Legend of the Millennium Dragon chronicles the adventure of Jun, a shy middle school boy, who is brought back in time to fight in a battle that could destroy the Earth. Although I personally prefer to watch anime in Japanese with English subtitles I opted for English when watching this to see how well the translation was. When it comes to reviewing anime there are two core components to measure; the Story and the animation.
The Story (C-) – Anime has plenty of stories about good vs. evil, man vs. the “oni”, hero’s and villains, God and Demons. I personally found the story here a bit lacking. There wasn’t a lot of back-story and it felt there were still some gaping holes in the story itself (for example there is little to no information on what’s happening back in Jun’s time while he is saving the world or about the Oni’s powers). The film is basically about a glorified turf war between two parties that have some special powers (again little to no explanation on how or where they come from).
The English translation was definitely above average and well done.
The Animation (C) – The animation at certain points is absolutely amazing. The 1st part of the movie reminded me of Princess Mononoke with incredible scenery images of wind-swept trees. The dragon itself is also very well animated. The animation basically goes downhill from there with only the dragon adding a bit of flair to the film.
Alas, the animated characters themselves are not terribly impressive and really ruin the rest of the work that was done.
The Conclusion (C) – The film had so much potential … and decent story (although not terribly original) and some spectacular components to the animation … but when it was done you just feel a little robbed … like you watched a long Saturday morning cartoon.