Tuesday, March 24, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: THE WATER DRAGON'S BRIDE Volume 10


LETTERS: Monaliza de Asis
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0503-0; paperback (July 2019); Rated “T” for “Teen”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

The Water Dragon's Bride is a shojo romance and fantasy manga from writer-artist Rei Toma (creator of Dawn of the Arcana).  It was serialized in the Japanese shojo manga magazine, Cheese!, from 2015 to 2019.  VIZ Media published an English-language edition of the manga as an 11-volume graphic novel series from 2017 to 2019.

The Water Dragon's Bride focuses on Asahi.  She is a modern-day girl who is pulled into a pond and is whisked away to a strange and mysterious new land.  She meets a boy, Subaru, the son of a prominent family from a nearby village, but his mother immediately dislikes Asahi and plots to sacrifice her to the god of the Great LakeThe Water Dragon God wants Asahi to be his wife, and though she refuses, some locals still see her as a priestess.

As The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 10 (Chapters 37 to 40) opens, the Water Dragon God has transferred his powers to Asahi.  Now, the “water priestess” is going to put an end to the god of darkness, Tokoyami's plot to cover the world in darkness.  First, Asahi is going to have to change the heart of Kurose, a boy from her world, who is the god of darkness' pawn.

Then, Asahi is confronted with another problem.  Why has the Water Dragon God fallen asleep?  Can she save him?

[This volume includes the four-panels comics, “The Water Dragon God's Chill Zone” and bonus manga.]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Water Dragon's Bride manga can sometimes suffer from a sense of the sameness.  However, as the series approaches its conclusion, it recovers some of the edginess it showed in its earliest chapters.

The Water Dragon's Bride Graphic Novel Volume 10 is the penultimate volume of the series.  Like the previous two volumes, it is out to offer surprises.  Creator Rei Toma digs deep into Kurose's despair and also reveals more about the first moments in the human boy's relationship with the god of darkness (whom the boy named “Tokoyami”).  Toma also confronts the status quo of the relationship between her star-crossed lovers, Asahi and the Water Dragon God.

So the series is headed for a substantial ending (hopefully) that will probably be consequential.  I would be surprised if Toma gave us only easy answers as she resolves this relationship.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Rei Toma will want to try the “Shojo Beat” title, The Water Dragon's Bride.

8 out of 10

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

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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