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Metal Armor Dragonar


areaseven
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Kikou Senki Dragonar ( 機甲戦記ドラグナー )
Sunrise/Nagoya TV/Bandai Visual, 1987-1988
U.S. Distributor Pending.
Directed by the late Takeyuki Kanda (Round Vernian VIFAM, Gundam: The 08th MS Team).
Running Time: 25 minutes per episode.
Not Rated (Suggested 13+). Contains sci-fi violence.



Cast
Masami Kikuchi (Tenchi Muyo!, Keiichi in Ah! My Goddess) as Ken
Kenyuu Horiuchi (Daley in Bubblegum Crisis, Hans in Psycho Armor Govarian) as Light
Yoshitaka Ohtsuka (Beck in The Big O, Chibodee in Mobile Fighter G-Gundam) as Tap
Bin Shimada (Stick Bernard in Genesis Climber Mospeada, Scirocco in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam) as Jean
Akiko Hiramatsu (Miyuki in You're Under Arrest, Yukari-chan in Azumanga Daioh) as Rose
Masako Katsuki (Deunan in Appleseed, Sailor Neptune in Sailor Moon S) as Diane
Saeko Shimazu (Four Murasame in Zeta Gundam, Yuri in The Dirty Pair) as Min
Hiroshi Takemura (Crusher Joe, God Ginrai in Transformers: Masterforce) as Welner
Shinya Otaki (Nakato in Gundam 0083) as Douglas
Jurota Kosugi (Dryden in Escaflowne, Zagato in Magic Knight Rayearth) as Mayo
Kayoko Fujii as Linda
Unshou Ishizuka (Guld in Macross Plus, Jet Black in Cowboy Bebop) as the narrator

Synopsis
A.D. 2087 - the United Lunar Empire Giganos wages war on the Earth Federation Military to take control of the planet and establish a "rebirth" of the human race. During an invasion of a colony by Giganos' forces, three civilian men - Ken, Light and Tap - stumble upon a trio of top-secret Metal Armor units called "Dragonars" and pilot them to combat the enemy forces.

Story: B+
From the first episode, your first reaction will probably be "another Gundam wannabe title." Yes, it starts with some mass-destruction (in Australia. Again.) and the invasion of a space colony, but the difference is that we get not one, but three main heroes of the story. Unlike Gundam, none of these guys are wimps like Amuro Ray. What makes Dragonar more unique is Tap - the first (and only) African-American lead character in a mecha anime. Despite having a similar beginning to Gundam, Dragonar looks a lot more promising than Gundam SEED.

Animation: A-
What kind of budget did Sunrise put on the opening animation? Every time I watch the sequence (which alone gets an A+), I keep thinking these are the exact same animators that did Gundam 0083. Kenichi Onuki (Garzey's Wing, Earthian) did some excellent character designs that are on par with Hiroyuki Kitazume's (Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, Bastard!!) works. Bash Kunio Okawara (Mobile Suit Gundam, King of Braves GaoGaiGar) all you want, but you gotta admit that Dragonar has some of his better designs.

Soundtrack: B
The opening theme is pretty catchy (if you don't mind '80s) and the BGM is okay. I just need to watch further episodes for more of the music.

The Bottom Line
Forget Gundam SEED. Watch Metal Armor Dragonar instead. Old school mecha anime still rules.

Reference
Anime News Network Edited by azrael
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Yeah after watching the first episode I was like uhhh this IS gundam but a few eps later it pulled itself FAR away fromthe gundam story.

As for the animation man that animation easily rivaled DYRL? I mean the opening gives me goosebumps its so cool.

Dragonar is truly the pinacle of 80's real robots in all aspects.

EDIT- Oh i didn't motice your link to the fansub THAT IS FREAKIN AWESOME. I'm so appy someone decided to fansub this :D (See ya bootleg rips)

Edited by bob joe mac
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I must say I'm pretty impressed with the animation quality. (Although in terms of looks, it's still funky, nevertheless the animation is fluid, heck, it's even better than some of Sunrise's other shows, especially Gundam) The fansubs have some errors though, vernier was translated as barrier and shield, lol. Another bit as well, where the operator says "Understood", the context was wrong as well. But it got the message through and wasn't altered too greatly. Minor errors here and there shouldn't do too much problems.

