(In “celebration” of the premiere of Symphogear, whose first episode was one of the most terribad anime that I’ve seen since Dragonaut, I’m republishing my posts from my old blog so that everyone can remember just how unbelievably bad Dragonaut was -jpmeyer)
fall 2007 day 3: boobnaut and goshuushousama ninomiya-kun (originally posted on 10/04/2007)
I watched Dragonaut: The Resonance first. I thought I was getting Starship Troopers. I coulda sworn that one preview that I read said that the show had “people fighting aliens with mecha”. What I got was…Divergence Eve. More than anything else, the one thing that stuck out the most (HAR HAR) from this show were the ridiculously enormous bakunyuu boobs on the mature ladies of this show. This of course made perfect sense when I saw that this show has the same character designer as Gravion and Witchblade.
The show itself was actually pretty cool. I had no idea what was going on, but that was really just because this was one of those first episodes that tells you that there’s all sorts of mysterious goings-on in this world. Obviously they’re not going to tell us about that satyr/werewolf/thing that the main characters were fighting or the deal with the secret organization and their experiments, and so on. This leaves us with “This could be cool” and “Damn are those boobs huge.”
We watched this episode on Nico Nico Doga later. They took the site down for maintenance while we were watching it so we didn’t get to see the whole episode. For what we did get to see (about 16 minutes or so), the majority of the comments were about the boobs. “CHICHI DEKEEEEE!” and “SUGEEEEEE” and “KYONYUUwwwwwww” and “OPPAIwwwwww” and so on. It seemed like the only non-boob comments were when people joked about Eva or the fact that the whole cast of Haruhi is in the show.
Then we watched that Ninomiya-kun show, which was fucking gawdawful. It’s gotta be just as bad as myself; yourself. The whole time our comments were basically “LOL I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I’VE SEEN THAT BEFORE LOL”. Just another magical girlfriend show with a female lead that does annoying shit that I’m assuming is considered moe.
So Ninomiya-kun is a oh fuck no and Dragonaut will probably have to get watched on the train, since Hinano will only watch it if the boy and girl hold hands more.
dragonaut: the fiasco (originally posted on 10/30/2007)
One of my favorite blogs is Nathan Rabin’s My Year in Flops at The Onion AV Club. Rabin reappraises two (usually infamous) movie bombs each week and gives them a grade on a three point scale (inspired by one such flop, Elizabethtown): failure, fiasco, and secret success. Failure and secret success are pretty easy to understand. A failure is a bomb that well, really is a bomb. It’s just wholly unenjoyable and fails on just about every level. A secret success isn’t necessarily a great movie, but one that at the very least deserves a second look. It probably failed because it wasn’t marketed (or couldn’t be marketed) properly or came out at the wrong time and not because it was bad.
Fiasco is harder to pin down. A fiasco is probably insanely ambitious or ambitiously insane. You can’t believe what you’re seeing with a fiasco. To compare a failure to a fiasco, in a failure you’d have a terrible actor who’s terribly miscast and terribly botches all of his scenes. In a fiasco, however you’d have something like Rabin’s hypothetical situation where “It’d be like the makers of Rush Hour deciding that nobody would want to see an action movie starring a guy who sounds like a hysterical 10-year-old girl and having Barry White come in and dub all of Chris Tucker’s lines (“Aw, yeah, do you understand the sexy, sexy words coming out of my mouth?”)”
Dragonaut started out as a somewhat interesting show, but is quickly entering fiasco territory. The first sign were the ginormous gazongas on many of the female characters like Dr. Kitajima and Makina. They aren’t like sexy anime girl big, but like freakishly large. Like someone clearly has a raging bakunyuu fetish large. Then to hammer that home, we get these fanservice scenes (which normally wouldn’t trigger any sort of mental alert) which then make them look even more ridiculously huge. Episode 3 had some gems here.
Then we’ve got the CG. I don’t remember if there was any CG in the first episode. The subtext of this statement is that if there was any CG (was that werewolf dude CG? I forget), it didn’t draw any attention to itself. Episode 2 gave us our first look of awful CG when Toa turns into a dragon. This set off the fiasco alarm, but again this was just one shot. But wow, episode 3. Episode 3 gave us tons of CG dragons, and they looked perhaps even more awful than the glimpse of Toa in the previous episode.
