Friday, November 29, 2019

Dragon's House Hunting, vol. 5 comments

(Image from Used for review purposes only.)

Doragon ie wo kau (A Dragon Buys a House), vol. 5, by Kawo Tanuki (writing) and Choco Aya (art), Grade B+
More silliness from Tanuki and Aya. The artwork is fantastic and the story is a brilliant parody of Japanese RPGs. Everything is turned around, with the heroes and adventurers being a bunch of arrogant idiots that just go around disrupting the lives of honest, hark-working monsters and non-humans. Letty is a Great Red Dragon in name only. In fact, he's a NEET ('Not in Education, Employment or Training') who would rather sit around the house and watch TV. In disgust, his father kicked him out, and Letty is now in the process of finding his own place to live. He's aided by the Evil Mage Master Elf, and licensed real estate agent, Dearia, and has adopted a frost monster chick named Pii-chan. The story this time starts with Letty vowing to train to become great, like the black dragon in the last book, and nearly breaking his wrist when he punches a wall. His main goal now is to learn how to protect his "son", Pii-chan (doesn't happen). The three are visited in camp by Nell, the spoiled princess they'd "rescued" (she ran from home in protest when her father the King ate the last of the cake in the kitchens) in a previous volume, bursts in to snuggle Pii-chan. She says that her mother told her to be more grateful for the help she got from them, so she's going to aid Letty in his house-hunting quest. Dearia picks this moment to announce that he's going to a one-week industry-specific convention, and he expects Letty, Nell and Pii-chan to be able to fend for themselves while he's gone.

Letty goes into a panic, but it's too late, the elf has left. Nell starts working herself up to "contributing," when the three of them encounter Vampire. Vamp is also a licensed agent, and he's there at Nell's mother's behest to show them around various open houses. Generally, he's a human-sized bat in Dracula-style clothes, with a monocle and cravat, but for three minutes a day he can shape-shift into an extremely handsome man. For the most part, he's a snake oil salesman trying to spin broken-down ruins as "perfect dwelling spaces for Master Red Dragon." The rest of the book is a series of slapstick gags where Letty gets stuck in endless catacombs, castles with fake doors and stairways that go nowhere, and is tormented by ice faeries. When he does get saved, it's either by Nell, or Pii-chan. The volume ends with Vampire preparing to take the group to the top of the sacred mountain where the legendary sword sought by the current batch of heroes lies sleeping.

Summary: Not a real lot of story here this time. Mostly just more parodies of the D&D genre and RPGs in general. Great artwork, though. The last few pages are collections of 4-panel gag strips, and reprints of the chapter splash pages from the Blade Comics magazine. Dragon is carried in English in the U.S., but I can't vouch for the quality of the translations. Recommended if you like RPG parodies and beautiful male vampire bats.

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