Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fighting TV Dragons

I keep forgetting to follow up on this entry from last year, even though I did purchase and finish FIGHT! DRAGON - eventually. I have to say, I think it took me longer to watch the series than it took for it to originally air. But no matter, it's still worth discussing the show. Too bad the Mill Creek Youtube account has gone the way of the dodo, and taken the FIGHT! DRAGON video with it.

FIGHT! DRAGON has great action, just like many of the classic Japanese superhero shows of its era, and Yasuaki Kurata does a fine job holding the thing together. I was less taken by the supporting cast, specifically the comic relief who genuinely started to grate on me after awhile. I guess if he'd been portrayed as more effective, albeit goofy, it wouldn't have bothered me as much. As it was, he came across as a waste of space.

There are some good villains in the show too, though I have to confess that I miss the outrageous monster costumes and more over-the-top stuff which characterizes the superheroes. It was nice when folks like Susumu Kurobe and Shunsuke Ikeda turn up in supporting roles, and I was delighted to see wrestler Mammoth Suzuki (of THE WAR IN SPACE) as an adversary that didn't have to wear a big furry suit.

The scripting by Masaru Igami (every episode!) is pretty good, with a few episodes that stand out due to nice plot twists. It sure looks as if he had to change some plans along the way, and as a result, assassin's guild SHADOW gets a bit muddled. That ultimately leads into the rather anti-climactic non-ending ending of the series. What a disappointment that was.

I suppose I can see the merits of ending FIGHT! DRAGON the way they did, but it sure feels as if the whole thing comes up woefully short. Thinking about it, they were probably painted into a corner and simply unable to pull off a truly satisfying finale by the 26th episode. Since there would be no sequels (right?), we're left with an open ending. It's far from the worst, but I had hoped for more.

FIGHT! DRAGON is a good quality series, even if maddeningly imperfect, and you can still probably find it for relatively cheap. Buy it, watch it, love it.

No comments:

Post a Comment