In the year 20XX, humans face an unprecedented crisis in their history when extraterrestrial dragons decided to select Earth as their breeding ground. Unfortunately, where the dragon eggs hatch, they absorb all the nutrients from the surrounding land, turning it into a barren wasteland. That's what happened to Tokyo two years ago, where our hero Kamishina Jin, lost his loved ones. Now, he's joined the Dragonaut units, with Toa, a mysterious girl who saved him, to stop the dragons from destroying the rest of Earth.
If there was an anime I had to choose that I hated so much, one that I had to force myself to finish, one where I screamed with joy that it was finally over, it would be Dragonaut. The manga version is NOTHING like that. The biggest changes between the anime and manga are the story and characters, the story is completely different and the characters' personalities almost do a complete 180.
The basic story is that Jin and Toa are the two best Dragonauts in the world and their job is to exterminate all non-Dragonaut dragons who have come from some alternate dimension to
feed off the life energy of earth. The story is more character based than plot based as everything is focused Jin & Toa. The story's weakest point is how fast the plot moved, but that's mostly due to the fact that it's only one volume. Overall, it was enjoyable and the ending brought everything together while being satisfying.
This is the lowest point of the manga, it's nothing special but not bad, just average. The character designs have their high points and low points. Dragonuats is the anime of grotesquely unbelievable busts but that really only applies to Machina and Garnett. Despite it's original work, there isn't a overabundance of fanservice as all there panel space is given to action instead. Jin, once again, exhibits the greatest change in terms of character design. He looks badass, and he is, and not pathetic like how his anime counterpart looks.
The characters are definitely what makes this manga thousands of times better than the anime. Jin shows the biggest change out of any character, the manga basically explores what would happen if Jin took the badass vengeance route instead of the moping emo route he did in the anime. His backstory is tweaked as a survivor of a dragon attack in his city and watching his sister die. The amazing thing is that you see Jin go through more character development in six chapters than 25 episodes of the anime.
Toa, Jin's dragon partner, keeps her "I love master" aspect of her personality from the anime but is more vocal and comes off as much stronger, both in terms of character and strength.
The Big Bad of the series is Toa's twin brother, Bel, an original character. He makes for a believable villain and well made character at the same time. He radiates enough malice to like him as a villain and I found his backstory believable.
The supporting characters are just that, support, basically used just to expand the cast and give Toa and Jin people to talk to. Only a few of the dragonauts actually have lines, all the other ones from the anime simply get cameos. However, I'm giving them points for fixing one of the characters from the anime that I hated the most, Kazuki, aka the guy who has the weakest and dumbest motive for killing a best friend in all of anime. Basically, he never turns homicidal in this which is only a plus.
It was an enjoyable ride straight through the manga. A perfect blend of action, drama, romance, and comedy that kept my interest until the end.
If you want to get rid of that horrid taste in your mouth that was Dragonaut - The Resonance anime, read this manga, forget the anime never happened, and say that this is the only existing form of media of Dragonaut. Even if you liked the anime still read this, you'll like it better. It's everything Dragonaut the anime isn't, and everything you would want from a one volume action manga. At the very least, it's consistent, unlike the anime. If you wind up disliking this manga then you won't like the whole thing but if you like it from the start, you'll like it at the end.