I’ve been slacking a bit on the seasonal anime. I fell behind last season and haven’t been able to really catch up this time around. However, I started to figure it out. But I still needed some good anime to write about since I’m taking a break from episode reviews this season, and luckily, I found a pretty interesting one right off the bat.
A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villianized doesn’t only have a mouthful of a name; it’s actually a fairly fascinating series to look at, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the actual anime for the most part, more the background of it. The anime itself is pretty generic, as the name might suggest.
The title of the anime does all the explaining, really. It’s about this dragon that just wants to chill in a cave, but this crazy little girl tries to sacrifice herself to his greatness, but basically ends up kidnapping the dragon after becoming a disciple and convinces everyone that this pacifist is some kind of terrible creature of infinite power.
This isn’t a TV anime, and actually, an ONA (original net anime) and only has half the normal anime episode length, as these sometimes do. With that being said, it is fairly funny, surprisingly well-paced for the limited time, and a funner watch than I would expect, although we’re only a few episodes in.
I will say the art is actually baffling, though. It’s beautiful, colorful, and stupidly fluid at times for what it is. It looks much better than I expected, even from a fully produced TV anime, let alone a shorter ONA series. So you know it must have been made by some competent people to have this much going for a fairly generic story or concept. Well, that’s what’s interesting.
So when you start watching the series, you’ll probably see a name you don’t recognize, at least not in the states. That’s Bilibili, the producers of this series. While it was hidden a bit more, Studio LAN is the studio that actually made this work, and they’ve only worked on a few ONAs mostly for their history, but all look pretty good from the images, at least.
Bilibili is the much more interesting thing to talk about. Bilibili is basically Chinese YouTube, which is a good way to put it. It’s a video hosting website that has been around since 2010 that has all sorts of stuff and is a bit of a trip to search through. But it has anime clips, random videos, gameplay videos. It’s essentially YouTube. That’s all you really need to know.
So Bilibili producing this anime is the equivalent of if YouTube produced one, which I don’t believe has ever happened, at least not that I could find. The closest I know of is RWBY which started as a YouTube series that now has gotten an official anime. But Herbivorous Dragon, or whatever we’re calling it, was fully produced by Bilibili itself and not a channel or creator on the site.
That’s pretty interesting in and of itself, but what’s more fascinating is the result of Bilibili producing it. As they are a Chinese company and not Japanese, as most anime producers are, this leads to some interesting situations. For instance, the entire anime is voiced in Chinese, not Japanese, as we’ve come to expect. This made me assume it was a Chinese series, but it’s not. It was just produced by a Chinese company.
This means that while the anime is fairly generic, it has an interesting origin story. So A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villianized is actually a Chinese-voiced Chinese-produced anime based on a Japanese novel series that has then been brought over to America through Crunchyroll, an American company.
I think that’s a pretty interesting story I wanted to share, even if the anime itself isn’t all that special. I will say the art is nice, again. It really is. It’s also well-paced, but still nothing crazy. I’d recommend watching it for the story, above all else, though. It’s just fascinating to think about.
Thank you very much for reading
Neat thing to see, at least.