SUPAAREVIEW: Dragonaut: The Resonance

Topic started by gia on Nov. 25, 2009. Last post by wwwe 5 years, 1 month ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
John and I decided to do a joint review for Dragonaut: The Resonance Part 1, since we watched it together, but we'll be posting our lengthier text reviews separately-- look for his to come a bit later.

For now, though...courage.

Vital Stats:

Title: Dragonaut: The Resonance Part 1
Format: TV Anime
Based On: Original Concept
Studio: Gonzo
Genre: Shounen, Sci-Fi, Drama

Release Info:

Release Date: 11/03/09
US Publisher: FUNimation
Length: 13 episodes
MSRP: $49.98
Special Features: Textless songs, trailers
Disclosure: This review is based on a copy that was provided by the publisher.

Story: 2.5/5

 Jin Kamishina
Jin Kamishina
There is nothing remotely new or innovative about Dragonaut's plot. The story revolves around Jin, a young man whose family was killed in a shuttle crash some years before, leaving him alone. His father was piloting the shuttle at the time, and as such took the blame for the crash posthumously, adding some bitterness to Jin's solitude.

One day, Jin sees a strange creature try to kill someone and is saved by a mysterious redhead, Toa, who turns out to be a alien who can take a humanoid or dragon-like form. Jin is picked up by an organization called the ISDA, which employs pilots and a man-made strain of dragons based on an alien one as a defense tactic should the original dragons return.

  Kazuki Tachibana
 Kazuki Tachibana
Also at the ISDA is Kazuki, a childhood friend of Jin's with whom Jin promised to go to space. While Jin gave up that dream in the wake of his family's demise, Kazuki still wants to go, and at first hopes to convince Jin to join him. Then when the dragon supposedly attached to Kazuki abandons him to help Toa and Jin, Kazuki goes nuts.

This is the one mildly unique twist of the story, really: that Jin steadfastly refuses to join the ISDA, and between this "betrayal" and subsequently Gio's, Kazuki goes apeshit. Now, the psycho former-childhood-friend isn't new, but it's not where you might expect the show to go based on the first couple of episodes, so I have to give it points for that.

The rest of the story occasionally manages to surprise you with its twists, but "surprise" isn't the same thing as "impress." Still, there's an entire half a season left, so it will have some opportunities. Honestly, even FUNimation doesn't seem to give the story much credit, given the content of the trailer...

Characters: 3/5

   Toa and Sieglinde
 Toa and Sieglinde
The characters are only slightly more original than the story, and by that I really just mean that with the possible exception of Sieglinde, they aren't just completely over-the-top standard mold archetypes...they're just a subtler version of them. (Sieglinde, on the other hand, is a classic tsundere through and through, even if she's not quite a Rie Kugimiya-type.) In other words, the characters are decidedly familiar, but not blatantly based on a single personality trait. I will note, however, that Toa-- winningly voiced by Minori Chihara in Japanese, and here voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard --is pretty blah. I think that's based on the writing than anything else, though; in order for the plot to move forward as it does, Toa has to be relatively faultless, so she herself turns out kind of boring.

As we're halfway through the story now, I'm guessing that most of the character development is through; we've had back stories for pretty much all of the main characters here and there: Jin, Toa, Gio, Kazuki, and Sieglinde. I'm not sure how much there is left to plumb.

Visuals: 2/5

  Mediocre CG
 Mediocre CG
I'm not a CG afficionado, but when I mentioned Digimon in the review, it's largely because the CG dragons of the series remind me of the CG in Digimon- which is ten years old, for the record, and even then I remember it being a little jarring compared to the rest of the animation. The same is true here, although Gonzo seems to have tried to minimize it since you rarely see a CG dragon and a non-CG human in the same shot, but the dragons still look kind of silly.

  Seriously? And no nip slip?!
 Seriously? And no nip slip?!
This is not so much the DFC loli-lovin' sect of Gonzo that made Strike Witches as it is the Witchblade sect, apparently, because everywhere you turn there are giant bazongas. I do like my anime girls curvy, but sometimes-- particularly with dragon Machina and soldier Garnet --the size gets ridiculous. They start to look less like breasts and more like a really worthless shelf. You guys know I'm not in the least be opposed to fanservice in general, but sometimes it was a little distracting from what was supposed to be a "serious" story. (Ditto for most of the hot spring/spa episode, by the way.)

Beyond that, the animation is solid and I do like some of the designs, busts notwithstanding.

Audio: 3/5

The English dub is perfectly passable, although I prefer the Japanese (as is so often the case with me). None of the voices are so grating that I can't stand them, and none particularly outstanding either, so I guess I can just keep this little section short.

