- Titles: A gentle dragon of 5000 years old, it was recognized as an evil dragon without any cause; Le puissant dragon végan
- Genre: Fantasy, comedy, cute, adventure
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Studio LAN
Dragons, frightful masters of sky and land. With a single claw, they can destroy a village, a bat of their wing can blow away an army and their monstrous breath can challenge even the gods. Dragons aren’t just a force to be reckoned with, they are a power to be worshiped. And this is especially true of the Great Evil Dragon Ravendia. No one knows that better than Lingzi. That’s why she’s actually proud to have been chosen as a sacrifice to the Great Evil Dragon. She will give up her life so that the great mighty beast can be satisfied and not destroy everything in his path. That is as it should be. So why hasn’t the Great Evil Dragon devoured her yet? In his infinite wisdom, he has taken her on as an apprentice instead. And Lingzi is going to make sure she doesn’t disappoint him. Even if she has to destroy everything herself to do so!
I guess light novel naming trends have made their way to China now? A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villainized certainly is a mouthful. It also betrays how unreliable my summary may be. Drat, foiled again! Oh wait, nevermind. The adaptation may be Chinese but it’s based on a Japanese light novel so that explains everything.
Some of you may have noticed that I have been developing a real appreciation for Chinese animations. I don’t know if I should call it donghua. Like anime it’s what people outside of China use as a quick way to refer to Chinese animation but in China, it just means animation from anywhere. Anyways, I have not seen many animated shows from China but the few I have seen I tend to like…a lot! And part of that is due to production.
Again, I’m basing my observations on a very small sample size. However, the shows I have watched all have very different productions. For instance, A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villainized is super cute!
I don’t know how else to describe it. The first time I watched it, all I could think of was: Cute! The character designs are all adorable and the frequent use of chibi models makes them even cuter. The backgrounds are rendered in soft flowing lines and vibrant colours and the sound design is equally sweet. I thought both the OP and ED were particularly endearing. Let me see If I can find them:
Even the voice acting, which is very hard for me to judge because I do not have a good ear for the Chinese languages yet. However, to me at least, they sounded kind of…cute… Ok I’ll try to take this a bit more seriously. The titular dragon is really the beating heart of the series and I think most of the acting falls on his shoulders. He refers to himself as “Old Me” most of the time and I guess being 5000 years old does make him rather experienced. Maybe that’s why the voice acting gave me the impression of a kindly older man. But kindly is what comes through most. There was a lot of charm in that performance and his attachment to the people around him was audible, which added to the story.
Story & Characters
Speaking of the story. When my friend and I watched the first episode of A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villainized we thought it was a regular 26-minute or so episode. Neither of us could believe how quick it went by. It flew by and we were absolutely sure it had been 5 minutes at most.
This is why when I was watching the second episode and it basically ended in the blink of an eye, I was thinking that it was just ridiculously paced or something. But no, aA Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villainized is actually a short program with half-length episodes of 13 minutes each. And that’s really perfect for the show. They still go by in like 5 minutes!
The pacing is good as the story doesn’t have time to get bogged down but you also don’t feel rushed. I don’t know what the source material is like, but just looking at the adaptation, they wisely decided to focus on just a few events and a handful of characters. This way, even though the series is shorter than your average season, it could still develop both the characters and events properly.
In essence, A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villainized is a classic high fantasy comedy. Lingzi and The Great Evil Dragon, end up getting roped into saving humanity from the Demon King and they embark on the quest meeting together colourful characters on the way. Despite the fact that The Great Evil Dragon is actually generally meek, powerless, and the least evil person in the story, Lingzi remains steadfast in her delusion and the Dragon has to jump through a lot of hoops to not disappoint her. It’s an odd couple buddy road trip fantasy comedy. How’s that for qualifiers! And it’s very…cute.
It seems I have a soft spot for hapless dragons. I also really liked Dragon goes House Hunting and I kept comparing the two shows in my head while watching A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villainized. Both shows are in fact quite similar and I don’t know which I like more. I would happily watch more of either.
This particular preference is also reflected in how much I enjoyed these series. For reasons I honestly can’t figure out, both of these shows are generally badly rated. This one is a little more liked than House-Hunting but not much. I, on the other hand, genuinely like both of these shows a lot. When going through MAL reviews, the main negative points I saw for A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villainized is that it was just kind of boring but without any further explanation. I can’t fault someone for thinking that, boring is a very personal sort of thing. And also that it was too slice-of life without enough action or a strong central plot. And that, I can understand more but since I wanted a slice-of-life fantasy comedy, I actually consider this a plus.
If you are usually more in tune with general or popular opinions regarding fantasy anime then I guess you might not enjoy A Herbivorous Dragon of 5,000 Years Gets Unfairly Villainized. However, if you don’t mind a light comedic slice-of-life sort of fantasy, then I think this one is great! And really cute
You might like this anime if:
You want a short and sweet fantasy anime
My favourite character:
I hate to be that guy but I really liked everyone so they are all my favourite…
a Momo Special (it’s cute and vegan!)
- Every time Lingzi releases her power – hide!
- Every time the Great Evil Dragon bursts into tears – take a sip
- Every time anyone refuses to believe the dragon – take a sip
- Every time there is a change of art style – take a sip
- Every time anyone mentions the Demon King – worry
- Every time Aliante looks evil – take a sip
- Every time Lingzi has a dark aura – take a sip
- Every time Dragon refers to himself as “old me” – take a sip
- Every time the Great Evil Dragon is hungry – get a snack
- Every time anyone other than the dragon cries – there there
- Every time Aliante gives a thumbs up – raise your glass
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.