Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Two Flowers for the Dragon, vol. 1

By Nari Kusakawa
Released in the US by CMX Manga

Slugline: A threesome with a dragon is not as kinky as it sounds

Shakuya is the heir of the ruling family of an isolated desert city built around an oasis. The ruling family has had a tradition of having arranged marriages with the sons of important families of the city, but Shakuya's was lost in a sandstorm when they were both very young, and a new betrothed was chosen for her. A magical tattoo of a flower was placed on her arms, and as her love for her first betrothed grows, her tattoo grows. Unfortunately for her original betrothed had survived the sandstorm and returns five years later, having only just then regained enough of his memory to return. Now she has two flower tattoos, and whichever grows the most in the next year, the betrothed that flower represents will marry her. Shakuya has fallen in love (or what she thinks is love) with her current suitor Kuwan, but Lucien, her first one is back and is far more attentive than what she is comfortable with. Plus, there is the little problem that her family is descended from water dragons and she retains the ability to transform into one.

Okay, this feels like a real choice in the romance department. Kuwan and Lucien have different personalities and different schemes to attract Shakuya, none of that will he or won't he fall in love with the girl that you always know is just an excuse to draw out the story, because if there wasn't any conflict over whom the characters were attracted to, well, there wouldn't be much of a story now would there? Shakuya is not immediately torn between the two, she doesn't want to have a fickle heart, but she is still a romantic young girl, and she overreacts (I think at least) to the slightest change. The addition of her having dragon and water control abilities gives her own power base, so to speak, so that she is not overshadowed by the boys. Now, the previous work from this creator, The Palette of 12 Secret Colors, I was not very impressed by, but I feel the the characters here are far more grounded and real, despite their abilities.

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


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