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DVD Review

DVD cover

Blue Dragon
Volumes 1 & 2


Starring (voice): Daisuke Namikawa, Erino Hazuki, Keiko Nemoto and Kenyuu Horiuchi
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 01 June 2009

At the beginning of time both light and dark were created, finding that they could not exist together they went to war. The war would have torn apart the whole of creation, but the sudden intervention of the original shadow lords, the Knights of Light, threw down the forces of darkness and with the power of Shadow sealed the darkness away. Many years have passed and Nene, the ruler of the Grand Kingdom, wants to marry his power and technology to the ancient Shadows, but first he has to find them...

Blue Dragon (2007) is another anime show based on a console game, which on a first watch owes more than a little to Naruto. The series eventually ran for fifty-one episodes. Our hero this time is the spiky haired Shu, who at the beginning of the show is living, with his friends, in a quiet backwater town. His great desire is to become an apprentice to a Knight, a Shadow Master, a group of warriors who are able to control their shadows and turn them into great weapons. His desires look like that they will come to nothing until two strangers come to their town also searching out Shadow Masters. Rushing off to meet them he finds Zola and Jiro who are trying to find Knights to oppose Nene. Shu hardly has time to get over the shock of Zola being a woman when the forces of Nene attack his own village. In his attempt to save his village Shu accidentally unleashes his own shadow, the blue dragon.

This dual DVD set holds episodes one to eight, setup on both disc is the same with options for English or Japanese stereo audio track, plus optional subtitles. The only extras are five trailers on disc two. The first disc holds the episodes The Shadow Comes Forth; A Fateful Decision; Shu and Jiro: Rivals in Training; and A Member of the Devee Tribe. Once we get past the opening two episodes, which have been described above, the show settles into the usual weekly round of training and combat, with the villain of the week.

Disc two continues the story with Front-Line Base Assault; No Good Deed Goes Unpunished; The Trouble with Ghosts; and Castle Under Siege. Having convinces Shu to leave with them Zola and Jiro continue their travels looking for more shadow users, as it would seem that the power to control shadows has been passed down to their decedents. Along the way they do battle, rescue a weak shadow user from some lecherous attention before finally arranging at their destination where they meet a real Knight Master called Conrad L. Lawrence.

So far the show repeats much of Naurto’s story structure, whilst this may not be a fair assessment after only eight episodes, so far not enough of the back-story has been explored to make the show feel like it is going to have any depth. That said, the animation is sharp and clean and the combination of comedy and action will be popular with its target audience of young teens. Certainly Naruto fans will feel at home with the show, whether the show is able to rise above this saturated market only time will tell.


Charles Packer

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