Dragon Goes House-Hunting
Letty is a bit of a failure as a dragon, at least in the eyes of his peers. He can't fly, breathing fire also burns his mouth and... well, he just isn't very strong, as dragons are expected to be. But it's only when adventurers steal a dragon's egg right under his nose that his father has had enough and throws him out of their home.
Looking for a new place to stay, Letty happens upon Dearia. When Dearia finds out Letty needs a new home, he takes it upon himself to show Letty the ins and outs of a home and maybe help him settle into his own place.
Letty did... not make the best first impression.
It's one thing that he is -- as most of the other creatures in the show put it -- kind of a joke for a dragon, with a stat card pointing out how pathetic he is. Never mind his minus seven in luck, which kinda sets the tone of how much the show is going to dunk on him as it goes along. Granted, most beings would probably struggle to live up to an average dragon's standards, so I'm not holding it against Letty that he isn't physically strong per sé. The problem is that the show opens on him failing what should be a rather simple task, and I can only assume this latest failure is the last in a rather long string of failures. And his first response to being thrown out after offering up excuses for his failure is to whine and complain, and shout for someone to save him.
That damage to his first impression, however, is almost immediately made up for by his dry sense of humor. Not long after being thrown out, Letty encounters a group of heroes, and their conversation is comedy gold. It's also a bit of a clue as to how the world works, and probably also just how sheltered a life Letty has been living up until now, as he is entirely unfamiliar with the concept of what a hero is and what they do. Later on, Letty's general cowardism is offset by him taking in a Hræsvelgr -- there's your Norse mythology, I guess -- he names Piyobelt, Pii-chan for short. Given his beginnings, Letty could use all the positive reinforcements he can get his claws on, so Pii-chan fits the bill quite nicely. (As does Nell, the girl in the intro that only shows up in the last couple of episodes.)
It also probably helps that a lot of the humanoids you meet are huge jerks. Humans and dwarves alike are more than happy to fulfill Letty's fears of ending up being someone's cool-looking equipment, and he's not the only one who has to worry about that. My favorite part of the whole show is the many moments where it points out that heroes are basically a group of sociopathic jerks. The first group Letty meets up with is dead set on killing Letty for being "an agent of evil", which is a convenient excuse for them to loot his body when he's dead without having to feel any guilt for killing him and... well, being evil jerks. The hunters and dwarves are at least aware that what they're doing is probably not good, at least for the monsters they're hunting, but heroes seems to have this delusion of self-importance hanging over them, as if they are the Karens of this world.
At least he found a... friend? ...in Dearia, your local neighborhood demon lord real estate agent. You'd think real estate agents are as trustworthy as car salesmen in this world, and maybe they are, but Dearia is a professional to the fingertips. His title might be demon lord, but he counts among the elves as races go, which makes me wonder where the divide is, as elves are usually grouped with other humanoid races. In addition to rounding off each episode with some small information tidbits about housing, land or anything related to that, he is the one running the show when it comes to anything related to someone's home. It doesn't have to be a house in the more traditional sense either; when we first see him, he's taking a slime pair on a tour of their future (temporary) home, complete with anti-hero functions and escape routes. Which is not to say he can't be sneaky. He might be fairly straightforward and 100% earnest to most of the show's residents when talking shop, but he clearly enjoys taking Letty for a ride if he's going to tag along anyway. We don't really learn how he ended up a demon lord other than being pushed into the job by other monster races, but Dragon Goes House-Hunting does let us look into his past a bit, showing us how he ended up where he is now.
Like I mentioned when I first talked about the heroes, the best part of Dragon Goes House-Hunting is its snappy dialogue. Letty might be a sheltered, unlucky weakling, but he sure knows how to take the piss when he wants to. While he might be dunked on a lot during this show, Dragon Goes House-Hunting never really gets mean-spirited about it, as most of it is done to help him grow as a character. And grow he does, if not necessarily in strength -- not all growth is about power levels, after all. It also helps that his dream home is a rather humble construct, and his situation is simply that he lives in a world that would much rather exploit him for his parts, the nicer people (Dearia aside) are the ones who won't try to take them by force.
A lot of the comedy also kinda centers around (J)RPG mechanics. Stat cards aside, it's not as much in how the world works as much as how the show often presents itself. While the art could probably be called nice enough, even pretty at times, it often throws its comedy bones at us in the form of 8 bit game graphics. This isn't really a knock at the visuals, though, even if I feel it probably kind of offsets the need to draw elaborate backgrounds or moving, complex characters. So yes, I've certainly seen better, but Dragon Goes House-Hunting's visuals work well for the show, and I don't really have any complaints. That, and it's got a rockin' opening theme.
With a single season to go on, the only complaint I can think of with Dragon Goes House-Hunting is that the show spends quite a number of episodes giving us not only Dearia's backstory, but also the one for his earlier dragon friend who served as the main reason why Dearia took an interest in Letty to begin with, even though Letty is more or less the polar opposite of said dragon friend. While these stories are certainly important, they do eat up a bit much of the time this season has to offer. While I do realize that we aren't necessarily guaranteed a second season, I still think it would have been better saving the story about Dearia's old friend for the second one anyway, maybe until after Letty has had the chance to open up a bit more. This might be my general dislike for flashbacks talking, but when one directly follows the other, well... that is going to be my take on it.
The visuals aren't necessarily super strong -- in fact, there is a really awkward scene in the opening animation with some weirdly awful inbetween animation -- but being a fantasy show that mostly looks at the monster side of the equation, we have a very diverse cast of mythical and fantastical beings that the show does a very good job at designing and presenting. By this point, monster people -- girls in particular -- isn't anything new, but Dragon Goes House-Hunting still gives it a fresh spin by basically taking a good look at their housing needs, as well as some of the lifestyle choices they make. Honestly, the animation is probably perfectly fine. It's not Dragon Goes House-Hunting's fault that I'm currently also working my way through Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S. Kyoto's animation work is a high bar to measure up to.
Dragon Goes House-Hunting turned out to be a fun little journey in the world of reasonably tough love and diverse housing. It understands comedy well enough not to repeat the same joke three times, and, like I said, it's got some wonderfully snappy dialogue to its name. It has a colorful, wonderful world for Letty to discover as he goes from house to house on his lovely journey of discovery and homemaking, and if a second season is ever greenlit, I will be there.
I honestly mostly enjoyed this. It's a nicely balanced show that doesn't wear out its welcome. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: You have your typical RPGish violence, although I am unsure whether anyone ever dies in the show (outside of old age, that is.) The JRPG (Jerk RPG) team seems to continuously meet their end in variously savage-ish ways, but always come back later on. There might be some mild fanservice, and two monster girls do exchange some vaguely sexual banter.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital stream, courtesy of Wakanime.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Dragon Goes House-Hunting © 2021 Signal MD.
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