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Kyle's girl is stolen from him by the Black Dragon, which also kills his obviously expendable fat friend. When he meets blue dragon Blau, Kyle is suspicious, but only Blau can help him save Alita, who will otherwise be enslaved by the Dark Tower and become the catalyst for the destruction of the entire world.
If a bored director and crew copied a few pages from the Beginner's Book of Fantasy Gaming, then lost the important bits like plot and characterization, this is what might emerge. The Sega game's distinctive look is matched by what, at the time of release, must have been a truly innovative combination of cel and digital animation. There are set pieces that recall the game itself and quirkily mismatched compositions of technology and magic, setting up a damsel in distress, cross-species buddy business, a rescue, and a big fight in just 30 minutes.
With a fallen empire, a blind sorceress, human/dragon symbiosis, and a quest to defeat the ultimate evil, Panzer Dragoon had truly epic potential. People have spun trilogies out of less, but the paltry running time isn't up to it. What little space there is for dialogue that doesn't advance the plot, writer Kuroda fills with poetic meditations on sight and seeing. The blind Alita cannot see the color red, instead she must experience it. "So this is what the sky feels like!" proclaims Kyle during his first dragon flight-a throwaway line that belongs in a much better story.
AD Vision's dub is far better than the spartan original deserves, but this remains a heroic rescue attempt by both Japanese and U.S. crews, fighting impossible odds of budget and (lack of) inspiration. V