First Look: Dances With the Dragons

Alternative title(s): Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru
Light Novel Adaptation by Seven Arcs
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

In the future, the law of conservation of energy has been broken, and that means that somehow there are dragons now? In any case, the dragons are being hunted down by magical physicists (???) known as Jushikiists.

Zigg’s verdict: Beyond Parody

Pretty much the only thing that could have saved this for me if they’d pulled a last minute reveal that it was all a giant in-joke in the vein of Millenium Princess X Kowloon Overlord. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and so we’re left with a mind-mindbogglingly cliched string of Proper Nouns, gruff characterless banter, and huge lumps of clumsy, boring exposition. I mean, the opening monologue full of fake pseudo-science alone was enough to have my eyes rolling out of my skull with derision. The show is so convinced of its own weightiness, of its own inherent value that it just skips any sort of attempt to organically build up this world or these characters and jumps straight to pointless, infuriating minutiae. It feels every inch the 2003 product it is, except perhaps even more juvenile than you’d imagine. About the only redeeming features here are that it generally looks solid (there’s some decent fight choreography) and is not gross or skeevy, an admittedly low bar. This kind of thing could not be any less interesting to me though.

Iro’s verdict: 12-Year-Old’s Notebook Margins

There’s another universe out there where this is some kind of incredible heroic epic. This show has it all: magic, dragons, political intrigue, comedy, racial tension, romance, bromance, guns, blades, gunblades, a murder mystery… and none of it matters. Dances with the Dragons is convinced it is a great tapestry, assuming that throwing around Proper Noun after Proper Noun automatically creates a cohesive world; instead, the viewer skips across like a stone on water, hardly even touching the surface. It feels like something I might have doodled in a journal 15 years ago, which is pretty fitting considering the original light novel dates back to… well, 15 years ago. To someone out there, this could be a barrel of enjoyable, shallow fun, but that person is not me.

Artemis’ verdict: Second Best Worst Comedy of the Season

To say the premiere of Dragons was exposition-heavy would be a huge understatement. It was more like the episode was entirely made up of expository writing – even the action scenes, which takes some kind of weird talent in and of itself. I’m not necessarily saying this title is completely bereft of decent ideas, but if there are any, they’re completely buried beneath the avalanche of other, far less inspiring ones, to say nothing of the show’s crappy excuse for world-building via immediate narration, random terminology, and lackluster dialogue. Also, while nowhere near as bad as, say, Magical Girl Site, I get the distinct feeling that the creators of Dragons sat down one day and thought to themselves, “Hmm, now what are the Youth of Today into at this time? Because my plan is to combine ALL OF THOSE THINGS and then my story will surely be a hit with the cool kids.” In other words, I had no idea that this was based on a light novel before I watched it, but became acutely aware that this was likely the case after the first two minutes. Sadly, I’m in no way exaggerating for effect, and needless to say am not about to go back for more.

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