• Ken-ichi Sakura • Viz (2007–ongoing) • Shueisha (Monthly Shônen Jump, 2001–2006) • 14 volumes • Shônen, Video Game, Fantasy, Adventure • All Ages (mild violence)
Reiji’s a loser kid who isn’t really good at anything. One day his best friend, Maiko, introduces him to a secret virtual reality game called Dragon Drive, in which each player fights by controlling a dragon. Reiji is instantly intrigued and becomes quite good at the game … until one day, he and his friends are suddenly sucked into the fantastic world of Rikyu, where the dragons are actually real! While the Dragon Drive manga sounds like a cookie-cutter title created for the sole purpose of making anime and video game tie-ins (which it did), it’s actually much better than it had to be; the art is great and the writing is solid. The dragons’ battles are fierce, and humorous characters help keep the story from going stale. The English rewrite takes some liberties with the story, adding American slang and video game references that might make manga purists feel uneasy.
Ryûgan Dragon Eye, “Dragon Eye” • Kairi Fujiyama • Del Rey (2007–ongoing) • Kodansha (Shônen Sirius, 2005–ongoing) • 6+ volumes (ongoing) • Shônen, Fantasy, Action • 13+
Decades after a strange disease has ravaged the world, turning people into monsters, the surviving humans live in vigilantly defended cities. Hoping to protect what’s left of humanity from the monster hordes, a young girl and boy undergo training to become warriors in classic sword-swinging style.