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Which is, the only fansub out there (fansubS was the wrong word there, it wasn't a plural, lol). And I'm talking about that one. Oh well. But like I said, it doesn't look like they made big errors (but if they made errors on small areas, that would be questionable, wouldn't it?) *shrug* Anyways, enjoy.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Dragonar music in general is absolutely amazing. I wish I could find both soundtracks. And the mecha are freaking amzing. Whence the Dragonars get their Flying aparatus, theyre absolutely awesome. I ended up liking the bad guys more than the main guys... But I guess thats just me. Its a freaking amazing show. I've seen all of it.

I think theres more drama and action and intrigue in SPT Layzner though. Another one of that dudes shows I think. The punky girl who's robot has the dual chainsaws has the coolest robot EVER by the way.

-BEN-MAN-

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have to agree with Areaseven about Dragonar better than Gundam SEED even though I am a Gundam Fan.

Dragonar is one of the better "real robot" anime after Macross.

PS. You will see Dragonar in Super Robot Wars MX which is planned to release in March 2004.

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It was done by Tomino. Its ridiculously obvious in fact.

Zambot is in it!

I mean that in a general sense. Theres a robot who's body looks very similar, and whos head IS THE SAME. On the Super Robot Wars A posters you'd see Zambot 3, and /that/ Dragonar mech next to it and you'd be like "why's there a funky colored Zambot?" Its so cool! I love how Tomino plugs his other shows sometimes ^__^

-BEN-MAN-

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To answer Areaseven's Nov 16 question, I have most of the original Dragonar model kits, and love them to death. There are a few problems with joint loose-ness, but the models look great. The instructions usually have nifty cutaways of the 'Armours, plus assorted facts (in Japanese). Word of caution, though. They are smaller than your average Gundam kit (except for the 1/100 "D-1"), so don't expect huge hulking robots from the box.

Also, it you have the money, Dragonar kits are the best source kits for scratch-building other robot designs. Most of the 'Armours have a really standardized, simplifyed moble frame (internal worky bits) with the armour bolted on, and with a bit of work, the various joints and detail bits can be used anywhere. Plus the polycaps used are the same as the Chars Counter Attack and Most Patlabour model polycaps, so its a snap to mix and match parts to test ideas.

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  • 6 years later...
  • 2 years later...

Saw this design a while back and suddenly a few popped up for auction.

All were about $230 - $280, but one was (only?) $115. It only showed the box, no photo of the figure. Crossed my fingers, hoping it was the Tamashii Limited and I was not being tricked. I bid, expecting to get outbid.

I did not! Its here and its pretty awesome.

I've admired the Bandai Spec Dragonars for a while but this is my first purchase, glad I waited.

Best I can describe it: Super Warped / Stylized version of the Dragonar Custom 1.

Tons of metal, super high-quality fit and finish - every gadget and accessory you could want.

Its smaller than I pictured, but in a way its refreshing. I have the Max Factory Dragonar 1, and it cannot be looked at side-ways without bits and more bits falling off. The MF's larger size makes it gangly, the flyer wings will not stay locked in up position - and a bunch of other things that make you want to avoid touching it.

This Bandai seems super solid, fun to hold in your hand, without fear of posing / falling bits frustration.

Has a new fangled 'pelvic joint' under its waist that I'm not too fond of yet. Wish it could be locked and unlocked. Its for really crazy poses, not sure it needs it. Again, the ability to lock it out would have been great.

Hope they come out with a 'super warped' version of Dragonar 2 and 3 seen it this book here (and that same person puts them up for $115 !) ...

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If I didn't buy my spec -17 from nippon yasan I would have most likely put my bid on that one for $115. I saw it, but I figured someone else would get it. Anyways, this new Dragonar definitely has some very dynamic proportions that takes some getting used to, but I have to say I've come around to liking it. I think Max Factory's Dragonar has the best proportions, but that figure suffers from bad paint, fiddly wing joints and some weight issues in the hips. Bandai's new Dragonar has a very good sum of metal and is super articulated, but it looks a little odd in static poses. I might do a review for the new Dragonar from Bandai in the coming weeks.

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I think Max Factory nailed the Obari look, and did a nice job on the size of the figure. But as you mentioned, too many flaws for that price point. Those dreaded wings that will not stay up, the elbow and hip armors always popping off - and worse.

