Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dragon Goes House-Hunting is well aware of this. Review

 Synopsis:

When the unfortunate dragon Letty is found to be too soft to be a true dragon (and also loses an egg), his family excommunicates him. Thus begins his search for a new home where he can survive, if not thrive. Unfortunately, the road to finding a new home is a beast, and in a world filled with magical, mythological creatures, Letty has fierce competition, especially if he wants to find a nice home without getting caught... literally.

Review: 

Despite looking like it'd nail all the slice-of-life feelings that I tend to lean towards, Dragon Goes House-Hunting absolutely slipped under my attention in Spring 2021 due to the abundance of very amazing series. That's why I leaped at the chance to finally review this show professionally when the opportunity arose. After all, who wouldn't want to watch a show about fictitious creatures buying up real estate and discovering their perfect homes? To me, this sounds like a fantastic time! Thankfully, Dragon Goes House-Hunting is a really good series, even if it does have a few flaws.

To be clear, I watched the Funimation dub of this series. In fact, I chose the dub on purpose, and let me tell you, I don't regret it. From the moment a pair of slimes starts house-hunting to the very conclusion of the series, it's a fun dub that's well-acted and well-directed. Michael Kovach and Steven Kelly, who play Letty and Dearia, respectively, are standouts. Letty's mission to find a home is vividly brought to life by Kovach's expressive acting, which sells the idea that she is the world's most hapless dragon.

As Letty tries to find a place to settle down, her adventure transforms into a laid-back, fanciful romp through many places and climates. It's a comedy that reminds me of Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle and Delicious in Dungeon, except this time it's about these animals putting their figurative roots – you know, the millennial dream? To be honest, I found the humour in this series to be a little inconsistent, ranging from laugh-out-loud moments to groan-inducing portions that should have been removed. Fortunately, Dragon Goes House-Hunting hits more than it misses.

Another potentially polarising aspect of the series is that it may occasionally become engrossed in making too many RPG and TTRPG jokes, which, although initially amusing, can become annoying due to their frequency. Letty's antics keep them in check, but that depends on how much you enjoy his specific brand of energy. I like Letty, although he can be exhausting at times, being the dragon version of, say, a fresh-faced twenty-year-old who enjoys screams. Thankfully, as Letty matures throughout the book and acquires more and more characteristics from the wider plot, this subsides.

The soundtrack for Dragon Goes House-Hunting isn't very memorable, but it does a good job at capturing the "fantasy JRPG sound." There are some beautiful flourishes with marimba, trumpet, and all the other fine instruments that make up a decent video game-inspired soundtrack that channels the vibes of a variety of other fantasy JRPGs, but the majority reminded me of the Tales of franchise. While the OP is intense, I doubt anyone will remember this series for its music. Still, it's entertaining enough, giving the series a lovely fantasy twist that effectively heightens its otherworldliness.

But that's about the only criticism I have for this lighthearted, enjoyable tour through a fantasy realm's real estate alternatives. It's like if Ebby Halliday had been isekai'd into Dragon Quest (or, since I've never played Dragon Quest, Etrian Odyssey, which is more my speed). What I'm trying to say is that while this isn't the anime equivalent of a AAA title, it's entertaining, and entertainment is sometimes all you need. Dragon Goes House-Hunting is well aware of this.

Dragon Goes House-Hunting also has the benefit of being a solid series that you can show to younger people, particularly if they're unfamiliar with manga and anime yet enjoy JRPGs. While some of the tropes and humour may be lost on them, and there is some swearing, Dragon Goes House-Hunting is, for the most part, a kid-friendly series, especially if you know a young person in the early teen years. It's PG-13 at best, and it never takes itself too seriously, instead focusing on humour to tell Letty's storey.

Finally, Dragon Goes House-Hunting is probably one of the most underappreciated Spring anime. It won't appeal to everyone, but if you enjoy Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, Hakumei and Mikochi, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, and even I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, I think you'll enjoy Letty and the universe of Dragon Goes House-Hunting. Give it a shot, and you'll almost certainly find something to enjoy in Lettie's charming universe.

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