Kayarath’s Adventures In Dragons

Posted on May 09 2013

Kayarath's Adventures In Dragons

What would you do if you were transported to feudal Japan to save it? Grab a sword, master you special powers and go fight baddies, right? Well, not everyone has seen this type of plot a hundred times so they may be more cautious about the whole affair. They may prefer to wait and figure things out like Jun Tendo, the protagonist of Legend of the Millennium Dragon.

Legend of the Millennium Dragon is a 2011 full length anime movie. If Wikipedia is to be believed, it was made by Studio Pierrot, who also made the Bleach and Naruto anime. Sony seems to have done the distribution and it seems that Japan’s Culture Ministry also played a part in its creation. I would like to note that it was briefly stated on the case so I could have misread it. Also, the case itself had a huge lie on it since it had all the main characters together in actions poses like some type of adventuring party. Let me assure you, those characters are neither allies or action posing types.

I will admit that this scene was pretty cool.

I will admit that this scene was pretty cool.

To be honest, it felt like I was watching a bad Miyazaki film. It was trying to be epic and universal but came across as bland and generic. In some formats I am far more forgiving of plots and characters that are weak or generic. Many manga can skip on plot because it’s really about the action, fanservice, or crossing off items from the list of shonen tropes. Millennium’s plot carries the movie as well as Crystal Maiden in the late game.

It’s so standard it’s boring. Young boy gets pulled back in time because he the only one who can save the land. He hesitates but eventually figures things out and unlocks his powers. Then he saves the day in a climatic final battle. End it with a more confident protagonist back in his home time and call it a movie. It adheres so closely to familiar formula that it feels like it’s paint by numbers. Admittedly, there are some plot twists but it’s no real game changer. It’s like being told you were gonna watch Sailor Moon but get Sasami: Magical Girls Club instead.

How many times have you seen this scenario before?

How many times have you seen this scenario before?

The characters don’t save the film either. Jun Tendo is the protagonist but he couldn’t save a cat from a cardboard box. He’s so scared and confused he spends a good third of the movie dithering about trying to figure out what the frak is going on. The dithering is actually helpful because it causes him not to act until he truly understands the situation. However, it still drags down the movie. Main characters should generally drive the plot or at least affect it. While he does experience actual character development, it’s all implied. You can figure it out from context if you think about it for a minute but it really takes away from the dramatic punch. They’re are a bunch of other characters but they all can be summed up in one sentence each.

The animation is good at least. At the very least, I can’t complain about it. I read that it was all hand drawn, which is cool if that type of thing matters to you. A picture says a thousand words so you can make your own judgments based on the pictures included here. The music was more of a miss though. It was split between Japanese drumming and generic rock music that felt oddly out of place.

How dare they not make another season of Princess Jellyfish!

How dare they not make another season of Princess Jellyfish!

I don’t have much more to say on this. Legend of the Millennium Dragon’s quality is hard to pinpoint. In no way would I want to endorse this movie. I would much rather tell you to watch a better movie (like Steamboy for example). To call it a bad movie would be unfair as well. It is certainly more well put together than average but it doesn’t touch me at all. It’s a mediocre movie that I just don’t care about. If you’re desperately scrapping the bottom of the barrel for something to watch, it’ll do; but why settle? Luckily, I don’t think you’ll ever encounter this on a shelf; but if you do, skip it. There’s better stuff out there.

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  • nerdwerld May 10, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    At first I when I began reading I thought to myself, “I want to watch this, just because of the first paragraph”. By the end of this review, I am convinced I would not like this. Setting sounds good, don’t care if it is overdone. However, if it has all those problems I probably wouldn’t like it.

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