Manga Review: Dragon Drive Volume Two

Dragon Drive Volume 2 is a manga with the story and art by Ken-ichi Sakura. Viz Media holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was done by Ian Reid and Honyaku Center Inc., with a translation done by Lucy Craft, Corinne and Kohei Takada, and Honyaku Center Inc. This edition of the manga was published in 2007. Dragon Drive is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages

Dragon Drive Volume 2
Written by: Ken-ichi Sakura
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 5, 2007

This volume of Dragon Drive starts with Reiji running into Agent L, the woman who serves as the announcer during the tournaments. She offers to left Reiji train in a special room, so Chibi can become stronger and Reiji can practice to become even better at the game. After not seeing Reiji for a few days, Maiko and Daisuke see him heading off with Agent L, and the two of them follow. They discover the training room that is not offered to most users, and Maiko and Daisuke end up using the room without permission. While they are in the room, they discover that Chibi has discovered more of his power. One day, while in the training room, a mysterious girl suddenly appears in the simulation, and Reiji, Maiko, Daisuke, and their dragons are whisked away. They are taken to a completely different world, and that there’s more to Dragon Drive than simply being a game for kids to play and enjoy.

This fighting manga has fallen into the “trap” that many fighting anime and manga fall into. Instead of simply being about the game and the players becoming better at the game, an otherworldly element is added that end up making the game not being all that it was cracked up to be (such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Bakugan); one of the few exceptions to this would be Pokemon. Even though this particular volume of the manga introduces this new element, quite a bit of the manga is focused much more on battles than it is on exposition and story development. Because of this, I was able to read through this volume of the manga a lot faster than I did the first one. And since there’s much more of a focus on battles in this volume, there’s a lot more of the “busy” panels present in Volume 2 than there were in Volume 1. While I’m a little disappointed to see that Dragon Drive is already relying on the otherworldly element to progress its story, I would still be willing to read future volumes to see if Ken-ichi Sakura can make the story work.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of this manga volume that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Dragon Drive:

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