When I began watching Chaos Dragon two and a half months ago I found the first 15 minutes of the show beyond boring. Once the action started I was hesitant to be interested, but when the episode drew to a close I was hooked. ‘Pledge yourself to me, Imperial.” stuck in my brain for the longest time. I reflexively took the show and then realized suddenly: no one else is watching this show with me. Unfortunately for Chaos Dragon I doubt it will ever reach the fame levels as some shows like Overlord and School-Live! because it is a much different kind of show. Chaos Dragon could have benefited from being a longer show with a serious focus on all the characters. The show did a great job at feeling like a spiraling adventure about a group of people but suffered from it’s shorter screentime. Yet the story likely couldn’t have gone more than 8 episodes beyond what it was or else it would have done the same thing the first episode did: drag on.

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The best way I can talk about Chaos Dragon is to say it is sturdily above a show it reminds me of. A few seasons ago I covered Black Bullet, a fairly docile show, which is a show I enjoyed but felt there were some lacking elements. When I want to say a show is ‘good’ but not ‘great’ I put it on Black Bullet’s level- entertaining with some original qualities that needed to be expanded upon. Chaos Dragon is slightly above that. In a worse season I would even argue it was one of the best shows. No, Chaos Dragon suffers because it is up against shows that largely dominate it: and for good reason. Yet while Chaos Dragon will never have the unique approach of Overlord or the sincere pain of School-Live, it has a largely unique approach to the tale of adventurers.

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Chaos Dragon’s main appeal is that every adventurer in this group is out to screw each other over. In a grittier show all these characters would have murdered each other (and trust me, they really tried) and suffered far worse consequences than they did. Perhaps the reason Chaos Dragon can’t quite capture its counterparts is because it does not go beyond its initial grasp at originality: never is the pain the same as the first episode. Never does Ibuki have to destroy in the same manner as he did in the first episode. Yet the one thing about Chaos Dragon is that Ibuki is finally a protagonist who is willing to cause himself suffering to do what is right. Ibuki acknowledges he has given up very little in order to keep his kingdom going: so he finally gives up something: Yet even in death he finds a way to keep it. . .and who can argue with the aesthetics?

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I found at the end I still liked most of the cast. Everyone largely redeems themselves, except Lou who remains fun simply because she is true to her character beginning and end, and nobody really breaks the rules. While it was entirely possible for everyone to achieve something perfect most of the characters in Chaos Dragon elect not to change. While Lou is easy to hate, why would you? You know she is forever trapped under the enchantment of her cursed sword. Likewise, Sweallow opts not to give up his curse because he believes it is the embodiment of life itself: humans create and destroy anew. Ibuki chooses to embrace his curse and kill what was Eykha in order to rebirth her with what is left of herself and Val’s life- giving the girl he loved life anew while potentially erasing what she was.

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Is this show perfect? No, Chaos Dragon cannot stand up to the power of a Lich King or a delusional set of girls fighting zombie apocalypses. But perhaps when you compare the show to the other counterparts of the season, perhaps when you ask yourself if this oddly genuine show can stand up to cute Seiryuus and time travel mysteries and a series of warriors in bikinis- it can hold its own. Chaos Dragon’s finale shows that while it may never be one of the defining classics, it is still an enjoyable watch.

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Finally, the cast of characters warrants the show a solid 8/10. The plot itself gets a 7. So to round it out, the final verdict of Chaos Dragon is simply:

7.5 – you’ll eat your curse for dinner and like it, dammit.

So enjoy, readers, if the show you’re looking for is an engaging story with a twist, it is here! But you won’t find any shrimp in your grits, there is no Evangelion in this B anime. Perhaps next time.