Dragon Drive Vol. 1

Ken-ichi Sakura, Author, Ken-ichi Sakura, Illustrator . Viz/Shonen Jump $7.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-42151187-0

Most of the clichés of the "versus battle" genre are present in the opening volume of Sakura's fast-paced story, but so are some great fight scenes and intriguing technology. Reiji Ozora is a born loser, so his hopes aren't high when his lifelong friend Yukino introduces him to a new virtual reality game called Dragon Drive. Played in an enormous theater-like facility, participants sit in chairs that connect them to the game computer; a giant video wall allows the audience to take in all the action. Each participant controls one or more dragons (à la Pokémon , et al.). For Reiji, the game looks bleak from the start as he is assigned Chibi, a tiny dragon with no discernible battle skills. But Chibi has strength that comes to the surface when cornered—as, it turns out, does Reiji himself. Battle sequences are frenetic and intense; a lot of shouting, lots of concrete destroyed, lots of trash-talking and "super-deformed" emoting. Many more secrets remain, including the purpose of the game and the nature of the people running it behind the scenes; none of those secrets are explored in this first volume, which leans heavily on action. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/29/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Prebound-Sewn - 200 pages - 978-1-4177-9900-8
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