Overall: 2/5

This is not a show that you're going to throw to someone to convert them into being an anime fan, nor is it the kind of show you'll probaly start to obsess over. It can be really fun to make fun of though, and there's enough here to be engaged with, if not enthralled. I would not pay the full $49.98 for it, nor the current Amazon price ($34.49 as of this writing), but if I saw it in the $20-25 range, I could definitely find a worse show.
Post by animeboy12 (35 posts) See mini bio Level 5
bah, Even if your a bust  aficionado like me, is still not worth the watch. Don't believe the reviews too much when it comes to the fanservice, there isn't that much of it(and I mean that in a bad way), least nowhere near enough to keep watching
Post by Void_Wizard (735 posts) See mini bio Level 9
This is just a terrible show but a good review! The CG is puke worthy as well as the dragon fights. I did like what I saw of the "loli-like" character in the show but that was mostly it and I was not motivated to finish the series.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@animeboy12: I would say there's a TON of fanservice, it's just more likely to be boobs flopping in a shot rather than the more stereotypical "girl falls down and you see her panties" scene. :)
Post by Baku_Sensei (464 posts) See mini bio Level 10
"Whateva, Whateva! It's my body, I do what I want!"
Post by Nerx (13,843 posts) See mini bio Level 12
The manga is decent
Post by The_Desert_Tiger (1,243 posts) See mini bio Level 13

That review was really entertaining, lol.
Post by ThePsychoGamer (1,835 posts) See mini bio Level 10
So um, why don't you. why not make something like a MST3K for anime, where you do commentary while watching terrible anime. it could be the first episodes of a bunch, and if you ran out of bad anime you just do other episodes from it.
Post by metalsnakezero (690 posts) See mini bio Level 16
Sorry but between big boob dragons ( Dragonaut: The Resonance) or fly magical pants-less girls ( Strike Witches) I would go with the pants-less girls. Anyway nice review.
Post by asian_pride (168 posts) See mini bio Level 18
Lol a very boobtastic review. 'Twas entertaining xD
Post by DocHaus (938 posts) See mini bio Level 18

" So um, why don't you. why not make something like a MST3K for anime, where you do commentary while watching terrible anime. it could be the first episodes of a bunch, and if you ran out of bad anime you just do other episodes from it. "

 Oh man, I should totally do something like this for Queen's Blade or Kampfer...just let me go find some cheap booze, a webcam (or at least a mic), and what's left of my dignity.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,651 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Good review. I like the addition of the scores on the page. Nice categories too. You really explain the series, what it's about, and how you think it's worth to the price being asked. It's pretty much everything you really need in a review.  I think this makes a pretty good standard for what a review here should be when talking about a new series.
I do think the mech version of the dragons is pointless.  The humanoid version fights do look pretty cool. My artistic idol, Fred Perry. His Gold Digger series has dragons that can take human form. He does it in a really cool way.

John,.....try Melon Mammary.
Post by Magnificent (20 posts) See mini bio Level 7
Garnet might possibly be the worst character design ever.
Post by Sonata (35,828 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Ugh I was wondering about this, its just as terrible as I heard it was Great review Gia!XD
Post by Konanda (796 posts) See mini bio Level 17

John totally missed a cheesy joke that would be followed with "know what I'm saying *highfive*" with his explaination of tsundere. All that was needed was a "just like my ex. HEY YO! HAHA haha ha..."  For bonus points he could have also responded to his own highfive and than muttered "so lonely under his breath." but than again I love self-deprecating humor and clichéd zingers.    
Post by Harts (12 posts) See mini bio Level 2
I have seen the show, and I think that your review of the show is more entertaining than the show itself:P
Post by animeboy12 (35 posts) See mini bio Level 5
@gia said:

" @animeboy12: I would say there's a TON of fanservice, it's just more likely to be boobs flopping in a shot rather than the more stereotypical "girl falls down and you see her panties" scene. :) "

yea but for people like me that gets boring after a while. A character like machina or garnet standing around with their cleavage showing is awesome the first couple of times but after a while you just end up tuning it out. Other than that I pretty much agree with the review. I just don't want people thinking they're walking into a 
ikkitousen with mecha (that would've been good).
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@Konanda: haha, if only! I'll check my scripts with you first. But yeah, we pretty much made up the entire thing going into shoot, so I'm awesomely happy with how it turned out.
@ThePsychoGamer: Oh man, I wish there was a legal way to do that!
Post by Zeouterlimits (516 posts) See mini bio Level 7
@animeboy12: "b ust  aficionado" 
Wow. That's a new one, must use that in future.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@ThePsychoGamer: Very tricky, copyright-wise, as John hinted. See, the MST3K guys presumably paid for the rights to show those movies just as if they were showing them sans commentary. We would have to do the same, and Japanese companies can be finicky-- they might not be interested in a bunch of Americans making fun of their stuff, even in an affectionate way. (I imagine some studios would be more cool with doing this on some of their shows than others; I can imagine Gainax being potentially okay with it for some of their stuff, for example...but even they probably wouldn't let us do it without paying for rights!)
We've thought about doing a Riff Trax style thing where we record audio commentary as an mp3 that readers can play along with the episodes that they've acquired themselves, but it's been tough to arrange, too :)
@animeboy12:  Hey, I said it was a lot of fanservice-- I didn't say it was GOOD fanservice ^_~
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