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Blue Dragon

Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman

Blue Dragon is an anime that is based off of the Xbox 360 role-playing video game. The game was co-created by Hironobu Sakaguchi (who was affiliated with Final Fantasy), and was designed by Akira Toriyama (the creator of Dragon Ball).

The Blue Dragon anime began airing in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 7, 2007, and ran for 51 episodes. In 2008, a second season of the series (Blue Dragon: Trials of the Seven Shadows) aired in Japan. Viz Media announced on April 16, 2007, that the company secured the licensing rights for the property; the anime made its debut on Cartoon Network on March 28, 2008.

The main character of Blue Dragon is a daring boy named Shu. He is obsessed with "knight masters," and learns that one has made an appearance in his village. Shu, along with his friends Kluke and Jiro, go out in search of the "knight master." After finding who he believes to be the "knight master" and being rebuffed by them, Shu's village comes under attack. As the attack rages, Shu discovers his true power he has a Dragon Shadow (which is the Blue Dragon). Shu, his friends, Zola (the "knight master"), and Zola's sidekick protect the village, and Zola convinces Shu to come along on their journey. He accepts.

In the anime, Shu has two friends who travel with him: Kluke (a good-hearted girl who tends to act like an adult despite her age) and Jiro (an intelligent boy who has a gift for planning, but can sometimes be cowardly). Kluke has a Phoenix Shadow, while Jiro has a Minotaur Shadow that uses healing magis. Zola is calm, collected, cool, and distant. While she uses her knowledge to assist Shu, she remains somewhat detached; she also has a Killer Bat Shadow. During their journey they meet Marumaro, who is a tiny little humanoid that wears a pot for a hat; he has a Saber-Tooth Tiger Shadow.

The main adversary in Blue Dragon is Nene, an old man who flies around in a ship surrounded by purple clouds; he uses the ship to cause destruction. He is accompanied by Deathroy, a creature that sits on Nene's shoulder while attached by a small cable. Nene is also accompanied by a mechanical warrior named General Szabo.

When it comes to the animation, there were scenes when the animators attempted to combine 2D and 3D animation; however, more often than not, incorporating the 3D computer graphics looked sloppy and stood out too much compared to the 2D animation. Some of the character designs shared a similarity with character designs for Dragon Ball (the most obvious example of this would be the character of Shu). And the backgrounds for Shu's village shared a similar feel with the backgrounds in Ragnarok.

As is expected, the first episode of the anime dealt heavily with establishing the pieces needed to progress the anime forward. And also, as expected, Shu discovers that he has the Blue Dragon Shadow right at the end of the first episode.

Overall, I thought Blue Dragon was a decent anime. If you are a fan of Ragnarok, I think you may also enjoy Blue Dragon; one of the main differences is that there is an element of science fiction that is not present in Ragnarok.

Personally, while the episode I saw wasn't bad, I still don't think I will be going out of my way to watch Blue Dragon with any real regularity.


Title
Episodes
Release Year(s)
Director
Studio
N.A. Licensor
Blue Dragon512007-2008Yukihiro MatsushitaStudio PierrotViz Media
Blue Dragon: Trials of the Seven Shadows512008-2009Yukihiro MatsushitaStudio PierrotViz Media
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Content copyright © 2014 by Lesley Aeschliman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lesley Aeschliman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Brenda Chen for details.

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