Ten years ago, a terrible virus swept the globe. It turned its victims into bloodthirsty monsters called Dracules, and the only cure is death. Now, with humankind on the brink of extinction, only the elite warriors of the Vius Squad stand between chaos and civilization. New recruit Leila Mikami is one of the squad's most promising young warriors, but she has another agenda: Her parents were killed by a Dracule, and she's determined to take revenge. To do this, she has to find the Dragon Eye - a magic weapon that will make her the most powerful warrior in the world.
(Due to the lack of a review here, I figured I might as well give this series one.)
What can I say about Dragon Eye? Er, then again, i’m not exactly sure what I want to say about it. It wasn’t fantastic, and it wasn’t all that bad either. Overal this series just had a very generic feel to me. The same kind of generic when you get the generic/cheap brand of something from the store. So this series is like the generic version of the big name shonen series like Bleach, Naruto, and Fullmetal Alchemist. Although it has a generic feel, it did manage to
hold my interest and I was willing to read all 6 volumes my library had without being bored. So that definately means something right there (and I most certainly enjoyed this series more than Naruto).
Story: The story is nothing special really, in the first 6 volumes its like a bunch of mini-arcs loosely strung together, creating a very episodic feel. Its like the mangaka is making up stuff as they go along with only a rough idea of what they want to include later on in the story. The basic story of it all is your run of the mill story-line of the last of humanity fighting of a virus that plagues the world and the creatures that have been infected by it. Which that idea is nothing new, its been done before in other forms of media afteral.
Art: This is probably what I liked most about this series. Most shonen action series ive read have a rough sketch look to it, like it was drawn very quickily. So it was nice to see a typical shonen series not drawn in this style for once, and they do a pretty decent job at it too. The action scenes had a pretty good flow to them, and you can follow them without getting lost. As for the character deigns, they where alright for the most part. Although, no matter how many volumes I read, the eyes of the 3 main characters bugged me. The lead guy, his eyes looked much like Edward’s from FMA. The lead girl, her eyes are like these large circles staring into my soul. Then the other guy, his eyes have a blank look and have these square blocks that mark where the shine on his eys are. Just really odd overall...
Characters: The characters are alright for the most part, but they all remind me of characters that I have read from previous series. So like the story, theres nothing special here either.
Enjoyment: Did I enjoy this series? To be honest it was hard to really tell with the serve case of deja-vu I kept having while reading this. Some of the stuff I kept thinking that I must have seen it from somewhere before. I know for a fact that in volume 1 I wasn’t imagineing things. In the very first chapter of volume 1, Issa (the main character) rips off his shirt to unveil what was underneath and he makes a very dramatic speech about it. Sound familar? Edward Elric did the exact same thing in the first chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist. Thats right, the mangaka here, actually copied FMA! And sorry Issa, you can never pull off such an awsome scene the same way Ed can. Anyways, becides the severe case of deja-vu, this turned out to be one of the more enjoyable less-known shonen action series ive came across. I even found the pacing of both the story and the art work much easier to follow than some series ive encountered, making this series quite enjoyable to read.
Overal: As stated, this isn’t the worst or best manga ive encountered, and I didn’t waste my time reading it either. I found it a nice series to pass the time with, and I wouldn’t mind reading future volumes (even an anime if they ever made one). I also think this series would be better off read by someone who hasn’t read or seen it all like I have, this way you can appreceate it without having the same case of deja-vu like I did.
In conclusion, if youre looking to get away from the main stream shonen series and want something thats decent, Dragon Eye here wouldn’t be a bad option.
Perhaps it's because I haven't read manga of this type in a while, but I really enjoyed this series. It went beyond the expectations I had when I picked it up after liking this author's newer series, Rex Fabula (Kyouko no Ou). Dragon Eye is a rock solid shonen, and personally that's more than good enough for me to have a good time. Because the thing about shonen is, is that it's very good - addicting even - when the mangaka is competent and is executed well.
When it comes to shonen, it's all about the execution. No one goes into shonen to see how mind-blowingly
original and different it can be. No, people read shonen to see -how- each author approaches the well-worn tropes of the genre. That is why although they belong to similar archetypes of characters, I like the Straw-hat crew and adore the kids of Hunter x Hunter, but find the cast of Ao no Exorcist dull and the Reborn cast irritating.
