Dragon Half: Cute Medieval Fantasy Girls

Dragon Half

Dragon Half fills a unique niche in anime: it’s a slapstick medieval fantasy comedy that runs on cartoon logic.

Dragon Half MinkThere have been other humorous fantasy manga and anime series. But, with its goofy characters, silly plot, and cartoon prop gags, Dragon Half makes Slayers look like a serious fantasy adventure story by comparison. 

The series is also heavy on the fanservice, with female characters who tend to wear inexplicably skimpy and useless-looking armor. The characters are strong, tough, and good at dodging, so it probably doesn’t matter all that much that their armor has obvious leg, thigh and midriff weak points.

The anime is slightly less suggestive than the manga, partially because the characters tend to pop in and out of chibi form all the time. The super-deformed chibi style is great for jokes, physical humor and wild reactions, but it’s hard to look sexy when you’re a squat little toon.

Having said that, there is a scene during a martial arts tournament where a combatant gets off a lucky shot that manages to shatter part of the main character’s trademark conical armor.

Later in that same scene, she forgets that she’s now partially undressed and jumps for joy, giving the audience a brief flash, a la New Orleans Mardi Gras.

The Plot

The plot doesn’t really matter much, since the anime got cut short after two episodes. But basically, here’s the anime in a nutshell:

Dragon Half Mink RouceMink, the daughter of a dragon, is herself half dragon, hence the Dragon Half title. She gets it from her mother’s side.

It seems that Mink’s father was a swordsman, who was sent by the king to slay a dragon. Instead, he fell in love with her and they got married.

It probably helps that mom can transform into a humanoid form.

Mink’s father is spelled either Rouce or Ruth, depending upon the translation. 

Time passes, and Mink is now a teenage girl. She has a crush on an idol singer/ dragon slayer with a horrible name, Dick Saucer.

Meanwhile, the evil king now wants to get revenge on Ruth for betraying him. He also wants the wife (i.e., Mink’s mom) for himself. He sends someone to kidnap Mink, so he can lure the father into a trap or something. 

Note: Given Mink’s apparent age, the king waited a long time to get his revenge, didn’t he?

There’s a good gag where the bad guy uses a fake Dick Saucer concert ticket as bait to try to capture Mink. There’s more silliness when Mink realizes she’s been tricked.

In the second episode, Mink still has a crush on Saucer. Saucer is clearly trying to kill her, and any normal person would probably notice that he’s taking big swings at her with his sword.

But Mink either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care about that. She misinterprets a comment about her wings and tail (the things which identify her as a dragon) as proof that she needs to get rid of them so Saucer will be interested in her.

To do that, she needs a ‘people potion,’ which can turn her 100 percent human. To get the potion, she needs to slay a Demon Lord. But in order to slay the Demon Lord (or Demon King), she needs to go to the Demon Lord’s island.

She enters a tournament to win the money for the plane tickets to get there.

The story is not that complicated, but it does go all over the place. The anime takes several chapters of the manga and manages to condense the better parts into two episodes. The whole entire Demon Lord plot is dropped so quickly, viewers might forget about it, too.

The ending of the second episode suggests that the anime might have continued. A couple of the bad guys swear to get Mink next time. The problem is, there is no ‘next time.’ Apparently this would have happened in episodes three and four, which were cancelled.

The anime is very cartoonish. Heavy objects can appear out of nowhere to crush people who make stupid comments, or who deserve a good whack on the head. Nobody is immune from bad jokes and other slapstick gags. It’s all silly fun.

The manga is somewhat less slapstick than the anime. It is still a parody of the fantasy genre, and as a parody it is quite funny.

But the fights get a bit more serious, the tournament’s Dragon Ball-ish elements are more obvious. The story has more time to grow and expand. The characters get more background and development.

Characters of Dragon Half

Mink — A red-headed half dragon. She’s in love with Dick Saucer and thinks her father is a loser. She can be something of a hothead, but also something of a ditz. 

Lufa — An elf girl, and also Mink’s best friend. She’s the second-largest source of fanservice, behind Mink. She is very weak. In the manga, it is suggested that Lufa’s father is Link. Other side characters have video game names, such as Mario and Peach.

Dick Saucer — Idol and dragonslayer. He tries to kill Mink. Later on in the manga, he falls in love with Mink. By the end of the manga, Mink and Dick end up with a daughter, Pink. None of this makes it to the anime.

Pia — A short human girl. She is friends with Mink and Lufa. She has a pet mouse, Mappy.

Vena — A half-slime and a princess. Her mother was a slime who transformed into a human with the people potion. She is a rival to Mink. Her name is sometimes spelled Bina, Vina or Veena.

King Siva — Vena’s father and an enemy to Mink. He’s not too bright, although the bar isn’t set very high in this series. Vena’s mother seems to think that the king looks like a slime. He’s bald and has a round head.

Damaramu — One of the main villains out to get Mink. He’s dumber than the king. He survived having a sword in his head by having a small brain.

History of Dragon Half

Dragon Half started out as a manga, which ran from 1988 to 1994. There were 65 chapters in seven volumes.

The anime is an Original Video Animation (OVA). It is only two episodes long. Each episode is standard length for an anime. It came out in 1993.

The ending theme song, My Omelette, is a cute little ditty to the tune of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. It is sung in character by Mink’s voice actress, Kotono Mitsuishi.

Incidentally, Mitsuishi is also Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon and Misato from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

There was also a Dragon Half video game in 1993. You might think that the name Dragon Half sounds a bit like Dragon Quest, the classic Enix (later Square Enix) RPG game. Dragon Quest and Dragon Half both also share a medieval fantasy setting and slimes as enemies.

However, the game isn’t Mink Quest, or a Dragon Quest clone. It was made by Microcabin, not Enix, for the PC-98, a computer system popular in Japan. The game is an RPG with a card-based combat system.

Dragon Half is available on Crunchyroll.

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