First Impression: Ragna Crimson

Destiny can be ironic. Or so feels Ragna, the all-powerful dragonslayer, as he turns reptiles into liquid silver on a land covered in ice. The lethal techniques he has honed throughout his life would have been helpful in the past, back in the year 480 of the Sun Age, when he was a teenager and there was someone he would have given anything to save. But Ragna was a weakling then, a so-called “parasite” who would just hang around the warrior prodigy he idolized, a child with a scar named Leo, helping her with practical chores. But she died in a dragon attack, just like Ragna’s parents, and the relatives who took him in, and the rich man who adopted him after that. They didn’t even have a chance. But what if Ragna could create a chance? What if he could contact his past self? And what if he could pass his abilities onto that past Ragna in time to save Leo? Perhaps it would be worth the try. Even if the price is giving the sinister Dragon leader her own opportunity to interfere with the past…

So, what about Ragna Crimson? This 47-minute-long premiere manages to feel quite epic and tragic thanks to its visually stunning sequences: cities and cathedrals, fire and devastation, silver weapons shining, and dragons emerging from the dark. The opening was impressive, and it reminded me of Tower of God, an artsy webcomic adaptation from a few years ago. Ragna’s feelings of guilt, isolation, and obsessive determination are raw, powerful, and properly conveyed. They help the show somewhat balance its problems, like the worldbuilding feeling scarce (the city feels like it is inhabited by the four same people), Leo the Teenage Prodigy acting too cutesy for her own good, and the moments when our protagonists are interacting with a crowd of paralyzed people, their mouths wide open, their eyes staring into nothingness. And what’s with the humanoid dragon leaders wearing ties and suits? Well, when the fight scenes and transitions are this cool, I’m prepared to forgive a lot. Though the opening episode of Ragna Crimson made me roll my eyes from time to time, all in all, I had a good time with it. Who knows, I might continue. Go Ragna!

Ragna Crimsom can be streamed on HIDIVE.

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