Dragonaut -The Resonance- (ドラゴノーツ -ザ・レゾナンス- Doragonōtsu -Za Rezonansu-?) is an anime series directed by Manabu Ono and co-produced by Gonzo and Nihon Ad Systems (NAS). The series ran on the Japanese network TV Tokyo between October 3, 2007 and March 26, 2008. Funimation Entertainment has acquired the license to distribute the anime series in North America later in 2009.
On November 2, 2007, a manga adaptation published by Shueisha started serialization in the Japanese shōnen manga magazine Jump Square. It ended serialization in April 2008, publishing a total of six chapters. A bound volume containing all the chapters was released on May 2, 2008.
Twenty years prior to the story's beginning, an asteroid headed for Earth destroys Pluto. Due to Pluto's destruction, the asteroid, which is dubbed Thanatos, becomes temporarily stagnant in Pluto's orbit. Now, in order to avoid Earth's impending destruction, the International Solarsystem Development Agency (ISDA) works on the "D-Project", and secretly creates weapons called "Dragons" after finding a dragon egg under the ocean. However, they soon find out that the asteroid is not their only threat, as powerful, destructive dragons from Thanatos appear on Earth.
After witnessing what looks like a murder by a strange creature, Jin Kamishina, a lonely 18-year-old boy who lost his family in a shuttle accident two years ago, gets involved with the ISDA and their efforts to battle the dragons from Thanatos. Helping him is Toa, a mysterious girl who saves him from falling to his death after the creature attacks him. As they delve deeper into the mysteries of the dragons, they encounter new friends and enemies, and also develop a closer relationship.
- Jin Kamishina (カミシナ・ジン Kamishina Jin?) Voiced by: Daisuke Ono(Japanese) Justin Pate(English)
- Jin Kamishina is an 18-year-old boy who lost his family in a shuttle accident two years ago. He is the only known survivor, who mysteriously had no major injuries despite falling from a high altitude. Since then, he has lived a solitary existence, and Toa becomes the first person in two years that he connects with. It is later revealed that he was saved by Toa, and that he underwent a successful Resonance during the accident.
- Toa (トア?) Voiced by: Minori Chihara(Japanese) Colleen Clinkenbeard(English)
- Toa is a mysterious girl who saves Jin from a dragon in the first episode. She is shown to have remarkable athletic abilities, extraordinary strength, and accelerated healing capabilities, possibly due in part to the fact that she is a dragon. In her dragon form, she is immensely powerful; she is able to take on more than two other dragons at a time. She is referred to as the "Album" by the ISDA, who wishes to capture her in order to retrieve information on the original dragons from Thanatos.
- Gio (ギオ?) Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe(Japanese) Chris Sabat(English)
- Gio is a dragon from the ISDA who is assigned to be Kazuki Tachibana's "partner" after Kazuki successfully resonated with Gio's dragon egg form. However, despite being Kazuki's partner, Gio does not take orders from him, showing more concern for Toa, whom he states he was born to protect. Due to this, he is considered to be a failed experiment. His attachment to Toa seems to stem from the fact that he awakened early to Toa's cry when she first actualized in the series.
- His name is derived from his code-number, "G10", which Kazuki misread as "Gio".
- Thanatos (タナトス Tanatosu?)
- The asteroid that destroyed Pluto twenty years prior to the series' beginning. Due to Pluto's destruction, the asteroid becomes stagnant within the former planet's orbit; however, some believe that the asteroid's current state is only temporary. If it does break free from Pluto's orbit, Earth would be in grave danger since it is located in Thanatos' expected trajectory.
- Thanatos also seems to contain extraterrestrial lifeforms. The ISDA calls these lifeforms "Dragons", and keeps their existence a secret from the public.
- Thanatos's true nature is initially unknown. The original dragons were apparently able to communicate with it, even calling it 'Mother', and at one point, symbols on its surface appear to glow; each symbol then gradually disappears as if counting down, and once all the symbols disappear, the core becomes brightly illuminated.
- Gio later states that he is Thanatos's successor after having visited it in hopes of saving Toa.
- Near the end of the anime, Thanatos reveals itself to be a huge dragon, which is capable of releasing billions of dragon spawns resembling Ostrum, the fourth original dragon. It also possesses a soul, which is made up of countless beings' "spirits" or consciousness. It had ordered the three original dragons to check up on the Earth-made dragons, and had wanted them to return without making Resonances, but after their failure, it sends Ostrum to destroy the eggs instead. After seeing humanity's nature, it deemed them foolish, and wanted to destroy it, but after showing interest in Jin and Toa's love for each other, it instead wants to fuse with all of humanity at the expense of human life.
- In the final episode, Thanatos's true nature is revealed: its main core is a silver sphere containing a female humanoid, whom Toa calls "mother". She realizes her faults, admitting that she has been alone for too long to understand what true love is, and decides to move on to the next planet as she contemplates its true meaning, though she expects to return to Earth.
