In 3015, the year of Huanli, two countries, Donatia and Kouran, are embroiled in a war of supremacy that is tearing the world around them apart. The small island Nil Kamui has suffered exceptionally from the war, with lands conquered in the name of each kingdom and stolen away from the people. To make matters worse, their deity, the Red Dragon, has gone mad, rampaging about Nil Kamui burning villages and killing people indiscriminately.
Ibuki, a descendant of Nil Kamui's royal family, resides at an orphanage and refuses to take on the role of king. Abhorring conflict, Ibuki desires a peaceful resolution, however the chaotic world will not allow for such pacifism when it is being torn asunder by war. Despite his reluctance, Ibuki is drawn deep into this conflict. Can he rise to the occasion and save his country?
Chaos Dragon is based on the role-playing fiction project Red Dragon, a story which was created by five notable character designers: Gen Urobochi (Fate/Zero), Kinoko Nasu (Kara no Kyoukai), Iduki Kougyoku (Mimizuku to Yoru no Ou), Ryohgo Narita (Durarara!!), and Simadoriru (member of the Stripe Pattern doujin circle). The results of their tabletop role-playing game sessions over six days created material for a seven-volume light novel series.
I'm sorry Chaos Dragon, but you just didn't manage to attract me.
First off, the animation. It would be really good, if it weren't for the CG. It's overdone, and useless. The Bollock lord of Sheet mountain.
(On the other hand I'd be a really nice person, if it weren't for my personality)
Story: CD has a lot of focuses, which some people might think of as it is diverse and combines "good" elements of each genre, but how i see it is that it doesn't have a bloody focus, and without a focus, it gets really boring really fast! Doesn't have consistent comedy, story, characters or actually,
just about anything.
Gets boring quickly, I don't know how i went through 12 episodes of something that equals chinese water torture.
Characters are boring and inconsistent. Generic as well, trying to picture a wimp as an occasional badass. Doesn't work like that anymore.
Sound is alright, it doesn't stand out in either way. There could be some improvements, but that's just personal opinion. I'm trying to have a general opinion on this.
Enjoyment and overall should be read from the above. Didn't enjoy it. It's bad.
Explosively apocalyptically bad. There's anime that you should watch just because they're bad, and the animes you avoid like the plague. This one is the latter.
If there can be one thing said about Chaos Dragon as a whole, I think that would be "I'm glad it didn't get delayed"- because thank God, it's finally over.
Chaos Dragon... what an interesting idea- taking a DnD-based game called "Red Dragon", played by four industry persons and some dude named Simadoriru: Gen Urobuchi of Madoka, Fate Zero and Psycho Pass fame, Kinoko Nasu, creator of the Fate series, Ryougo Narita, who wrote Baccano and Durarara, and Izuki Kogyoku, another author
... and turning the story into an anime. While not an original idea, ("Record of Lodoss War" was the first) it's still one that
could turn into an interesting fantasy style story, replete with dragons, loot, the undead, and fascinating characters who are extensions of the personalities of their creators, right?
Well... Chaos Dragon has these things, but they don't always work out.
Artwork and Animation: 7
A collaborative effort between Silver Link and another studio, Connect- the art stylings are reminiscent of ufotable- large eyes (and everyone has this intensely long cateye that shows through hair) and skinny bodies. The character designs, though, particularly the clothing- are really stupid looking.
Allow me to describe Ibuki, the main character, to the reader.
Imagine, if you will- a young boy, no older than 12. He's got white hair and red eyes, because apparently the entire Nil Kamuian royal family is albino. He's clad in a white tunic, with a belt- and attached to this belt are what appear to be two red trash bags, cut on the sides to appear like pantaloons. He's also wearing flip flops and socks like a real gangsta, and he has a turban on.
This is the most egregious example, but never fear, the rest of the characters from Ibuki's country are clothed similarly idiotically. It is nice, however, to see some character designs that don't involve school uniforms or sailor outfits.
Animation wise, everything is solid. Fairly consistent detail, fairly fluid animation, and a lot of nice looking fantasy backgrounds- castles, valleys, cities, etc.
Sound and Voice Acting: 5
Marina Inoue cast as Ibuki was probably the single best thing they could have done for the show... if they wanted to have a ninnyboy, weenie protagonist. Also the voice of Armin in Attack on Titan, Ms. Inoue delivers another dish of crybaby protagonist in Chaos Dragon, only moreso.
The rest of the cast ranges from pretty boring to fairly chilling, ending with Lou Chen Wah. One Maaya Uchida voices Lou (in a role that would have been perfectly suited for Yukari Tamura) excellently though- bringing the cold hearted evil witch to life.
