Dragon Pilot

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Dragon Pilot TV Poster Image
Charming anime centers on brave, funny female pilot.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Hisone often speaks out of turn and inadvertently insults people, but always tries to make up for errors, sees the best in people. She puts aside her own feelings when she needs to do what's right, tries to stick things out even when they're hard.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The D-Pilots are a group of unique and strong young women working in a largely male-dominated military environment. They're not perfect, but they all have good qualities. Hisone is hard on herself but very accepting of others. Nao, despite her cranky demeanor, can also be warm and goofy. El is cold at times, but also excels at sports and her studies. Liliko is a fearful sort, but more competent and brainy than she lets on. Mayumi is the mom of the group, has a deep love for dragons.

Violence

The D-Pilots are "eaten" by the dragons before each flight (it's more of a big chomp, then a swallow) and are puked back up afterward, but it's more funny/gross than violent. Without revealing too many spoilers, there's a somewhat spooky ritual the D-Pilots have to help with in order to keep Japan safe from a scary monster, and some characters are faced with the prospect of dying for the greater good.

Sex

Some suggestive talk, mainly from the male members of the air force -- like a sleazy clothing designer who makes nonstop comments about the girls' bodies (and grabbing their butts) as he's fitting them for their flight uniforms. Mention of being "friends with benefits."

Language

"Hell," "damn" -- nothing stronger.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character is a smoker, and when another comments on it, he throws away his cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dragon Pilot is an English-dubbed anime series that centers on a young woman in the air force who, despite being a rookie, is chosen to pilot an OTF (Organic Transformed Flyer, or dragon). Despite the uber-cute look of the show, there are some references better suited to mature teens and adults -- mainly in the form of some sleazy male characters who make suggestive comments to the girls on base. Be aware of some potential gross-out moments as well, since the way these characters "pilot" the dragons is by being swallowed by them -- the pilots are puked back up later -- so we see inside their gooey, gut-filled bodies. It's not scary, though -- mostly it's played for laughs. Some sensitive viewers may get choked up at the ending, which explores themes of sacrifice and loss.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAeolianMode October 1, 2018

It's not as kid-friendly as it appears.

I made an account here because I feel very strongly about this. For starters, I would not recommend this to a 12+ age group. This show is more suited to 14-16+... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bywizardortitan September 28, 2018

A great show for older tweens and teens...as long as you're watching the OFFICIAL Netflix version!

I watched this show while it was airing in Japan via a fan-subtitled version of the series. It was great - however, the translator made the language much cruder... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byJkehew October 8, 2018

Love it!

Super cute anime, with great female characters, and while there might be few things that may be risqué. But there isn’t anything that can’t be seen a different... Continue reading

What's the story?

DRAGON PILOT tells the story of Hisone Amakasu (voiced in English by Christine Marie Cabanos), an awkward young military trainee who is constantly putting her foot in her mouth. She soon discovers that joining the military isn't the escape from others she'd hoped it would be, as the true nature of the air force is revealed to her: For years, dragons have been disguised in sophisticated metallic armor to conceal their true identities from the world at large, and Hisone is destined to pilot one of these OTFs (Organic Transformed Flyers). She struggles with her role as the "chosen one" -- and at times, the jealousy it inspires in others who wish to be in her shoes -- but rises to the occasion when she learns of the end goal of the OTF program: to save Japan from being destroyed by an ancient monster.

Is it any good?

The "magical girl/chosen one" concept is one you see a lot in anime -- and dragons are certainly having a moment in TV and film -- but this story has a charm and sweetness all its own. Hisone is a supremely likable protagonist, imperfect and yearning to find her place in the world, like so many of us. The other D-Pilots (Dragon Pilots) in the OTF program are perfect foils for her, each having their own fun quirks. It's especially gratifying that the writers don't draw out the initial rivalry between Hisone and her co-worker Nai Kaizaki (Sarah Anne Williams) for too long -- the ultimate theme being that we are better together. Dragon Pilot may not be groundbreaking anime, but it's genuinely funny and heartfelt, with snappy dialogue and engaging characters that make it compulsively watchable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Hisone's gradual transformation from scared rookie to brave fighter pilot. How does this show perseverance and courage, and why are these important character strengths?

  • When Hisone first arrives on base, she comes into conflict with the brash and competitive Nai. How do their experiences learning to pilot dragons, and about the air force's real mission, help to ultimately bond them? How does this demonstrate teamwork?

  • Hisone has to make some hard decisions about her fate toward the end of Dragon Pilot, even disobeying her superiors to do what she thinks is right. How does this demonstrate integrity?

TV details

For kids who love anime

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