- International Solarsystem Development Agency (ISDA)
- The ISDA is a joint space exploration agency, which is basically an integration of every space agency on Earth. New Ogasawara is designated as its primary base, but it has successfully built bases and other structures around the world, including a base on the lunar surface.
- ISDA029 Flight Accident
- The ISDA029 shuttle flight from two years ago, which Jin and his family were involved in. After the shuttle exited the Ogasawara Space Port, it blew up and fell towards the ocean. The only survivor was Jin, who suspiciously had no major injuries despite falling from a high altitude. The ISDA investigated the incident and determined that it was due to pilot error, blaming Jin's father, who was the shuttle pilot. In truth, the true cause of the accident was the dragons from Thanatos; when they entered Earth's atmosphere they crossed paths with the shuttle, accidentally destroying it.
- New Ogasawara (Ogasawara Niizima Army) (新小笠原 （小笠原新島群） Shin Ogasawara (Ogasawara Niizima Gun)?)
- Located in the Ogasawara archipelago and consists of three islands: land island, space island, and sea island. It surfaced several dozen years ago, and is the ISDA's base of operations. The Ogasawara waters is also where the dragon egg was found.
- Though it is located in Japanese territory, it is run by extraterritoriality law, with the ISDA as its main management.
- Gillard New Emirates (ジルアード新首長国 Jiruādo Shin Shuchō Koku?)
- A private nation headed by Prince Asim. Despite being a small country, the development of space exploration technology increased the country's financial base. The development of Martian facilities is one of their top priorities as Asim already resides in a palace built on the planet.
- In their cooperation with the ISDA, the Gillard military is tasked with handling counter-terrorism. Though they appear to be cooperative with the ISDA, they are actually after the secret behind the Resonance process. After the one-year timeskip, they have apparently taken charge of the ISDA.
- Tartarus (タルタロス Tarutarosu?)
- A secret facility built by the ISDA for the discarding of obsolete dragons and their remains. An electromagnetic shielding surrounds the facility in order to prevent dragons from actualizing and escaping.
- Dragonaut (ドラゴノーツ Doragonōtsu?)
- A Dragonaut is a dragon's partner, who is otherwise known as a "pilot" or "master". To successfully become a Dragonaut, one has to successfully resonate with a dragon egg.
- A Communicator is a dragon's humanoid form. It is later implied in the series that in order for a dragon to take Communicator form, it has to complete a Resonance with a human.
- To actualize is when a Communicator transforms into its dragon form.
- Resonance (レゾナンス Rezonansu?)
- The process that is used to determine a person's compatibility with a dragon. The ISDA's conceived process involves an artificially-made dragon egg extracting DNA from its expected human counterpart. How an original dragon from Thanatos succeeds in obtaining a Resonance with a human is unknown, but it appears as though they can achieve it without the human's consent, and the human may not even be aware that they have completed a Resonance with a dragon.
- It is said that without a successful Resonance with a dragon, one will not be capable of controlling a dragon. Also, as mentioned by Akira and Machina, when a dragon makes a Resonance with a human, it is then that a dragon can only truly understand what having a heart means.
- Resonance Connect
- The connection between a dragon and its master. An artificially-made dragon normally acts on its master's thoughts and feelings; if the master does not have a steady form of communication with the dragon, it would most likely go berserk. However, original dragons are not subject to this restriction, and can act on their own free will despite completing a Resonance with a human.
- A sign that shows up on the back of a dragon when they are about to die.
- Lindworm Unit (リンドブルム･ユニット Rindoburumu Yunitto?)
- Lead by Raina Cromwell, the Lindworm unit is composed of Dragonauts and their corresponding dragons, whose main purpose is to destroy Thanatos when the time comes. They are also tasked with fighting off enemy dragons that come from the asteroid.
- Vritra Unit (ヴリトラ･ユニット Vuritora Yunitto?)
- Another ISDA unit tasked with destroying Thanatos. Itsuki Habaragi is the unit leader. They are stationed in the L-3 space station orbiting Earth.
- When the fourth original dragon from Thanatos appears, the Vritra Unit, except for Itsuki and Otohime, is annihilated during the confrontation.
The original concept of Dragonaut -The Resonance- was developed by Nihon Ad Systems (NAS). NAS and Gonzo studios, which produced anime series such as Last Exile and Brave Story, co-produced the series, along with a subsidiary of Konami, Konami Digital Entertainment.
On March 24, 2007, at the International Anime Fair in Tokyo, the first promotional image for the anime series was revealed. In addition, series' director Manabu Ono, and two of the series' voice actors, Daisuke Ono and Minori Chihara, attended the fair in order to promote the series. At the time, the complete cast for the anime was not yet assembled as the anime was still in the development stage. In fact, Manabu Ono expected that the series would continue being developed on, even after it begins broadcast in fall 2007.
While a majority of series designs are done in 2D animation, the mechanics of the dragons and their corresponding battles are done in 3D computer graphics. However, the dragon battles are the only confrontations done in CG, as character fights are in 2D since the director believes that highspeed character movements are best expressed in that form.
