Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dragonaut: The Resonance Anime Review

Dragonaut: The Resonance
Complete Collection - 4 discs
650 mins. - 26 episodes
$59.98 (2010)
$29.98 (2012) S.A.V.E.
$49.98 (2009) Part 1
$49.98 (2009) Part 2
ISBN 704400098628
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Manabu Ono
Studio - Gonzo

Synopsis: Twenty years ago a rogue comet entered our solar system, destroyed Pluto, and has remained in a menacing orbit ever since.  The asteroid was dubbed "Thanatos" and possesses a malign sentience with the world governments keeping it a secret to the general population.  It is determined Thanatos will eventually invade Earth after a group of extra-terrestrial 'dragons' crash land on the planet causing localized devastation.  The world governments form the ISDA (International Solarsystem Development Agency) to prepare countermeasures for Thanatos and to save the planet.

Thanatos menaces the solar system from outside of Pluto's orbit
 Jin Kamishina was planning to be a shuttle pilot like his father - a distinguished former-military pilot.  His father was piloting the shuttle to take Jin and his family into space for Jin to begin his training, but a tragic accident destroyed the shuttle and only Jin survived.  Jin's father was blamed for the accident and Jin has lived in shame/resentment ever since.  No one knows the truth - the shuttle accident was caused by the earthfall of the 'dragons' from Thanatos. 

Jin and Kazuki promise to go into the astronaut program
before the tragic shuttle accident which kills Jin's family
Two years later Jin is a bitter young man who has estranged all of his friends and is living with relatives.  He meets a girl named Toa and witnesses her transformation into a massive space dragon in order to battle a rogue dragon.  Toa is something called the 'Album' - an original dragon from Thanatos.  The ISDA has developed clone dragons which are paired with humans in a process called 'resonance'.  The dragons all have the ability to assume human form (called their 'communicator' form) and resonance brings out higher performance capabilities for the dragons, but they are practically slaves and must obey the wills of their human resonance partners. 

The lovely ladies of Dragonaut - Akira, Machina, Widow,
Sieglinde, Toa, and Garnet
Jin and Toa develop a strong relationship, but outside forces threaten to tear them apart.  Toa was sent from Thanatos (her 'mother') to retrieve the dragons from earth and ultimately Thanatos wishing to alter life on earth based on its intergalactic travels and mission.  Jin's childhood best friend Kazuki becomes a Dragonaut with the ISDA and experiences resonance, but the dragon he is bound to (named Gio) ends up forsaking him for Toa.  Now Kazuki possesses a burning jealousy to rip Gio from Jin and Toa.
Howlingstar and Amadeus in their dragon forms
The three unlikely allies - Jin, Toa, and Gio attempt to build a peaceful life for themselves, but external situations force them to a deadly crossroads.  Can Jin and Toa's love for each other abort the annihilation of the human race as we know it (will love prevail)?  Will the ISDA get ahold of Toa (an original dragon) and perform experiments on her to discover Thanatos' weaknesses (killing her in the process)?