The problem with the characters lies mostly within the writing abilities and types of characters that writers like Urobuchi and Nasu typically write. It was plainly obvious from about the 4th episode on who wrote which character. Not that this is a bad thing, but given that I knew these two were involved, I was on the lookout for their character, and it was immediately apparent- Lou belongs to the Urobutcher, and Sweallow/Meryl were the Nasu characters.
Lou's character is probably the best in the show, and all credit due her writer- Urobuchi. She's exactly what you'd expect from one of Gen's characters though- ulterior motives, backstabbing bitch, and very cunning. I guess it doesn't hurt that she's also a religious fanatic who's possessed by Soul Edge- an evil sentient sword passed down through the ages that drives the wielders insane and turns them into a slave to gather more souls for the evil sword to increase its power.
At this point, we can safely say that Nasu has no clue how to write (or while playing DnD, act as?) effective female characters, and his male characters ALWAYS follow the same progression.
1. Protagonist has some curse or affliction
2. Protagonist has a heart of gold and some family members or friends to protect
3. Protagonist is lawful good TO A FAULT, and extremely foolhardy upholding their sense of justice/right/must protect/!
Sweallow by far is not the worst character though. No, that award goes to Ibuki, who is probably now on most every top ten list of "Worst/Most Annoying Shonen Protagonists". Not since Suzaku Kururugi have I wanted a character to die so hard as I did Ibuki.
The absolute embodiment of the most stupid shonen tropes, I think Ibuki was created just to anger the audience. It was just tolerable in Fate Stay Night with Shiro, it was acceptable in Neon Genesis Evangelion with Shinji... but Ibuki takes the wiener cake. He's most cowardly, contemptible character I think I've ever seen. His absolute refusal to harm anyone, despite it potentially costing him his life, and his country being at war, ravaged from inside by their own patron dragon is mind boggling. He literally has people throw themselves on his sword to escape his presence, that's how bad it is.
Oh, and Ka Grava is just a sane Big Daddy from Bioshock who wears a top hat and is super rich.
A lot of major things that happen in the show are most likely as a result of dice rolls- characters take damage or die? The player probably rolled low.
Lou's arm loss was probably a result of a bad roll. Lou getting a new stupidly overpowered arm was probably the result of rolling a 20 for loot.
While the story (if one had no knowledge of how a DnD game typically plays out) seems really nonsensical and disconnected, it's really not too bad, other than how excessively tedious it is. DnD games involve a LOT of talking and not a ton of action all the time. This doesn't translate well to a short anime series where you spend the first 3 episodes explaining the world, introducing the characters, and the complex relationships in the world that the Dungeon Master lays out before an adventure.
I do understand that it's necessary to have this exposition, however there are ways to make it interesting, such as short animated scenes in the form of flashbacks, but the beginning montage that repeats the same lines over and over just gets tiresome. Yes, we know the island nation of Nil Kamui is beset upon by Kouran and D'natia, thanks. I don't need to be told 12 times. The story is pushed along by the ever growing (and shrinking) cast. New characters are introduced with nearly every episode, and then a majority of them are killed off throughout the show... I only wish that Ibuki himself was the one that died. His idiotic "curse" really isn't a curse at all. At any point throughout the show, all of the conflict would have been settled and nobody would have had to die if he'd just offed himself, but of course, our little ninny shonen protagonist must survive at all costs!
The story itself is fairly typical of a DnD adventure- a party goes through towns and dungeons and lands in search of a mystical item that will stop the rampaging dragon that's ravaging the land. Some characters have ulterior motives due to their allegiances, and some decide that their friendships are worth more to them than the wills of their government. While this sounds pretty exciting, in actuality, it's rather boring to watch. Each episode is semi formulaic- Ibuki and pals run into a conflict that can only be solved by Ibuki killing one of his friends, and then Lou and Sweallow, and their respective nations scheme other plans for what's going to happen when they find Red Dragon, whether it's to kill or enslave it. The evil is defeated with Red Dragon's power, and they move on to the next place.
Enjoyment and Overall: 4
Chaos Dragon does improve somewhat at the end, but the introduction of yet another Deus Ex Machina character kind of spoils it. The ending is a bit of a head scratcher as to why Ibuki can't just do the deed, but it ends on a nice note at least. (A better note would have been Ibuki's head on a pike, on fire.)
Overall, it's a pretty boring fantasy series. Not a whole lot of redeeming qualities about it, maybe except the artwork. (The 3D CGI doesn't suck!).
Chaos Dragon is a Chaotic Neutral show. It follows its own whims, and like most neutral characters, it's neither good enough to like, or bad enough to despise. It just rides the middle of vanilla territory.
