- Titles: DoraIe, Ein Drache auf Wohnungsjagd, Jeune Dragon recherche Appartement ou Donjon, Dragon, Ie wo Kau, Dragon Goes House-Hunting
- Genre: Fantasy, Slice of Life, Real Estate, Comedy
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Signal.MD
What should a young bachelor red dragon do when he suddenly finds himself homeless? Letty is about to find out. After failing to protect an egg, it seems his family has finally decided it’s time for Letty to learn to fly on his own. Figuratively, of course, Letty hasn’t really figured out how to fly yet. Or breathe fire. Or do much of anything. But he knows that the first step is for him to find a new home. Nothing fancy, just a simple comfortable place that will keep him warm and safe from heroes! Also preferably one he can fit in. And lucky for Letty, he just happens across Dearia, architect extraordinaire, passionate real estate agent and current Dark Lord of the land. Things are looking up?
I think I once mentioned that I really wanted to watch a fantasy anime house renovation series. Dragon Goes House-Hunting is probably the closest I’m going to get. I’m not mad about it.
I watched this show as it aired, and after the first episode, I tweeted that Dragon Goes House-Hunting is banking entirely on its charm. That’s because the production simply isn’t going to be the big seller here. Not that it’s bad…how should I put it. The resource crunch the series was under is very visible.
In practice, that means someone jagged animation. Pared down character models. Some art inconsistencies but mostly just visible shortcuts like blur filters and tons of stills. Most of the season takes place in fairly unpopulated areas and although you could say that it’s simply how the narrative goes (and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong since the manga is similar) it also leaves the impression that they couldn’t afford to animate big crowds on a regular basis.
And while none of these things are good and I wouldn’t blame anyone for calling out Dragon Goes House-Hunting because of it, they’re also kind of charming.
The clunky animation and sort of modest visuals just give off this scrappy well-meaning atmosphere that made me smile. And there are some pretty great production elements that help even things out. For instance, the entire Japanese voice cast is just nailing their roles. Even minor characters sound like the actors are really into it. The colours are also rather nice and vibrant. And your mileage may vary on those character designs but I did like them. Especially Dearia. And if my Pinterest is any indicator, I’m not the only one.
Story & Characters
I recently finished an anime called Akudama Drive. If the review isn’t out yet, it will be..eventually. I’m not sure when I’ll schedule everything but I’ve already written the post. If you’re interested, feel free to take a look at my reviews page to see if it’s there.
ED – hello this is a week later Irina. I’ve scheduled everything now and Akudama Drive will get published on September 29th if it doesn’t get moved around. I hope you guys will read it!
Anyways, I bring up Akudama Drive because it sort of threw me off. It’s a series I did not care for much at all but for which general opinion was really good. And I’m not used to that. I’m the one who consistently rates shows 10% above average. Well, with Dragon Goes House-Hunting, balance is restored!
I loved the series. I watched it every week, unusually on Sundays when it aired but sometimes I would reserve it for a little later on because I knew that watching an episode of Dragon Goes House-Hunting would put me in a good mood. If I had a hard or frustrating day, this would cheer me right up. If I was watching a depressing or just difficult series, an episode of House-Hunting would even everything out. And it pretty much never let me down. For the record, I also read the first volume of the manga (I am waiting for 5 more) and it had the same effect. It left me giddy and smiling from ear to ear.
That does not seem to be the general experience. Both the anime and the manga are rated in the 50% on AniList which is pretty low. Usually, when most people disliked a show I liked, I can tell why. It’s full of pretty boys or the marketing was mishandled leading to demographic dissonance or it’s pure comedy with no fanservice. Whatever the case, I can find a general reason why it may not have resonated with the general public.
But in the case of Dragon Goes House-Hunting, frankly, I’m a little stumped. It’s an adorable show about a sweet Dragon trying to find a house and visiting a lot of them. There’s a line in the last episode. Letty is talking with a human king and thanks him for listening even though Letty is a dragon and usually heroes just attack him on sight. The king says something along the lines of you can’t judge humans by what the heroes do, after all every species is the same in that they all have good guys and jerks. Dragon Goes House-Hunting is a story only about the good guys of every species. It might be a bit too squee for some.
And there may have been a sort of genre dissonance as well. It’s a fantasy anime with no epic quest unless you think calmly visiting houses for sale is an epic quest. There are no grand battles, pretty much no fanservice, as even the half-naked lady monsters are somehow framed so innocently and joyfully that it counters all the lasciviousness. And all the crazy fantasy creatures are preoccupied with their mortgages or finding proper daycare accommodations. Decidedly unfantasy-like concerns. I guess it could lack excitement.
I’m not saying the people who did not enjoy Dragon Goes House-Hunting are wrong. What I’m saying is that I can’t figure out why. I loved it. And if you were on the fence about watching it, give it a try! It’s so sweet!
Ok – This is one random joke from the show. At one point Letty considers building a house from the ground up and goes shopping for materials at this shop owned by 3 crones. They have this magical door with a painting of a beautiful lady on it and instead of a key, she asks you a password and if you don’t say the right one in time, she’ll start reading out loud the embarrassing poetry you wrote as a kid. Now that,s a security system! I think that if you get why this concept is great, then you’ll probably enjoy Dragon Goes House-Hunting.
The full tweet that I wrote after the first episode of Dragon Goes House-Hunting was: This show is banking entirely on its charm…good thing it has tons of it! Twelve episodes later, I can confirm, Dragon Goes House-Hunting is a charming show and little else, but it’s so incredibly charming!
You might like this anime if:
You like feeling good…ok, that was a bit too biased. Let me try again. You enjoy clam Slice of Life animes in fantasy settings or pretty silver-haired elves.
My favourite character:
Dearia. I didn’t get to mention this, but aside from the design, he’s kind of a troll. Like he’s often sarcastic and a bit ruthless. It leads to the funniest moments in the series.
- Every time there’s a video game reference – take a sip
- Every time Dearia obliterates some heroes – raise your glass
- Every time Letty can’t fly – take a sip
- Every time Letty does fly – Cheer
- Every time Letty faints – oh no!
- Every time we hear about or see Dearia’s old dragon friend – take a sip
- Every time dwarves show up – hide the booze
- Every time Letty is moved by Dearia – take a small sip
- Every time anyone wants to buy/sell parts of Letty – get a snack
- Every time Pip saves the day – clap
- Every time we see the Graiae sisters – take a sip
- Every time Dark dragon gets broish – take a sip
- Every time hunters show up – hide
- Every time Pip is a ball of pure adorableness – enjoy
- Every time Dearia becomes an architecture nerd – take a sip
- Every time anyone is a good dad – take a sip to their health
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.