Ragna is cursed and has been his entire life. Dragons seem to be drawn to him, killing his family, his friends, and anyone who takes an interest in him. Then, a Dragon Slayer called Leonica takes him under her wing!
Ragna Crimson (Episode 1) – End and Beginning
What did you watch?
I read the first volume of the Ragna Crimson manga back in November 2022 and loved it. The books are larger than a normal volume and look like fantasy epics which is what drew me to the series in the first place. Other than that, I had no idea what I was getting into. Well, it’s safe to say that I enjoyed myself as I have volumes two to nine sitting on my bookshelf and have just started the anime. It’s a twenty-four episodes series too so I’m in here for the long haul. Anyhow, let’s look at the episode.
Ragna works with Leonica as a dragon slayer, however, he’s not the most capable. He tries his hardest and always backs up Leonica, but that’s about it. That draws a lot of criticism from other dragon slayers as he appears to be riding on her success as she is the strongest dragon slayer around. She’s also twelve years old and gifted with the skills necessary to be a dragon slayer. However, recently Ranga has been having strange dreams or hallucinations. He’s seen his city burned to the ground and Leonica killed by something terrifying. It’s driving him to train harder and harder in the hopes of protecting her.
Then, a city that has been free of dragons for centuries is suddenly attacked by a massive horde of them. It’s burnt to the ground. Soon, the dragon horde arrives at their city and it’s giving Ragna a horrid vibe. Leonica races into the fire desperate to fight off the dragons, but there is something worse – a superior dragon. Ranga recognised his attack from his dreams and tries to stop Leonica. However, the superior dragon is too strong and throws Ragna into a nearby river. As he loses consciousness, he sees the vision again. The man in it is him from the future and he has come to stop Leonica dying. To do this, he gives Ranga all of his strength. He’s been training since Leonica died, getting stronger and stronger, pushing himself past his limits.
What did you think?
So, on top of this being a twenty-four-episode season, it opened with a double episode (forty-eight minutes long). However, it didn’t feel like it. I was glued to the screen. It did a great job of setting up this world and revealing enough about Ragna’s past to make him a believable character. He seems kind of simple, but his dedication to Leonica is admirable. She saved him and gave him purpose so it makes sense that he wants to repay that in any way he can. I loved the scene where his future self showed how he lost and lost and lost and lost and then won. Then, he lost and lost and lost and then won again. He’s been through hell and now he’s forced all of that into his younger self. Ragna got a massive power-up, but it also feels earned.
What was your favourite moment?
It has to be the moment Ragna’s powers awakened. From his training in the future, he basically joined his body with his silver sword (one of a dragon’s only weaknesses) and learned how to amplify that to the point that he is basically a weapon himself. He emits an aura of silverine which he can use to freeze a dragon. When he awakens, he rushes to save Leonica and finds her battling Grymwelte, the Tenth Seat of the Blood of the Wing. Grymwelte stops suddenly, terrified of Ragna and he doesn’t know why. He hates that a human has created a feeling similar to how he gets around the dragon god. Grymwelte transforms, putting all of his power into his attack, but it’s nothing to Ragna now. Admittedly, Grymwelte was the weakest of the superior dragons, but this still stunned Ragna’s fellow dragon slayers. I love the reactions to overpowered characters.
Who was the most impactful character?
At this stage, it’s Ragna from the future. He saw Leonica die at the hands of Grymwelte and went on a path of vengeance. He found new companions. They died. He found more. They died too. He kept fighting, pushing himself further and harder than he imagined. It’s worth noting that one thing about his curse is that it’s always those around him that die. Not Ragna. Somehow, he survives and continues to get stronger. It showed him climbing stairs until there were none left to climb. Rather than accepting he’d reached the top, he started climbing the wall beyond. Always climbing. Always pushing on. He suffered a lifetime of loss and heartache and that has given him the chance to stop it from happening. Part of that is thanks to a mysterious character called Crimson, but we’ve yet to meet them properly.
What have you learned?
One thing that I loved in this episode was how it managed to connect everything together. We heard about the city that was immune to dragons and Leonica mentioned that they have a nice desert shop that they should visit. It seemed like a natural enough comment, but it turned out that the city was protected by the dragon god because of that shop. But, the shop was robbed and went out of business which prompted the dragon god to tell his minions to burn the kingdom to the ground. That seemed to delight Grymwelte too. It was a nice touch and it helped pull several elements and ideas together.
Other posts in the series
- Volume 1 – Birth of the Reaper
- Volume 2 – You Are Not Cursed
- Volume 3 – The Battle is Over
- Volume 4 – Your Lies Will Not Deceive Me
- Volume 5 – We Must Work Together
- Volume 6 – The Situation is Under Control
- Volume 7 – Do Not Give Up! Keep Fighting
- Volume 8 – We Will Never Give Up!!
- Volume 9 – I Hope We See That Future!
- Volume 10 – You Kids Fought Very Well…
- Volume 11 – Heed Me, Time!