Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dragon Girl, Vol. 1 by Toru Fujieda

A prestigious all boys high school is in its first transitioning semester of becoming co-ed. The manipulative student council is actively phasing out traditional customs and clubs to forge a new identity for the school. Rinna is a feisty, ambitious girl intent on following in her estranged father's footsteps by joining the cheering squad. Hasekura is the current cheer captain trying to uphold tradition while adamantly deterring female students from joining. They must overcome their differences in order to prevent the club from being disbanded. The series is completed and compiled within two omnibuses. This is the first omnibus that is comprised of thirteen chapters.

I think the cover art misrepresents this manga in a lot of ways. Overall, the artwork is clean and attractively stylized without being excessively romantic. The characters are wonderfully designed with unique features that enhance their personalities. The layout is also designed well and flows nicely.

Dragon Girl is a lighthearted and amusing manga that I enjoyed reading. The story is very character driven with an initial simplistic plot. It's more of a slice of life focused within the school setting and its related activities. The overall story is fast paced with continuous tension and conflict that manages to remain charming and humorous throughout. The later chapters begin to develop romance story lines and complex back stories while hinting at an intriguing plot from the antagonists.

The story has a large cast of characters that possess wonderful characterization. I liked how each character stood out in their own way while adding a comedic or conflicting element. I loved the main character and I'm so glad this manga was recommended to me. Rinna is assertive and ambitious while remaining charismatic. I thought it was cute how she impacted the other characters. I found it amusing how she would awkwardly succeed at the challenges presented to her. I liked that she was flawed and wasn't interested in romance initially. I think this made it more impactful when she was vulnerable. The romance story lines were also more engaging with the slow build up and development.

I admit this manga contains familiar stereotypes found throughout shojo manga and lacks the high caliber of the more popular established series currently out there. However, I think Dragon Girl is a fun and refreshing short series worth reading if you can find it at a decent price.

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