Legends speak of a show that is considered to be one of, if not the absolute worst show of 2015. A show with such incompetent direction and CGI that frame rates slow down in the very first scene. A show with such uninteresting characters that their deaths are a loss to no one in the audience. A show so edgy and poorly written that it can only cause "darkness-induced apathy".
You know what they say about legends. There's always some truth to them.
*Spoilers for Chaos Dragon*
When you hear about an adaptation of a gaming session involving the likes of Gen Urobuchi of Fate/Zero and Psycho-Pass, Kinoko
Nasu of fhe Nasuverse (Fate/Stay Night franchise, Shiki + Melty Blood, Kara no Kyoukai), and others, you can't help but wonder how the hell it'll turn out. It's based on a game session but it's a session from rather popular figures in the realm of anime, even if they're not say, Hideaki Anno. Unfortunately, the writer and the studio ducked up beyond belief and managed to ruin most of the fun that could've come out of something like that, even if there was nothing necessarily indicating that this anime would be good. It's status is almost legendary as one of the worst of 2015 and even the decade, with more people having seen it and calling it shit than Mars of Destruction, even if it's not as popular in its awful reputation as say, Big Order. So, what happened here? Well, let's find out, shall we?
In some island, Nii Kamui is overtaken by D'Natia and Kouran, and the king's son is in an orphanage, but then after people die, he ends up finding this relic that somehow gives him the ability to subconsciously communicate with Red Dragon (because fuck creativity in dragon names). He also gains a really stupid curse: every time he wants to use dragon power, he must kill someone he has a deep connection with and use that soul to eradicate someone else. I needn't mention why such a power is stupid and only there for needless drama, especially since it makes it so that the MC (Ibuki) is always whining about "I love my friends and I won't kill any of them". Seriously, when Fairy Tail is more subtle about friendship, we have a problem here, and Fairy Tail is synonymous with "friendship trumps all". In fact, people have random curses as they're born, like Sweallow's which make him break any tool he touches, except that by the anime's logic, walls and ships are also tools (because while the power wasn't stupid enough, they're basically calling literally every single object a tool, except somehow for his clothes because fuck consistency). I'll touch in what pisses me off the most about the powers later. Also, there are apparently 7 dragons (one for each kingdom I suppose) but we only see two of them: Red Dragon and Black Dragon, which are for Nii Kamui and D'Natia. We don't even see the one for Kouran, or any of the other dragons.
So, an ever-expanding group of flat, poorly-written, and unlikeable assholes (sans a few that only fit the first two categories) join up on an expedition and while the MC wants to find and reason with the now maddened Red Dragon, everyone else (sans two members) wants to kill Red Dragon, which could've created conflict on its own between some of the members of this anime knew how to manage them. They also throw magic into the mix but the only time weever see magic that has a magic circle to clue us into the fact that it's supposed to be magic (since nothing is ever directly classified as such) is when one imperial from Kouran creates a poorly edited blockade. Before you try to classify those soul-sucking weapons (like the one Koukaku has in episodes 1 and 2 if you remember her, or the sentient one that Lou has) as magic weapons, it's never directly stated or even hinted at. Then zombies, or rather "returned ones" show up,and where we get another issue that compounds itself the longer the anime runs. The start off as literal zombies minus the brain eating, but then one of the people Ibuki killed is conscious and able to speak (somewhat), and by the end, the final antagonist is also a returned one but with full consciousness and personality as well as a complete ability to speak as well as she did before, and we never know why.
Characters often make really stupid decisions, like one character actually stabbing himself, gouging his eyes out (or stabbing them with his fingers), and pretending to be a returned one just to get Ibuki to sacrifice him for the dragon since only loved ones and close friends can be sacrificed. Now, this is stupid enough but the part that makes this especially stupid is the fact that he and the main character hardly know each other or have any semblance of a bond, which is mandatory. As you could guess, that plan obviously backfired (since it honestly would've been beyond stupid, even by Chaod Dragon standards to let the sacrifice work). When one f the characters is clearly dying and having a hard time escaping rubble while the final antagonist is causing havoc, Ibuki doesn't let her sacrifice herself, and while ultimately it wouldn't have worked since Red Dragon is under the villain's control, he didn't know that at the time and it just seemed like a lazy way to have justified his idiotic behavior her can't even count as properly sentimental. If he was told earlier that this power wouldn't work for a while or if he tried it and failed which should make his friend live a while longer, then it would've been acceptable. Also, when he tried to say that that same friend shouldn't just be a sword for him as she's asking him if she is his to use (since she really wanted that), he frames it ina way that shits her down horribly rather than what he intended (that she shouldn't think herself of just a sword but more of a closed friend), and unlike say, Lelouch, who often words things poorly on purpose to either take blame or turn people against him, here, Ibuki just fucked up, which is emphasized by the fact that he manages to actually say it right in the finale episode.
