Dragon Crisis – 8

Every season usually offers a show or two that don’t do anything to particularly to knock your socks off, but just has a quality to it that makes you like it. Wagaya no Oiniri-sama is a series that comes to mind for me, as does Yoshinaga San’chi no Gargoyle. They weren’t great series but I just couldn’t help but root for the characters, and there was a nice quirkiness that took the predictable just a bit off center. I won’t call Dragon Crisis their equal, but it’s the same type of series for me.

While the production values aren’t anything spectacular, I’ve felt from the premiere that the show had a really nice look to it – I like the character designs a lot, and the backgrounds have a vibrant, alive quality that agrees with my senses. The OP (Yui Horie) and the ED are catchy, clever songs with good animation. The supporting characters in each of the arc have been above-average for sure – George and Maruga, Ai, Bianca, Onyx – all s little better than the stock characters they might have been. Misato’s frustrated osananajimi insecurity is some of the best I’ve seen since Misaki from the aforementioned Wagaya no Oiniri-sama. Mao, Masato, Tokura – they’re all more than they might have been in a less interesting series with less heart.

At the center of it all, of course, are Ryuuji, Rose and Eriko – and they’re likable as well. Ryuuji finally confronts his breaker nature this week, as the Society’s San Francisco branch sends Biana to examine him. This involves some fairly cliched embarrassment scenes, but Masato and Mao make these a little funnier than most. As you’d expect, it’s only when he engages with Rose that Ryuuji’s “L Levels” go off the charts – makes me wonder if Bianca planned that equipment malfunction all along. The prospect of a Level 10 Breaker and a dragon living next door is enough to convince Bianca to move in as Ryuuji’s neighbor and keep the investigation going, but she has another connection – she was saved by Ryuuji’s father from a runaway golem of her own when she was a little girl. Indeed, Ryuuji’s parents are the great untapped mystery and plot device in this show – I expect to see a lot more of them in the weeks ahead.

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