Midgar, all-girl academy, would have been notable just for the action of accepting its first and only male student, Yuu Mononobe. But Midgar stands out for much more than that: it's a school exclusive to a group of girls known as D's. Each of them have extremely powerful abilities in generating dark matter and manipulating it into powerful weaponry.
The D's didn't exist twenty-five years ago, and only appeared after a number of mysterious, destructive monsters known as "Dragons" started appearing around the world. Strangely, just as suddenly as they appeared, they vanished. In their destructive wake, some girls started being born with symbols on their bodies and powers similar in nature to those wielded by the Dragons themselves.
Now the D's attend this school, hoping to harness and utilize their powers against the Dragons. Yuu is their latest member and is extraordinary for being the only known male D in existence. Now he must forge relationships with the girls around him, including his long separated sister who attends the school as well, and work with them to investigate and eliminate the threat of the powerful Dragons.
Fantasy is a genre that is notorious for being one that is very touchy. Because every fantasy world has its own set of rules and laws, every fantasy story has to explain the world in order for the audience to properly understand. It is because of this requirement that when a series doesn't manage to do this, any given anime can fall flat on its face. It is here where we have Juuou Mujin no Fafnir, a show that falls quite flat on many accounts.
Story (3.00/10): The story of Fafnir is based in an alternate fantasy world. Within this fantasy world,
there are creatures known as Dragons, creatures from an alternate plane of existence that for some reason, come to earth and cause terror in the world. In addition to terrorizing the world, dragons infect one person, (a girl, to be more precise), turning them into a person who can utilize dark matter, a material that can create whatever people think of known as a "D". (First off, WHY?! NOTHING can come good by calling your characters D's?! Like seriously, WHY?!) It is here where we have Mononobe Yuu, the only male D in the world, entering in a school created specifically to fight the dragons in the world.
Fafnir's story is what I would consider one that reeks of unoriginality. A single male in an entire school of females? Yeah, that's something that's been done before. Much like the setup, the rest of series follows suit in disappointment. The entire series basically sums up the characters fending off against two dragon attacks, utilizing their dark matter powers to prevent certain characters from being targeted by the dragons. With this, a lot of the series REALLY leaves to be desired.
Because the series is so central-focused on the dragon attacks, there's not really much time left for any other plot points or story elements. Explanations as to why Yuu is the only male D, (I still can't get over the fact that they call these characters D's), why the dragons do what they do, and who some other characters are, simply just aren't explained in the series; just mentioned. It is because of this that Fafnir leaves a lot of different areas of its plotline open-ended, creating so many loose ends that it's impossible for any of them to come together.
Overall, the story of Fafnir really isn't much to talk about. While I usually do have quite a few things to say about any given anime's story, Fafnir just didn't have anything to offer. There weren't any real positives about a series that was so bland and lazily made. The show doesn't end on a good note, and any emotional buildup that the show attempted to create simply fell flat because there wasn't particularly any reason I felt for me to care about it.
- Overused story setup
- A vast expanse of unexplained plot points
- Unsatisfying end
- Boring storyline
Characters (2.34/10): If the story was anything to be disappointed about, the characters sure were something that was even less appealing.
First, we have Mononobe Yuu, a character who I felt even failed to be a proper harem MC. Throughout the series, Yuu really doesn't...do anything. Aside from the dragon fighting, Yuu doesn't really have much to go for him. He has a very unexplained backstory that doesn't get much attention (much like 90% of the story), and has powers and abilities that also get little to no explanation.
And then we have the girls of the series. I grouped them all together simply because of how little we actually get to know them. Out the rest of the D characters, only about half actually get any significant screentime, those characters being Lisa, Tear, Mitsuki, and Iris. And even then, there's not really much to say about them. Every girl mentioned above gets the standard troupe characteristic, each one of them pertaining to a different harem troupe that is used to describe their only character trait. There really isn't anything significant about these girls beyond that, and I feel like the series really took a big hit because of that fact. In addition, since only half of the girls get any actual screentime, the other 4 girls don't get anything at all. They're so minor that you can forget they exist, or at the very least, what their names were.
Aside from the "main" cast, the series also features side characters that really just serve as plot devices. Character names can become nothing more than fleeting memories as these other characters are really just there to move this story along.
Overall, the characters of Fafnir were more than just disappointing. All of them are troupe rejects, and no one is particularly memorable. A lot of characters are easily forgettable, which can become troubling for a viewer if a rarely seen character gets screentime.
- Poor cast overall
- A lot of characters you can actually forget while watching
Art and Sound (6.00/10 and 5.00/10): The art for Fafnir is what I would call standard for this day and age. Leaning on towards a moe style of animation, Fafnir manages to pull off some decently nice looking fight scenes and some decent looking characters. However, there is just...one thing that bothers me more than anything, and that is, the dragons.
