Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: THE WATER DRAGON'S BRIDE Volume 2

THE WATER DRAGON'S BRIDE, VOL. 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

CARTOONIST: Rei Toma
TRANSLATION/ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Abby Lehrke
LETTERS: Monalisa de Asis
EDITOR: Amy Yu
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9256-5; paperback (July 2017); Rated “T” for “Teen”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

The Water Dragon's Bride is a romantic adventure shojo manga from Rei Toma, who is also the creator of the Dawn of the Arcana manga.  This series follows a modern-day girl who is transported to a mysterious world where she meets a supernatural being known as the “water dragon god.”

A modern-day girl named Asahi is pulled into a pond and is whisked away from her happy home.  Suddenly, she is a stranger in a strange and mysterious new land.  She meets a boy, Subaru, the son of a prominent family of a nearby village.  Subaru takes Asahi home, but his mother immediately dislikes the girl and plots to sacrifice her to the god of the Great LakeThe Water Dragon God wants Asahi to be his wife; she refuses, and he steals her voice.

As The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 2 (Chapters 5 to 8) opens, Asahi hovers near the brink of death because of a burn inflicted upon her by Subaru's mother.  The Water Dragon God decides to heal Asahi although she has rejected him.  Feelings of compassion for the girl have awakened in the deity, but Asahi still fears him and is also desperate to go home.  When she hears rumors of another modern person who lives in this new world, Asahi hopes that she has discovered a way out, before her grief destroys this world.

[This volume includes Bonus Comics 1 and 2.]

I did not read the first volume of The Water Dragon's Bride manga, but my VIZ Media rep did send me a copy of the second graphic novel in this series.  The series, however, is easy to follow thanks to summaries on the back cover and near the front of the book and also because of the clean translation and straightforward English adaptation by Abby Lehrke.

The Water Dragon's Bride Volume 2 epitomizes Rei Toma's trademark of shojo manga with pretty art and edgy storytelling.  The graphical storytelling and art is soft-focused and has a sweet-nature, but the story it tells has hard edges and a dark center.  However, I don't know what to make of this manga.  The title character is shallow and not likable at this point in the story, and the lead character is a cry baby.  The characters are simplistic and simple, although I think that overall this narrative has an interesting premise.  I am curious to see where Toma takes this, as I was really impressed by her manga, Dawn of the Arcana.

B
6 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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