Here Be the Dragons (Anime)
The Year of the Dragon is just around the corner! Many Chinese people believe it to be a good year for tying the knot, starting up businesses, or even having a baby. For others, Chinese New Year is a great time to take a break and catch up with family.
And for yet others, it's a chance to catch up on some great anime! In the spirit of the festivities, we bring you an auspicious total of 8 dragon-themed anime for a flying start to the Dragon Year!
First up is Scrapped Princess, a story about the princess Pacifica Casull who is predicted to destroy the world when she turns sixteen, but survives to fight her destiny and discover the truth of her world. The Dragons that assist and defend her were originally artificial intelligence weapons systems meant for combat against an alien race. In their true forms, they turn into - you guessed it - huge, powerful dragons.
Next, we have a classic of the Super Robot shows: Gaiking. The story revolves around a boy who pilots a huge mecha-dragon, constructed to defend the world against alien horrors. And fans of Transformers rejoice; Gaiking's CG movie remake is slated for release later this year.
And for the child in us, we have Legendz: Tale of the Dragon Kings. It begins with a popular toy craze, where kids train battle monsters known as Legendz. Soon, they discover special crystals that can revive real creatures from the past, such as werewolves, mermaids, and of course, dragons.
Who would expect dragons to feature in a romantic comedy series? Well, here are two titles that will show you what dragons have got to do with laughs, love and life!
high school boy Kisaragi Ryuji's life takes an adventurous turn on the return of his cousin, Eriko. They obtain a relic box from a black broker, and inside it - voila - they find a red dragon girl, Rose. Rose turns out to be absolutely smitten with Ryuji, who nobly takes up the power of a relic handler to protect her from the black organisation.
Another romance, another Ryuuji; but this one's a matchmaker? Toradora, also known as Tiger X Dragon, is a story of two students, Takasu Ryuuji and Aisaka Taiga who like each other's best friends. Despite their differences, they agree to help each other in the quest for young love.
Oldies, but goldies
Ready for a wave of nostalgia?
Those of you who still remember when there were 150 pokemon (+1!) will probably fondly recall the dubbed Saturday morning Pokemon episodes, when "Gotta catch'em all!" was a possible dream and Team Rocket was more than a mild annoyance. The first series also had only three dragon-type pokemon (Dratini, Dragonair, Dragonite). So cute, yet so powerful.
Another insanely successful franchise, Dragon Ball started off with an addictive blend of martial arts, humour and fantasy, led by Goku and the wish-granting Dragon Balls. Besides reviving interest in anime dragons, it has left its mark on the newer generation of shonen titles, and needless to say on the people who grew up watching it. Rating: Over Nine Thousand.
Since it's the New Year, we end this list with the promise of better things to come. Casting our eyes to the future, we find an upcoming fantasy title, Dragon Age: Blood Mage no Seisen. A religious order takes action on a world corrupted by sinister magic, sending out the elite Seekers to return stability to their land. For fans of the game, the trailer boasts similarly spectacular graphics, thrilling action and gratuitous violence.