Compared to the rest of the animation, Fafnir utilizes CGI dragons/creatures (Not as bad as Fate Stay/Night, mind you, but still pretty damn bad.) which are awful to look at. They clash very heavily with the rest of the visuals in this series and it just gives off a sour feeling because they don't look good. They're glaringly bad as their bad CG make clunky movements as they maneuver around in the series.
Author's note: Also, SOMEHOW, a kraken is considered a dragon. A creature that looks and functions like a squid, an invertebrate cephalopod, is similar to a gigantic, fire-breathing reptile. *insert Jackie Chan WTF meme here*
As for sound, Fafnir doesn't really have any memorable tracks. The tracks by themselves are ok to listen to, but they are more or less generic tracks that don't have any real significance.
+ Decent art
- CGI dragons. (I mean, come on, really? We've come so far.)
- Average musical tracks
Personal Enjoyment (1.00/10): It has been a while since I truly didn't enjoy an anime. While I do watch a lot of things that fall towards the lower quality spectrum when it comes to anime, there comes a time when something really does just take the cake, and that right here, is Fafnir.
What did I like about this anime?
Nothing. Nothing...at...all. Moving on.
What didn't I like about this anime?
Pretty much every aspect of this show holds some dislike to me. The weak story was only bolstered due to the fact that the series never really capitalized on any aspect of it aside from fighting dragons. The characters were the furthest thing from being decent, relying on troupe characteristics for character traits, the CGI dragons were an eyesore, and the music was mediocre. Above all else, the series had a very dull feeling. Any sort of tension the show had was false tension more than anything. Because the story is so predictable and cliche, you can probably guess the outcome of the series without any effort.
Would I recommend this anime?
No, just flat out, no. Fafnir was a disappointment to anime. Because nothing, aside from the standard animation really had positives in the grand scheme of things; this series is an utter waste of time above all else. With weak story, actual living, breathing examples of anime stereotypes for characters, and cousins of the Stay night dragon, Fafnir is a series that stood out as a bland piece of work that doesn't give any feeling but regret when finishing it.
Once upon a time, there lived a strong and dense boy named Yuu and his little sister, both possessing the powers of ‘D’, and they lived in a world where dragons appeared and attacked nearby cities. One day, a very powerful dragon attacked their hometown, the little sister was angry and used her ‘D’ power in an attempt to annihilate it, unfortunately she couldn’t. Then, Yuu steps in and uses his ‘D’ power (i.e. obtained by contract with Yggdrasil) and annihilates the dragon.
Three years later, the boy has grown up and has transferred to Midgar, an
academy for ‘D’ girls. Now, why is a boy going to a girl’s academy? Why, because Yuu is the only male in existence with a ‘D’. Why the only male? And why him, specifically? (I don’t know. The anime never answers these questions.)
Along the way, he encounters Iris, completely nude on the beach. This ‘D’ girl, whose breast size are a D-cup, is completely inept at using her magical ‘D’ powers, which results in a floppy ‘D’. And, nobody likes a floppy ‘D’. Anyway, many misunderstanding happen, but are quickly resolved.
Yuu encounters many other ‘D’ girls, such as the transfer student, the quiet book girl, the tomboyish girl, the smart girl, the tsundere ojou-sama, and the imouto. And, they all (besides having one-dimensional personalities, barely having any backstory and are a harem trope of some kind), to some degree, like Yuu because he’s the only male with a ‘D’. And, so, the boy unknowingly creates a harem, in which all the girls are interested in his ‘D’. Even more unfortunate, despite this show being a harem, he never makes any moves on them, rather he either ignore their advancing passes, acts really dense, or is focused solely on fighting. Sad, considering that all the girls are always making passes towards our only male 'D'.
Then, there are the adults, like the headmaster appearing as a loli, or the beautiful homeroom teacher, or Loki, who is Yuu’s superior and whose job is to watch over both the girls’ and Yuu’s ‘D’. Even, the girl villain, whose motive is turn Tear into a beautiful dragon and is the leader of the dragon cult, is also interest in Yuu’s ‘D’. Why, because Yuu spared her from death and is now interested in him. Basically, everybody that the boy meets, talks, or fights becomes interested him.
Yuu battles many dragons that are bend on meeting girls with the call sign 'armorial of Dragon’. Yuu denies them their rights to “meet” the girls and annihilates them all using his OP ‘D’ Cannon called the Babel. This happens in every single encounter:
– A dragon appears. People are danger, it’s destroying everything. The girls are trying their hardest to defend or attack the dragons, but they're weak and ineffective against them. Yuu appears, he uses OP ‘D’ Cannon, and annihilates the dragon.