After a quick journey that could've been used to flesh it the characters, see then develop a bond of camaraderie with each other (but you know, that's what a good anime would do), it turns out that Ibuki's sister was alive the whole time. Yeah, remember the part where his family died and Nii Kamui was taken over and Red Dragon went insane, all before this expedition started? No? They only went through it every single episode after one scene in the beginning! Give other anime like Bakugan and Fairy Tail some credit; they do it at the very beginning before any OP or scene has a chance to occur rather than shoving a scene beforehand. But yeah, she survived and neither she nor Ibuki were reunited in 3 years since nobody had the bright idea to look, but that might be the leader, Agito's fault, seeing as he wanted someone to kill her after she made Red Dragon go crazy. Then again, seeing as how that required someone to have a contract with Red Dragon and assemble a team to stop her, why wasn't it done earlier? Oh yeah, because they died since instead of assembling a team to stop her, he wastes their time by making them go the volcano where Red Dragon was. He makes the current group do the same thing too, and D'Natia sends their weakest imperial warrior first and only two more powerful soldiers way later since while they went to kill Red Dragon, I guess they're a bit lazy or something. Also, yeah, that sister is the main villain and she revived the first person Ibuki sacrificed; his love interest, and she dies a lot until she dies for good.
Before we get onto the topic of the paragraph's discussion, the reason Ibuki's sister, Inori, can revive her is because she has another artifact of Red Dragon, by this one revives people. Now, remember those curses? Well, apparently, the one Swaellow has is supposed to be part of this bullshit Aesop meant to say that it's human nature to shatter things like object or connections but that new ones are often formed in its place and that he should stay with this power. My response: "Oh, FUCK YOU, ANIME!! You and your bullshit and inconsistently written curse BS that basically ruined a major character's life since childhood was to teach him an Aesop of human nature?! Fuck you, fuck whatever gave him the curse, fuck Black Dragon for not lifting it, fuck Swaellow for being a fucking moron and sticking with it, and fuck the writer for doing this bullshit!" Oh, I still stick by that. It's beyond retarded. Also, after more nonsense and generic trash stuff and one if the characters betraying some of her allies, Ibuki kills his sister and she's revived and Ibuki becomes king. Also, Lou, the one who killed some of the other expedition members, gains that other artifact and then she walks off. The end. Of course I can't really hit every oddity in the series' writing, like Lou's badly done and borderline blatantly telegraphed heel turn, or like god when Swaellow's attendant blocks an object she shot out, it manages to hit him anyway despite the fact that he is literakkgbehind his attendant who blocked the shot. Ether way, this is mkre than enough to really show how awful the writing of this show is. Now, for those bad characters I mentioned earlier.
Ibuki is one of the most infuriatingly whiny protagonists I've ever talked about so far. He always whines about losing and not wanting to lose people he cares about due to his new power, but he never thinks to use his sword regularly and train so that he can actually defend people with his regular skills so that he doesn't have to get to the point of needing to sacrifice them to kill an enemy. It's not excusable by the fact that he is a child because even then, children would've often tried to get stronger so that this never would've happened, or the just would've ran, and he doesn't do either. He just whines the whole time but never actually tries to do anything to improve his situation so that what he fears may never happen again.
Eiha is beyond insistent on dying for this loser, and for no good reason. Her bodyguard devotion to him is her only real trait aside from being discriminated against for being a "bounded one" or one attached to a beast. Lou is easily the least terrible and one that could've been potentially amazing, but her personality is basically "attractively creepy and badass" while having a truly terribly done heel turn. It's probably a coincidence that the best character was made up by Gen Urobuchi. Sweallow (who looks strikingly similar to Gunvolt from the Azure Striker Gunvolt games) is a complete idiot who happens to have that awful curse and still be a badass, but that's his whole character. His attendant (Meryl) is an infuriating character who basically derides him at every turn and hits him, almost like a trash tsundere. Everyone else is either just one-note and barely there so they're not worth mentioning (like Koukaku and Ulrica), or are just idiots who deserve to die (like Kai and Hien), so the only one left to really mention aside from the shitbag 1D dragons is the final antagonist, Inori. God, what a butch. I get that kids can be terrible to each other and to authority sometimes, but they wrote her character to be so unrealistically deplorable and incestuous that it's quite frankly pathetic and downright edgy. All she does is do things for her brother or just be a total monster, and not even the entertainingly evil kind either. I don't feel like anyone else is even worth a paltry sentence of mentioning, so I'll just leave it here. What a shit show of a cast.
