The arrival of the more powerful dragons at the end of the previous episode sets the stage well here.
What They Say:
Rose is kidnapped! The youth known as Onyx uses the tremendous power of the black dragon to subdue her. Onyx, who refers to Rose as "princess", seeks to make her his bride! Ryuji faces his emotional scars, unleashes the powers of a slash breath short sword, an S Class Lost Precious left to him by his parents, and goes after Onyx to save Rose. However, an insurmountable wall exists between humans and dragons. Emotions clash as the battle begins! Rose is kidnapped! Onyx, the youth in black, uses the tremendous power of the black dragon to subdue her. Ryuji faces his emotional scars and decides to fight. Emotions clash as the battle begins!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Dragon crisis brought in some interesting events in the second episode as Rose gets looked over pretty carefully and Ryuji discovers that he has a strong tie to her in his childhood when he was off in the mountains with his parents. The two have quite the connection in the present and it becomes severely tested towards the end when the black dragon arrives and takes Rose for himself, as his goal is very simple in that he wants more power. With her now in his grasp, one she's slowly worming her way out of, Eriko starts filling Ryuji in on things and outfitting him so he can go and save her.
One of the basics of what's going on, at least in the explanations from the black dragon named Onyx, is that humans and dragons cannot coexist together so her ideal time spent with him is something that she shouldn't be latching onto. Onyx's confidence is intriguing to watch since he does it in a very calm and friendly way, which runs nicely parallel to what Ryuji is doing in that he's essentially storming the tower that she's being kept in. Ryuji takes very quickly to the strong lead role here, too much so in a way, once he gets the proper blade and is pointed in the right direction. It's definitely welcome to not see him go through a whole lot of cowardly moments and gnashing of the teeth, but he does go perhaps just a bit too far in the opposite direction for realities sake. At the least, you can believe that the special blade he has is giving him some added confidence and is encouraging him in its own way.
Dragon Crisis continues to be a surprise when it comes to its series structure as it's gone three very different ways over these first episodes. What we get here is a lot of time spent with the buildup to events, getting Rose to understand the situation she's in and how Onyx just wants her to increase his power while Ryuji really manages to stand out pretty strongly here. He does go over the top pretty quickly with his admittance of feelings towards Rose though, which felt like it was really poorly placed and definitely not the right time for it, both for Ryuji and for Rose. But the resulting changes that come of it are certainly interesting enough and it sets the battle into a properly epic mode. But this feels more like the end of an arc at episode twelve or thirteen, rather than three, which makes it feel all the more unusual.
Dragon Crisis' first three episodes are certainly unlike most of the shows of this nature in how it structures things, but that is owed more to its light novel origins more than anything else. It leaves you guessing more as to what will happen next, or more specifically, how quickly the next thing will come along when it would normally take a fair bit longer. The scenes involving Ryuji manning up are well done and he comes across very well here and the big battle at the end is properly epic itself, even if it feels like it comes far too early. If this was done as an hour long OVA back a decade or two ago, it'd garner a lot of attention and hopes for more. So I'm curious to see what's next for the show while hoping that Rose doesn't turn into a truly annoying character.
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.