Drifting Dragons

By Jacob A. Allen, @jacobaallen


Hello and welcome to Anime Fan Helper. I've been thinking I should do a story on Drifting Dragons since I watched the anime during the winter season of 2020. I had heard Netflix picked it up and was doing the English dubbing of it. I decided it was best to wait till Netflix dubbing came out to do the story. Drifting Dragon originally was on Fuji Tv in the winter season. Netflix is the dubber of it. So it is not a Netflix original like they claim it is. Drifting Dragons anime is based on the manga with the same name. It is by Taku Kuwabara. The anime pretty much follows the manga with no real difference which is rare with such a monthly manga series when they don’t plan on having a season 2. But I digress. Drifting Dragons anime is by Polygon Pictures. Polygon Pictures specializes in 3DCG. 3DCG is a computer made animation. It's like a Pixar animation. The animation style is unique and has been gaining popularity in recent years. Even though Netflix seems to be a big supporter of the style, however, it's still pretty rare to see it used on a series. I think it works really well for Drifting Dragon since the story mainly takes place on an airship and it makes the dragons look like nothing else this reporter has ever seen.

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The story of Drifting Dragons is basic. What happens when you take whaling and put it together with dragons and steampunk airships? You get a really good story. Drifting Dragon follows a group of Drakers. A Draker is an air sailor who hunts dragons. The story follows a group of Drakers on their airship hunting dragons. The story uses many elements from whaling to bring it to life from the way they hunt the dragons to how they cut them up. Even the reasons they hunt the dragons are the same reasons we used to hunt whales: meat, oil, medicine, and tools/art from the bones. It even goes so far as to show cooking lessons using dragon meat throughout the series.

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The story picks up right around the time the newest crew members Takita, joins. She's a novice at draking and wants to get better. She takes a liking to a senior crew member, Mika, the fearless member of the crew. He hunts dragons because he loves the meat. The story focuses a lot on these two early on while introducing the other members. For a little bit, before learning their names, they can basically go by their type. For example, there's the cool girl, Vannie, the serious new member, Jiro and so on. Those out the story or more like the time we spend on the Quin Zaza you get to know all the crew members.

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The series is filled with a ton of adventure and not all the episodes are just about hunting dragons. Often, while watching, it will feel like a “Slice of Life” since no one was Isaka. You're not starting at the home port or on one main character. It's the slice of life of a Draker. What is surprising is that there are no pop culture references at all. The story focuses on the Drakers while they search for dragons. The story is set up in an arc style format and Taku managed to fit 3 arcs in the 12 episodes.

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I honestly thought when I first heard about it that it might be good. The style reminded me of the airships used in Miyazaki, Castle in the Sky. The story has a Miyazaki feel to it with the focus on airships and great character development. I personally really enjoyed it and I hope they make another season. As always, be sure to comment and share your thoughts on it.