Review

by Mercedez Clewis,

Dragon Goes House-Hunting

Synopsis:
Dragon Goes House-Hunting
When the misfortunate dragon Letty is proven too soft to be a real dragon (and also loses an egg), his family kicks him out. Thus begins his quest for a new place to survive, and maybe thrive. Too bad that the path to getting a new home is such a beast, and in a world chockablock with all manner of fantastical, mythical creatures, Letty's got some stiff competition, especially if he wants to get a good home without getting got… literally.
Review:

Because of the wellspring of really good shows in Spring 2021, Dragon Goes House-Hunting completely went under my radar despite looking like it'd hit all the slice-of-life vibes that I tend to lean towards. That's why, when given the opportunity to finally review this show professionally, I eagerly jumped at the chance. After all, a series centered around fictional creatures buying up real estate and finding their dream homes? Sounds like a very good time to me! Thankfully, Dragon Goes House-Hunting is a pretty solid series, even if it's got a few shortcomings.

Full disclosure: I watched Funimation's dub of this series. In fact, I specifically opted to go with the dub, and let me tell you, I don't regret it. It's a playful dub that's well-acted and solidly directed, from the moment that a pair of slimes goes house-hunting to the very end of the series. Standouts are Michael Kovach and Steven Kelly, who voice Letty and Dearia respectively. Kovach's expressive acting really sells the fact that Letty is the most hapless dragon on the planet, and brings Letty's journey to find a home to vivid life.

That journey turns out to be a laid-back, fantastical romp to different regions and climates as Letty attempts to just find somewhere to settle down. It's a comedy that highlights the diversity between fantasy species and creatures that brings to mind series such as Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle and Delicious in Dungeon, except this time it's about these creatures planting their proverbial roots – you know, the millennial dream? Admittedly, I found the humor in this series to be somehwat inconsistent: it ranges from laugh-out-loud moments to groan-inducing sequences that were better left on the cutting room floor. Thankfully, Dragon Goes House-Hunting scores more hits than misses.

Another potentially divisive aspect of the series is that it can sometimes get caught up in making too many RPG and TTRPG jokes, which, while initially cute, can be distracting simply by virtue of how frequent they are. They get balanced by Letty's antics, but this also depends on how much you like his particular brand of energy. I like Letty, but he can be… exhausting sometimes, being essentially the dragon equivalent of say, a fresh-faced twenty-year old who likes to scream a lot. Thankfully, that dies down a bit as Letty matures across the series, and as he receives more and more characterization from the larger plot.

The soundtrack for Dragon Goes House-Hunting isn't particularly unique, though it executes on the “fantasy JRPG sound” quite well. There are some nice flourishes with marimba, trumpet, and all the good instruments that make up a solid video game-inspired soundtrack that channels the vibes of multiple other fantasy JRPGs, but most reminded me of the Tales of franchise. And while the OP goes hard, I don't think anyone will remember this series for its BGM. Still, it's enjoyable enough, adding that nice fantasy flair to the series that effectively heightens its otherworldliness.

But that's really all the negatives I can think of in this harmless, delightful romp through a fantasy realm's real estate options. It's like if Ebby Halliday got isekai'd into Dragon Quest (or maybe, since I've never played Dragon Quest, Etrian Odyssey, which is much more my speed). What I'm getting at is that while this might not be the anime equivalent of a AAA title, it's fun, and sometimes fun is what you need. Dragon Goes House-Hunting understands that to its core.

Dragon Goes House-Hunting also has the advantage of being a solid series that you can show to younger viewers, especially if they're new to manga and anime, but just so happen to like JRPGs. While some of the tropes and jokes might go over their heads, and there is some swearing here and there, Dragon Goes House-Hunting is by and large a kid-friendly series, especially if you know a young person who's in that early teen range. It's PG-13 lite at worst, and never dips its toes into anything too serious, sticking mostly to comedy to tell Letty's story.

In the end, Dragon Goes House-Hunting is easily one of the most underrated anime from the Spring season. It's not going to be for everyone, but if you like series like Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, Hakumei and Mikochi, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, and even I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, I think you'll find yourself right at home with Letty and the world of Dragon Goes House-Hunting. Give it a try, and honestly, you'll probably find something to like about Lettie's delightful world.

Grade:
Overall : B
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : B
Story : B+
Animation : B-
Art : B-
Music : B+

+ Fun, harmless series that is suitable for younger viewers; Letty and Dearia have an enjoyable dynamic; Solid dub; Catchy OP
Video game references can get distracting after a while; Generic-sounding BGM and ED; Human characters are uninteresting; Dearia's design looks a little off

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Production Info:
Director: Haruki Kasugamori
Storyboard:
Shiori Asuka
Yuka Fukuchi
Haruki Kasugamori
Natsumi Kuroda
Niina Morita
Kazuma Shirasaki
Shi Yi Su
Akane Tamai
Episode Director:
Haruki Kasugamori
Toshiyuki Sone
Shigeru Ueda
Music: Kyōhei Matsuno
Original creator:
Choco Aya
Kawo Tanuki
Character Design:
Shiori Asuka
Shi Yi Su
Animation Director:
Shiori Asuka
Myeong Jun Cha
Ja-Cheon Gu
Masumi Hattori
Sōichi Honda
Hatsue Katou
Natsumi Kuroda
Shi Yi Su
Kyoko Taketani

Full encyclopedia details about
Dragon, Ie o Kau. (TV)

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