The story takes place in Dragon Country. Nonoko is a newly appointed dentist and her mission is to protect the dragon, the guardian of the country, from tooth-cavity bacteria.
One day, amid increasingly fierce battles with the neighboring country, Nonoko finds on the dragon's tooth an unconscious boy soldier from the enemy country. His name is Bell, and he has been resurrected from inside the tooth by the dragon—a supernatural phenomenon that legend says occurs before a major disaster. As Nonoko and Bell go through a series of fierce battles, they eventually learn to accept their fate.
It’s a bird… It’s a plane… no, it’s a jumbo battle dragon?
[A Ghibli Film?]
In a fantastical place called Dragon Country, there exists dragons (... duh) but more importantly, dragon dentists. These “warriors” fight the bacterial monsters thriving upon the dragon’s teeth in order to keep the dragon healthy and functioning. Why? Well, because these dragons are f*cking war machines and Dragon Country is at war with another nation. Nonoko is one such dentist and discovers a boy on top of a tooth one day. He is a soldier named Bell from the enemy country said to be reincarnated by the dragon. Sounds silly right? It
is; but it is also nevertheless interesting. Based on the 8-minute short from the 2014 animator expo, Ryuu no Haisha tells a story about Nonoko and Bell as they fight monsters alongside their fellow dentists and discover the true reason behind the dragons.
Actually, come to think of it, the premise sounds like something Studio Ghibli would do. In fact, there are many similarities between Ryuu no Haisha and select Ghibli films. For example, the bacterial monsters resembles the tar-like substance from Princess Mononoke, and the feel of fantasy and wonder closely mimics those of Ghibli’s past works including Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and more. However, these Ghibli films are far superior to this show. That being said, it does not mean Ryuu no Haisha is a bad show. As a matter of fact, I liked it quite a bit. For having only two episodes to tell the tale, Studio Khara managed to pack a lot of material into 90 minutes; maybe a little too much. Actually, 90 minutes is about how long a movie is. In fact, I like to think about this special as a movie, split into two parts. Here we go:
[Part 1: The Birth of a Calamity]
The first 45 minutes gave us an introduction to the story, setting and characters. You were instantly thrown into an intense battle between battleships and dragons. This highlighted the destructive powers of these dragons and how scary they can be. What instantly captivated my attention was the gorgeous animation. The beautiful artstyle, colours and imagery used were candies to my eyes. I loved the sense of scale when showcasing these dragons; that they were massive! It really accentuated how devastating they were and how small and insignificant humans were when compared to these flying monsters.
The story explained how the rebirth of Bell was a sign of calamity, foreshadowing the events to come. It then brought us to the daily adventures of dragon dentists and how dangerous their work was. We were introduced to a “collection” of characters from dragon dentists, to soldiers, and to the enemies. This took time away from our main characters: Nonoko and Bell. To be honest, there was not much character development for these two. In fact, there were more development for the side characters. The large cast of characters brought this show down as it quickly became messy. There were countless times where I thought: “who was this again?” or “oh, this guy/girl.” The show does not really focus on the two main characters, and because of that, you cannot really connect with them.
I’ve already talked about the art but I have to expand on it. Did I say it was gorgeous yet? There were select dream sequences that dropped my jaw. The genius use of colours and imagery was just stunning! It took you on a trip similar to Alice when she falls down the rabbit hole. I was in wonderland.
Let’s talk about the OP; I loved it. The mellow voice and music that accompanied the mesmerising visuals was enough for me to be sold. The use of minimalism in both the OP and in the show itself was a great because it kept the screen “clean” and emphasised the characters.
The first half ended well. We were properly introduced to this fantastical world filled with wonder and mystery. I was excited to say the least for part two.
[Part 2: How the Mighty Have Fallen]
*Sigh* F*ck me (excuse my language).
How does one show mess up so much? I guess the title was a bit ironic wasn’t it? Prepare yourselves, this will get a bit “ranty”.
First and foremost, what was the purpose of the first two and a half minutes? Why was that there? It made no sense! None of it related to the story at all!
