Summer (2015) Anime Previews - Chaos Dragon - 赤竜戦役

11:11 PM

From this forum post

I don't know a heck of a lot about this series, but from what I do know, it doesn't seem like this one is going to go well.

Title: Chaos Dragon - Sekiryu Seneki, Chaos Dragon: Red Dragon Campaign
Production: Connect / Silver Link
Genre: Fantasy, Action
Airs: July 2nd (today), 2015

Chaos Dragon is unique in it's original form. The story itself is rather generic, but this one started life as a tabletop RPG game between some notable names in the anime, and it's surrounding industries:
  • Kinoko Nasu (TYPEMOON: Fate/Stay Night, Tsukihime, Kara no Kyoukai)
  • Urobuchi Gen (Nitroplus: Saya no Uta, Fate/Zero, Madoka, Psycho-Pass)
  • Ryogo Narita (Light novelist: Baccano!, Durarara!!)
  • Izuki Kogyoku (Light novelist: ミミズクと夜の王 and other works)
  • Simdoriru (Illustrator, doujinshi artist)

I've read a few transcripts of the original play session, and I can say that the characters are based loosely off of something like a generalization of the player's works. Then the character is played however the person wants - Urobuchi takes a rather dark path of this, opting to have fun messing with the party as the antihero (sometimes more villain than hero). 

The concept of creating a series based off of a tabletop RPG game isn't new - the biggest example being Record of the Lodoss War, which was based off of the creator's Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. It's a unique form of storytelling that involves everybody involved, giving the resulting story an organic feel. Sometimes it won't make a whole lot of sense, especially on rolls - like failing a roll even with advantage would look like missing even when you're point blank. It results in a more unpredictable story, as the progression relies not only on the player's decisions, but on the roll of the dice. 

There are some things I'm worried about for this series. Firstly is the change of Urobuchi's character. A mysterious male assassin, seen top left in the header image, he's changed to this buxom female character.

Maybe I'm just being alarmist and overly cautious, but this is (as I take it) an attempt to appeal to the otaku market. Either that or the series compositor decided that the chemistry that Urobuchi had with Nasu was too good to pass up. Based on the PVs, I'm a bit worried that they might go a bit overboard with the fanservice aspects, especially with Ro Chengfa (Urobuchi's character, iirc). 

Secondly, the length of the series determines the quality. I'm not advocating longer series are better, but rather that series with decent or interesting stories shouldn't be subjected to the mutilation that many do to try to squeeze a whole story into 12 episodes. We see this with many light novel adaptations, where they'll squeeze an entire volume or two into an episode - a rushed pacing that often leaves out important scenes and details that end up detracting from the overall story. 

Seems like this series will be 12 episodes, and I don't doubt that this one will be one of those series that's remember two seasons from now. Sadly, many series these days are doomed to quickly fall into obscurity - something I'll discuss in a later post.

I look forward to other media forms this one takes, and I'll give this one the old college try (3 episodes). Initial reactions are pretty negative so I'm not holding much hope for this one to turn itself around. Maybe a manga series based on the resulting novels or actual play session might do this series more justice than this anime, which is likely a big ad for the smartphone game dropping something this year.

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