Finally, a kid who calls out adults on the absurdity and nonsense of their ways – The Water Dragon’s Bride Volume 1 Review
Title: The Water Dragon’s Bride Volume 1
Story & Art: Rei Toma
Translation & Adaptation: Abby Lehrke
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 4, 2017
The Water Dragon’s Bride is about a young red headed child named Asahi, who was just enjoying a day with her parents in her back yard. Then out of nowhere, she is transported into a mysterious world where she meets a really nice boy named Subaru. Subaru offers to help her out and brings her home in the mean time to try and get help from his family as well. However, Subaru’s family, as well as the village, is kind of crazy, so they sacrifice Asahi to the water dragon god of the lake. Luckily, there is some truth to their ridiculous ways, and Asahi ends up in the realm of the water dragon god. The water dragon god is amused and agrees to take Asahi as his bride. Asahi, however, is not having it. Thus begins her adventure full of different trials and tribulations to get back to Subaru and hopefully, get back home.
The Water Dragon’s Bride Volume 1 is a really interesting story that goes by way too fast. I think the fast pace really emphasizes the abruptness of Asahi’s world changing. She’s just a regular kid having a nice day with her family until all of a sudden she’s in an entirely new world. Luckily, Asahi is smart and strong willed and adapts to the situation quickly. The best part about the story, for me personally, is that Asahi calls out the crap. When the villagers wanted to sacrifice her, she called them out, basically saying that they’re just drowning a child for no reason. When the water dragon god wants to marry her, she calls him out for being a pervert that is way too old for her. When she is put under some kind of genjutsu, she is smart enough to realize what she sees is not real. Asahi does not have time for anyone’s crap.
The art of the story is very appealing. However, it does not strike me as particularly unique or elevating. It perfectly suits the story and very easily absorbed, but I wouldn’t say it is a defining characteristic of the story.
The Water Dragon’s Bride Volume 1 is a really interesting story and has a strong young girl as a no BS lead. What I like is that she is still very vulnerable despite emanating so much strength. It’s not like the strong female archetype of being strong and pushing aside feelings. She is a really well-developed character and I am very interested to see how she gets through it all. The only kind of downside to the first volume, it feels really short or incomplete. Not sure what it is. I’m not really interested in any of the other characters. There’s one great character, and then everyone else feels kind of like dressing. The water dragon god will likely have an interesting development, but the closest thing to a villain is Subaru’s mom and she just seems like an evil person/ ignorant, devoted, zealot. Overall, I have to give my The Water Dragon’s Bride Volume 1 review a 7/10.