The "Get Me The Fuck Outta Here!"
Dragonaut - The Resonance is the greatest animated TV series of the past 5 years! No, it's really not, but I just wanted to get your attention. I was originally going to pretend that I loved this show at the beginning of this review, but I simply could not get myself to type anything really great about it for too long without my fingers hurting and my brain shutting down due to my filthy lies. Fuck, I still need some Tylenol after just that. Oh, and in case you couldn't tell, those are two dudes in the title image. Yeah.
Dragonaut is definitely one of Studio Gonzo's A-List projects — gorgeous animation almost the whole way through and a production budget double (if not triple) most TV series' out today... Unfortunately Gonzo seems to have focused ALL of their energies and funds on making this show LOOK pretty (and making giant titties bouncy like over-inflated water balloons on a trampoline), and they completely forgot (or chose to ignore) simple things like characterizations and a good plot.
The story of Dragonaut is just an absolute mess. It attempts to be all mysterious and have a giant backstory (told in small parts over the course of quick flashbacks at the start of early episodes), but it simply tries too hard. Like that little geeky nerd in your high school history class who thinks he can be a class clown or even a jock. He strives to tell jokes that interrupt the class with laughter (only to hear his own, sole, pathetic little chuckle echo through the classroom answered by angry or pitying stares), and he pushes his scrawny self to try out for the football team, but he barely has the stamina and endurance to join the checkers club (school was too cheap for chess), let alone do one full pushup in front of a bunch of giggling cheerleaders. You just shake your head and look with sympathy upon him, whispering "please stop trying to be funny or cool... You're a nerd with nothing special going on, your sense of humor sucks, and the real jocks weigh 3 times as much as you. Just... just stop dreaming and trying to fool yourself. Nobody else is buying it anyway." I reached this point with Dragonaut at about episode 15. Then it only got worse to the point that every following episode made me loathe the plot (whatever it was supposed to be THAT episode) or the characters just a little bit more. By the final episode I was trying to punch certain characters through my monitor.
Anyway, the complete and utter fuck-up that was Dragonaut - The Resonance goes a little something like this: It's the future and humans are colonizing the Solar System like fleas on a dog. During a routine space plane launch one sunny afternoon, three meteor-like objects blast through the atmosphere and slam right into the plane before it even makes it 2 miles off the ground. One boy (Jin) miraculously survives the incident and becomes a whiny emo bitch afterward. Then, a few years later, Jin is recruited by some secret global organization (think an understaffed NERV) of which its soldiers ride on dragons (not Evangelions). Yes, it's just as gay as you think. Gayer even, especially when you find out that these dragons take on (sexy or rugged) human forms in their off-time. Anyway, Jin's childhood friend, Kazuki, is also in this hush-hush org, but he turns into the BIGGEST UBER-TOOL EVER within a few episodes (because a dragon-man he met just once before chooses to hang out with Jin rather than Kazuki... as would anyone). This is supposed to be "heavy drama," but it feels like a 3rd grader wrote the script, what with every scene that Kazuki is in after he turns on his colleagues (and especially Jin) he looks like he's holding in the world's biggest turtlehead, but he's afraid that if he does in fact drop a deuce his head will explode on the spot. His eyes are WIDE OPEN with tiny pin-prick irises in every shot, and he's got the goofiest "angry-Joker" look on his mug whenever he speaks (for the goddamn REST OF THE SERIES). Oh, and he also laughs maniacally all the time too, like all good little twats. It seems to be a rule that if an anime starts with two kids who are good friends, one is destined to be awesome and cool, and the other absolutely must turn into a simpering pussy after a bit of time apart and before their inevitable reunion (Code Geass, Fushigi Yuugi, and Toward the Terra come immediately to mind).
Back to the *snigger* plot now. So this secret Dragonaut group (aka the ISDA) wants Jin to join, but he never does due to lots of really lame shit happening (including bumping into some evil-demon man who eats people for fun, getting rescued from said demon by a cute girl with huge jugs and pink hair, and then being chased around town by a bunch of really shitty CGI-looking dragons). Then this whole mess turns into a "chase story" with the cute, big breasted, pink haired chick either running away from people or being kidnapped for stupid reasons in every other episode. Honestly, up till episode 20 I had no idea which side was the good side (it turns out that NO side is the good side, just many shades of stupid or selfish). It may sound like a cool plot device in theory, but in practice it's simply as annoying as strangers coming up to you and flicking your ballsack as you try to walk down the street, just minding your own business. Seriously, what was up with everybody that day?!
