Tag Archives: dragons

St. Dragon Girl Volumes 1-5: Manga Movable Feast

Momoka Sendou (nicknamed “Dragon Girl”) and Ryuga Kou are childhood friends. Momoka is a martial artist, and Ryuga is a Chinese magic master who banishes demons. In order to increase his power, Ryuga calls on the spirit of a dragon to possess him, but the spirit enters Momoka instead. Now the two must unite forces and fight demons together!

By Natsumi Matsumoto
Publisher: Viz Media – Shojo Beat
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Romance
Price: $9.99
Rating: ★★★★½

St. Dragon Girl is a title that has two things going for it. Dragons and a couple that denies their feelings for each other. While the second thing is a bit of a trope for shojo titles, I can’t help having a soft spot for their kind of relationship; the childhood friends who tease, bait and strike back.

The female lead of this story, Momoka, has a lot of tomboy traits. Her father is the head of a kenpo dojo, so she is constantly practicing, and is even an instructor. She will take on anyone who threatens her friends, spirits and demons, and even teachers! But she has one weakness; pandas. Ever since she received a stuffed panda as gift from Ryuga, she has loved them, and Ryuga as well. Momoka knows how she feels about Ryuga, but doesn’t want to tell him, thinking he’ll tease her and not return her feelings.

Ryuga, the male lead, comes from a family of Chinese magic masters, and is gifted in the arts as well. He is often being asked to tell fortunes, perform prayers or make charms. Where Momoka is more gung-ho and charging into a situation without thinking, Ryuga is the calm, thoughtful one. He is always having to protect his cousin Shuran, a gifted psychic that demons are always coming after. He comes to Momoka’s rescue as well, usually when her thoughtless gets her in over her head. He is constantly teasing Momoka, which can get him a fist or kick to the face, but he can sometimes counter with his spell Paper Army Formation made up of pandas. Ryuga can be serious at times, letting slip little comments that can be interpreted as his having feelings for Momoka too, but he usually denies them, or changes their meaning by the end of the chapter, to keep her from learning the truth; that he really does love her too.

And since they continue to deny their feelings, this leaves rooms for rivals for their affections to step in. Momoka get the most, starting with Ryuga’s cousin Kouryu, who tries to kidnap Momoka and take her back to China. He’s arrogant and egotistical, and I still didn’t like him ever after the explanation of his back story. Touya is another boy who has a crush on Momoka, but turns out to have a deeper secret. He ends up hanging around though, as thorn in Ryuga side. Even Saint Dragon, the dragon possessing Momoka has him moment of infatuation, but it doesn’t last. It doesn’t stop Ryuga from still feeling jealous.

Ryuga has his suitors as well. Raika is a distant relative of Ryuga’s who wants to be his fiance. She ends up being friends with Momoka after she realizes the truth of Ryuga’s feelings for her. Akira is another new member of the Kendo club. She is a Onmyouji, as well as a competitor for Ryuga’s affections, though he doesn’t really acknowledge her beyond being a friend. She likes to use her magic to take over Momoka’s body and make it move to her will.

While I really like the ensemble of characters that have gathered through these five volumes, it’s the mythical creatures that keep appearing that really won me over. I love the dragons, and they are drawn so gorgeously and with such care! There’s also a phoenix that appears that is cute in human form, and beautiful in bird form, and a mermaid and cat demons. The variety of beasts is great and just as entertaining as the characters!

The stories are mostly stand alone at the beginning, and are fairly light. They mostly involve demons coming after Shuran, or school activities such as Kendo club or the school festival. As the series goes on though, it does start to get more serious and move into longer stories lasting more than one chapter, but Ryuga and Momoka’s relationship remains on the teeter-totter of admitting/denying their feelings.