But what pushes the awful CG from failure territory into fiasco territory is the presentation. Bad CG and Gonzo goes together like well, I don’t know but uh, two things that are predictably bad that are always seen together. These dragons get presented to us like they are the coolest fuckin’ things EVAR without any comprehension of the fact that they look like what some 13 year old with a pirated copy of Poser thinks is the coolest fuckin’ thing ever. It is actually possible to pull off this sort of approach to something silly and have it work out. GaoGaiGar managed the make the ridiculous AWESOME with things like swiping a card through a slot or the need to smash a button behind a glass panel for a transformation scene that occurs in nearly every episode.
Lastly, we’ve got some story elements that just get ridiculous when you think about them. I’m looking at you, Mr. That Whole People Turning Into Dragons Thing man. Toa and Jin’s kiss in the first episode suddenly gets really, really silly when you think about the fact that he’s kissing some gigantic, goofy-looking CG dragon. My personal favorite is the hilariously homoerotic scene between Gio and what’s-his-face (Kazuki?) during the dragon fight. You see, Gio is what’s his face’s dragon. And somehow Gio, in human form, busts out of the tube that he was being held in at the headquarters and joins the fight. He did not, however stop to get clothes before doing this. I can just picture this naked dragon dude walking (jumping?) through Tokyo, wing-wong flapping in the breeze for miles. Then, to make things even more unintentionally homoerotic than they already were, Jin jumps on top of Gio (after he turns into a dragon, thank God) to chase after some ISDA soldiers while Kazuki yells out lines like “Noooo, he’s mine!” in despair.
boobnaut: the boobonance 4 & 5: dragons…IN SPACE (originally posted on 11/05/2007)
In general, I don’t care about the huge lapses of physics that you see all the time in the movies. I don’t care when a spaceship handles like a fighter plane, when lasers are treated like bullets, people dive through plate glass windows, time doesn’t dilate at warp speed, and so many other errors that I’m sure you all can name in the comments thread. The effects have to be really, really dumb to get me to care. The best example I can think of is how they used sonar to detect a hiding battleship IN SPACE in the Wing Commander movie.
Well, Dragonaut gave a pair of pair of doozies these last two weeks. The first was that Toa could sing to Jin from the surface of the moon. Aside from the fact that transmitting a sound that distance is kind of absurd, it’s traveling THROUGH SPACE. I have no problem when you can hear the Death Star explode in THX (even though in space, no one can hear you scream), but this pushed things a little bit too far. After episode 5, I’m under the impression that it was some kind of telepathic message. But because of the general ridiculousness of this show, singing in space seemed much more plausible than telepathy.
The other space-based physics violation was the way that Gio flew in space. He flew around by flapping his wings. Of course, there is no air for him to generate lift from. You don’t have to get all Ender’s Game when there’s a zero-G setting and have Jin kick off his shoe in order to start moving, but that was just silly. And what’s the deal with Toa and Gio being able to walk around on the surface of the moon with no kind of suit or needing to be in their dragon form, anyway?
Of course, there are still some things that I like about this show (for all the wrong reasons, of course). Kazuki makes me laugh every time I see him. He has such an INTENSE, OBSESSIVE relationship with Gio that whenever someone brings up the topic (even when it’s as minor as like “We are tracking Gio to the Moon”) he flies off the handle and starts frothing at the mouth. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH GIO AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!! It’s like nobody ever took the time to stop and realize just how hilarious he looks. If that doesn’t have yaoi potential written all over it, I don’t know what does.
Finally, this week gave us our first extended scenes with Garnet, aka that dominatrix with ginormous gazongas voiced by Aya Hirano. In general, I think that Aya Hirano seems a bit over-exposed, but her performance here amused me to no end. She seemed to be channeling a circa 2004 Rie Tanaka (think Rozen Maiden and My-Otome) with her delicious scenery chewing. Of the three bakunyuu characters, her boobs make me laugh the most. They move around in a way that no boobs could ever be able to move in, which fills me with lulz. Hinano and I joke that they’re actually prehensile. Her boobs pull out her ID badge and swipe it through the scanner. Then she sits down at her desk and her boobs start typing at the computer. Then her boobs give the order to capture Gio, and once she enters the base, her boobs pull out her sword and start fighting him while she standes still. lol, etc.
I can’t look away. The sillier this show gets, the more I want to watch it.
boobnaut: the crotch bulge-onance 6/7: the best/worst beach episode ever (originally posted on 11/16/2007)
But sorry kiddies, episode 6 isn’t as funny without the context of episode 5. Episode 5 is so totally laden with Kazuki being emo over Gio that I burst out laughing. He’s self-parody at this point, but not really self-conscious parody. Before I go on though, something seems well, off with this picture:
Is it just me, or are Dr. Kitajima’s boobs well, non-ridiculous?
