Dragon Drive

Plot: Reiji Ozora has a habit of quitting in the middle of things, so people think of him as a half-baked loser. But when Reiji's friend, Maiko, introduces him to the virtual-reality/card battle game, Dragon Drive, he's hooked. His little dragon, Chibi, doesn't look very threatening, but when things get rough, Chibi unleashes a hidden power. However, D.D. also isn't what it seems: the game is actually linked to an alternate world known as Rikyu, and an evil organization called RI-ON is using the game to train warriors to take it over -- as Reiji and a handful of friends find out when they are summoned to the other world... (A-)

Characters: B+

Art & Animation: B+

Voice Acting: I haven't actually seen the anime in a long time, but I recall thinking the acting wasn't all that great. (B)

Music: Again, I don't remember it well. (But if it didn't leave much of an impression, good or bad, I'll give it a B-.)

Objectionable Content: Blood (The book has some surprisingly disturbing scenes, for a manga with an "A" rating.)

Other: This series masquerades as a tournament anime/manga for younger audiences, but it quickly shifts to something else entirely -- a complex fantasy/adventure story with some fairly dark material. I say this having read the manga until the end of Reiji's arc in volume 8. The anime may have a slightly lighter tone (I only saw the first DVD).

Overall Score: B+

Recommendation: 2/5

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