Dragon Half

Dragon Half comes in the sub-category of crazy – the type of show that (much like Excel Saga) seems particularly Japanese in its “out-there’ humour. The exaggerated cartoon traits are all present; the super-deformed characters with typically giant sweatdrops on their heads adding an extra edge of emphasis, as do the similarly wacky settings like the “Brutal Killer Martial Arts Contest’.

Adopting a fantasy setting, Dragon Half centres on Mink, the daughter of a “Red Dragon’ and the renowned dragon slayer “Red Lightning’.
Mink is your typical teen, albeit with a tail, wings and fiery breath, and is infatuated with Dick Saucer; a famous singer and dragon slayer who is the biggest celebrity in the land.

Over the course of these two episodes we follow Mink in her attempts to meet the man of her dreams, desperately trying to get Dick Saucer concert tickets and searching for the magic ‘people potion’ that she hopes will turn her all human and therefore more desirable to her idol.
Along the way we meet the Mad King, who originally ordered Mink’s father to kill her mother and now seeks revenge for their marriage by dispatching minions to put Red Lightning (Mink’s father) out of the picture, leaving him (the King) free to wed the Red Dragon (Mink’s mother). Of course Mink gets caught up in this and the laughs manifest in her confrontations with the King’s weirdo henchman and Princess Vina (half-slime to Mink’s half-dragon), her rival for Dick Saucer’s affections.

Dragon Half is a very enjoyable show, the only drawback being that there are only two episodes. Though made in 1993 the humour hasn’t dated, and the characters and setting perfectly suit the tone.

On the disc we enjoy both sub and dub versions with noticeable differences between the two. The Japanese version has superior voice acting, the actors managing the range in tone between serious and farce to highlight and emphasise comedic moments, whereas the dub cast only seem to use a one-dimensional delivery which feels like they’re on a permanent wacky voice crusade. However, the script differs slightly between tracks, not affecting the plot but small details and one-liners are present in the dub that aren’t there in the subtitles, and as a result the dub wins out as the funnier version. As an anime fan who usually prefers to watch with subs, I’d advise those (like me) to go for the dub version here. But of course, having the choice is always best!
The only extra is the clean closing animation featuring the song ‘My Omelette’ which is a little pointless seeing as much of the enjoyment from the song comes from the lyrics and so it’s best to watch with subs, not available in the clean version but easily selectable from the chapter index.

In Summary

Dragon Half is a brilliant comedy show that has withstood the test of time, the only problem being that there isn’t enough of it! The full price is rather steep for two half hour episodes (unfortunately it seems they were the only ones made) but pick it up without hesitation if you see it cheap. This is a little gem of comedy anime.

8 / 10