Ash Blake had been waiting longer than most for his dragon to be born. With a Star Brand unlike any others, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that his dragon would be a bit different, but no one would have expected Eco!
What did you watch?
For the letter D in my A to Z Anime Challenge, I watched Dragonar Academy. Admittedly, this wasn’t a total shot in the dark as at that point I had already read the first six volumes of the manga. I have since finished them all only to learn that the light novels continue way beyond the manga, although I doubt I’ll have time to get to those any time soon. Anyhow, as I was enjoying the manga and hadn’t seen the anime, I thought it seemed like an ideal opportunity to watch it. So, let’s get into it and be prepared for spoilers.
Set in a fantasy world with a mix of magic and technology, a small nation is responsible for the world’s dragons. Unable to breed themselves, dragons are implanted into worthy humans who will later become their masters. One such worthy human, Ash Blake has been waiting a long time for his dragon to be born, but when it finally hatches, nobody could have expected this…
Ash’s dragon appears before him in the form of a human girl and immediately begins to boss him around. This, of course, causes all sorts of problems for Ash, who unlike any other is able to ride other breeder’s dragons. This also makes Eco, his dragon incredibly jealous.
A dark entity appears, bringing an undead dragon with it. Ash fights to put the troubled creature to rest, but many eyes are on Eco and the potential she holds. Can Ash defeat the entity, save Eco, rescue the Princess, restore order to the continent, and save the dragons? He’s got a lot of work to do, that’s for sure.
What did you think?
Having read some of the manga, I knew exactly what to expect from this series. The style of artwork looks
What was your favourite moment?
Ash and his friends head into a dragon tomb and attempt to stop a villain from turning the corpses into an undead dragon army. Eco uses her powers to create Ash a set of armour so that he can fight back. Basically, it’s lots of fighting and zombie dragons. Seems kind of obvious, but there you have it. Although, I’m not sure where the tentacles came from…
What was your least favourite moment?
I don’t want to compare the anime to the manga as that’s not really fair. Sure, they are connected, but I believe they should be treated as their own entity. That said, there were several moments where they tried to incorporate stuff but barely glossed over the subject. It drastically reduced the effectiveness of the situation. The scene where Eco is kidnapped by the hot scientist is one that springs to mind.
Who was your favourite character?
It’s Silvia Laurteamont, the princess who Ash annoys and tries to boss everyone around. She starts out
Who was your least favourite character?
I don’t think the series really did Eco any justice. She’s a massively important role in the story, but they seemed to make her less complicated and less interesting as a result. It’s a shame because the manga took more time with her and gave her more depth (honestly, that’s the last time I’ll bring up the manga).
Which character needs more screen time?
Navi needed more time. Admittedly, she and Eco are the same person or will be in the near future, but Navi has all the confidence and experience to be a true femme fatale as opposed to Eco who is just a screeching loli!
Would you like some more?
If they followed the rest of the manga, I would definitely watch it, although I would temper my expectations based on the first season. I did enjoy it, but it never really blew me away. It could have been much better, but it would have been much longer. Maybe if they’d committed to a twenty-six episode season they could have put more of the details in.
What have you learnt?
I’m a big fan of fantasy stories, so anything with dragons and knights is going to grab my attention. I loved all the lore and history behind this sort of world-building. One of these days, I’ll waste a ton of time developing a world so that I can do something similar, although I’d probably avoid the high school elements. Why does it always have to be a high school?