Dragon Eye, Volume Three (Mania.com)

By:Nadia Oxford, Columnist
Review Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2008

All right, I am (wo)man enough to admit that Dragon Eye has grown on me since its seemingly generic first volume. It's not to say that Fujiyama's post-apocalyptic fantasy manga series is a wellspring of originality, but each new installment brings action and intrigue…and really, there's not much more you can ask out of a shonen series.

Dragon Eye's plot is set in the future after a virus has ravaged much of the Earth. The virus transforms normal animals and humans into deformed, hulking "Dracules:" Marked monsters that exist for the sole purpose of killing or infecting the non-infected. The remaining human population is protected by VIUS, a small army composed of fighters who are immune to the Dracule virus. Leadership of VIUS' elite Squad Zero falls to Issa, a slacker with a raging appetite who carries enormous fighting potential and a dark secret. His right-hand woman is Leila, a fresh inductee who to revenge her slain parents.

Again, nothing very original. To volume three's credit, there are a lot of great fights which, coupled with the unveiling of Issa's true power and his past, make for some good old fashioned shonen fun. Squad Zero, charged with investigating with an unusually high Dracule population slithering around underground, was split up in volume two. The two groups are still apart through volume 3, and the separate problems that each encounters helps move the story along briskly. There's not a whole lot of depth, but battles against giant hedgehog-shaped Dracules are undeniably cool.

Dragon Eye's art is a definite strong point. The human designs are a bit on the generic side, but the Dracule designs are interesting. Each Dracule is based on a mutated animal or human, but there are consistent characteristics to each one. In particular, the pale skin of each Dracule is covered with whorled black patterns and distinct red eyes. It's motivation enough to make you keep reading and wonder what the next Dracule will look like.

If you've kept up with Dragon Eye, volume three gives you no reason to abandon it. In fact, it's the strongest installment thus far and there's indication that the action won't be slowing down soon. Hopefully. Volume three retails for $10.95. 



Mania Grade: B
Title: Dragon Eye, Volume Three
Author: Kairi Fujiyama
Artist: Kairi Fujiyama
Rated: Teen (13+)
Publisher: Del Ray
Price: $10.95