Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dragon Fist

If I may paraphrase Forrest Gump, 80s and 90s OVAs are "like a box of chocolate. You never know what you're going to get." That's exactly the case with 1991's Dragon Fist. As one of the QCs fumed, "I've signed on for this OVA to see some martial arts and inhuman characters, not for a really stupid plot about teenagers playing with cloning." You never know.

Dragon Fist starts out on a promising note, introducing Ling Fei Long, heir to the White Dragon Clan. Its members carry the power of the White Dragon in their fists. (Sort of like Ear of the Golden Dragon, where the clan chief carries the power of the Golden Dragon in his left ear.) Normally, heirs to the clan chief are born holding a silver jewel, but Fei was born holding a transparent jewel. For this aberration, his kin regard him with suspicion. He is sent to Japan to be schooled and to finish his training. And suddenly, we have a high school drama with sci-fi overtones.


In Japan, Fei Long is an apparently normal high-school student who is bullied for being a foreigner. One day, he sees some thugs trying to kidnap a girl named Katano Fuyuka. He intervenes and saves her, only to learn that she is not Katano Fuyuka. Fuyuka is actually dead, and this girl is a clone. (Despite this, clone Fuyuka seems to have original Fuyuka's childhood memories.) When a subsequent kidnapping attempt succeeds, Fei tracks the baddies to their laboratory in the mountains. There he fights the villains, mostly unsuccessfully, until he suddenly comes into his special powers, easily trounces everyone, and rescues the girl. There follows a totally arbitrary and tragic development, and the OVA ends.

Sasaki Nozomu, who played Ling Fei Long, has had prominent roles in better shows, including Tetsuo in Akira and Mello in Death Note. Nishiwara Kumiko, who voiced Fuyuka, played Iris Chateaubriand in all the Sakura Wars franchise and numerous live musicals derived from it. She also had a lead role in Tenkousei, which Orphan subbed this year. Matsumodo Yasunori, who played the chief villain, Sugiura, has had many roles, including Rin, the confused young protagonist in Joker: Marginal City, and Muto, the stalwart hero of Oz. (Orphan has subbed both of those OVAs as well.) The director, Yamauchi Shigeyasu, has had a long career, including Boys Over Flowers, Crying Freeman, the Saint Seiya franchise, and more recently, Yumekui Merry and Kimi no Iru Machi. Dragon Fist doesn't add much to his resume. The music is by the peerless Kawai Kenji, whose accomplishments are too long to summarize, and works well.

Iri found the raw (a VHS or Laserdisc rip) and translated it. ninjacloud did the timing. I edited and typeset (there isn't much). Calyrica karaoked the OP and ED. Calyrica and Nemesis QCed. The OVA was never released on DVD, so this raw is probably as good as we're going to get.

Dragon Fist isn't top drawer anime, but it isn't Bavi Stock II or Twinkle Nora Rock Me! either. Enjoy.







9 comments:

  1. It exists on LD http://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/53637/TOLA-1071/Dragon-Fist

    ReplyDelete
  2. Any news on Yuki: Snow Fairy (1981)?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Any news on Hi no ame furu 1988 please thank you

    ReplyDelete
  4. Any plans for Fight Da!! Pyuta (1968)?

    http://www.pelleas.net/aniTOP/index.php/fight-pyuta

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have the soundtrack to this OVA if you want to include it somehow?

    ReplyDelete