What They Say:
Reiji Ozora was just another loser in junior high… but that was before he met Chibi, a cute and innocent-looking “sleeping dragon” living in a virtual world called D-Zone. Now he is hooked on this virtual-reality game “Dragon Drive” that lets you slip into D-Zone and battle against the other players with their dragons. Find out how Reiji deals with some of the strongest players while his only hope is the weakest dragon with zero assault power!”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
At this point in the show, while things are still fairly enjoyable and it has its own rhythm that keeps things going, there are things happening that feel like they’re just stretching things out more than they should be. From an extended issue with Rockaku’s past to the new objective that they have to go after with the four shrines.
In particular, one area gets settled surprisingly quickly and that’s the entire subplot with SinnSaber. A lot has been put into his legendary status and the time that Reiji has spent looking for him so when we do actually get close to finding him, things divert even more as Reiji gives in to Hikaru’s constant desire for a fight. But even then he lets Hikaru make the first move since he’s the one that’s demanding the fight. With this happening near where SinnSaber is supposed to be, their fight actually brings out the legendary creature and it does its best to eliminate both of the fighters before it moves on. As we soon learn, SinnSaber does not like dragons fighting and that’s one of the few things that wakes him up. This turns into another subplot with the old guy we met outside the forest and he tries to get Reiji and Hikaru to help rescue his daughter.
All of this leads to the eventual fight with SinnSaber and as legendary of a dragon as he is, they seem to have spent more time in trying to find him and with the subplots than it takes to actually defeat him. It’s really over so quickly that it feels like a diversion than anything else but something that was necessary in order to change Chibi. With SinnSaber’s defeat, Chibi becomes infused with his power but it’s something that he has to fight to control since it’s just so much. Chibi in his boosted form is an extremely powerful dragon now, though when he’s still in his small form and surrounded by the red energy he’s more like a feral beast. When he’s in his large mode and really fighting, he’s definitely not the same dragon that he was before.
Reiji eventually works on spending his time trying to help Chibi master his powers but his methods of fighting against the others tend to turn them off since he’s just so very powerful now. Another change that takes place is with the return of Kouhei into things and he’s starting up his own “party” again and manages to bring Sayaka under his wings, which is interesting because Kyoji sticks with Reiji’s group and is essentially disappointed that she’s gone to his side, even though she’s just after the dragonite. He’s definitely gained some feelings for her and this change hasn’t left him in a good place, though he does continue to pull his weight with the group.
After all is said and done though, we’re back to yet another mission where the group has to go different ways to find the four shrines and find a way through them to defeat Kouhei and his plans in this “game” of his and his fathers. But just like the SinnSaber side plot, it’s already got that feeling like it’ll be dealt with quickly and that most of what we’re going to get in the next two volumes are just events that will have the same feeling. Nothing will really matter until we get to the last volume where the final attacks and plans will actually go into play. I just have a sneaking suspicion that the rest of the show, while not filler, is going to have that kind of feel to it.
With a good deal of time spent with Rockaku’s past and how it’s now affecting the present, that fleshes out the second half of the show but all of it really just feels like pieces of a puzzle that fit but are bland and don’t really add much to the overall image. The SinnSaber material was just very awkwardly executed in how it was told and the parts with Rockaku’s past are the kinds of things that misunderstandings are built on that even a moment’s worth of dialogue would fix but everyone’s too busy fighting and yelling to actually have. There are some really good fight scenes throughout this with the CG dragons but even those can’t help elevate this set of episodes beyond what it is.