Dragon Girl Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Matthew Warner
Review Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Release Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A fantastic close to a fun little series.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Toru Fujieda

What They Say
For all of her young life, fiesty, fierce Rinna Aizen has only had room in her heart for one man: Sakuya, the erstwhile captain of the most legendary cheering squad in the history of Shoryu Senior High... who also happens to be her dad! But as Rinna, following in her father's footsteps, struggles to raise the Shoryu squad back to up to its former glory, will she also find a space opening up in her heart for one of the many boys in her life?

The Review!
The opening part of this volume is spent fleshing out Rinna’s relationship with Subaru Zaou, the mysterious boy from her past. It turns out that Subaru is a member of Meiko’s cheering squad, and is next in line to be their captain, making Rinna and Subaru rivals, in a way. Soon, Rinna finds herself growing closer to Subaru, and she even learns that he does remember her after all. Rumors spread around school, making life difficult for Rinna, which only escalates when Hikari Naruko, Subaru’s childhood friend and self-proclaimed girlfriend, appears to tell Rinna to keep away from Subaru. This situation soon pushes Rinna to admit her feelings to Subaru, only to be told that they can never be together.

While Rinna is trying to get over her rejection, she learns that Sakuya has returned home. While constantly getting closer to Yaotome, she also comes across an old photo depicting Sakuya with an old love interest. Though she puts the matter aside for a while, a variety of circumstances lead her to a shocking revelation: the woman was Subaru’s mother, meaning that Subaru is actually her half brother. Realizing he was simply looking out for her, she soon reconciles with Subaru, and comes to terms with what Sakuya had done in the past as well.

The issues with her past resolved, Rinna begins to look towards the future: the climactic showdown between Meiko and Shoryu’s cheering squads, centered around a school festival. Just as Rinna’s feelings are about to bloom for Yaotome, however, the captain (freshly made handsome due to a firework accident destroying his facial hair and flowing locks) declares that he wants to fight for Rinna’s love. Once the festival is brought to an end, with Shoryu eking out a win, the two engage in a fierce competition, using the same contest used to judge Rinna’s entrance to the squad in the first volume. Though the contest comes to a tie gracefully steps down, allowing Yaotome and Rinna to officially begin dating. The volume comes to a close showing what happened to everyone, closing on a portrait of the new cheering squad, with Rinna as the captain.

In Summary:
This second volume manages to take everything that made the first volume a treat to read and take it to the next level. Plot points are taken through a number of interesting turns, the central love drama takes several unexpected turns, and characters undergo a real growth from start to finish. Not only that, but the ending itself does a fantastic job of wrapping up its loose ends, bringing everything to a satisfying close. Though the premise of the series may not have been anything special, the execution made for an absolutely fantastic ride.

Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translation Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Released By: Yen Press
MSRP: 20.99
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9780759531673
Size: A5
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Dragon Girl