ADV Films // 1993 // 50 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // October 14th, 2004
When you're half-dragon you don't make friends easily.
Pity poor Mink. Her father is a knight and her mother is a dragon. Born with a tail, wings, and the ability to breathe fire, Mink is a world-class outsider. Being in love with a pop star who moonlights as a dragon slayer doesn't help, either, and it only makes life for Mink more miserable hen the object of her affection is hired to kill her.
Hold on, because here we go. Mink's father is a knight who fell in love with the dragon he was ordered to kill. He and his wife now spend most of their time fighting, while Mink sits in front of the television pining for Dick Saucer, the dreamiest pop star/dragon slayer in the world. The king who hired Mink's father to slay Mink's mother is secretly in love with Mink's mother. He wants another of his knights to kill Mink's father, thinking he can then satisfy his dragon lust; the knight, however, thinks they should target Mink instead. They are unsuccessful in their attempts on Mink's life, so the king is forced to call in Dick Saucer. Mink and her friends are hoping to see Dick's big concert; they can't afford plane tickets, so Mink signs up for the magical battle royale tournament. First prize will be just enough money to cover their airfare. Dick has also entered the tournament, so things go from bad to worse when it looks like Mink will be facing the love of her life for top honors.
Dragon Half is easily the worst anime I've ever seen. Nothing else even comes close. I could hardly believe my eyes. I haven't seen such a series of disasters since Gene Hackman tried to sink California in Superman. It's supposed to be madcap and manic, but it's really just noisy and shrill. Worse yet, it's poorly paced. This thing probably never had a chance, but the fact that it drags only makes it that much more excruciating. It's supposed to be funny, but there's not a laugh to be had. Mink's father is named Ruth, and the first knight sent to hunt down Mink is named Rosario. Male characters with female names? Hilarious. In one scene Mink is wrestling with her friend Lufa, and her father walks in at a moment when it appears the two young girls might be about to stop pummeling one another and start making out. Ruth gets a lecherous look in his eye and tries to join in; the girls hit him over the head with a mallet before running him off. Outside his daughter's room, Ruth stops and laments the fact he's never allowed to have any fun. Incestuous pedophilia? Man, it doesn't get any better than that. Mink unwittingly gives Dick a bottle of laxative right before the tournament begins, so he spends the rest of the day sitting on the toilet. That gag's so old it could vote. Is anyone laughing yet?
The technical presentation is serviceable. The animation's color palette is rather muted, but that seems to be the norm for anime of this show's era. The picture is clean and free of any artifacts or noise, although there is a distinct flicker to a few a scenes. The English 5.1 dub and the original Japanese mix are sonically quite similar. The dub anchors the dialogue better, but that's the only real difference. The music is the only sound element with any real channel separation. There is no surround activity in the dub, and both mixes will allow your subwoofer to take a nap. Extras include ADV's standard previews, clean closing animation, and a commentary (which isn't listed on the disc's packaging). The commentary's participants include two of the English voice actors, who seem to be under the impression they're working on a classic. Don't let their enthusiasm fool you.
Dragon Half is a complete waste of time, money, and plastic. That's all you need to know.
ING CO. LTD. and Victor Entertainment are as guilty as guilty can be. There is only one suitable sentence. Someone please get Ol' Sparky ready. Dead men walking!
Review content copyright © 2004 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 50 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Closing Animation
* ADV Previews