– If he can’t beat a particular dragon, he gains another ability, in order to annihilate that dragon.
Rinse and Repeat.
In the end, once everything is finished, all the girls return to being interested in Yuu, who is the only male in existence with a ‘D’. And, Yuu continues to remain oblivious to the girls interested in his ‘D’.
This anime is pretty cliche, as a Harem/Romance/Action/Supernatural anime this is very typical its really lacks pop and most scenes are pretty predictable that you'll know what will happen next. So dont go expecting a whole lot out of it mostly a standard Harem/Romance its similar to Infinite Stratos if you have seen that before, but less ecchi.
A fair plot, similar to Infinite Stratos, but Magic > Mecha. You have supernatural abilities only commonly available to girls. In Juuou Mujin no Fafnir the ability is known as Dragons "D" who attend a school far off on a distant island, but with our male protagonist
Mononobe, Yuu is an acception together his classmates fight against dragons that come around periodically to rampage around the world. Humans and dragons are connected by marks that are located anywhere on their body that give them their powers. The schools students use their powers to fight against the monsters, rinse and repeat while incorporating a little bit of back story for some main characters.
Nothing really stands out about this group of girls you its pretty much the standards of any harem such as (tsundere, sister, loli, etc...)
General art style nothing out standing no vivid colors, it really lacks the pop though the monsters look poor and dull, unless you like CGI monsters then I guess you'll enjoy it. The action scenes aren't particular amazing, but its descent.
Voice acting is fine nothing out of the ordinary. The opening is catchy same with the ending. The BGM fits with the action scenes decently, but still doesn't make up for the action scenes.
I enjoy watching harem genre and anyone else who likes harem, romance, and fantasy this anime is it. If you like this genre you might as well watch this. This is the pretty much the doppelganger of Infinite Stratos difference being 1 is mecha other is supernatural though I would have to say this is 6/10 while Infinite Stratos is a 7/10.
I would recommended this anime to anyone who enjoys harem, romance, and fantasy if you have already watched most previous harems and like them then just give this one a go nothing to spectacular yet, but still worth a go.
Harem anime is always a tough genre to judge because it all seems to follow the same formula with slight variations to separate one from another. However, the anime adaptation of Unlimited Fafnir does not present itself in the way a typical harem anime does. This show had a different feeling; one that if I had to describe it, would be that it feels emptier. That does not mean the show doesn’t have it strong suits, because it excels in other areas.
STORY - From a story standpoint, the premise of the show outlines what appears to be a classic harem foundation: a boy with "dragonic"
powers specifically reserved for females enrolls in a school full of girls with similar powers. This group of people are known as “D.” The purpose of this school is to train the students to combat dragons that threaten the well-being of the female students. Aside from the harem underpinnings, the story is rife with fantasy and science themes. From a technical standpoint, the show is split up into mini-arcs surrounding a specific character or dragon and does a fairly good job of moving from one arc to another without leaving open a lot of plot holes. However, Unlimited Fafnir loses me with the characters and the lack of development they truly deserve. (7)
CHARACTERS - I feel the need to address the character issue in this show and this may seem like a rant, so excuse me if I seem to be heavily biased. Typically when you watch a harem anime, you find that one character that you really connect with that you root for to "win" (even though most times the status quo is intact by the series end and no one truly wins). The difficulty I faced with Unlimited Fafnir is that it presented no characters that I wanted to win. When that happens it does not feel like a harem anime and becomes just a show that has a hefty female to male ratio, which isn’t a bad thing, but when a show is billed as a harem, it leaves you a bit wanting. Additionally, throughout the series it felt like only a small portion of the group actually WANTED to win. The main class is split up between the male protag a group of seven or females. The series run focuses mostly on the male protag, Yuu and four of the seven females: Iris, Tear, Mitsuki, and to an extent Lisa. At least that’s how it was observed. Broken down even further, only two of the main four actually seemed to be “going for it,” or in the harem pool at that. EVEN FURTHER, both of those characters had the same character traits – both were exceedingly clingy and child-like to the point of annoyance. This would be fine if there was another character that provides a sort of foil to these characters, but it never happens; at least not in this series run. By the series end there were hints that a character would provide that foil, but way too late in the series to really matter.
