What Is Dragon Half: Anime Review
ドラゴンハーフ (Doragon Hāfu)
54 min (two episodes)
Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy, Parody, Action, Drama
Mature! (violence, adult humor, mild nudity)
Dragon Half, directed by Shinya Sadamitsu and released by Production I.G studios, is a series based around Mink - your average everyday lively red-headed fifteen-year-old whose father is a dragon slaying knight and whose mother is a red dragon. Yep, you read that right. Mink is what this anime’s universe calls a 'dragon-half', causing her to sport dragon-like features while still keeping an overall (and very cute) humanoid appearance. The two episode anime follows Mink’s quest for love and acceptance as she seeks a magical potion that will allow her to become fully human so that she can win the love of her pop idol and legendary dragon slayer; Dick Saucer, yes that is his real name.
If you’ve watched a lot of older anime and Mink seems to sound and act rather familiar it's because Mink's voice actor (also known as a seiyū) is none other than Kotono Mitsuishi, who also voices characters such as Usagi from the Sailor Moon series as well as Excel from Excel Saga. If you do happen to watch the English dub then you'll recognize her voice as none other than Jessica Calvello, who is also well known for her roles as both Usagi and Excel in the Sailor Moon and Excel Saga English dubs.
Dragon Half is definitely a fantasy adventure comedy anime that doesn’t bother trying to take itself all that seriously. If you really loved the humor of Excel Saga and other popular anime such as Dragon Ball Z and Ranma ½ then you’ll definitely love Dragon Half as well. That being said, there are a few adult jokes, as well as scenes depicting violence and blood as well as several scenes depicting nudity, so this might not be the best anime to watch with young children. Though the anime itself is only two episodes long the manga, written by Ryūsuke Mita, consists of 65 chapters. There is both a standard tankōbon (standard manga book that contains multiple chapters) as well as a wideban (an anthology sized book containing dozens of chapters) that each contain the original 65 chapters, but the wideban includes extra galleries as well as an interview with Ryūsuke Mita. There is also a one-shot sequel, also created by Ryūsuke Mita, called Dragon Half Z that follows Mink’s daughter in her future endeavors.
Dragon Half, at a surface glance, is a hilarious fantasy adventure with lots of laughs and dirty jokes along the way. Take a deeper look into the colorful world of Dragon Half and you’ll realize it’s much more than that. Dragon Half is a coming-of-age story from the perspective of a young female character caught up in a desperate need to be loved and accepted by the first love she’s ever felt. However, she’s a dragon-half, and the pop idol love of her life is also a dragon slayer who sees her as nothing more than a horrible monster to be slain. Upon hearing the tale of a magical potion that will turn her into a full human she and her two friends set out in order to procure the potion so that Mink can find true love. Any young girl can watch these two episodes of Dragon Half and put herself in Mink’s shoes; We’ve all found ourselves longing for the attention of our idols and peers and have ended up going on our own quests in an attempt to earn it. And though the two episode anime does not address all the struggles and hardships that Mink and her friends will have to face, the anime does give you a look into the mindset of several of the characters it introduces. In order to get the full effect of Mink’s coming-of-age story and learn if she ever takes the magical potion and earns the love of Dick Saucer you will have to read the manga for yourself, however these two episodes have introduced me to an appealing and vibrant world filled with charming characters that I definitely want to learn more about.
Overall, even though it was only two episodes, I genuinely enjoyed Dragon Half. While comedy anime usually isn’t my thing both episodes of Dragon Half had me laughing, especially the catchy ending theme. The art style is similar to anime like Ranma ½ and is very true to the style of the manga itself. While possibly considered crude compared to more recent anime, I find the style incredibly vibrant and charming. It definitely got me completely wrapped up in Mink’s epic love quest, and I’ll be definitely hunting down the wideban in order to follow her along on her adventure. If you love anime like Excel Saga, Dragon Ball Z and Ranma ½ then you’ll definitely enjoy Dragon Half as well.