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Seikoku no Dragonar (Dragonar Academy, 星刻の竜騎士 in Japanese) is a popular light novel with manga and anime adaptations that centers on Ash Blake, a good natured but generally clumsy, hapless and anxious cadet level student at the Dragonar Academy, where the students learn how to tame, ride and work with the powerful and intelligent dragon Pals that roam the Arc Strada continent. Making matters worse, Ash is utterly surrounded by incredibly beautiful girls and women that the Academy is teeming with, who match their beauty with skill and fighting prowess when faced with the many enemies who oppose the Academy and the government of Arc Strada. Ash is frustrated by his constant attempts to impress them that almost constantly lead to embarrassment, but through hard work and practice, he gets better and better at his skills to the point that he develops a remarkable ability to ride many dragons besides his own--almost unheard of among the Academy's students.
The students are led by Rebecca Randall, a beautiful junior and student-council president who develops a particular fondness for Ash as his skills gradually get better and better. She's joined by Silvia Lautreamont, a princess of a great respected aristocratic knight family, Oscar Brallsford (the vice-president who's actually a girl herself) and Jessica Valentine in basically running the Academy day to day, sometimes teaming up with them, sometimes in rivalry, often for Ash's affections as his skill and bravery are put on display. Making matters even worse for Ash is the attention of Eco, a powerful tsundere loli princess who is a human with dragon powers, alternately attracted and repulsed by Ash--though usually the latter, at least at first, as shown by her constant humiliating and belittling of the poor cadet. Eco's presence is mysterious and the students aren't quite sure at first how to interact with her, though they quickly learn to fear and respect her when she demonstrates her tremendous power, skill, resourceful ability, strength and intelligence, though her curiously often gets her into some trouble.
The Academy and the citizens nearby are opposed by the Zepharos Empire led by Klaus Viderrhausen and Milgaus, a secretive masked figure who prepares to attack the Academy with a series of mysterious horrors. Milgaus himself holds a dark mystery that the Academy and surrounding citizens are desperate to unravel, before his evil creatures and magical attacks doom them to a pall of darkness. As Ash's own abilities grow, the Academy gradually comes to rely on him as their most dependable soldier.
Seikoku no Dragonar contains examples of:
- Abuse Is Okay When Its Female On Male: This basically describes Eco's ultra-tsundere relationship to Ash for the first half of Season 1 in which she taunts, humiliates and belittles him relentlessly, leading to him being laughed and scoffed at by his classmates as she basically gets away with it. Gradually though she develops more tender feelings for him while Ash becomes more respected by his peers in general.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Scary hints of this get dropped from early right on, and slowly get confirmed as the Zepharos Empire gets more dangerous in its attacks.
- Backstory: Comes out slowly rather than revealed in detail, similar to One Piece in a way where characters' motivations, esp. the darker ones slowly become clear as pieces of the backstory come out.
- Big Damn Heroes: Ash becomes this in Ep. 3 when he saves Eco and the whole Academy and town from the Necromancia in bad-ass way, using his wits to figure out a way to fight the invincible monster, risking his life and showing a lot of guts against something so powerful and scary, riding another dragon and even attempting to ride the Necromancia himself. It's a big part of his character development and the point where the others start to respect him a lot more.
- Beach Episode: Unsurprisingly Dragonar has one, complete with its already gorgeous female characters prancing around in string bikinis while Ash and their other male classmates clumsily gawk in every direction.
- Can't Live with Them Can't Live Without Them: Eco when she's with Ash.
- Cash Cow Franchise: Began with a cult-following but Dragonar has more and more been becoming this partly thanks to its unusually scary enemies, dragon themes, visuals and twists in its plot and character development.
- Character Development: Much of the plot of Dragonar from episode to episode involves this for Ash, who matures from a clumsy, nervous cadet, constantly distracted by strong, smart and beautiful girls and women around him, into a capable dragon rider and soldier who becomes a kind of knight that the town relies on to stand up to the deadly scheming of the Zepharos Empire.
- Cliff Hanger: Many eps are this.
- Clingy Jealous Girl Eco is constantly tsundere to Ash but even more so as he starts to get more and more attention from Jessica, Rebecca and the other pretty girls at the Academy.
- Cryptic Conversation: Many of these esp.early on.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Ash and his buddies are practically overwhelmed by this effect around Jessica, Rebecca, Eco, Silvia, Veronica and the other female characters who are not only very beautiful but also smart, strong and disciplined. Not only that, their beauty and brains often come with very skimpy outfits in all kinds of situations, plus they tend to tease and (in Eco's case) beat up and humiliate Ash in particular, so much so he often has trouble concentrating in class. A lot of Ash's character development in fact surrounds his ability to find his focus despite this.
- Distressed Domina: Dragonar has a lot of this. Rebecca, Jessica and the other female students of the Dragonar Academy, not to mention Eco are generally the leaders and the most effective dragon riders and fighters in the continent, and can usually take care of themselves. But sometimes even they wind up in trouble especially against the attacks of Milgaus and the Zepharos Empire, who often make use of tentacles and a series of powerful magic attacks that overwhelm their opponents. Ash is usually there to save the day, a big factor in the boost to his reputation after his initial clumsy, stumbling start at the academy.
- Dominatrix: Eco verges amusingly close to this in the extent that she publicly humiliates, verbally and physically abuses,teases, belittles, beats up on and even erotically tantalizes Ash, often in a skimpy string bikini or lingerie to further link up with this trope. She even calls him her "dog" to his face and implies, or openly states that she's out of his league since she's a powerful princess with royal blood and he's a clueless cadet, usually before stomping on him, verbally humiliating or otherwise beating on or abusing him. At times she seems more yandere than tsundere though eventually her more tender feelings for Ash start to come out.
- Dracolich: The Necromancia created and activated by Milgaus. He's a towering and utterly terrifying undead demonic monstrosity who's all but unstoppable.
- Dragon Rider: Basically all the students in the Dragonar Academy and many other citizens of the Arc Strada continent, with Ash eventually standing out particularly well in this ability.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Necromancia in Episode 3 is this in spades and if anything is much scarier than the ones even in Lovecraftian stories themselves. He's extremely powerful, utterly horrifying looking (skeletal with hellish looking eyes), almost unstoppable, attacks with everything from fireballs to deadly tentacles, devours opponents (there's a terrifying scene of Eco trapped inside his maw) and does great damage to the Academy before Ash figures out a way to stop him.
- Fan Service: This is often implied even though Dragonar generally plays it straight.
- Femme Fatalons: Many of the female characters have these especially Eco, but also Anya (highlighted in a scene where Ash rescues her from a cliff fall, only for her to toss him off the cliff as a response) and Navi.
- Fiery Redhead: Both Eco and Rebecca, in various shades of red qualify as this.
- Fille Fatale: Basically, all the girls in the Dragonar Academy are this esp. Silvia, Rebecca and Jessica who are forward to Ash and some of the other male cadets to the point of completely intimidating them into submission and distraction. Eco and Anya and her sister also qualify. Not to mention all at usually more than one point appear in skimpy lingerie or bikinis, esp. Anya and her, you could say "minimalist" assassin's outfit.
- Genki Girl: Dragonar has several of these, and Eco is often one when the students head downtown..
- Giant Flyer: Most of the dragons are this.
- Go-Go Enslavement: A lot of this. Rebecca, Jessica, Eco, Veronica, Anya, Angela, Avdocha, Mirabel and many of the other beautiful female characters routinely prance around and even fight in string bikinis and lingerie. And are, not uncommonly, also overwhelmed and captured in them too, though they're rescued before anything.. unseemly happens.
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Silvia teases Ash with this from some of their first run ins and Eco mercilessly taunts him with it, both directly and through implication.
- It Runs in the Family: Even though the Lautreamonts are a royal family, they're also a bit eccentric and even crazy though in an endearing way, and many of the funniest scenes involve their unpredictable interactions.
- Little Miss Badass: Both Eco and Anya qualify in spades. Eco is extremely strong, powerful, intelligent, resourceful and a kind of legendary beauty in the Arc Strada continent, so strong that she routinely beats up on the people around her even when not intending to. This is particularly true of poor Ash, who's constantly the victim of Eco's beatings, humiliation and general tsundere contempt. Anya for her part is a deadly assassin and assistant greatly respected by Miilgaus.
- Anya is also coldly ruthless even by the "loli assassin" standards of Black Bullet or Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. at least initially. In his first encounter with Milgaus, who appears in Ep. 1 as a mysterious and very sinister masked figure, Ash is confronted by Anya who fights him by a cliffside to Ash's shock, who thinks the Zepharos Empire is at peace. The rocks at the edge are fragile and Anya nearly falls to her death. Ash rescues her despite her prior attack on him.. Anya then uses his rescuing hand to zip around suddenly and toss him off the cliff, which he survives only due to his developing dragon rider powers.
- Lovecraft Lite: A lot of this though sometimes it's not so "lite", and often is a lot scarier than even the scary Lovecraft fare ex. the Necromancia.
- Naughty Tentacles: Everywhere throughout Dragonar, which mixes both dragon and Lovecraftian elements (though the tentacle monsters are a good deal scarier than even Lovecraftian fare). Milgaus in particular has a tendency to attack using enemies with powerful tentacle-based attacks, most notably in Episodes 3 and 12. Eco finds herself on the wrong end of the Necromancia's tentacles, captured and then swallowed and nearly devoured by him as she's stripped down to a bikini, then covered, squirmed over, overwhelmed and subdued by 3 different sets of tentacles as she's drawn into his maw. Episode 12 and other episodes have similar series. It isn't hentai in part because Ash or the other allies always rescue Eco, Veronica and the other victims before anything happens to that effect, but there's a campy nod to it both in the episodes and even on various DVD covers for it.
- Ontological Mystery: There's a lot of this surrounding the Dragon Pals, their nature, where they come from, the source of their power and the way humans relate to them. This is one of the reasons for all the enthusiasm surrounding Eco's arrival, as it may help to answer some of these mysteries so much so that she even becomes the object of study--quite literally, in the case of one mad scientist attached to the Academy.
- The source of the Zepharos Empire's evil and Milgaus's frightening power is also this, a constant driver of plot events
- Ordinary High School Student: Ash sort of starts as the Arc Strada equivalent of this, until he develops into something much more with determination and practice.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Dragonar is practically a trope-codifier for this, its dragons are unique, intelligent, powerful, scheming and with a very unusual set of abilities and characteristics very different from any other classic set of dragon stories, particularly the Western kind.
- Perpetual Motion Monster: The Necromancia in Episode 3 of the anime, a ridiculously overpowered undead demon dragon activated by Milgaus to attack the Academy. The Necromancia is as tall as a skyscraper, very terrifying looking, can shoot powerful laser blasts from his mouth, can shoot out ultra-strong tentacles (which he uses to capture and nearly devour Eco), can regrow his own head after Rebecca practically obliterates it, can put up energy shields, reflect blasts, fly, shake off enemies and is practically unstoppable. Only Ash's special abilities are able to confront him effectively and rescue Eco from his grip.
- Redheaded Hero: Also Eco and Rebecca, both of whom are extremely strong and powerful.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Applies to Silvia Lautreamont, Veronica Lautreamont and others, who sometimes need spurring to take action but when they do, they're generally quite effective in battle and in planning.
- Royalty Super Power: Silvia, who's able to summon up an especially powerful Dragon Pal.
- The Dreaded: Many of the Zepharos Empire's soldiers are this. Even though Dragonar doesn't really have a scary mood to it it's filled with very scary scenes at times and Milgaus, the Necromancia, Anya and the Zepharos fighters at a whole are both competent, tough, and ruthless and very, very dangerous. Milgaus' attacks esp. are usually overpowering and very, very creepy and this is even before many of his deeper secrets become known.
- Tsundere: Eco is so much this towards Ash it's hard to know where to even start. She repeatedly teases, taunts, beats up on, humiliates, dominates, lashes out at, yells at, belittles and puts down the poor guy even after he saves her life from the Necromancia, though to be fair she also has some of this attitude to other characters too. However, it eventually becomes clear that she does genuinely care for Ash and wants to help him develop and become stronger, smarter and more skilled.
- Up to Eleven: Eco in her tsundere attitude towards Ash, she's practically a trope-codifier for this.