Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 315 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
How to loving your Dragon.
If you’re just as obsessed with anime as we are then you probably already ran into an anime series that starts off poorly but ends in a high note that redeems itself from its weak beginning. Dragonaut: The Resonance is like that since it started rather weakly but, with Part 02 of this series, ends with a bang as the story and the characters start to develop in ways that make you wish the first half was this good.
In the last episode of Part 01, Toa was taken by the Girouard Army’s Major Garnet who took the Album to her commanding officer … Prince Asim of Mars. Claiming her as his own, Asim doesn’t quite understand the Dragon/Master relationship but he does expect Jin Kamishina and the dragon known as Gio to stage a rescue. The pair do head off for Mars but they are accompanied by the Dragonaut named Akira and her dragon Machina. Akira understands Jin’s love for Toa because she also understands what it is to love a dragon.
In Mars, Prince Asim launches a surprise attack of his own but Gio has been progressively become stronger and they do rescue Toa. It isn’t until they catch a little rest in a nearby abandoned base on Mars that Prince Asim makes a surprising revelation about Major Garnet. It is during this moment that the battle turns tragic and an event occurs involving Gio that suddenly makes the ISDA consider every dragon and Dragonaut too dangerous to be let loose on the world.
So when Jin, Toa and Gio find themselves back on Earth, two years have passed and they live a happy life together in hiding. Meanwhile, the ISDA sends Commander Sakaki to hunt down all remaining Dragonauts. This, of course, wouldn’t be easy but the Commander has a secret weapon that comes in the form of a pint-sized armored agent who is so power it manages to take down Amadeus and Sigelinde as well as Howling Star and his master Raina. Soon, Jin, Gio and Toa’s happiness is shattered by Sigelinde who tells them they should run.
Oh, but nothing is as simple as that especially when Toa has a secret that only another dragon like Gio can understand. Not wanting to worry Jin, Toa refuses to tell the young boy her secret but he finds out from Gio himself. Wanting to do something to help her, Gio disappears only to reappear more powerful than before and with a mean streak. Insisting he could save Toa, he gives the couple a day to be together before he takes her away to Thanatos.
Meanwhile, the group had saved the dragons along with Raina as well as Itsuki and her partner Otohime. There’s even a very violent confrontation between Jin and Kazuki again. The Kazuki-Jin rivalry becomes one of the highlights in Part 02 as the first battle nearly kills Jin’s former friend and the last one sets in motion one of the more dramatic turning points.
Thanatos suddenly comes even closer to Earth than the ISDA anticipated and this leads to a major battle as the Dragonauts set off on their final battle to save their planet. Meanwhile, Jin sets off to not only save Earth but to reach Gio in order to be with the girl he loves. With the aid of an unlikely ally, Jin reaches out to Thanatos in an even more dramatic confrontation.
Unlike the first part of the series, the character development makes for characters you actually care about so when tragedy strikes in the early episodes it is hard to ignore the emotional impact of the moment. We learn more about Sigelinde and her family and Commander Sakaki’s connection to his short agent. Yes, there are still big bouncing bosoms in this series but there’s more to this series than just fan service.
If the first half of this series were like Part 02 of Dragonaut this would have been a fan favorite. This second half is not only better but it leads to a satisfying final confrontation that is dramatic and even touching thanks to the fact that the story just doesn’t throw mindless action but offer characters you will care for at the end. If you’ve been following the series since Part 01 then you NEED to check out the final half of the series.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Jin and Gio are desperate to rescue Toa from Prince Asim on Mars and stage a rescue with the aid of their new friends Akira and Machina. After a daring rescue, the Dragonauts as well as the trio of Jin, Toa and Gio find themselves targets of the ISDA as well as the threat of Thanatos growing even closer to Earth, the real battle to save humanity begins.
VIDEO QUALITY: A-
If there’s one thing you didn’t get enough of in Witchblade or the first half of this series is large, bouncy boobs then you won’t be disappointed with Part 02. The animation is still solid although I find the CG not as good as in other similar series.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
There are some great performances in the second half of the series whether we’re talking about the English dub or the original Japanese track. The score is still just as exciting and I actually love the new closing song “Fight or Flight” performed by Yu Kobayashi.
Colleen Clinkenbeard and Brina Palencia offer a rather amusing and animated discussion about the characters and voice acting in the second disc’s audio commentary track for Episode 16. The rest of the extras are made up of trailers and the clean opening and closing songs.
A bolder, more dramatic and even rather exciting second half makes Part 02 of Dragonaut a noticeable improvement worthy of your attention if you’ve been following the series. It’s too bad the series didn’t start off as strongly as this second half but if you were hoping this series got better it does in a finale that makes it all worthwhile.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment