The Spring 2021 anime Dragon Goes House-Hunting is ostensibly about a trash-tier dragon named Letty looking for a new home with the help of the legendary realtor/demon lord Dearia, but it’s really more of an excuse to poke fun at video game tropes than anything. It turns out that being a monster in a JRPG world is actually pretty difficult, and for many more reasons than you’d expect. Let’s check out the five funniest video game references in Dragon Goes House-Hunting!
1. Greedy, Constantly Respawning Heroes
Just about every ordinary citizen in this world views heroes as greedy jerks who murder and steal in the name of “justice”, but monsters have it especially hard because they’re routinely harrassed for level grinding and loot collecting. So even though Letty is pretty useless in a fight - much to his eternal embarrassment - the fact that he’s still a dragon means that every hero he comes across tries to hunt him down for his rare raw material drops. There’s a particularly persistent band of heroes that just won’t leave him alone, even after Dearia incinerates them to dust enough times that the church has probably gotten sick of reviving them. Something tells us that they’ll be a thorn in Letty’s side for the rest of his life if he doesn’t find a home that can keep them away.
2. Dungeon Traps to Ward Off Looters
Houses fit for monsters have a few basic requirements: they must be able to withstand the size and abilities of the creatures inhabiting them (which rules out quite a few options for the massive dragon Letty), they must comply with zoning and right-to-light laws so that smaller monsters aren’t at a disadvantage, and they must provide adequate protection from heroes who’d want to loot the place. For this last requirement, it’s best to invest in traps like pitfalls and haunted hallways that kill assailants before they can even reach the monsters living there. Then, as a little bonus, the inhabitants can sell the heroes’ gear for some extra income! It’s a good deal if you can handle the stress.
3. Letty Hasn’t Unlocked the Flying Ability
Needless to say, Letty isn’t really cut out to live in a home that purposefully lures in heroes. Not only is he a walking ball of concentrated anxiety, but he can’t even fly to get away from anyone who confronts him directly. Despite being an adult dragon, he hasn’t unlocked the ability to fly, so his wings can’t do much other than sit there being just as ineffectual as he is. This first becomes a problem in the Temple of Fall, where a rapid succession of pitfall traps leaves him stranded on the bottom floor of the dungeon. Dearia - bless his heart - is either blissfully unaware of Letty’s flying deficiency or plays dumb to let the poor guy save face. Maybe he can bring him to a skill trainer at some point to buff his stats a bit?
4. The Ineffectual Monster Hunter
This anime rarely references specific video games, but when it does, the results are pretty hilarious. In the background of Letty and Dearia’s adventures, a hunter named Huey has been following the trail of the rumored Flame Dragon King of Destruction. He’s much more focused on tracking monsters than slaying them by the dozens, has a cute talking cat companion, and cooks his nightly hunk of meat over a rotating spit roast like any true Monster Hunter protagonist would. Unfortunately, he’s so bad at catching up to Letty that all he succeeds in doing is spreading the increasingly exaggerated legend of the Flame Dragon King across all stretches of the kingdom. Don’t worry, Huey - we’re sure you’ll catch a big one someday.
5. What Humans Think Dungeons Are Like
Nell, a human princess who joins the gang for the last few episodes, is super excited to check out the “practice dungeon” that the royals had built below their castle. Letty thinks that it might be a cushy place to work and call home, but much to his surprise, this dungeon isn’t like anything he’s ever seen! There are whole rooms with nothing but a single treasure chest in them (where are the bathrooms?), puzzles that are way too easy to solve, and some strange 8-bit music being piped in through the walls. As it turns out, this practice area built by humans is just an approximation of what they think dungeons must be like! Nell is absolutely crushed by this realization, and honestly, we would be too!
We also love some of the smaller gags, like Dearia providing Letty with a vacuum (from Luigi’s Mansion) and a typewriter (from Resident Evil) in the haunted mansion property, Letty’s side job cutting wood into square blocks for people who like making Minecraft-style houses, and the literal stat cards that everyone carries around. But did we miss any of your favorite video game gags from Dragon Goes House-Hunting? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!