima are in the middle of disclosing an interesting secret or sharing an emotional moment. Still, these characters – thanks to the flashbacks – aren’t just boobs but actually add something to the series.
After a weak beginning, Part 01 of Dragonaut: The Resonance gets a lot more interesting as the show stops being less of a bosomy fan service action series and more of an exciting story about love, loss, forgiveness and a battle to save Earth. As the series takes is time introducing all the players, hidden truths come to light in this first part so we expect Part 02 to contain all the really juicy parts. Either way, checking this one out might not be such a bad idea.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
In the distant future where humanity has colonies on the moon, Jin Kamishina loses his family to a freak space shuttle accident where he is the only survivor. As Earth is being threatened by an asteroid, Jin meets a mysterious beautiful young woman named Toa who might hold to key to saving the planet as he and Toa get involved with an organization that has trained aliens called “Dragons” working with them to catch Jin and Toa.
VIDEO QUALITY: A-
The series looks really good on DVD with crisp, clear and colorful animation that’s easy on the eyes. Those who have seen the Witchblade anime series will be very familiar with the character designs that includes a cast of women with gravity defying bosoms.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
The voice acting is handled wonderfully for the English dub cast and even better for those who prefer the original Japanese. The score is exciting and cinematic and the opening theme, “Perfect Blue” is awesome. Then again, I love “Rain of Love” by Yukari Fukui as the closing theme.
Aside from the wonderful artwork found on both DVD slipcases, there’s clean opening and closing songs and a few trailers to look forward to in the second disc. There’s also audio commentary for Episode 10 with Brina Palencia (Akira) and Kate Oxley (Nanami) as we get to know them better.
Part 01 of Dragonaut is off to a shaky start only to build its momentum in last handful of episodes that shows us that there’s more to the series than just cleavage (not that I’m complaining) and flashbacks. There’s a real story here that just gets better later in this first part and, hopefully, continues in Part 02.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment.