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Dragonaut – The Resonance Part 01 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

January 10, 2010 by  



For those who enjoy action-oriented anime series and are interested in dragons and well-endowed women…look no further “Dragonaut – The Resonance” is an anime series for you!

Image courtesy of © Dragonaut Project. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Dragonaut – The Resonance Part 01

DURATION: (Episodes 1-13) 315 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9, English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, Japanese Stereo, English Subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV MA

Release Date: November 3, 2009

Directed by Manabu Ono

Story Concept by June Maekawa

Music by Kousuke Yamashita

Character Design by Makoto Uno

Art Direction by Kei Ichikura

Chief Animation Director: Tadashi Sakazaki

Mechanical Design by Junya Ishigaki

Sound Director: Yota Tsuruoka

Edited by Akinori Mishima

Anime production by GONZO

Featuring the following voice talent:

Daisuke Ono/Justin Pate as Jin Kamishima

Minori Chihara/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Toa

Aya Hirano/LydiaMackay as Garnet McLane

Eiji Maruyama/Mark Stoddard as Amadeus

Eiji Miyashita as Keiichi Amagi

Junichi Suwabe/Chris Sabat as Gio

Mamoru Miyano/Jerri Jewell as Ashim Jamal

Miyuki Sawashiro/Brina Palencia as Akira Souya

Miyuki Swashiro/Carrie Savage as Laura

Nana Mizuki/Cherami Leigh as Jacqueline Baumgold

Ryoko Ono as Itsuki Habaragi/Otohime

Saeko Chiba as Widow

Takuma Takewaka/J. Michael Tatum as Lina Cromwell (Raina Cromwell)

Tetsuya Kakihara/Todd Haberkorn as Kazuki Tachibana

Tomokazu Sugita/Brad Hawkins as Howlingstar

Yuko Goto/Caitlin Glass as Makina (Machina)

With a deadly asteroid hurtling towards Earth, sexy human Dragonauts in tight uniforms and their curvaceous dragon companions come together to create a formidable fighting force with all the right moves. Caught in the middle of this race against time are Jin, a heartbroken young flyboy, and Toa, a voluptuous lady-dragon with an amazing set of intergalactic battle skills.

Jin’s down about the fate of his doomed planet, but Toa is quick to grab him by the seat of his pants and lift his sagging spirits. If these star-crossed space cadets can unlock the secrets of their mysterious connection and convince the Dragonauts to join the action, there may yet be hope for planet Earth!

In 2007, the anime series “Dragonaut  – The Resonance” began its 26-episode run on TV Tokyo through March 2008.  A manga series followed the anime series a month later and serialized on the manga magazine “Jump Square”.

“Dragonaut  – The Resonance” is directed by Manabu Ono (“Transformers: Cybertron”, “Saki”) and story concept by Jun Maekawa (“Dragon Ball Z”, “Dragonball GT”, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters”, “Getbackers”, “Prince of Tennis”).  Also, part of the animation crew are character designer Makoto Uno (“Gravion”, “Stellvia”, “Witchblade”) and composer Kousuke Yamashita (“Glass Fleet”, “Hana Yori Dango”).

“Dragonaut – The Resonance” is anime series revolves around an 18-year-old teenager named Jin Kamishina.  We see how he and his best friend Kazuki Tachibana and talking about going to space together as both have been admitted to an astronaut program.  But because Jin’s mother is an astronomer, Jin and his sister are given a chance to go to space with their mother and father (who is piloting the shuttle).

Meanwhile, out in space, three objects are flying towards the Earth.  While the Kamishina family and others are flying out to space, they are hit by one of the objects and we see a glimpse of Jin as he is falling high above.

The series then cuts to the present and an asteroid is heading directly to Earth and there are plans to destroy the asteroid (known as Thanatos).   Meanwhile the scene cuts to Jin’s life in present as we learn from a journalist named Ko Yonamine who begins reminding Jin that he was the only survivor of the accident and suffered no injuries from the fall (and media speculate how he could have survived such from it).  His father was blamed for the accident and how he is living with relatives. Since his family members death, Jin has been alone and withdrawn from society.

Meanwhile, the journalist sees a girl staring at Jin from the distance and when he goes to look for her, she disappears.  The journalist is working with an ISDA (Inernational Solarsystem Development Agency) scientist named Yuuri Kitajima and think that the girl is an “album”.  Yuuri is a scientist who studies dragon and was the first of the ISDA to discover the first dragon egg and has devoted her life into researching them and most of all, wanting to examine Toa since she is one of the original dragons.

We later learn the girl dubbed the “Album” is Toa, a mysterious girl who has supernatural athletic abilities, strength and healing capabilities and most importantly, she is a dragon who can turn to human form.

As for Jin’s best friend Kazuki, since the day of the accident, his life has been much more successful as he becomes a member of the ISDA and because he successfully achieved resonance with a dragon named Gio, he becomes an official member of the Dragonauts.

One day while walking out at night, Jin hears a scream from a woman.  When Jin goes to see who was screaming, he sees a humanoid-like monster feeding on the woman and tries to run away from him.  The monster tries to go after Jin and Jin ends up falling off from a building and Jin remembers when he was falling off the shuttle and remembers being saved by a light.

In this case, Jin was once saved again by a woman and the monster pursues it and we learn that this was all a plan by the ISDA to capture Toa.

But from that moment Jin and Toa met, they develop a bond together.  Meanwhile, the Dragonauts who are part of a unit called the Lindworm Unit do what they can to capture Toa and Kazuki’s dragon Gio escapes from the HQ defying orders to help Jin find Toa which develops anger and jealousy within Kazuki.

As for Jin, Toa and the Dragonauts, they are unaware that another mysterious group is behind-the-scene pulling strings for their own purpose.

The main characters of “Dragonaut – The Resonance” are:

  • Jin Kamishina – The mysterious teenager who survived the shuttle accident with no injuries and has developed a bond with the “album” known as Toa.   After his family’s death from the accident, Jin has been emotionally withdrawn until Toa entered his life.
  • Toa – One of the original Dragons who can turn to human.  In human form, Toa has supernatural abilities such as strength and healing abilities.  In dragon form, she is very powerful and can take on more than two dragons.  The ISDA want to capture her in order to retrieve information on the original dragons from Thanatos.
  • Gio – The dragon from the ISDA who joined with Kazuki Tachibana but disobeyed him in order to protect Toa and also Jin.

The International Solarsystem Development Agency (ISDA)

  • Kiril Zhazhiev – The leader of the D-Project with the main goal to destroy the asteroid known as Thanatos.
  • Baisil Sakaki – A soldier of the ISDA in charge of commanding the Dragonauts as their military commander.
  • Laura – Helps Sakaki in order to capture dragons.
  • Yuuri Kitajima – A scientist who studies dragons and discovered the first dragon egg.  Devoted to researching the dragons.
  • Kasuga Nozaki – The head of the D-Project research group.

The Lindworm Unit – Those of the ISDA who have resonated with the dragons

  • Raina Cromwell/Howlingstar – The leader of the Lindworm Unit.  The ISDA public representative and popular amongst the women and has resonated with the dragon known as Howlingstar – Raina’s dragon partner and leader of the Communicators.
  • Akira Soya/Machina – A dragonaut of the Lindworm Unit.  Close with her dragon partner Machina and when she sees how Jin reacts to Toa with compassiona nd love, she ends up helping Jin/Toa.
  • Sieglinde Baumgard/Amadeus – The youngest Dragonaut and is a child prodigy with a cold demeanor.  Amadeus looks like a butler but it is Sieglinde’s dragon.
  • Kazuki Tachibana/Widow – Was best friends with Jin before the accident.  Now a Dragonaut, Kazuki is very jealous that the dragon he bonded with has chosen to help Jin and leaving him.  Widow is a communicator that allows Kazuki to join with her in order to retrieve Gio.