Oh, did I mention the huge planet-sized thing in the outer Solar System that destroyed Pluto years before? This Unicron/Death Star hybrid is called Thanatos because the writers are very unoriginal, and it is the cause of all the dragon shit going on in this show. Throw into the mix a private army that the ISDA hires (to shitty effect, since they NEVER help their employers out when called) that's led by yet another psycho-douchebag (who's almost just as tooly as Kazuki), and you have the recipe for a metric ass ton of stupid, mongoloid, and certifiably insane characters leading you on an adventure of such mind and budget-wasting opportunities that I was truly saddened by the effort. The first few episodes, while a bit goofy, held some potential of greatness. Up until episode 7 in fact (that'd be the fist-up-the-anusly retarded hot springs episode..... I know), I was expecting great things from Dragonaut. I had even forgiven the really poorly written press conference in episode five wherein ISDA Chief Kiril spills the beans to the world about his organization's secret dragon protocol (nobody outside of the ISDA even knew that the dragons existed) and the truth about the monster planet Thanatos. In response to this most epic and universe-shattering news the audience of reporters is like, "Dragons, huh? Wait, are you telling us the truth?... You are?... Well....... O-okay then." That's some great reportering there, Lou.
And now to go down the list of the pure SHIT that Dragonaut - The Resonance shat out upon the viewing public like an Old Faithful-like geyser of human excrement:
- Every character is ripped off from other, greater shows (or video games), both in appearance and personality. For example: Commander Sakaki of the ISDA fucking IS the leader of the secret organization in FLCL (..... eyebrows...), and Machina is FFX's Lulu's clone.
- Dragonaut is to future fashion what Kimagure Orange Road is to 80s fashion.
- I thought it was going to be more SCIENCE and less fiction, only it turned out to be no science and all crap (the moon and Mars having the exact same gravity as Earth is the most apparent disregard of science logic) and really lame dragons.
- Dragonaut is NOT afraid of nudity, but apparently it is scared shitless of FEMALE nudity.
- Yes, the first ending song sucks shriveled Japanese onsen balls.
- There were just so, so many pathetic main characters... Characters you just want to keep bitch-slapping until they apologize for their utter faggotry. And really, the best enemies are NOT giganti-tools whom you want to beat the smug retardation out of... The best enemies are smart, cool under pressure, and command minions who love them. ALL the bad guys in Dragonaut are simply psychotic douchebags.
- So much BOUNCING. I've not seen this much fan-service outside of Najica or Ikkitousen. And like those shows the bouncing is to such a ridiculous degree that it's not titillating or fun in the least. It's actually annoying. I know, I just typed that. The titty-bouncing in Dragonaut is just annoying.
- Jesus Christ, these characters are so dumb... At one point, Toa (the big-tittied, pink-haired, dragon girl who's in direct contact with planet Thanatos) is captured, and because she's imprisoned in a specially shielded cell, and Thanatos can't hear or find her, the entire Earth is getting fucked up by a fourth "Original Dragon" (don't worry, it's even more stupid if I explain it)... Because of this, somebody in the Gillard Army (that captured Toa) turns the "force field" in her cell off so she can transform into her giant dragon form and escape and save the Earth... Then the Gillard traitor is shot dead by her superior... The superior then takes FIVE FUCKING MINUTES to gloat and walk over to the control center and turn it back on... During this time Toa doesn't move a muscle to escape. What the shit was she waiting for?@?!?
- Perhaps even more stupid than that last incident are the events of episode 16: Jin and the gang just escaped from the Mars compound of Crazy Prince Dickweed III; Gio (one of the dragon/human morons) is injured in what was the 8th fight to get Toa back from some enemy or another. The gang flies away on the transformed dragons, but Gio's been hurt and is bleeding bad. So the group stops in an abandoned mine (OWNED by Crazy Prince's family, and ONLY a few miles away from the military stronghold they just escaped from... AND Crazy Prince's people have radar... Like EVERYBODY ELSE). Toa heals Gio, but is weakened because of it... Then Akira (a peppy human ISDA pilot, and partner of Machina, the Lulu clone) says "Boy, I wish this place had a hotspring!" Lulu then points out *tadaaaah!* there IS a hotspring in this abandoned mine!... So of course, it's party time. They all get naked and go relaxing in the water, and are surprised shitless when the enemy attacks them there... I'm only surprised that only one fucking enemy attacked them, which actually makes Crazy Prince even stupider than Jin and the ISDA group. THEN when the enemy humanoid dragon jumps off the 5-story balcony to attack Toa, nobody except the human female tries to block her. They had about 5-seconds to react, and were only a few feet away, but nothing... Death by stupidity. That's triple stupid suckage there. I DETEST it when plot points revolve on STUPIDITY. It was at this point that I just wanted the whole thing to be OVER.
