TV - 24 Episodes

Another dip into the fantasy pool reveals this decent series, which provides for those who want their fantasy with more gravity.

Orphen is a rogue sorcerer from the Tower of Fang, on a quest to save the young woman he grew up with. With her thirst for knowledge she had used a magical sword on herself and been transformed into a dragon, the now infamous Bloody August. With the Tower out to kill her Orphen has taken it upon himself to turn her back, and his apprentice Majic, along with the sword’s new owner, the spoiled young girl Cleao are along for the ride, following as the whole situation exposes itself and the fight becomes far more complicated than they had ever expected.

This show is fairly standard in its setting, but the character development and plotting over the course of the show are a good draw to it. The plot has some good twists and turns to it, and the characters have to cope with the effects of them on their outlooks, which on the whole works well. It lets the characters grow up from their fairly generic starting points and aside from some obvious angst watching them deal with the curved balls they are dealt is worth the time. There are some episodes that don’t work so well because they go into more silly comedy terrain, such as the giant tree with equally giant animals. Having them in an otherwise fairly serious plotline seems to be padding that lets the show down a little. There is already more than enough comic relief provided by the two midgets that pop up everywhere, the obnoxious and egotistical Volcan and his long suffering sister Dortin. Neither are characters I like until Dortin starts being a proper character in her own right late in the show, and their comedy basically consists of Volcan being an asshole and the pair of them paying for it. Aside from them though the cast is one I found easy to like, especially when they all started showing more depth and intrigue as of about the halfway point, especially with all the dark sides they each have and the conflict that brings.

Lots of potentially troublesome material here. There is plenty of violence and destruction along with moments of blood and mild gore, though it is all appropriate for the circumstances. Swearing isn’t too frequent, but the dub seems to have more than the original. Lastly this show isn’t afraid of nudity and the second intro sequence includes several nude shots of Azalie, and all the show’s ‘out of body’ shots are nude, as well as some less serious fan service every now and again. It also has several cases of gender switching, and for once neither of them are comic relief, at least for the most part. Definitely teens and up.

Most of the time this is a very nice looking show, with good fluidity, nice use of deep or faded colour to suit the mood and nice character designs. However every now and then the overall quality seems to take a nose dive for an episode, most notably ‘The Relic - part 2’ looks nasty in comparison to part 1. Still, for the most part this is an attractive show.

And we get another decent dub from those folks at ADV. Several notable voices appear again from past shows and doing similar parts but this is very watchable. There are only a few bad incidental parts, one of which was obviously a bad attempt at faking a female voice, but everyone else fits their character and sounds good. They’ve taken some big liberties with the script, giving it more attitude so purists will want to miss this, but the script is actually pretty good and if you don’t care about how faithful the details are then this one is recommended.

It’s not a groundbreaker but it does what it does well, and the swerving plot mixed with characters who do grow makes this one to look up, especially for fantasy fans.


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