Aside from the criticisms regarding the characters within the harem, this show does a disservice to the characters by providing them with the absolute minimum development that they could. While the show progresses pretty well from arc to arc, aspects of the characters are introduced but not expanded upon, or outright abandoned. Other aspects of the characters are not resolved until they are just dropped in at the end of the series. It all feels really clumsy and unorganized compared to the main plot. Furthermore, outside of the four primary characters mentioned above, the three remaining classmates receive very little moments to reveal themselves. In one episode, one of the three has a moment and she reveals more about herself and looks like she will enter herself into the equation. By the next episode, that interaction is completely abandoned. This is excruciatingly frustrating. While one of the remaining two, gets small, but noticeable dialogue and is integral to the story, the other is completely invisible. Literally the only thing we know about this girl is that she’s shy and likes computers. I understand there is a deviation from main and supporting characters and that not all characters can be treated equally, but I feel like this show did not do a good enough job to properly portray the characters. When you have a class size that small and you have every class member on the cover art, there should not be a character that is completely ignored. (4)
ART – This is where I find the show to excel. Quick, picture a dragon in your mind. I guarantee you that this show presents dragons in a completely different light than you are picturing. The dragons deviate from the preconceived image of what a dragon is. Some are bipedal, some are quadrupedal, some can fly, some walk, some swim. They are all different and have different skills and abilities. They are not just different in shape, but size as well. They are enormous, overwhelming creatures that provide you with the idea that they are a viable threat. They are far different from any dragon I have ever seen portrayed outside of YuGiOh cards. It is unique and shows originality. The scenery is also quite above average.
The character designs are pretty well done as well. When an anime is set in a school, one thing I look for in the character design is the uniform. Some shows will try to make their uniforms too unique to a point where they are too flashy and distract from the character design rather than accentuate it. Unlimited Fafnir provides us with a basic black and white uniform for the ladies with a built in shawl that drapes over the upper torso, hiding the bust. The characters also have, for the most part, standard hair-color. It makes them look more realistic and human, aside from Tear who has horns and pink hair. In this aspect, Tear’s character design is very reminiscent of Eco from Seikoku no Dragonar. Yu, the male protag rocks a rather badass looking black suit with white accents, black dress shirt, and white tie. It’s a clean look that accentuates his character design, which would be rather bland and generic without. (8)
SOUND – It’s a pity that the characters are done so poorly because the voice cast is excellent. Yoshitsugu Matsuoka continues to be every male protag in a harem series, but in this case it fits really well. His very soothing voice is a welcome change of pace to the sometimes loud and obnoxious voices used by some of the female cast. However, I think this was more of a sound mixing error than the voice actors’ fault. The female voices are all recognizable names if you’ve watched a good share of anime, but they show great range; deviating from the voices they’ve used in notable roles they were cast in the past. The voice acting is rather well done and fit each character rather well.
The music is pretty good too. The opening track, “Flying Fafnir” is a nice, driving but mellow song with a pretty stellar piano/vocal lead in. It sets a good mood for the show. I also have a serious soft spot for voice actors adding to the musical track, so the ending, “Ray of bullet” is very welcome, especially episode 12 which includes all seven of the female classmates. Why they didn’t do that for episodes 1-11 is beyond me. (9)
ENJOYMENT – Even with all the criticisms I have over the characters and how hollow I feel they are; the show is still enjoyable. This was one of the shows I was looking forward to this past season because of the premise and the voice cast. Despite my disdain for how the characters were handled, the story was very good, albeit rushed in some spots (this is a commonality in short run series, so it is to be expected). There is a very good dynamic in this show between fantasy and science. It combines fantastical themes where the D use weapons like spears, bows, hammers, etc. with new age tech where the military uses airships and hi-tech doomsday devices. The combat scenes were nothing special, but got the job done. Unlimited Fafnir does have its spots of predictability, but also has a few swerves that you won’t see coming.
Another aspect of this show I really enjoyed was the general lack of fanservice throughout. I mean it's there in spots, but not overwhelmingly there. In many harem series, there is an abundance of fanservice that is supposed to rile up male viewers. Aside from Iris’s low-cut nightgown, a steamy hot-tub scene, and some bikini scenes, it is pretty barren of that aspect. The female uniforms also hide the bust so there aren’t humungous boobs in your face. All the female characters are badass warriors who fight dragons and not sex symbols, and I find that exceptional and refreshing. If you want boobs, panties, or fap material, this show is not for you. (8)
I would assert that if you are a fan of harem series, you might want to shy away from this series. You’ll likely be disappointed. There isn’t a huge contest for the male protag’s love amongst a throng of women, nor is there multiple character types that appeal to various different viewers. If you like super detailed character backstories, this show will disappoint you. If you just want to watch some cute, badass girls fight some dragons, then yes watch this show.
Perhaps a lot of this show’s shortcomings are the fact it is a short run show of 12 episodes. It is pretty common that in these short series, the creators try to jam pack as much as they can. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn’t. This show falls right in the middle of that where they are able to keep an organized story, but fail in providing sub-stories and creating and resolving character development. I have a feeling if they had a longer series run, the adaptation could have been better and maybe a second season would help close the gaps the first season created. Will it get that chance? (7.2 Overall)