Dragon Head Vol. #03 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 248
  • ISBN: 1-59532-916-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Dragon Head Vol. #03

By Jarred Pine     August 16, 2006
Release Date: July 11, 2006

Dragon Head Vol.#03

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Minetaro Mochizuki
Translated by:Alexis Kirsch
Adapted by:Aaron Sparrow

What They Say
There is a light at the end of every dark tunnel. Teru and Ako hope that wise old saying true! Teru finally discovers an exit to the surface. Once outside, there is something weird in the air. Teru and Ako must depend on one another if they are going to survive the trek to Tokyo. They also realize that they are not alone in their quest for survival...

The Review
In case you have forgotten, let me start off with this simple reminder: Dragon Head is the most frighteningly gripping manga on the English market. Period. Now that you have been refreshed, let us proceed.

Volume 3 contains the answer to the question that has been burning in my mind ever since I began this series. Once the kids get out of tunnel, will Mochizuki be able to maintain that same level of close-quarters fear and paranoia? The answer is a resounding, HELL YES! In fact, Mochizuki has further elevated the fear factor (hehe) here with Teru and Ako finally reaching the surface world, only to find a worst-case scenario. The world as they knew it before the tunnel collapse no longer exists. In its place is a broken, empty shell of a world that is surrounded by a relentless haze of dust. Welcome to hell on earth!

The greatest asset for Dragon Head is the anticipation of the unknown, which Mochizuki has firing on all cylinders here. After climbing out of the tunnel wreckage, Ako and Teru are treated to an evacuated water treatment facility with a window view of the blocked out sun. Cracks line the walls, walkways, and streets. At first, their only connection to the outside world is a 30 second, fuzzy emergency broadcast from one of the local TV channels. There are rumors of bays engulfed in flames, guerillas taking over cities, and monsters in the darkness. A lot of information is being passed around, but nothing can be treated as fact. The reader is left in the dark along with Ako and Teru. That darkness is what makes this manga so damn fascinating to read. Its horrifying not having concrete answers to those burning questions inside of your head, but the anticipation of finding those answers makes this one hell of an engaging read.

If TOKYOPOP is looking for an anchor title for their new HORROR line of books, they have a winner here. The printing looks quite sharp this time around, and while the lack of SFX translations in a horror title still irks me, the books is a solid release overall. With over 240 pages of top-shelf material here, this is quite the bang for your manga dollar.


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