Dragon Eye is your classic shonen, the same kind of variety as the various successful titles that have graced the pages of Shonen Jump à la Shaman King, H x H, or the Big SJ three. Really, if the series that come to mind while reading this are Naruto, Bleach, and the like, it's not really an insult. It's a praise. Now, you fans may yell at me, saying this is so much better than Naruto or Bleach, as I have already seen people do: "Stop comparing this to -insert popular Shonen Jump title-! It's so much better!" But you see, before those series became the bloaty messes that they are, they were simply good shonen, with great execution. Their popularity is proof of that. Had this been serialized in Shonen Jump back when it started in 2005, I'm quite certain it would have done very well. It'd probably have an anime series that, if it was adapted well, I would have been obsessed with. Then again, maybe it's better this wasn't in Shonen Jump. With Jump's love for making cash cows out of its titles, who knows what would be different about this series? Maybe it would be a trainwreck now.
There are two very important things for a shonen series to fulfill in order to be good:
1) Have an interesting world (the setting, the organization, the system)
2)The characters have "heart", to put it in shonen-like terms. Being cool is obvious, but they should be likeable as well.
One Piece is beloved because it does both things exceptionally well. Heck, some series end up successful even while fulfilling only one of the two. Given what I have already said about Dragon Eye so far, it shouldn't be surprising that the series does both solidly. The city of Mikuni is lively and exciting, the VIUS organization well plotted out, and the characters' powers undeniably cool. I can almost see those badly drawn VIUS organization OCs invade the internet (I have actually seen one). Issa is not lacking in anything in terms of being worthy as a protagonist, and the supporting characters such as Leila are rock solid.
Especially Leila. One of the series' huge positives is that its female characters are good. It's really sad when you see how many authors can't write female characters. It's horribly depressing when I start preferring shows like Hunter x Hunter where female characters are almost nonexistent over ones that have them, but are terrible.
Women are surprisingly well represented throughout the VIUS organization and dress in sensible clothing. It's almost ridiculous how happy that makes me. Leila is not there to be the cutesy love interest of the protagonist, she's not there to be the walking exposition while being "the load" of the group. She's an actual character with ambitions to become strong, which is something that is actually respected by the other characters and the plot.
Note, though, that it doesn't mean female characters are full frontal in the action, à la Legend of Korra. Leila is still one of the weakest and doesn't get into many battles, but considering that she is not the main character, a girl in shonen, AND a complete greenhorn , this girl kicks ass. The chick graduating exams with top scores? Seen that. Be informed that she's talented? Means nothing. Actually see that talent in action? Awesome. While it's unlikely that we will get to see how strong Leila will be with experience, that she's treated as a rookie with huge potential and not as the "Chick", makes me amazingly happy.
The quality of the female characters and the name Fujiyama Kairi makes me conclude that the mangaka is a woman. (Imagine a man with the name Kairi, seriously). I bring this up not because she is a woman (women authors can be just as bad with females), but because she reminds me of Fullmetal Alchemist's Arakawa Hiromu. The bold, easy-on-the-eyes designs of the series bring to mind Arakawa's earlier work and they both have very good fundamentals on writing shonen. There are more differences between them when looking at Fujiyama's Rex Fabula, where her style has matured to be more in tune with the slick designs of contemporary shonen, but through that series and FMA, they have both progressed to go beyond standard shonen to tackle some darker topics.
Not that this series isn't as good. While I am enjoying Rex Fabula too much to begrudge Fujiyama for putting this one on hiatus, this is too good a series to just drop. Fujiyama-sensei, take as much time off as you want. As long as you finish before you die, take as long as you want. Just don't give it a rushed ending. Hopefully, when I can update this review, it would be after a satisfying ending has passed. Just as Arakawa did, may you get the success you deserve, be it through this, Rex Fabula, or a future series. Shonen Jump is struggling because it's failing to find and accommodate talent like you. Oh well, it's their loss.
This is the first manga that I ever picked up therefor I'm going to write a review this story is pretty normal compared with other's before I knew what other battle manga there was like bleach and nauto as soon as I compared the three its pretty plain but the overall story is pretty good for the first manga I ever read this was great and I don't particularly like battle manga but if you like this type of manga I recommend that you give this a try you just might find yourself likeing this manga