Anime Review: Dragonaut: The Resonance (Part 1)

Dragonaut: The Resonance is the sci-fi story of Jin Kamishima, a boy who has felt alone in the world after surviving a space shuttle accident that killed the rest of his family. Suddenly one day, he discovers Toa, a beautiful and powerful pink-haired babe that has sworn to protect him and stay by his side forever. With the appearance of this mysterious girl, Jin is thrown into the clutches of the ISDA, a protection agency that is secretly researching how to save the Earth from an asteroid heading directly for the planet.

Not too long ago, the ISDA had discovered an alien egg deep in the ocean. They use the egg to create “Dragons”, artificial humanoid beings that are able to morph into large flying mechanical weapons that look like… well… dragons! When a dragon is born, they’re paired with a human Dragonaut. The dragons fully obey their human Dragonauts and serve as their slave and protectors in peace, and the Dragonauts pilot their dragons during battle.

The ISDA figures out that Toa is a dragon and that Jin has unexpectedly become her Dragonaut, but there is something different in this situation. Toa was not created by the ISDA, she’s a naturally born dragon and far more powerful then any they’ve seen before. And not only has Jin partnered up with Toa, but he’s also taken control of Gio, a newly-born dragon who already has partnered with another Dragonaut.

Can the ISDA utilize Jin and Toa to help them save the world from the deadly asteroid, or will the reluctant two refuse to become lab rats to the organization’s secret operation?

Immediately, the biggest problem that faces the viewer while watching Dragonaut is its nonlinear narrative. For the first few episodes, the timeline jumps all over the place as they introduce the concepts of the ISDA, the dragons, and the Dragonauts. There is a huge cast of characters that enter into the picture with little introduction, and some of them look so similar that it becomes hard to determine who’s who at this stage of the series. On top of this, every episode begins with a flashback to another detail from the past that is vital in understanding what is happening in the present timeline.

I think that what they were going for with style of storytelling is that rather then just telling a straight sci-fi action story, they would just slowly unravel the plot to you like some mystery thriller. But there is really nothing mysterious about this series, it is about fighting robots and big breasted babes. Telling the story in this chopped up way only confuses the viewer, and it distracts them from the one area where Dragonaut really shines – its characters.

After the fifth or sixth episode, the insanity of the setup fades away and the timeline finally stabilizes. At that point, the story turns towards the characters themselves, and you begin to see that this is actually a very smart and well written story. Every one of the Dragonauts has a deeply hidden flaw in their personality, and it subtly come out with the way they turn to their dragon partners to fill that void.

These interactions between these humans and the dragons are absolutely fascinating, and I found myself really enjoying this series because of this. But damn, the few episodes it took to get to this point were brutal and unnecessary, and I really don’t think it’s worth the viewers time and effort to get there.

And then there’s the fan service…


FUNimation does a lot to really hype up the sexiness of Dragonaut. There are plenty of glamorous T&A shots on the package, and a sticker slapped on to it proudly declares that Dragonaut features the same character designer as Witchblade. And why wouldn’t they make the connection to Witchblade? After all, the massive melons featured on the cover of that series made it one of the best selling anime series ever in America.

But huge honkers or not, when you finally begin watching Dragonaut, you start to realize that the fan service is really not that sexy. The size and shape of those ample airbags are just weird and disgusting while bouncing around on the screen, and for the most part, you don’t get much female nudity. The sexiest characters of the series turn out to be the girls without the colossal cans. Hell, even the slender body of the male characters look more feminine and attractive than the chicks with the sizable speed bumps.

* * * * *

The Good: Fantastic cast of characters with deep personalities and intriguing relationships.

The Bad: A nonlinear narrative is pointless and confusing for an action series. Fan service not sexy at all.

Final Verdict: While Dragonaut: The Resonance most certainly has its high moments, it’s just not worth all the B.S. it takes to get there. Skip it!

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment.

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