The only thing to do when you discover a legendary dragon in the form of a young girl is to take her home with you.
What They Say:
High school student Ryuji's older cousin Eriko returns from abroad to drag him to the scene of an underground transaction where he gets caught up in a shoot out and car chase! While they thought they had stolen a miraculous Lost Precious from the criminal brokers, they ended up with a mysterious young girl! The young girl happily latches on to Ryuji even though they have never met! Who is this little girl? Thus begins the story of the beautiful young Rose and Ryuji!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novel series by Kizaki Kaya with illustrations by Akata Itsuki that surprisingly has no companion manga adaption, Dragon Crisis is the latest offering from Studio DEEN this season that's slated to run twelve episodes. With eleven light novels already in print since it started in 2007, there's plenty of material to work with here of the series and it's obviously got a bit of a following.
The series revolves around Ryuji, a high school student whose life is about to get turned around in a pretty rough way. Ryuji's life is fairly normal until his second cousin, Eriko, comes to school with a notice of early departure for him and whisks him away. She's been abroad in America for the last three years and has formed a company called Seven Tails in which they hunt up precious lost treasures. Her group isn't exactly approved by the treasure hunters society just yet, but it's not stopping her (and her skimpy outfit) from going after the goods. She's intent on getting in between a trade of valuable goods that's going to happen at the docks that night and she needs Ryuji to give her a handle. Amusingly, while they're waiting, she wants to get caught up by smooshing his face in her ample breasts.
Where it takes an unusual turn is when Eriko gets in the middle of the trade and she uses a cane that creates some sort of magical butterflies that knocks everyone out temporarily while hiding its ability from Ryuji. Everything goes to hell in a hand basket though when the case that she swipes is blown open and out comes a beautiful young blonde girl who instantly knows who Ryuji is. She's very child like in her nature but it's balanced by an amazing flame ability that ends up covering several city blocks in an instant as she does what she can to protect him after being released. Suffice to say, the revelation of what she is has Eriko all excited since it could lead to some really big things for her and her company.
Unsurprisingly, Eriko gets Ryuji to watch after her since the girl listens to her and acts like she knows him. And because it'd be a disaster if Eriko took care of her. He's not exactly thrilled with it, but his cousin is a dominating personality and he finds himself coerced into it. The girl gets named Rose since they can't go on without a name and it's definitely going to be a challenge. When Ryuji goes out for food, she goes wild and it's discovered that Rose is actually a legendary red dragon as some scales start to show on her hand which was bandaged. Rose is definitely a child here as she's focused on fun things and spending time with Ryuji and he takes to her fairly well because of her adorable nature.
Dragon Crisis has a pretty good design about it as it gets going with some strong looking character designs and a lot of very vibrant colors mixing with some great darks, especially at the dock scene at night. Rose herself has an interesting look as she's much lighter than everyone else, partially because of her hair, but overall it feels like she's different than everyone else. The background design is really nice with a strong real world look to it with plenty of details throughout it. They aren't using just basic walls and the like here but rather some variety and little nuances in places that helps it feel a little more lived in. The character animation has a great flow to it as it moves about. It feels like it has the same kind of energy as Rose herself does with a certain bounciness and lightness.
Dragon Crisis starts off pretty strong here if a bit awkward at times because of the pacing. It throws us into things pretty quickly and that doesn't do a lot to let the main characters really establish themselves early on, particularly for Ryuji who unfortunate ends up suffering a bit from spineless male lead syndrome, but not to a huge degree. A dragon in girl form is certainly cute and Rose has the right look to pull it off. Studio DEEN has put together a very good looking show here with solid animation and a real sense of fun and energy, but it's also a fairly chaotic piece at times. It's a series that will definitely need a couple of episodes to find its groove and settle down a bit so it can move forward. Eriko may be the make or break character though as you can see her easily being annoying, but a lot of people can feel the same about Rose as well. Dragon Crisis has me cautiously optimistic, but definitely hedging my bets.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.