The main story itself also took a turn. It focused less and less on our main characters and more on some shallow, one dimensional villains that I really don’t care about. A villain should be compelling; hated as a person, but loved as a character. Think the Joker from Batman, one of the greatest villains of all time; absolute terrible human being, but an amazing character. The villain from this show had none of that. They were just thrown in as an obstacle for our mains. This brings me back to the old Disney villains; also one dimensional and shallow.
The biggest problem by far was the mess that the show created. It tried to focus on too many things instead of the ones that actually matter. As a result, it became a big jumble of mess. The story jumps back and forth and to places that doesn’t matter. Characters that are unimportant suddenly became important. Characters that I’ve never seen before get introduced, etcetera, etcetera. It was just a wreck.
There was one more thing I wanted to talk about but some of you might consider a spoiler, so skip ahead to the next paragraph if you do not want to read it. Anyways, the end climax to the show is very similar to the climax of Princess Mononoke; like near identical. I did not like that. Not because it tried to copy Princess Mononoke but rather because it did not give off the same feel as when I watched Mononoke, and it left me with zero impact.
To sum it up, part two was a disappointment. There were parts that were good, however, there were more that were wrong.
This show was too ambitious. It tried create something more than it was capable of and as a result, it became a clutter of confusion and mayhem. I think that if the show had more time and more episodes, this would have been less of a problem, However, that was not the case. It only had 90 minutes and it tried to pack too many things into those 90 minutes.
There were countless questions left unanswered, countless stories left unexplored, but most importantly, there was a lack of connection between the audience and the characters. Honestly, I didn’t care for them; the show didn’t give me enough reason to care.
In the end, ambition is what killed this show. What started out as something promising, quickly became one that was dull and muddy. Certain parts of the show should have been left out and others should have been added. What we got was an “Anakin Skywalker”; something with great potential, but lost all of it due to over ambition.
Don’t get me wrong, Ryuu no Haisha was not a bad show. It just could have been much better. The gorgeous art and animation itself should be convincing enough for you to watch it, so give it a watch and see for yourself. Am I right, or was I wrong? Whatever the case may be, Ryuu no Haisha was definitely an enjoyable 90 minutes.
All right, to sum up your appointment, make sure to use mouthwash. Also, remember to floss everyday. Flossing helps get these big ass monsters out of the gaps in your teeth, which we need to kill.
TL;DR at the bottom.
With this anime comes a unique path of reincarnation involving the mythical creatures, dragons. It occurs through the teeth of the dragon, hence the anime title. With that, the requirements of a reincarnation is to have died a meaningless death, while having nothing to return to. It is a sort of redemption I think brings this anime a great uniqueness to it. When reincarnated, they are born
through the teeth over again as the same age as when they died. If successfully reborn through the teeth, the task of whoever is born through the teeth must fight monsters that are born in the gaps of the teeth.
The anime also takes place during war, one that is Humans against Dragons. The reason why was never really talked about, and it really felt like it happened out of nowhere... at first. It came to be the cliche of a hatred towards another race. Despite that, it was enjoyable enough for me to watch both episodes.
Honestly, at first, I came to watch this because I goddamn love dragons ever since I was a kid. So if you'd like some dragonic nostalgia, this is something to come to.
The animation is quite comparable to that of Trigger. There are many times I was actually confused on whether it was CGI, or 2D. That is something I think brings this to be a high point of the series. However, there are times when it can get trippy as hell, like the opening of the first episode and some moments in the second episode. With someone like me, I like watching something as if I was inhaling drugs of the sort.
However, with the opening, it is nothing different than watching the rainbow found in a puddle just making movement.. I personally thought it was cool hehe.
I think the seiyuus are good for how well they match the character's ego. There is not much else to say about that. The opening sounded nice.
Also, do you like dubstep? No? Then, this part will definitely be your cup of tea. For me, it was well matched to the atmospheres at the times certain soundtracks tried to invoke. It did a well job.