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Bandai really wins is in the face sculpt, as seen here. Max Factory's looks like he's biting on a big white carrot, Bandai's looks much meaner.

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Think the next Spec toy should be Dangaioh. They nailed the crazy small waist, super huge shoulders thing here with this radical Dragonar, think they'd do great on a Dangaioh...

---------------

They clearly used this extremely stylized rendering from this book as their inspiration. Wonder if there is more of a story beyond just some artist's whim?

Regardless -- that sure is a crazy interpretation of that mecha!

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  • 7 months later...

I know this figure is as old as dirt now, but I just got it ($60).

WOW - what a great piece. Amazing. Super high quality.

Just the right materials and paint on each part. Tons of metal.

Tight joints and lots of cool accessories. So nice.

If you can pick this up at a bargain you will not be disappointed.

And its an enemy mech!

TOO BAD this line from Bandai is dying. Robot Spirits are nothing like these...

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Edited by DarrinG
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dragonar.jpg

Kikou Senki Dragonar ( 機甲戦記ドラグナー )

Sunrise/Nagoya TV/Bandai Visual, 1987-1988

U.S. Distributor Pending.

Directed by the late Takeyuki Kanda (Round Vernian VIFAM, Gundam: The 08th MS Team).

Not Rated (Suggested 13+). Contains violence and mature situations.

A.D. 2087 - the United Lunar Empire Giganos wages war on the Earth Federation Military to take control of the planet and establish a "rebirth" of the human race. During an invasion of a colony by Giganos' forces, three civilian men - Ken, Light and Tap - stumble upon a trio of top-secret Metal Armor units called "Dragonars" and pilot them to combat the enemy forces.

Story: B+

From the first episode, your first reaction will probably be "another Gundam wannabe title." Yes, it starts with some mass-destruction (in Australia. Again.) and the invasion of a space colony, but the difference is that we get not one, but three main heroes of the story. Unlike Gundam, none of these guys are wimps like Amuro Ray. What makes Dragonar more unique is Tap - the first (and only) African-American lead character in a mecha anime. Despite having a similar beginning to Gundam, Dragonar looks a lot more promising than Gundam SEED.

Animation: A-

What kind of budget did Sunrise put on the opening animation? Every time I watch the sequence (which alone gets an A+), I keep thinking these are the exact same animators that did Gundam 0083. Kenichi Onuki (Garzey's Wing, Earthian) did some excellent character designs that are on par with Hiroyuki Kitazume's (Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, Bastard!!) works. Bash Kunio Okawara (Mobile Suit Gundam, King of Braves GaoGaiGar) all you want, but you gotta admit that Dragonar has some of his better designs.

Soundtrack: B

The opening theme is pretty catchy (if you don't mind '80s) and the BGM is okay. I just need to watch further episodes for more of the music.

Cast

Metal Armor Dragonar features Masami Kikuchi (Tenchi Muyo!, Keiichi in Ah! My Goddess) as Ken, Kenyuu Horiuchi (Daley in Bubblegum Crisis, Hans in Psycho Armor Govarian) as Light, Yoshitaka Ohtsuka (Beck in The Big O, Chibodee in Mobile Fighter G-Gundam) as Tap, Bin Shimada (Stick Bernard in Genesis Climber Mospeada, Scirocco in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam) as Jean, Akiko Hiramatsu (Miyuki in You're Under Arrest, Yukari-chan in Azumanga Daioh) as Rose, Masako Katsuki (Deunan in Appleseed, Sailor Neptune in Sailor Moon S) as Diane, Saeko Shimazu (Four Murasame in Zeta Gundam, Yuri in The Dirty Pair) as Min, Hiroshi Takemura (Crusher Joe, God Ginrai in Transformers: Masterforce) as Welner, Shinya Otaki (Nakato in Gundam 0083) as Douglas, Jurota Kosugi (Dryden in Escaflowne, Zagato in Magic Knight Rayearth) as Mayo, Kayoko Fujii as Linda, and Unshou Ishizuka (Guld in Macross Plus, Jet Black in Cowboy Bebop) as the narrator.

The Bottom Line

Forget Gundam SEED. Watch Metal Armor Dragonar instead. Old school mecha anime still rules.

