Panzer Dragoon box cover

© 1995 Sega Enterprises


Available on VHS from A.D. Vision.
30 minutes
Version I Watched: Dubbed in English
Objectionable Content: Violence

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Panzer Dragoon

Panzer Dragoon is a perfect example of why video games should not be made into anime. From what I have read, the Panzer Dragoon RPG for the Sega Saturn is actually very good, containing a rich, involving story. Sadly, the anime version is closer to the "See Spot Run" level. It's that devoid of substance.

Here's the plot: This adventurer-type named Kyle is gallivanting across a badly pixelated desert with his blind girlfriend Alita. Along comes these two dragons, a blue dragon battling a black dragon. The black dragon kills the blue dragon's rider and kidnaps Kyle's girlfriend, before heading off towards this evil black tower. So, Kyle hops on the blue dragon and goes after them. They eventually get to the tower—although there is a minor stopover involving the destruction of a fleet of airships—fight a little bit, and... that's it.

As stated, the plot is entirely devoid of substance, making it tough to find any excuse to watch the thing. There's no character development to speak of. Aside from a brief flashback, we never learn who Kyle is. We definitely don't learn anything about the black dragon or the ominous tower that it is racing to find. We also never learn anything about Alita, especially why the black dragon wants her in the first place.

Panzer Dragoon is lacking in a number of other areas, as well. The art and animation consists of a bunch of pixilated backgrounds, flat character art, and cheesy lighting effects. It looks like the kind of animation project a student would produce on their home PC. The music isn't much better and sounds like it was ripped directly from the video game soundtrack. The dialogue is terrible, with stilted voice acting to match. The action scenes are repetitive and dull, consisting primarily of the two dragons shooting laser beams back and forth. Not to mention there is no tension in the conflict, because there is no meaning attached to it.

The highlight of Panzer Dragoon is that it ends quickly. With barely 30 minutes of running time, anyone unfortunate enough to be subjected to this anime won't suffer for long. Unless, of course, they dolled out the cash to buy this. In which case, I'd be hoping for a refund.

The Verdict: * 1/2 (very poor)


Panzer Dragoon image
Panzer Dragoon image
Panzer Dragoon image
Panzer Dragoon image