OK so back to Kazuki. This sequence basically sums up his behavior in the series so far:
Automatically the first thing out of his mouth is “GIO?!?!?” What would have made me laugh with, rather than at, the show would’ve been if he was cut off mid-sentence with “No, we are not going to the moon to bring back Gio.” But yeah, his INTENSE, OBSESSIVE relationship with Gio is hilarious in its homoeroticism. He’s so twisted with
sexual tension jealous at Jin that he even Nice Boats the picture of Jin and him that he had in his room. And while we’re on the topic of homoeroticism, this exchange, which IMMEDIATELY followed Jin’s lust-crazed frothing over Gio, also made me lol.
So now it’s beach episode time. And let me tell you, when you think about beach episodes, do you think of the opening picture of Machina, or do you think of these:
That’s right, this episode had probably as much, if not more manservice than scantily-clad ladies in their bathing suits. And seriously, all the dudes get the most package-revealing suits since Papillon’s mankini in Busou Renkin. Additionally, I lol’ed at how Omni’s Boobnaut post conveniently has no screencaps of any of the crotch bulges.
That all said, I was also amused by how episode 7 ended with Kazuki meeting some (obviously huge-boobed) dragon chick and giving up Kazuki for her. Oh noes! What about their hawt yaoi action?
Suffice to say, this is my favorite show of the season.
boobnaut: the butt-onance? (originally posted on 1/14/2008)
Gaze upon the splendor that is the new ED for Dragonaut:
boobnaut: the preview-nance 15 (originally posted on 1/17/2008)
When I first saw this image on Random Curiosity, I assumed that it was a butt. It wasn’t until I watched the episode and saw the “action” scene that those are boobs. In this episode we learned about the Gillard Army’s battle tactics, which basically involves dropping things onto GIOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN, and Akira.
The first ones at least come out of a secret passage. This one (and come to think of it, also those dragons) just dropped out of nowhere. Anway, GIOOOOOOOOOOOOO and JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN eventually make it to Ashim’s throne room thingy where he is keeping Toa prisoner. While GIOOOOOOOOOOOO fights with Garnet’s boobs, Ashim spits loogies at JIIIIIIIIIIIN or something. I’m not really sure what that power is. It was actually kind of cool when JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN decked him when he got distracted.
I almost skipped the preview, but was glad that I didn’t: it featured the bridge bunnies yelling “GIOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Seriously!
the difference between rosario + vampire and dragonaut (originally posted on 1/24/2008)
Rosario + Vampire has been a pleasant surprise. On second thought, maybe that’s too nice of a compliment. It would probably be more accurate to say that it hasn’t been an unwatchable mess. It provides a nice compliment to Dragonaut in the “Oh, Gonzo…” realm. Make no mistake, both shows are pretty bad yet still oddly watchable. They are however slightly different in how they reach their level of watchable badness.
As I’ve written quite a few times already, Boobnaut is fun to watch because the concept and the execution aren’t at the same level. Dragons are pretty cool, mecha are pretty cool, sci-fi action is pretty cool, boobies are pretty cool, scantily-clad ladies are pretty cool, and fighting is pretty cool. The combination of those things is also pretty cool. This isn’t like combining ice cream and hot wings where the components are good separately but together they become a big mess. Instead, to use a pro wrestling analogy, it’s like The Shockmaster: there’s all this buildup to this thing that should be incredibly awesome, and then he trips over his own feet and his helmet flies off. Nothing sums this up better than the awful CG dragons.
Rosario + Vampire does not however have the same pretensions. Rather, the approach here appears to be “Let’s take some source material and then make it really, really stupid.” Moka (what kind of a name is that anyway? “I’ll have a venti moka latte with soy milk?”) has a skirt that is so short that it doesn’t even cover her panties. She doesn’t even have to bend over or have the camera at a weird angle. As for the humor, well, the image at the top of this post basically sums it up. The advantage that this joke has over the Air Gear censor crows is that those crows seemed sort of matter-of-fact there while the bat is part of the joke. It also helps that he is voiced by Takehito Koyasu doing his goofy voice.
