Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dragon Eye, v. 1

By Kairi Fujiyama
Released in the U.S. b
y Del Rey Manga

Slugline: Is there much of a difference between Dragon Eyes and Nine Tailed Demon Foxes?

In the near future, a virus that acts like the ones in zombie movies but turns the victims into Dracules -- creatures that are transformed from into something large, nasty, immortal and crazed with a desire for killing and infecting humans -- has forced the survivors of humanity to live in protected cities. They are protected by the VIUS, those that have an immunity to the virus and also have kick ass mystical martial art skills. Leila is a new VIUS recruit, wanting to gain the Dragon Eye, a semi-mythical artifact that allows one to kick even more Dracule patootie, but discovers that her new superior has it/one, but it is a curse. Plus the same superior, Issa, has recruited another VIUS, one who hates his guts, thinking he is the one who killed his sister without reason years ago.

Okay, this looks and feels a lot like Naruto, with Issa being a very close stand-in for Naruto himself. But the missing element is that despite a similar mystery around both main characters -- who and what they are -- Issa by design is in on his secrets and is party to them, while Naruto is discovering what is going on with the readers. For with Naruto it is a joint journey of discovery. With Issa and Dragon Eye it is more like trying to worm information out of someone who takes far too much pleasure in hiding it from you. Maybe if there wasn't Naruto to be such a close comparison to I would be able to rank this title higher -- it does have nice art and a clearly written story -- but it still suffers in comparison.

Dragon Eye, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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