Dragon Knight

The hero of Dragon Knight brings a camera with him to record his adventures for posterity. This is one of the damsels he photographs after rescuing her, but before untying her. I bet she's pissed about it, too -- looks like she was about to get a little. To judge from her expression, she's hoping she still might get a little. Not gonna happen -- in this anime.

Copyright 2005 by Pat Powers

Dragon Knight is one of those goofy, easygoing hentai that cheerfully combines sex, sexual bondage, humor and fantasy adventure in one weird but fun little package.

Like Dragon Pink, it's definitely patterned after role playing games. Its hero, Takeru, is first seen wandering through a forest, killing monsters. All that slaying and such has left him very weak and hungry, so he's pleased when he comes across a city hidden in the forest.

Unfortunately, its streets are empty, its doors locked and its windows shuttered. In short, it looked like your typical Florida beach town in the weeks after 9-11.

Finally, Takeru finds his way into the castle and raids the pantry. We know this because the next scene shows him being tossed in front of the castle's queen by her lovely female guards, accused of raiding the pantry.

The castle, it turns out, is inhabited entirely by women. It's an Amazonian kind of place, but it's fallen on hard times since the arrival of the Dragon Knights, a clan of bad guys who've pretty much taken over the joint.

They're so powerful that they've defeated the Amazons' god, turned her to stone and "stolen her jewels" if you know what I mean -- well, OK, in this case her jewels really are jewels -- a collection of six stones that have mystical powers.

The Dragon Knights have set up housekeeping in a very phallic tower set just outside the Amazon's gates, where a number of gorgeous Amazon warriors are held captive and tormented for "the secret of the jewels." (Say what you will, the Japanese know their symbolism.)

An ancient prophecy says that a starving outsider will be the one who rescues the Amazons from the Dragon Knights, so the Amazons figure he's the one who can rescue the warriors and recover the jewels. Takeru is relucutant to rescue the warriors until the queen points out that they're gorgeous women who'll be very grateful for being rescued, at which point he cheerfully accepts the job.

An Amazon princess, Luna, is assigned to be his guide for the trip to the Dragon Knights' tower. (Seems that the Dragon Knights, like the evil Lord Kalvar in the "Slave Warrior Maya" ep of Cool Devices, maintain an open door policy toward visitors. I guess the theory is, heroes check in, but they don't check out.)

Evidence of success for the Dragon Knights is soon forthcoming -- the brief stretch of land between the Dragon Knights' tower and the walls of the Amazon town is full of swords that have been plunged into the ground point first, serving as crosses to mark the graves of all the OTHER adventurers who have taken on the Dragon Knights and been killed for their trouble.

A view of the heroes graveyard outside the Dragon Knight tower. Heroes check in, but they don't check out.

The castle turns out to be chock-full of captive Amazon warriors, all of them naked or almost naked and all of them in bondage.

Takeru really relishes his damsel rescuing duties, so much so that he brings a camera along to memorialize each rescue. Most of the photos he takes show his damsels naked, bound an in sexually revealing poses, i.e., he takes his pictures after he vanquishes whoever's guarding/molesting the damsels, but before untying them so he can get a good shot of the goods, if you know what I mean. In short -- he's a regular guy.

It's ALMOST a classic damsel rescue. Naked, bound damsel, fallen villain on floor and victorious knight with sword. Unfortunately, it's marred by ... jealous babe in doorway.

All of the damsels are very grateful to be rescued and seem willing to bestow their favors on Takeru as a reward for defeating their captors, but Luna repeatedly prevents them, showing every sign of jealousy. Fortunately, a little way into the castle, Luna is snatched by a pair of ethereal hands that materialize out of what appears to be a solid wall. He calls for her in vain, then continues on his way, rescuing damsels and presumably enjoying their favors afterward (though we never see him doing so, there's good reason to believe he does).

Takeru soon obtains another companion however, a tiny red dragon who's being mistreated by a Dragon Lord minion. He rescues the dragon and takes it with him on his subsequent adventures.

Interestingly, the dragon shows every sign of jealousy when he enjoys the gratitude of a rescued damsels. Most especially, the dragon seems jealous when he pauses to look over his photos of the damsels he's rescued, recounting their sexy qualities to the dragon in a semi-pornographic reverie.

We'll not reveal whether or how Takeru manages to rescue all the damsels, return the jewels and restore the Amazon goddess to life. It's an hour-long adventure, and the plot moves right along throughout. The rescue of the damsels gets kinda repetitive in a sense, but then again, since each new rescue involves fighting, female nudity and bondage, it's definitely ... bearable.

There's not much dramatic tension, given the comedic nature of the story. Since there isn't SUPPOSED to be much dramatic tension, it isn't a problem. Like most comedic hentais, Dragon Knight's goofy good-naturedness is endearing.

The animation is about on par with most hentai, nothing noticeably weak but none of the arresting imagery you see in "Cool Devices."

The characterizations tend to be superficial, the sort of thing you'd expect in a raunchy comedy, in which each character is maximized for laughs rather than for believability or dramatic bite.

(I tend to regard this as a mistake -- historically, the best comedy writers, people like Shaw and Shakespeare, wrote believable, dramatic characters because you feel their pain more intensely when they slip on the comedic banana peels they encounter, making their predicaments that much funnier and more intense. Frex, the appeal of Liza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady" (the musical based on Shaw's play "Pygmalion") is that you sympathize with and believe in the Cockney flower girl who suddenly finds herself raised into ladyhood by a couple of eccentric linguists. Or very much more to the point, in Shakespeare's play "Taming of the Shrew" much of comedy derives from Kate's envy and jealousy of her submissive but hot younger sister's success with men, so that we feel her strange commingling of hope and fear when she encounters Petrucchio, a man who can best her, and who brings out the submissive in her.)

The main area in which Dragon Knight falls flat is in explicit sex. There isn't any, at least, not any that's onscreen. There are a few scenes of demons copping feels of various captive Amazons, but that's about it. Certainly there's none of the full-bore rope-'em-up-ride-'em-hard-and-put-'em-up-wet stuff we've come to expect from hentai.

"Well, look, if you two aren't going to have sex with me now that I'm naked and chained up and all, I'll just take my chances with the Dragon Knights, thank you very much."

That said, there is plenty of sexy bondage imagery in the hentai, as Takeru repeatedly rescues naked, bound Amazon cutie pies from the Dragon Knights. There's a certain amount of nudity too. But for those who are used to more hard-core fare, and who are interested in hentai only to the extent they provide such imagery, Dragon Knight could be a bit of a disappointment.

I myself enjoyed the anime greatly, as did Mrs. Powers. It's in fact a pretty good couples adult anime, as its good-natured humor takes the sting out of its general sexism.

It's also a pretty good watch on its own accord, as the frequent nude bondage imagery of cute women is enough to make the anime's silliness worthwhile.