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Manga review: ‘Dragonar Academy’ Vol. 1

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On February 4, 2014 manga publisher Seven Seas released the first volume of “Dragonar Academy”, and we decided to to check out this action (and fan service) filled romantic comedy series.

The “Dragonar Academy” manga series is an adaptation, by Ran, of the series of light novels written by Shiki Mizuchi and illustrated by Kohada Shimesaba. The series follows Ash Blake, a student at the Ansullivan Dragonar Academy in the Knightdom of Lautreamont.

At the academy, students are trained in how to handle their dragons, which are grown within them from an early age. While most students have their dragons emerge earlier in their time at the school, Ash’s dragon has yet to emerge and he is considered by many to be a delinquent, although his mark is much larger than any other and he also possesses the ability to ride anyone else’s dragon, something that no one else can do.

During the academy’s festival race however, Ash’s dragon finally awakens when he is attacked by two unknown assailants and finds himself nearly killed. To his surprise, and that of everyone around him, his dragon looks like a young woman, with baby dragon horns, instead of the towering beast that we are all familiar with.

Now, Ash is tasked with looking after his unique dragon, whom he names Eco and apparently doesn’t like wearing clothes. Eco is also being sought after by a renowned doctor, who wants to dissect her, while Ash must contend with a princess who has it out for him and the student council president, who wants him to join her cause. With so many girls all vying for his attention poor Ash doesn’t know what to do, but with enemies attacking the city, he will definitely have to protect Eco.

Dragonar Academy” has a familiar story and there aren’t a whole lot of surprises, but with that said, it is still an entertaining read. There is a fair amount of action and quite a bit of comedy throughout, and a whole lot of fan-service. The pace of the story is a little fast, but because it is the first volume it is likely that more of the story will be explained later and this is just the initial setup for events teased early on.

Visually “Dragonar Academy” has a good look, the clothes have a fair amount of detail and the dragons look impressive. The facial expressions do leave a little to be desired however. The characters designs all seems to fit with their personalities, although I have no idea how the girls can go around with skirts that short, maybe it helps when riding their dragons?

The manga’s cover features a nice looking image of Eco, wearing one of those insanely short skirts, with two white dragons behind her. At the end, fans can look forward to notes and early character designs along with some comments from Ran, Shiki Mizuchi and Kohada Shimesaba.

The text is actually a good size, but at times the words have to be broken up a bit to fit, which looks a little bit awkward to me. The translations have nice flow though, and everything reads well.

Overall, “Dragonar Academy” isn’t the most original series, but it is still a fun one to read. It offers action and comedy for fans and you get plenty of dragons and cute girls. Where the story leaves off at the end of volume one, I will definitely be looking out for volume two, to see where things go.

If you enjoyed manga like “Zero’s Familiar”, or anime like “Polyphonica Crimson S”, then you will probably want to check out “Dragonar Academy”.

Score

3.5 out of 5

Dragonar Academy Vol. 1

Publisher: Seven Seas
Story by: Shiki Mizuchi
Art by: Ran
Number of Pages: 192
Age Rating: Older Teen
Release Date: February 4, 2014

(This review is based on a purchased copy of “Dragonar Academy” Vol. 1.)

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