Dragon Half by Kuzu Ryu Sen


Genre: Comedy
Format: 2 OVA
Allegiance: Kadokawa Shoten
Director: Sadamatsu Shinya
Vintage: 1993
Intelligence Agency Report by: Phate
Mink seems to be your average, everyday teenager. Upon closer inspection, though, you become aware that she is in fact the “dragon half” (half human, half dragon) daughter of a powerful knight and the deadly red dragon he was supposed to slay, but instead fell in love with. To add to this, she also has a crush on a famous dragonslayer named Dick Saucer, and plans to go to any lengths possible to get her hands on tickets to his next big concert…
Field Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Overall 6.25


Comedy is a very difficult thing to master, particularly if the target audience has already experienced its fair share of slapstick gags and one-liners. In this situation, there are some strategies that just won’t work, one of them being the “super saturation” tactic. Unfortunately, Dragon Half uses nothing but this strategy, hurling one mistimed and unfunny gag after the other at the audience, while ignoring any semblance of plot and character development.

Mind you, it is naïve and foolish to expect any plot or characterization from a short comedy, but Dragon Half proved surprising in this regard from the get-go. The majority of the characters were quite interesting, both in terms of personality and history, and the plot even showed unexpected signs of depth early on. Dragon Half probably owes these things to the fact that the source material for the OVA came from a lengthy manga.

While Dragon Half could attribute its surprising depth to the fact that its source material came from a lengthy manga, this created a huge problem for the producers. Namely, because of this fact, there was no way for them to actually realize any of the potential that the characters and story had. As such, they had to put all their eggs in one basket, and try to consciously make Dragon Half as funny as humanly possible. Unfortunately, that approach simply didn’t work, as the collection of overused and predictable physical skits and cheap one-liners used were plagued by awkward timing and flow.

Likewise, the influx of comedy into Dragon Half had some drastic effects on the audio/visual aspects of the show; most notably on the character art. The animation is decent, and the character designs are actually quite good, but Dragon Halfemploys far too much super deformed character animation. It is one thing to have the characters drawn as “SD” when the occasion demands it, but it is completely another to have characters in that form for 85% of the show. The BGM is surprisingly good, but the ending song… is something that would make a certain dead German composer roll over in his grave. Not to say that it’s bad, it’s just… a tad over the top.

And that’s pretty much the entire story with Dragon Half. Everything is just too over the top and either feels awkward or is completely obtrusive. On the plus side, the show’s not likely to arouse any particular feelings of frustration or rage either. It’s just kind of there; something to kill off an hour as background noise. I do have to say something, though: after watching the OVA, I’ve definitively picked up an interest in the manga, and it is my fondest wish that it expands on the colourful universe that Dragon Half presented.