A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Violence is the only means by which conflicts are resolved.
Positive Role Models
Few adult characters exist, and those who do are sinister bad guys bent on eliminating the young heroes.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sexual content, but a female character wears a skimpy outfit that shows cleavage and creates shadows that accentuate her breasts and pelvic area.
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No cursing, but there's some name-calling like "lamebrain."
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Products & Purchases
The show is based on an existing video game of the same name, and dialogue sometimes reflects this with phrases like "game over."
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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