St. Dragon Girl is a fairly light and fun romance. Matsumoto’s artwork is beautiful to look at (especially the dragons), and she uses a lot of great Chinese costuming, making the series another plus in my book. There is next to no drama, and the comedy is well-timed with the more serious moments. I can’t think of a single complaint I have about this series. Even the constant denial of the leads doesn’t bother me, but they have great chemistry, it wouldn’t matter to me if they ever got together or not. While the series is rated for teens, tweens will enjoy this series as well. Definitely read this series if you get the chance.

Christmas Haul

Well, the most stressful part of the holiday season is over!  Christmas has come and gone, and all that’s left are wads of wrapping paper, stray bows and lots and lots of manga!  At least that’s how my Christmas turned out.  Check it out!

Christmas Manga

How’s that for a good haul?  In fact, I missed a few!  Pig Bride Volume 2 as well as Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 20-21 should have been included in that picture too.  12 volumes in all.  Woo Hoo!

Now, while manga is nice and all, and I do appreciate getting the books I did, what I really loved wasn’t something that was purchased but that was made.  My husband works with wood, and he made me these four wooden scroll puzzles, all from oak in different finishes.  Aren’t they awesome?


So, what’s you get for Christmas?

Good Dragons, Bad Dragons

I’m gonna take a short break from my manga rantings to rant about another subject near and dear to my heart. Dragons. Yes, ever since my brother introduced me to the Dragonriders of Pern series (the Harper Hall Trilogy to be exact), I’ve been in love with the flying reptiles. I have stuffed dragons on top of my monitor, all the McFarlane’s toys so far, just about any other toy that strikes my fancy and sculptures scattered around the house. So, of course, I like movies with dragons in them too. Just recently, two movies have been released that feature dragons. One I will warn you about, and one I will thoroughly endorse.

Dragon Wars aka D-War – This is a Korean movie that was filmed in Los Angeles, and completely in English. It is about the Korean legend of how dragons come to be. They start out as Imugi, serpent-like creatures, that receive the light of heaven, born in the form of a human girl, to become a Celestial Dragon. 500 years ago, the dark imugi Buraki, tried to steal the girl, and she died before the light could be passed on. In the present, in LA, the light is reborn, as is the warrior that died with her. The battle for the light starts again, as both the good imugi and Buraki fight for possession of her.

It’s a fun action/romance story that does keep you on the edge of your seat at times. But, the best part of this movie is when the Celestial Dragon makes it’s appearance at the end. It is one of the best oriental dragons I’ve ever seen rendered! The Imugi and dragon are all done in CGI, but it is GOOD CGI. The interaction between actors and the CGI is smooth, and they don’t stand out. They are rendered very believably. And the Celestial Dragon is so beautiful. My only disappointment with it was that it wasn’t on screen long enough! I wanted more!! Get this movie. It is totally worth it.

Rating: ★★★★★

Dragonlance: The Dragons of Autumn Twilight – This is an animated film, made in India, with well known voice actors; Michael Rosenbaum, Keifer Sutherland, and Lucy Lawless. It’s based on the book by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman of the same name, and is set in the Dragonlance universe of Dungeons & Dragons. The gods of light have deserted men, elves and dwarves and left them at the mercy of the dark god Takhisis. But a group of friends still believe, and meet a woman with a staff that can heal. They go off in search of the possibility of the gods return.

This movie is one of the biggest turkeys I’ve seen *without a rifftrack* in a long time! The animation was absolutely horrendous! It was like being transported back to the 80’s and watching an episode of He-man. It was jumpy, and just plain bad. The dragons were rendered in CGI in this movie as well, only these were awful. It was soooo obvious that the dragons were CGI. They stood out like a sore thumb. The CGI and 2-D did not mix well at all. Most of the acting wasn’t any better, with very wooden performances coming from the actors, but I blame this on the director more than the actors. This movie is a travesty and a total waste of DVD. Avoid this movie at all costs. Even, or especially if, you are a fan of the book. You WILL be sorely disappointed. Just do yourself a favor and don’t bother. Your money is better spend on D-Wars.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