Reference

Anime News Network

Agreed the Opening silhouette Sequence is amazing.

BTW I love all the toys. I have all the Dragonars from Bandai including the Tamashii exclusives and

the max factory one too. Awesome designs.

Silhouette opening vid for context

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Agreed the Opening silhouette Sequence is amazing.

BTW I love all the toys. I have all the Dragonars from Bandai including the Tamashii exclusives and

the max factory one too. Awesome designs.

Silhouette opening vid for context

Quoting a 500+ word post and forcing others to scroll down further to read your reply is uncool, but thanks anyway.

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Quoting a 500+ word post and forcing others to scroll down further to read your reply is uncool, but thanks anyway.

I thought you only cared about people quoting images? 500 words is not that much. Unless the reason that he took almost TEN YEARS to respond to your post was that 500 words is so overly long... in which case I'd say you are allowed to take your time too, and take yet another decade to respond. I'm sure he would not mind.

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I thought you only cared about people quoting images? 500 words is not that much. Unless the reason that he took almost TEN YEARS to respond to your post was that 500 words is so overly long... in which case I'd say you are allowed to take your time too, and take yet another decade to respond. I'm sure he would not mind.

Sorry, but I don't see the whole point of quoting an entire post just to write 2-3 sentences about just a small section of the article. How long does it take to just snip out the whole quoted article just to keep the section being focused on?

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But back to Falguen - took a fresh look at this piece today and my admiration has not faded.

Amazed. What an excellent effort. Even if you are not a Dragonar fan, if you ever see this below, say $80, pick it up.

I have not seen much of the series but I enjoyed this crazy mecha action clip on youtube.

You get to see Falguen join forces with the good guys against a giant Samurai mech! The giant bad guy fires an enormous purple missile from its crotch - Pffft...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svQkvmQAzBo

80s anime goodness.

If only Masami Obari would have had mecha design control from the beginning in this series, rather than just be in charge of animating the opening...

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Is My Little Pony getting more responses these days than mecha stuff?? ARG

Anyway - that massive samurai badguy mech featured in that Dragonar clip was proto-typed by Bandai.

The Gilgazamune! Not sure I would have bought it, but maybe -- given the high quality of the SPEC line. What a strange design.

But its looking almost certain Bandai will not ever make this guy now...

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  • 2 weeks later...

It was not easy to get a hold of one of these Tamashii Web Exclusive Dragonar 2s - but I finally managed it.

It was 'mint used' supposedly, but right away I noticed a problem with the waist ball joint. I was able to unscrew the main metal torso area and free the joint from its holder, and add double-sided tape and nail polish to it.

After assembling this guy I can see why the waist joint suffered.

H Mackerel -- there is a lot going on with this guy! HUGE jet packs and guns can really weigh a mech down.

The quality on each part is incredible, but I ended up adding a dab of clear nail polish to every ball joint and piece you have to attach. Did this with my SPEC Layzner as well.

The waist problem and adding gunk to every piece did take away from my assembling fun - but in the end he's quite a looker.

Now I'm CERTAIN if I was facing giant monsters around the Pacific Rim I would be piloting one of these babies, those lizards wouldn't stand a chance, and the silly little knives it comes with might actually come in handy...

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  • 1 month later...

Finally snagged my last Dragonar purchase for a while - Bandai SPEC Tamashii Web Exclusive Dragonar 3.

He is the ugly duckling of the bunch for certain, but he looks pretty cool in person.

REALLY LIKE how the Metal Armors have almost no parts in common. So other than the inner skeleton, there is no mold-milking going on. Even the foot / ankle armor they could have easily copied from one to the other is unique.

Unlike my Dragonar 2, he does not seem to need clear nail polish on every hinge to tighten him up.

But with all the open white areas he seems to be begging for panel lining. Will I actually break down and taint a web exclusive with my own panel lining? Maybe.

I have tried to convey before in this thread how awesome the SPEC line is, and good they feel in your hand. So nicely weighted, perfect size.

The die-cast skeleton is extremely cool, everything is detailed, painted and very finely executed.

There is a web exclusive DRAGOON in this series but I am not going to plunk down $100+ for a fringe mecha right now. Falguen, Dragonars 1, 2 and 3 seem like a nice balance for me, done ( for now )...

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...

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