Manga Review: The Water Dragon’s Bride V 1 by Rei Toma

May Contain Spoilers

I’m not sure why I checked this particular book out of the library. The cover isn’t  all that appealing to me because Asahi looks so young, scared, and helpless standing in front of the water dragon god. I’m glad I did, though, because I loved the art, with its clean lines and dramatic expressions. The story was engaging, and I’m looking forward to the next volume.

Asahi is enjoying an afternoon at home with her parents when she’s sucked into the pond in the backyard. She finds herself in a strange world, surrounded by trees and a lake. She’s rescued by young Subaru, a village boy who takes her home and begs his parents to let Asahi stay until they can locate her parents. His parents promise to treat her as their own daughter.

Apparently, treating her like she’s their own daughter means throwing her to her death in the lake. A sacrifice for the water dragon god, her life will ensure that his family and the village enjoy continued prosperity. Subaru is devastated; he promises to save her from her fate.

Asahi finds herself in the company of the water dragon god. She’s sacred of him, and understandably so. Here’s a guy so different from a human that it’s hard to know what he’ll do next. He’s bored and jaded, and determined to derive as much enjoyment from her as possible. He’s so different he doesn’t even get along with the other gods. When Subaru comes to rescue her, the water dragon god decides that this new game might be interesting, and allows them to get away. Once they arrive back in the village, they discover that not only the gods are a danger to them.

I enjoyed this. The illustrations are the focal point for the story, and the dialog and narration are sparse.  Every scene sets up an emotional roller coaster for Asahi or Subaru, as all forces seem to be plotting against them. Both the water dragon god and Subaru’s mother are terrifying opponents, one because of his immense power, and the other because she will do anything to keep the status of her family. I’m curious to see what happens next, and I’m looking forward to reading the next volume.

Grade: 4.5 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

A modern-day girl gets whisked away to a strange land where she is sacrificed to a water dragon god!
In the blink of an eye, a modern-day girl named Asahi is whisked away from her warm and happy home and stranded in a strange and mysterious world where she is sacrificed to a water dragon god! What plans are in store for her, and what will happen when she comes face to face with this god?
A young boy named Subaru comes to Asahi’s aid, but despite his help, Asahi must endure a test of survival! Will she be able to make it out alive or will she end up being sacrificed?