Blue Dragon

Common Sense Media says

Video game-inspired anime is heavy on action.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Few adult characters exist, and those who do are sinister bad guys bent on eliminating the young heroes. Violence is the only means by which conflicts are resolved.


Kids carry weapons like swords. Exaggerated hand-to-hand battles are mostly limited to the shadows rather than their human counterparts. But the kids are often tossed around and roughed up when their shadows are, and none show lasting injuries.


No sexual content, but a female character wears a skimpy outfit that shows cleavage and creates shadows that accentuate her breasts and pelvic area.


No cursing, but there's some name-calling like "lamebrain."


The show is based on an existing video game of the same name, and dialogue sometimes reflects this with phrases like "game over."

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this action-oriented anime series is based on (and makes subtle references to) a video game, so tuning in may pique kids' interest in playing. The show's frequent battles are presented as the only solution to conflict -- plus, this prevalent violence lacks consequences. The show also has a noticeable lack of positive role models; the few adults who exist are villains plotting the heroes' demise, and the kids' level-headed female mentor dresses in scanty clothing that accentuates her curves and shows her cleavage.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When a nefarious king wages war on a small village, young Shu (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) fights back with a surprising talent -- the ability to call on the ancient powers of a Shadow called Blue Dragon (Lex Lang). As Shu learns more about his ability, he joins forces with Jiro (Sam Riegel), Kluke (Michelle Ruff), mentor Zola (Cindy Robinson), and their own Shadows to hone his skills and help rid the world of evil. But when the enemy's got Shadow wielders of their own, these young heroes are in for a tough fight.

Is it any good?


Not only is this anime-style cartoon based on a video game (making it a virtual commercial for the product), but the plot and dialogue make subtle references to the game. In one scene, for example, two kids summon their Shadows to spar for practice; when the scrimmage is over, they say "game over" to zap them from sight. What's more, the show relies solely on violence for conflict resolution and entertainment. But rather than participate in battles themselves, the kids summon their apparently invincible Shadows to do the dirty work. Despite that, they often suffer the same fate as their Shadows, so there's plenty of falling, crashing, and banging around that gives way to unrealistically short-lived injuries.

In the end, there's little redeeming quality to BLUE DRAGON, which makes no attempt at teaching positive messages and lacks notably strong adult role models. Moreover, astute anime fans may grow bored with the show's plot, which bears strong similarity to that of the long-lived Pokemon franchise. All in all, there are plenty of reasons to direct your kids' attention elsewhere.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes someone a hero. Kids: Do you consider the characters in this show heroes? Why or why not? In what ways are their actions heroic? Do all heroes use violence to achieve their goals? What other methods of solving problems can be used instead of fighting? Who are some of your favorite heroes?

TV details

Cast:Lex Lang, Sam Regal, Yuri Lowenthal
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:Streaming

This review of Blue Dragon was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

its PRETTY good

this show is okay the game is fun though(i think =P
Kid, 10 years old September 5, 2010

Fine for tweens who aren't afraid to see a realistic battle.

The show is actually amazing! The violence though can get a little scary. One character is hurt so badly she goes in to a coma. And the fight with King Nene leaves them half dead. Many non-essential characters die. Other than that it's not that bad at all. It is extremely epic in more ways than one. I'll give a review on it soon at my blog when I'm done watching the series:
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bymkalv February 5, 2009

Bad beggining.

This show started out like Pokemon and Bakugan, but as the series goes on, it gains a more intricate plot involving betrayal. The art is pretty good.


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