This anime is about an individual who was reincarnated after being killed, and the young man's name is Bell. Bell seemed like an emotional teenager whose mood is sullied through forcing it onto himself for some strange means. However, after learning of his past life, it is understandable why he is the way he is, and I only came to root for him after learning such. Along with the main character comes Nonoko, aka the cute girl of the series aka why is she not my wife yet. With her, I feel she serves as a support for the main character after his ass being pulled out of the tooth of a dragon, and having to suffer life all over again (joke). In the end, it is up to them when it comes to saving the day.
Outside of those characters besides Godou, Arisugawa and Shibana, the other characters really felt unnecessary to the story. With what I was given on this part, I was at least able to enjoy it a little bit, so I'll give it that.
Again, I came because I love dragons. I was given more than that, which was something I found to be quite enjoyable. I was rooting for the main characters to get through the obstacles, and finding myself into doing so made the experience all the better.
This is not something I recommend to anyone who wants a full-fledged story, but wants some eye candy. This is not a spectacular anime. I personally like this, despite the lacking depth the story has. There is not any huge world building which i would like to have known more about, but that IS what you get from an anime with only TWO episodes. It was enough to keep my attention while gasping at the animation, which I think is good enough.
It could be something to pull at your heart, and bring an opinion that agrees with me, or it can be something that steals your time, making you want it back.
Do I suggest it?
Do you have time to kill for some eye candy? Yes? Then it is here.
Do you want a full-fledged story explaining everything? No? Then you can pass it up.
Ryuu no Haisha is a two episode special which will take you to a fictional world with wars, magic, bugs and, of course, dragons.
The female main character is Nonoko, a cheerful girl and "Dragon Dentist". This work includes... yes, you guessed right: cleaning dragon's teeth. Now, the dragons are not those kind of dragons you are used to. I sometimes wondered during the episodes whether if those dragons were really alive or they were just machines...
The dragon dentist won't clean those teeth because they are dirty. They have little creatures that look like bacterias or bugs. I won't tell you what they really are, but
let me tell that theirs is a tough job on which these dentist risk their lives.
The male protagonist is Bell. It is early reveled that he was a soldier who died and ended up on the dragon. Both, Nonoko and Bell, start a senpai-kouhai relationship in which Nonoko teaches Bell how is it to be a dragon dentist.
From this point the story develops on a wonderful way. You will find these two episodes full of action and with a worked out background. Even though the whole animation lasts 90 minutes, the setting and characters are successfully developed.
If there is something I didn't really like is the animation itself. I must admit I'm not someone who knows much about it, but I didn't like some scenes or cameos in which you can realize that the animation is too "computer-made". I hope you can get my point from this.
Anyway, I found on Ryuu no Haisha an original story, full of action and fantasy. It is somehow refreshig to see something like this, specially when you are used to slice of life, romance, school animes. I'm sure anyone who starts watching it will want to see it until the end: I found it catchy and really enjoyable.
This show reminds of the feeling I had when I watched FLCL for the first time, mixed in with shades of watching my first Ghibli movie. It was a little strange, but strangely awesome.
The art is quite clean and everything in this show was very well animated with nice art and character designs. The small cast of characters were all enjoyable. Nothing about this show had blatant fan service of any sort.
The story is not the emphasis here but is really a means to an end in order to show the fruits of this studio's labor. To
present their abilities in creativity, music (which was excellent might I add), art, and animation. The story was presented with just the right tone of maturity as well.
It is a perfect example of why I still watch anime today. The capability to portray a surreal fantasy setting story about dragon tooth dentists, while simultaneously conveying subtle underlying themes surrounding the significance of life. None of it really made sense and the show doesn't go into depth about explaining any concepts or about what's going on. Instead the focus is on the presentation of story events rather than the semantics of it all. All of this mixed in with a small amount of war & action... It looks nonsensical on paper, but it really worked out wonderfully.
Although there was just simply not enough time to become invested due to the show being only 2 episodes long, I'd say for the time allotted, it did a great job doing its best.
Simply put, it was a joy to watch. Very original, highly creative, short, soothing, sweet, and inconclusive, leaving perhaps room for more content in the future. Considering the level of high quality put into these 2 specials, I hope more will come.