The anime series premiered on the Japanese terrestrial television network TV Tokyo on October 3, 2007. It ended its run on March 26, 2008, airing a total of twenty-five episodes. Although TV Tokyo aired the episodes first, other networks in Japan also broadcasted the series, including TV Osaka, TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Setouchi, AT-X, and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co. TV Osaka aired each episode a week after TV Tokyo, while the other networks aired them one or two days after TV Osaka.
Nihon Ad Systems (NAS)
Konami Digital Entertainment
|Original Concept||Nihon Ad Systems|
|Story Concept||Jun Maekawa|
|Character design||Makoto Uno|
|Dragon and mechanical design||Junya Ishigaki|
|Prop design||Hiroyuki Ookawa|
|Set design||Tomoyuki Aoki|
|Sound director||Yota Tsuruoka|
The Dragonaut -The Resonance- anime series premiered on the Japanese network TV Tokyo between October 3, 2007 and March 26, 2008. The series is directed by Manabu Ono and co-produced by Gonzo and Nihon Ad Systems (NAS). The anime contains 25 episodes; not including "Episode 00", which is an interview with the director Manabu Ono. A stand-alone twenty-sixth episode has also been announced, but it is produced specifically for the final DVD release.
Konami Digital Entertainment released the first DVD in Japan on January 23, 2008, and the second volume was released nearly a month later on February 20. Seven more volumes are scheduled for consecutive monthly releases, the last of which will be the ninth volume on September 9. The first three volumes will contain different autographs from cast members. All DVDs will contain extras, which each includes a video of Makoto Uno drawing original illustrations of the series. DVD distribution will be handled by Sony.
Funimation announced that they will be releasing the English adaptation of the first 13 episodes on DVD starting November 3, 2009. The DVD contains both the English and Japanese versions of the series as well as a commentary on episode 10.
Funimation released the English adaptation of the last 13 episodes on DVD on December 29, 2009. The DVD contains both the English and Japanese versions of the series as well as the stand-alone twenty-sixth episode.
On November 2, 2007, Shueisha began publishing a manga adaptation of the series, which is serialized in the Japanese shōnen manga magazine Jump Square. A total of six chapters was published; the last of which was in April 2008. Shueisha released a bound volume containing all the chapters on May 2, 2008.
Though the story remains to revolve around the lives of Jin Kamishina and Toa, the severity of the Dragon threat is increased in the manga, as Earth has been publicly invaded by these "type D" alien life-forms. The situations and personalities of most of the characters, especially those of the two protagonists, are also different compared to their anime counterparts.
There are three pieces of theme music used in the anime series: one opening theme and two closing themes. The opening theme, "perfect blue", is performed, composed, and written by the J-pop group Jazzin' Park. ATSUMI also performed the piece alongside Jazzin' Park, as a guest vocal. The two ending themes are "Rain Of Love", which is performed by Yukari Fukui and composed by Hiroshi Takaki, with the lyrics written by Shoko Fujibayashi, and "FIGHT OR FLIGHT", which is performed by Yū Kobayashi.
On November 21, 2007, Jazzin' Park and Yukari Fukui each released a four track single. The titles of the theme songs are used as the titles for its corresponding single, which each contains an instrumental version of its theme song, along with at least one different song sung by the artist. Yū Kobayashi's second single, "FIGHT OR FLIGHT", also contained four tracks, and was released on January 23, 2008. Yukari Fukui's "Rain Of Love" is also the second single she has released, while Jazzin' Park's "perfect blue" is the first single they have ever released.
An internet radio broadcast began airing every Wednesday since September 5, 2007. The Dragonaut Station ISDA Information Agency centers around three voice actors from the anime answering e-mail questions about the series. The three female voice actors are Yukari Fukui, Yū Kobayashi, and Chise Nakamura, who voices Saki Kurata, Ryōko Kakei, and Megumi Jinguuji, respectively. Junichi Suwabe, Takuma Takewaka, Daisuke Ono, Eiji Maruyama, who voices Gio, Raina Cromwell, Jin Kamishina, and Amadeus, respectively, were guests during separate sessions.
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- "Dragonaut: The Resonance DVD Part 2 (Hyb)". The Right Stuf International. 2001-10-20. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
- "Jazzin' park 「perfect blue」" (in Japanese). Konami. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
- "福井裕佳梨 2ndシングル 「Rain Of Love」" (in Japanese). Konami. Retrieved 2007-12-05. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "rain" defined multiple times with different content
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- "ドラゴノーツサポーターズクラブ『ISDA OPERATION ROOM』オープン!" (in Japanese). 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- (Japanese) Dragonaut -The Resonance- Official Site
- (Japanese) TV Tokyo's Dragonaut -The Resonance- Official Site
- (Japanese) Gonzo's Dragonaut -The Resonance- series information site
- (Japanese) Konami's Official Site for Dragonaut -The Resonance- media
- Funimation's Official Dragonaut Site
- Dragonaut: The Resonance (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia