The first thing that struck me with Dragon Knight, by Miyuki Yamaguchi, is how well Yamaguchi conveys emotion in her illustrations. The main character, Rin, is a bright and bubbly village girl known for the amazing vegetables and fruits she grows. Since much of the land is cursed and unable to grow crops well, she is well known around the area near her village.
Rin is a caring, though somewhat naive, young woman who only wants to help people, and she often speaks her mind without thinking of the consequences. This tends to get her into trouble, though it also makes it so people trust her more readily. After the mysterious and handsome stranger Grian declares her to be the new Star Princess, she goes with him to the city to buy some things for her grandfather. Grian has other purposes in mind, however.
As they travel, Grian fights mutated beasts which have been changed by the cursed plants they have eaten. He is a Dragon Knight, sworn to protect the Star Princess. Rin, however, soon finds out that he may have murdered the previous Star Princess, though the circumstances surrounding that are delightfully vague. Exactly what are his intentions toward her?
The Star Princess is gifted with magical abilities which allow her to bless the land and heal people. The kingdom Grian takes her has been using the Star Princess’ powers for their own gain, and now they want to use Rin the same way. Rin is not too keen on the idea.
The art style in the manga is very typically josei, a style used in manga marketed to late teen and adult women. The men in the manga are typically beautiful, often with either flowing hair or very manly looks, and this makes sense given the target audience.
As the plot unfolds, they author careful guides you where she wants you to go in the story, and there are a few nice twists along the way. Yamaguchi has a knack for storytelling, and while the ending is fairly predictable, it is still satisfying and enjoyable. Dragon Knight is only one volume, but it is one volume worth reading.
Release Date: March 2000 (Japan)
ISBNs: 4592177576 (9784592177579)
Publisher: Hakusensha (白泉社), Hana to Yume Comics (花とゆめCOMICS)
Original Title: ドラゴン・ナイト (Doragon Naito)
Sexuality: 1 (occasional suggestive themes)
Violence: 2 (fighting monsters, scary imagery)