Let's start with the character art. It looks like a weird, failed attempt to capture the artstyle found in Studio Ufotable's adaptation of Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works. Given that this isn't Ufotable, I'm right; it was done by Studio Connect and Studio Silver Link, the latter of which is mainly known for a few popular, if somewhat divisive titles like Chivalry of a Failed Knight, and WataMote. Then, we have the animation, which often looks like an animatic rather than animation given the amount of frames that tend to be missing from many movements more advanced than walking. The choreography is awful too, especially in the early episodes. It sometimes becomes painfully obvious as to which scene was done by a different studio like in episodes 7 and 10 looking different in lighting and feel (as well as the wildly inconsistent sizes of Meryl's freckles). The characters often don't feel like they're connecting with the ground properly, especially when they end up rolling around via knockback, and it's rare when an anime gives off this vibe. Overall, actual animation is pretty poor at worst and mediocre at best, especially with the occasional reused footage which I thought died out this day and age, at least until two years later with a certain title that shall not be named
The CGI here is some of the absolute worst that I've seen in anime. Let's start with the goddamn Red Dragon. He looks like an animated version of some kid's over-designed action figure, and at times, they give him the ability to static out of existence. Every bit of movement has different frame rates as well, and it looks beyond ugly. You can apply a lot of this to Black Dragon as well. It's all hideous to look at, and the tentacle monsters summoned at episode 10 not only look terrible, but when they die, they disappear into weird purple hoop CGI that fails miserably at being blood. Some backgrounds are literal live stock footage too, though that's surprisingly hard to notice. Still, it's unacceptable in any circumstances in today's time, or even two years ago when it came out. The CGI beetle-ship in the finale isn't any better. Hell, scene one of episodes 1 and 12 (since it's a repest of the very first scene in episode 1) has a fugly ass CGI castle with abominable frame rate, and it gives me Vietnam War flashbacks to the aforementioned title that I didn't bother to name, and anyone who has kept up with me knows exactly what I'm referring to. God, let's just move on!
The OP, "ISOtone" by Natsumi Kon, is literally the only remotely noteworthy piece of music in this entire damn OST, and it's an alright OP. The ED is bleh; it's not worth mentioning. Neither is the rest of this goddamn OST with how generic and forgettable it is. Worse yet, some of them can be repeated at nauseam, like the piano piece in episode 8 being repeated 4 times in that same episode. As for the dub, it's rather mediocre as well, and I cannot believe that they wasted Lanipator on this piece of crap show. Even Tia Ballard can't save this with how little her character appears, though it's not like these guys were doing that bad. It's just bleh overall and the character models don't even feel like they work with the dub all that much. Also, some of these sound effects are goddamn awful, like with blood splatter sounding like when your get crushed and splattered in Happy Wheels. Let's move on before o get even angrier writing this.
The best times I've had in this train wreck we're those small moments where the show becomes laughably awful. The rest of this show is pretty boring, and the bad fights don't help much, and neither does the train wreck of a story, nor the awful cast of characters, especially Inori and Ibuki. Many moments also pissed me off like with some of the plotholes of stupid decisions, or that horseshit Aesop I mentioned earlier. It's not like I truly hate this show, but I don't like it one bit and I just want this whole ordeal over with.
OVERALL: 2/10 RAW SCORE: 19/100
This is easily one of the worst anime I've seen to date. It's not even memorably bad either; it's one of the most forgettable anime I've ever given such a negative rating to. It's terribly animated, the script is a mess, the characters are bland and/or idiotic, the CGI is fugly as hell, and nothing about this show is actually good; maybe a few things that are decent at best, but certainly not good. People were right in calling this dreck one of the worst anime of 2015. Well, with that said, I bid you adieu.
Now that Chaos Dragon is over I'll be sure to tell the truth about this series.
Chaos Dragon is a very interesting series not because it's good or unique but because it's hard to predict how it could get worse and worse each episode.
But since you could go on for hours about how terrible it was I'll just make a pro's and con's list.
Pro's : The concept itself was interesting and
Some of the less important main characters were fairly good characters.
Con's: Horrible writing, terrible lead character, barely
any effort put into the series, poor execution, nothing memorable from it's soundtrack, crying 12 year old protagonist, terrible animation most of the time, terrible character development, terrible pacing, terrible dragon designs, and plenty of other things.
But long story short Chaos Dragon isn't the worse anime ever but it's definitely close. I'm trying to think of a reason to recommend people to watch it but it's only something I recommend to people who want something to watch to learn how not to make a pathetic series.