Also, there is a Boobnaut doujin at the top at hentaidoujins.net and the boobs in it take up literally half of each page.
boobnaut 18 was hilarious, rather than hilariously bad (originally posted on 2/14/2008)
So let’s review: We timeskip one year. Toa is a scantily-clad waitress who lives with JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN and GIOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (who spends most of the day walking around the house in a pink apron and getting extremely focused on his cooking) in the mountains somewhere. Then Sieglinde (although ANN lists her as “Jacqueline”) shows up and things develop into a full blown KER-RAZY domestic comedy! Oh, and they randomly cut from this to show the bridge bunnies talking about how they love working in space because the zero gravity keeps their backs from hurting because of their ginormous boobs.
Oh man, and Kazuki even comes back from the dead! Sadly, he did not get to say JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN or GIOOOOOOOOOOO. I think he is living with Widow now or something, which I don’t really get since I thought he had that whole INTENSE, OBSESSIVE relationship going on with JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN and GIOOOOOOO. There was this really awkward cut in one of his scenes where he was brooding, then it cut to Widow in the shower (although without copious nuditity) saying “Kazuki, I’ll grant you your wish\”, then cut to Kazuki, then a bunch of random stuff, and then cut to someone washing a woman’s back. Turned out out it was Toa washing Sieglinde, though. I first assumed that it was Kazuki about to get it on with Widow.
The only thing that detracted from this episode was that Gonzo has decided for at least the fourth time this series to have someone get captured by ISDA and require others to rescue them. Why can’t they replace that with more silly human/dragon romance or another human/dragon wedding? Speaking of which, I laughed when Siegelinde hung a lampshade on this whole silliness. “You’re a DRAGON LIVING WITH A HUMAN. YOU ARE WEARING GLASSES. THAT’S NOT EVEN A DISGUISE. You people disgust me.”
our long nightmare is over: dragonaut has ended (originally posted on 3/30/2008)
And with that, the best/worst bad anime in a few years is over. It definitely couldn’t keep up its early pace throughout the series, which from what I have been told may have been because the original writer quit, and therefore the only idea anyone could think of was to have about a dozen episodes where someone gets captured by some group and everyone has to rescue him/her/them. This significantly cut into the amount of time that they were able to have scenes which imply that Gio walked naked from the lab he was in to where Jin is in trouble.
Let’s take a look at this picture. First off, there’s the unintentionally hilarious homoeroticism. Next, you’ve got Kazuki’s hilarious overacting. The way he howls out “GIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” and “JIIIIIIIIIIIIIN” always make me laugh. He starts crying after the fight as well. There’s also the issue of Kazuki’s “scar”. Kazuki comes back from the dead (eyeroll #1) with this thong-shaped patch over his forehead, which is obviously to cover a scar. At one point he removes his panty from his face and the “scar” is tiny (eyeroll #2). I think the scar on my nose from when I got thrown against a wall while wrestling when I was a little kid is bigger than his forehead scar. Then after Kazuki is done
getting a beej losing, he tells Kazuki that he “just wanted to protect him”. Right. You try to protect someone by trying over and over to kill that person.
But of course, how can you talk about Boobnaut without talking about well, the boobs? I actually think that as the show went on, they got less ridiculously displayed. This shot was more of the exception rather than the norm in the final episodes. This can make the show better or worse (or “worse” as in “not as hilariously stupid”). I used this one because the anatomy makes me laugh. It looks almost like Garnet is flat-chested and and she’s standing behind a podium that has an overflowing bag of potatoes or something on it. They just don’t look like they’re attached to her.
Basically, since the second half of the show is so pointless, the best way to get the real Boobnaut experience is probably to watch the first 10 or so episodes, then skip to when Kazuki “dies”, then when he comes back, then to the timeskip episode, and then the last two episodes. That way you miss all the episodes of endless rescues, but still get Garnet’s prehensile boobs, the beach episode that had more manservice than fanservice, Gio in an apron, and of course, plenty of screaming of GIOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. If you try to watch all 25 episodes, the show loses its hilarity, but if you stick to the first half and then those couple other ones, you can have hours of epic lulz.
(Appendix: Still don’t understand how bad Dragonaut was? You don’t need to take my word for it. Behold a sampling:
Dragonaut drove me to drinking
The Power of Love: An in-depth look at Dragonaut…oh god.
Dragonaut GOT THE POWER OF LOVE!
Dragonaut- The Resonance has the best writing ever. I just know it.
Diary of Kazuki from Dragonaut *Now with Pictures!*