Water Dragon’s Bride, Vol. 2

The Water Dragon’s Bride, Volume 2 by Rei Toma

The first volume of Water Dragon’s Bride was surprisingly dark, which made it feel quite a bit refreshing as it was quite a tonal shift from the usual shoujo fantasy fare. The second volume wasn’t quite as dark in theme, but it was still quite absorbing, ensuring that this series is rapidly becoming a current favorite of mine.

Modern girl Asahi finds herself transported to another world where she ends up being brutalized by humans, offered up as a sacrifice to the Water Dragon God, and almost starves to death due to the Water Dragon’s utter incomprehension of human frailty. Her one ally is Subaru, a village boy with a scheming and overbearing mother. The Water Dragon appears and heals Asahi from her injuries as she is recuperating in the village. Asahi has a few normal hours where she attempts to communicate while being robbed of speech and she is able to enjoy the outdoors a little bit.

The Water Dragon begins to exhibit some gradual signs of change with the mild protectiveness he exhibits towards Asahi. He becomes angry at the human villagers and finds the rituals and stories they’ve made up about him ridiculous, but he still has no idea how easily breakable humans are, causing yet another accident to Asahi and Subaru as he gets caught up in rage. Asahi is left to care for Subru on his own when he’s injured and she ends up being incredibly resourceful even when she is helped along a little bit by the gods who seem to regard her as a pet project.

Asahi’s situation stabalizes somewhat, as she’s given the role of a priestess and a caretaker. The Water Dragon decided to wait to claim his bride until she’s older and the last few pages give a glimpse of Asahi and Subaru much older, giving a hint to the next story arc. The art on The Water Dragon’s Bride continues to be delightful, and I’m still in awe of Toma’s deceptively simple illustration style. The art isn’t overdecorated, but she manages to portray everything she needs with great economy. It is always clear what Asahi is thinking, even when she’s robbed of the power of speech. The character designs for the pantheon of gods that keep popping in and out to offer sly commentary on the Water Dragon’s inexplicable choices are also charming. My only complaint is that there’s too much of a wait between volumes for this series!

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  1. This still sounds very much like something I’d love! Is there a reason for the long wait between volumes?

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