A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Themes include hope, belonging, and imagination. Nothing is impossible. Believe in yourself and your dreams, even if other people don't understand. Characters seek to find their place in the world.
Positive Role Models
Nagi is curious and open to learning and growing, and wants to help others. Thaim is resilient, positive, protective. He doesn't hesitate to come to people's aide, and he doesn't let people who look down on him stop him from achieving his goals. Mame is creative and expressive; he shows his emotions openly and tries to stay positive.
The main character's best friend is a Black Japanese boy, played by a Nigerian Japanese actor. Although not a main character, the friend is a fleshed-out character with his own storyline, where he face struggles not directly related to his race or ethnicity. Themes of culture, community, and belonging. Characters from different worlds with different languages learn about each other's ways of life, become friends, and help each other solve problems to protect their communities.
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Violence & Scariness
Fantasy and real-world violence. In the animated scenes are battles between a masked villain and the heroes. Animated characters "explode" into bursts of manga volumes and disappear, as if they had died. Characters use magic and weapons (blades, bow and arrow) to fight. Characters are in peril as the world collapses. In live-action scenes, a vigilante attacks criminals using martial arts and improvised weapons. The vigilante faces consequences for his actions. Older adults threaten and beat up a younger adult who is blindfolded and appears to have been kidnapped. People are shown bloodied and unconscious after fights. A character who can hear peoples' thoughts overhears thoughts of violence from people off-screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
An adult character makes reference to falling in love; his partner is later introduced and shown to be pregnant.
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Language includes profanity ("damn," "hell," "son of a bitch," "bastard") and voice-over of people threatening violence (e.g., "I'm going to kill you," "run him over"). Side characters talk down to the main characters ("idiot," "useless," "not talented enough").
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Products & Purchases
There is some product placement for Japanese brands (a bag of chocolate candy) and mascots (a model toy of Astro Boy).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink alcohol. An adult character becomes a vigilante after drinking too much; he is tried in court for his excessive violence while intoxicated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that anime meets the real world in Dragons of Wonderhatch, a teen fantasy drama about community, imagination, and helping others. The show flips between animated scenes and live-action with CGI. In both settings, there's some combat violence. The real-world setting includes bullying (e.g., destroying someone's property, name-calling, insults). There's also a character who acts as a vigilante, violently stopping criminals from harming people. Language includes profanity ("damn," "hell," "bitch," "bastard," etc.) and threats of violence. Adults drink alcohol, sometimes to excess. But themes include having hope and believing in yourself and others even when told to give up. And characters from different worlds become friends as they learn about one another's cultures.
Is It Any Good?
This family-friendly fantasy takes some warming up to, but it proves itself to be a fun, uplifting tale with positive representation. Dragons of Wonderhatch stars compelling characters who navigate a predictable but exciting mystery. It's refreshing to see Japanese media with characters of color who don't conform to harmful stereotypes and instead simply reflect the actual ethnic diversity in Japan. The meta-narrative is also engaging. Having anime characters cross over to the real-world pushes viewers to think about how fictional characters' view of life can be useful in the real-world as well.
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.