“Dragonaut – The Resonance Part 01” features the first 13 episodes on two DVD’s. Here is a spoiler free summary of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 1: RESONANCE – Hand in Hand – An introduction Jin’s life before and after the accident and how he met Toa.
  • EPISODE 2: TRYST: The World Starts Moving – Jin is being interrogated by the ISDA and is told what the asteroid Thanatos truly is.
  • EPISODE 3: AWAKENING: Wings Gathered – Toa and Spirytus go into battle and ISDA sends out dragons to capture Toa.
  • EPISODE 4: FLIGHT: To the End of the Blue – Jin and Gio discuss how Toa is important to them and come up with a plan.
  • EPISODE 5: MINGLE: The Rain Starts Falling – We see how the military tried to have a Resonance program.  The ISDA reveals to the public about the D-Project and Thanatos.
  • EPISODE 6: REUNION: Feelings of Attraction – We see a flashback on what happened to Jin after the accident and the Dragonauts go after Toa.
  • EPISODE 7: RECOLLECTIONS: Hearts Reflected on the Water – Kazuki finds a new communicator named Widow.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 8: PARTING: An Echo Out of Thin Air – Kazuki and Widow confronts Jin and Gio.
  • EPISODE 9: DETERMINATION: Overcoming the Cafe – A flashback of what happened to Sakaki’s wife and newborn.
  • EPISODE 10: TRUTH: A Shattered Mirror – Yuuri explains to Jin that something happened two years ago after he survived the accident.
  • EPISODE 11: RUMBLINGS: In Search of the Truth – Akira and Machina help out Jin and thus betraying the Lindworm Unit.
  • EPISODE 12: FIERCE ATTACK: The Scorching Messenger – The fourth original dragon known as Ostrum has resonated with someone and Kasuga’s true identity is revealed.
  • EPISODE 13: VISITATION: A Guidepost Shown – The history of the D-Project.  Ostrum vs. Atrum.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Dragonaut – The Resonance” is an anime series with beautiful artistic backgrounds.  Rocks and cliffs are well-detailed, as are the lush backgrounds and blue skies.  But if there is one thing that stands out in this series is Makoto Uno’s character designs and that is because if you are familiar with the anime series “Gravion”, the one thing that stands out is women who are very well-endowed.  And the same can be said with “Dragonaut”.  Many of the women in the series are well-endowed.  But also, one thing about Uno’s work that I can definitely give credit is the character designs and the emotions featured in the characters.

For a TV series, “Dragonaut – The Resonance” takes place during outdoor settings and a lot of colors are featured, especially as the Dragonauts are fighting or are searching around the island area.  Detail is very well done and while character designs uses simple lines, shadows are done and artist backgrounds definitely enhance the animation.

As for the audio, the English dub is featured in English 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Subtitles are featured in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Dragonaut – The Resonance Part 01” comes with:

  • Audio Commentary for Episode 10 “TRUTH: A Shattered Mirror” – The following audio commentary features Brina Palencia (Akira) and Kate Oxley (Nanami) discuss the episode and their characters.
  • Textless Opening and Closing Songs – Textless themes for “Perfect Blue” and “Rain of Love”.
  • FUNimation Trailers

I have to admit that when I first saw the cover and trailer for “Dragonaut – The Resonance”, I was expecting a “Gravion” style of anime series.  Mainly because the women featured in the images are women who are well-endowed and  since the same character from “Gravion” was involved with “Dragonaut – The Resonance”, I was expecting a humorous but action-packed anime series.

But the anime series turned out to be a very serious drama and action-based series. This is not a series in which one can pick up late if it was aired on television, you really need to watch these episodes in order as there are many characters featured and the storyline can be quite complex.

Character designs are fine but not too much emphasis was put on the actual character designs as the figures have very few lines.   Where the series shines is its use of artistic, detailed backgrounds.  3D CG for the mecha is good but considering this is a TV series and its made by a popular animation studios that has a lot of things happening all at once, most of the art is focused on the backgrounds and CG.

For those who were wondering if the series has a lot of fan service, aside from the well-endowed women and some female characters wearing short shorts, “Dragonaut – The Resonance” is quite tame.

Overall, I felt that “Dragonaut – The Resonance” was an OK anime for its first half.  I was not feeling that this anime series was exceptional and to tell you the truth, I felt it to be quite average.   I think part of the problem this series encountered was trying to showcase too many characters all at once and somehow along the way, the main characters Jin and Toa end being featured less and less as the writers tried to flesh out all these other characters in the first half of the series.

Granted, the good news is that each episode has importance to the episode after it.  This is a pretty serious anime series and for those who are looking for a series that combines dragons and other sci-fi/hi-tech elements, then “Dragonauts” is your thing.  Each episode are not filler episodes and you can expect a good amount of action and for those who dig the fan service, you get several women who somehow manage to defy gravity.

“Dragonaut – The Resonance Part 01” was an average anime series for its first half thus far but I hope plot-wise, the anime series gets even more entertaining for the second half.

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