Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dragon Crisis! (Episodes 4 - 6)

(For a review of Episodes 1 - 3, click here. Some spoilers may be lurking.)

I think it's time to get a hold of National Geographic for a serious study on the kemonomimi girls in anime. There must be such a thing as "harem magnetism" between the human male and the subspecies female. Scientific proof is there—once a female as affixed herself to an ordinary male in anime, it will only draw the attraction of other females to the male, regardless of the other females' feelings towards the male.

In Dragon Crisis!, we've already seen an attraction between Ryûji and the red-dragon girl Rose, so why stop there? Why not include more girls in various embarrassing poses, situations, and states of undress? Why not include Murphy's Law in the equation when it could be perfectly fine without any more additional variables?

Now that Ryûji has become a strong-enough "breaker" on his own and has defeated the black-dragon male Onyx through some sort of synchronization between himself and Rose, you'd think that everything would be peachy. There shouldn't be a problem with going to the beach and summer festivals with his friends (and the introverted Misaki, who still can't fully express her adoration for Ryûji), but it not only draws Eriko and Rose into the mix after they decide to tag along, but it also draws unwelcome attention—there are other dragons also watching.

The first unwanted guest, a white-dragon princess named Maruga, comes to the crew to ask for help retrieving her own Lost Precious, an ice sword called "Ice Rage". However, its current holder, George Evans, a chivalrous priest from England, holds it with the idea of using it to wipe the evil scourge of dragons off the face of the earth. Of course, when George meets Maruga and is smitten without knowing she's a dragon, the crew has to somehow get the sword without letting hell break loose. (Wait a minute—why is George, a priest, falling in love in the first place?)

Once that trip to the beach is in the books, Ryûji and Rose are then subjected to more attention after being invited to a party held by other "breakers". The unwelcome crasher this time is a thieving wolf-girl, appropriately named "Odd Eye" for her heterochromatic eye colors, who is after the Lost Precious artifacts held by society members and Eriko's "True Love" earring. The group manages to neutralize Odd Eye in a series of sexual innuendos, but who is behind Odd Eye's stealing ways?

Considering the star power that Dragon Crisis! brought to the table, I thought I would appreciate having Hiro Shimono and Rie Kugimiya as the voice actors behind our hero and heroine. Perhaps that was blind faith in the smooth-talking villain Onyx being taken away from the plot—the two have just turned into whiny characters when placed in typical harem situations. When Ryûji is accidentally wrapped up in some gadget scenario going haywire, mostly due to Eriko's manipulations, he complains. When that situation draws a girl to Ryûji, Rose complains. (And when both of them are complaining, I tend to complain. Loudly.)

There just doesn't seem to be enough action in next three episodes of Dragon Crisis! to justify it as an action show, as the writers and producers seem content to make things as emotionally awkward as possible. Bathtub scenes, beach booty, dissolving bikinis, wolf-girls going all fluttery when their tails are prodded, involuntary bondage—you'd think that the show wouldn't have had to pull out all of the stops used in harem shows, but it just doesn't stop. There's just no desire to see what happens after Ryûji has met Rose, nor is there a desire to see Misaki, Eriko, or any of the other females interfere with the relationship.

Perhaps the relationship between Ryûji and Rose can be easily classified as that of Belldandy and Keiichi from Oh! My Goddess, Kaoru and Aoi from Aoi Yori Aoshi, or (perhaps the closest in similarity) Kôta and Chizuru in Kanokon. These are already well-established relationships that have concrete ties between the two main characters. Hey, you writers and producers—stop trying to force wedges between the two and fooling with the laws of magnetism! The more you try to cram more female butts and breasts into the idiot box, the less we're going to care.

That is the disappointing aspect of Dragon Crisis! at this point halfway through the series—no matter what important discoveries are made or what unexpected twists are placed in the plot, as long as Ryûji and Rose are still whining from the fan service, I'm going to continue not caring. Dragon Crisis! had its chance to win me with spicy substance, but now it's lost me with its stifling vanilla flavor.

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