Gio says "Get off my bare naked ass, Kazuki!"
Kazuki replies "WHINE!"
Cast of characters:
  • Jin Kamishina - lost his family in a tragic shuttle accident which was secretly caused by the original dragons, loves Toa and will protect her no matter what happens
  • Toa - original dragon called the 'Album', transforms into a powerful dragon due to her original status, loves Jin (who doesn't know she is responsible for the shuttle accident which killed his family), Toa has above-average breasts
  • Gio - newborn earth-dragon who went through resonance with Kazuki, but rejected him and swears protection over Toa, later communes with Thanatos
  • Kazuki Tachibana/ Widow - Kazuki was Jin's best friend until the shuttle accident when Jin retreated from social connections, Kazuki was drafted into the Dragonauts and went through Resonance with Gio who later defected to protect Toa, later Kazuki teamed up with Widow (a dragon who lost her human partner) to get Gio back, Widow develops feelings for Kazuki who only sees her as a tool, she has enormous breasts
  • Kiril Zhazhiev - leader of the ISDA and D-Project, believes dragons have the power to defeat Thanatos
  • Baisil Sakaki/ Laura - Baisil is the director of the D-Project and lost his wife and daughter in the same shuttle accident which claimed Jin's family, a phantom of his lost daughter Laura lives with him - what is her secret?
  • Raina Cromwell/ Howlingstar - Raina leads the ISDA's Lindworm Unit and is partnered with Howlingstar - a rock-star in his human form
  • Akira Soya/ Machina - members of the Lindworm Unit, Akira and Machina develop strong feelings for each other (they're both chicks), they believe the bond between dragons/humans after resonance is stronger than a mere tool/master relationship, side with Toa and Jin, Machina has ridiculously large breasts (which embarrasses Akira due to her smaller breast size)
  • Sieglinde Baumgard/ Amadeus - Sieglande is the daughter of a wealthy businessman from Northern Europe, she resents her wealth and family due to not having her family present for most of her life, Amadeus' form is that of Sieglinde's deceased grandfather who she shared a special bond with, her breasts are just slightly above average (for this show at least, in real life they would be pretty big)
  • Keiichi Amagi/ Spirytus - Keiichi becomes unstable early in the series causing his dragon Spirytus to lose control, Jin witnesses Toa transform for the first time when she attempts to stop Spirytus' rampage
  • Itsuki Habaragi/ Otohime - members of the Vritra Unit, from France, attracted to Raina, Otohime looks like a twin of Itsuki, they both possess enormous breasts
  • Kasuga Nozaki - head researcher for the D-Project, mysterious past and hiding a shocking secret
  • Yuuri Kitajima - researcher for the D-Project under Kasuga, interested in studying Toa to learn her genetic secrets, ridiculously large breasts, has an ongoing secret relationship with reporter Ko
  • Ko Yonamine - reporter who works with Yuuri and has some type of relationship with her, appears to have a secret agenda and unknown who he is really working for
  • Asim Jimar/ Garnet - Asim is the prince of the Gillard Empire which has authority over the ISDA and a powerful military force, the prince lives on Mars in a palace, Garnet is a high-ranking military commander and ruthless warrior, both care little for others, Asim wants to possess Toa for sport, Garnet has the largest breasts in the entire show
  • Thanatos - massive/immense organism which traverses the galaxy, speculated to be dragon-like yet shape is more like an asteroid, glowing central red eye, sends 'dragons' to earth for reconnaissance, motives unknown although speculated to be the end of humanity
  • Ostrum - dragon sent by Thanatos to destroy all dragons on earth and speed up the process by which Thanatos assimilates the planet
Throwdown at the hot springs on the moon
Pros: Lots of fan-service - practically all of the girls have big boobs and some of them are incredibly large, show has good story pacing although it takes a lot of episodes to really get going, nice opening/ending theme songs (2 ending theme songs) and soundtrack, two hot springs episodes

Akira is a little jealous of Machina's impossibly huge chest size
Cons: Excessive fan-service - too many unrealistically-large-breasted women to take the show seriously, CGI (computer generated image) dragons don't look natural, characters can be annoying/bland (a lot of yelling Toa! Jin! Gio! constantly), the characters never change their clothes - even after they get them ripped up or dirty (same clothes, always!)
One of the original dragons in action
Mike Tells It Straight: Dragonaut looks like a compelling show - the character designs are slick/creative, there's some fan-service for the otaku, and the story revolves around a mystery invasion from outer space.  Great sci-fi, right?  Not so much. 
Machina goes berserk in her communicator form
The characters look good, but are very bland and vapid.  We get a character like Gio who spends the show as a third wheel to Jin/Toa without any real development.  The fan-service is over-the-top with revealing outfits on girls with giant breasts - I can dig a little fan-service here or there as a tongue-in-cheek joke, but this show had so much I got bored of it.  The two hot springs episodes should have tipped me off.
Toa and Jin frolick
This show is worth watching for the entertainment value - nice animation, good soundtrack, decent pacing (a few suspenseful moments) and maybe the plethora of fan-service (if that's your bag).  It's definitely not a keeper - I could never get comfortable with the mecha CGI dragons (they just looked awkward) and most of the characters were pretty lame. 
We all have a favorite Garnet boob shot
Your significant other will mock you for watching this show.  The girls' breasts are that big and unrealistic.  Otherwise an enjoyable (highly disposable) sci-fi anime, but not one to rush out and see.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

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