Long ago, a great battle raged between the forces of Light and Darkness. Each possessed great strengths, above all the power of Shadow. With courage and might, The Seven Soldiers of Light defeated the forces of Darkness and sealed the shadow power away forever. Though hidden from humans, the power of shadow lived on, passing from generation to generation, never to reveal itself...
Volume One of Viz’s new series opens with the story of a young boy named Shu who is obsessed with becoming a Knight Master. Shu goes in search of a teacher, only to find a strange group of travelers, Zola and her protégé Jiro both of whom have the power
to transform their shadows into monsters. When the village is attacks by soldiers from the Grand Kingdom, Shu inadvertently unleashes his own Shadow, The Blue Dragon.
Blue Dragon is a loose translation of the X-Box 360 game but strikes off in its’ own territory. It boasts character designs by both Takeshi Obata, the illustrator of Death Note, and Akira Toriyawa, creator of Dragon Ball Z. There is also an ongoing manga series in Japan. The Anime was originally aired in America by Cartoon Network during their “Toonami Block”
The series is about what you would expect from a Video Game based Anime by the creator of DBZ. Characters are broad with easily defined personalities and bluntly stated goals. The action is decently choreographed with some clever sequences but nothing that would make you take undue notice.
As with many Japanese Anime there is a high priority on Friendship, and learning to work as a team. The first 4 episodes clearly set up Shu as being unable to control his “shadow”, and it’s clear that his character development will be a key element as the series goes on. Kids are sure to enjoy the series but there isn’t much to hold the interest for adults. There are 62 episodes total so if this volume does well there should be plenty of chapters to come!