- Should a wannabe genre-crossing, huge budgeted anime make you GROAN in embarrassment over how DUMB the characters are? Answer = NO. The bath scene, the "every girl falls for Jin" moments, the other bath scene, the psychotic episodes of the douchebags (ALL of them), the "let's have a fake wedding" scene, the heart-to-heart between two enemies in the middle of a knock-down drag-out fight, etc... I groaned out loud. I never do that, but Dragonaut made me actually verbalize bellows of displeasure at least 18 times throughout its run.
- The specific rules about Dragons and their human pilots are made and then rewritten due to sloppy storytelling. For example: When Dragons lose their human counterpart with whom they resonated (linked with), they go berserk and start killing indiscriminately. Gotcha... Wait, but that dragon in the opening episodes went berserk first and then ATE his master. And Widow lost her original master and didn't go berserk, but instead went "beaten-down wife" with Kazuki the demented. Please... At least get your story straight, retarded writers...
- I don't think whoever wrote this thing has ANY idea what really goes on in real world politics... In Dragonaut, the International Space Development Agency hires a certain country's monarchy mercenaries to be its private army (This in itself sounds stupid, but wait, it gets dumber still). And after this army's commander turns on and steals the ISDA's number one dragon specimen, and then kills another dragon and its human pilot, and because of his actions the entire planet Mars GETS NUKED, the ISDA still keeps the army as its own mercs.... This is just too stupid to type. My fingers hate me for typing it. Yes, I expect over-the-topness in my anime, just not incredibly STUPID jumps in logic or pure ignorance.
- Oh, and I can't forget the attempts at drama (like the father-daughter reconciliation) that are so ham-fisted. Add another one to the *groan* list...
- Then I got to the part where they explain that the dragons' dragon-forms are stored in "another dimension" when they're in human form. That's when I just stopped wishing it was over and I wrote this thing off as the piece of shit that it was. Oh, I finished it, but all hope for something above a "C" rating was right out the fucking window.
- And how do the military powers attack the giant Unicron/Death Star hybrid in the end? They line up ALL of their ships right in front of its gaping cannon and fire their pea-shooters at it, then act surprised when Thanatos annihilates most of them in one shot...
- Jesus... Then I got to the ex-friends' reconciliation moment... I don't think the writers even took a remedial psych 101 class... Their reason for Kazuki flipping out and going "annoying bat shit loco" and trying to KILL Jin for like 20 episodes? He wanted to protect Jin..... Fan-fucking-tastic.
Holy shit. I have a headache behind my eye just thinking about this piece of shit again... Honestly, I went into Dragonaut hoping for something at least as fun as Kiddy Grade, or possibly something as all-out awesome as Last Exile... Instead I got an annoying turd that wasn't even as exciting as my last bowel movement — though 5Xs as repulsive. It was a big show, and dare I say almost "epic," but it simply tried way too hard. It was basically spitting in the viewers' faces "I am SO fucking bad-ass epic! Look at how fucking AWESOME I am!" It just didn't understand that the more you CLAIM to be awesome, the less likely you are (Just look at Carlos Mencia). And it just sucked even more because of its ignorance. And the final nail in the coffin is that it all fell back on the "Love will save us all" cliche that all crappy stories rely upon when they can't think of a way out for the heroes in the end. Because the main two characters wuv each other soooooo much, the bad guy backs away and the Earth is saved! Yays!!!!!!11
After writing all of my notes on this series, and surviving to the bitter end, I came to the following message from the actual fucking fansubbers of this thing:
Holy fuck, when even the fansubbers of a show (i.e. those who CHOSE to spend months of their hard-earned free time translating a series for fellow fans) think the show is crap... Well shit, you know it's UBER-crap. At least I knew I wasn't going mad... But still, I want my 12 hours of life back.
BOB FROM THE FUTURE
Long before the people of your future learned from their mistake of genetically engineering vampires and werewolves, they created their own "house dragons" as pets and back-up stoves. Unlike this Dragonaut show though, the dragons that man created in my past were purely organic, and none of them could turn into human shapes. Although there was that one scientist who claimed that's what he was trying to do, but the courts ruled against him and called it "beastiality" instead.
Anyway, long story short, 5,000,900,000 people and 5 planets were burned to the ground before the ban on any "genetically engineered creatures that can spit out napalm" was enacted. Soon after that followed the ban on "genetically engineered creatures who could explode," and then came the ban on "genetically engineered creatures that could eat a horse in one bite."... Great-great-grandpa Kublai Khan unfortunately missed that last ban by only 2 days. I will admit though, he did in fact look delicious.