Dragon Half

UK Distributor:  ADV Films (DVD Only)

BBFC Certificate:  12

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  £15.99

Running Time:  55 mins (approx.)

Audio Options:  English 2.0, Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)


Anyone who has seen Slayers may have thought that the great mix of comedy and Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy was unsurpassable.  And they’d be wrong.

Dragon Half may be only two episodes long (why no more were made is completely beyond me) but it manages to squeeze more gags into one hour than many series manage in an entire run.  The main character, called Mink, is the titular half dragon whose father – a legendary dragon slayer known as Ruth the Red Lightning – was dispatched to kill a red dragon but ended up marrying it instead.  With a premise like that you know this is going to be insane, and insane it is.

The story revolves around Mink (whose dragon heritage manifests itself by her super strength, wings, horns and ability to breathe fire) and her determination to get to see the dragon slaying idol singer Dick Saucer in concert.  Journeying far across the land with her companions – a girl with a magic staff, a small boy in armour and a hamster – Mink has to face the fury of the president of the Dick Saucer fan club (who happens to be a half slime princess who is well versed in black magic), a horde of demons and a nefarious plot to kidnap her to get revenge on her father.  This may sound a lot to fit into an hour but to be honest you’ll be too busy laughing to notice if the plot works.

This is one of the best anime comedies available in the west and has been a firm fan favourite for years.  As well as the obvious comedy factors of a half dragon’s infatuation with a dragon slayer and the sheer ludicrousness of a quest to get to a concert, Dragon Half packs in some great comedy characters.  From Princess Vena (the half slime sorceress mentioned in the previous paragraph) to the excellent henchman parody Damoramu and the nefarious Rosario (a Grand Vizier type advisor who carries his own dry ice bucket in order to make dramatic entrances), the characters are excellent and extremely funny.  On top of this, they frequently turn into little Chibi (squashed down) versions of themselves!

This isn’t where the humour ends though, characters complain about their scenes being cut, pull lightsabers out of their heads, get diarrhoea, make fun of fairy tales, buy CDs before foraging for food, the list goes on.  The ending theme has to be heard to be believed too – Mink’s Japanese voice actress Mitsuishi Kotono sings a song about omelettes put to the music of Beethoven!!!

The only things that some people may not like about this is the art style, it keeps very close to the art of the original manga but still may not be to everyone’s taste.  Also, although the English dub is great, some people may find Mink’s voice a little annoying.  But these are minor gripes.

Combining modern values with a fantasy setting for comic effect is nothing new, but very rarely is it done as well as this.  Dragon Half is a must buy.

Best Bit:  The arrival of Mecha Roshi.

Worst Bit:  Pointless fan-service nudity at the end.


Feature:   Extras:

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