Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Manga Shorts: Two Flowers for the Dragon

Quick note, meant to post this with Sunday's post, but even thought today is the last day of November regular updates will not resume until next week. Why? Because I'm working on two huge final projects for my photo projects, I have just a week and a half to do what will amount to about 15 hours of work on each plus I have a video to edit together by Tuesday as well. So I need a few extra days to get some rough reviews written up and to make some real headway on these projects, I will be so glad when this semester is over. @_@

So, onto the actual manga, I'd heard about this one for a few years, mainly that due to CMX's collaspe that the final volume would never be published, but it wasn't until I saw this House of 1000 Manga column that I became interested and at the same time the All About Manga blog was giving away a few duplicate volumes she had and I said I was kinda interested in the TFftD one. I got it, started reading the scanlations online, since it was volume five, and was immedately hooked and had to run out and buy the sixth volume before the prices on it went any higher. 

Two Flowers for the Dragon by Nari Kusakawa

A shoujo series in a vaguely Chinese, desert setting (going by the clothing style and what Shakuya’s dragon form looks like), Shakuya is in line to be the next ruler of the oasis and has been engaged since she was very young to the son of one of the local nobles as per tradition. However five years ago her fiancĂ©e, Lucien, vanished and she was betrothed to a new man, Kuwan, whom she loves very dearly despite their age difference. Trouble arises however when Lucien reappears and has only hazy memories of his life before he vanished but it’s clear that he is Shakuya’s original suitor. Shakuya’s mother decides to solve this problem by taking advantage of the fact that Shakuya’s engagement tattoos, a flower on each hand representing Lucien and Kuwan’s families, have sprouted flowers and whichever flower has the most buds at the end of the year shows which man she loves the best and who she will marry. Originally this sounded like a really contrived reason for a love triangle so I avoided the series but it really does work and Shakuya’s mother’s idea actually seems rather logical. But I really feel in love with the series because of Shakuya, she’s half dragon giving her control over water (the whole reason her family is in charge of the oasis) and can actually shape shift into a dragon and she’s never ashamed of these qualities or worries about the boys disliking her for it, it’s so refreshing and natural feeling to have a main character who’s that confident about herself. There was also a surprising amount of action in the series, I was really surprised at just how many people get major injuries, and there is a well-written plot going on in the background to tie together all the events. My biggest problem with the series though is that the last volume was never released in English and it’s near impossible to find out what happens in the very end. Scanlations stop midway through volume five, I own five and six, and I do know which guy she ends up with in final volume but I don’t know how exactly it happened. I have a guess or two how it happened but I really want to read or see it for myself, give me the last volume in any language and I will figure out how to translate it just to give myself some peace of mind, I think it shows just how much I enjoy this series if I’m willing to go to that much trouble to track down the ending to it.  

And that's the end of the manga shorts month guys! I actually enjoyed writing about all of these series quite a bit and if I do NaNo again next year I'll probably do something similar again. Until then however I have a whole slew of OOP manga I need to track down, I can hear my wallet protesting already.

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