Drifting Dragons is one of the latest series’ to premiere on Netflix as part of their push into the anime space. The television series is based on a Mac of the same name that was first released in 2016.
Drifting Dragons – television production – is a product of Polygon Pictures, who are also the production house behind Knights of Sidonia. However – unlike its predecessor series- Drifting Dragons is not a sci-fi epic, instead it leans more towards the side of steampunk. According to Crunchyroll, a reliable source of Anime news and content, this anime offers the viewer a “culinary fantasy-adventure”.
The story plays out in a world with a somewhat feudal setting, where the trading routes between distant pockets of humanity are maintained by massive blimp-like airships. Coincidentally, these same airships are used for hunting dragons – a big part of this story.
The series follows the life of Takita – the main character and newest member of one of the last draking-ships (dragon hunting as it’s known in the series), the Quin Zaza, as she and the rest of the crew members harpoon and butcher gigantic flying beasts (not too dissimilar to whaling) to sell and stay fed.
Drifting Dragons Episode by Episode
In terms of world building, one can only call it stellar work. The pilot episode does inspire curiosity about the flying beasts, which play a central role in the story. Interestingly, the dragons in this series are not quite the reptilian beasts that we normally see on our screens. Instead, they look more like the mythical creatures you’d see in a Mizayaki production.
It follows the day to day happenings the Quin Zaza, a draking-ship manned by an ensemble cast where Mika – who is a skilled dragon hunter tasked with showing the Takita the newcomer the art of draking – is the only character (apart from Takita) who truly stands out. He also happens to have some kind of a spiritual connection with the dragons, and also happens to be a terrific cook.
Which takes us to another strange part of this series. Just about every episode involves the cooking of some kind of dragon meat dish. Interestingly, one never gets a true idea of how this dragon meat might taste. One ought to take note that the show does take its time to settle into its strange groove.
The series does have great subtitles – for those who prefer to watch anime in Japanese – and has an equally good English dub, making it a lot more child friendly.
Drifting Dragons had much hype behind it prior to its release and the show does have the ingredients of what could be a great animated television production. However, it is a little disappointing that the show finds itself lacking the dramatic tension it ought to have. Cookie-cutter characters and a narrative with wobbly consistency also way the show down.
In a nutshell, Drifting Dragons hasn’t done too well at blending life drama and full on action the way it should have. This makes it a lot less enthralling than one might have anticipated. However, the fact that there is no villain in the story might do the series a lot of good – if it’s kept that way.