RuriDragon aka ルリドラゴン is a Japanese manga series by Masaoki Shindo that initially was published as a one-shot in Shueisha’s Jump Giga before eventually getting serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump, starting in June 2022! Today, I wanna talk about why exactly you need to check out RuriDragon yourself.
RuriDragon is “the story of a young dragon girl being lazy, doing her best… and being lazy again.” Aoki is a young girl that is enjoying her life one day at a time… but then she wakes up only to find horns growing out of her head.
Her mother is quick to explain that Aoki’s father is a dragon, hence making her a half-dragon. That probably would have been a great topic to talk about beforehand, right? What’s more, is that Aoki’s whole family and her homeroom teacher knew about this already, practically keeping her out of the loop.
The story focuses on Aoki’s struggles with adapting to the whole surreal and odd situation with the horns but it isn’t really about the horns… or any of the other dragon features that may manifest as time goes on.
Oddly enough, though, the story feels quite close to reality with how it portrays “change” as well as how it can get somewhat “scary” at times even. On top of that, one could see a bit of commentary in there on mixed cultures and mixed-race families… the latter more easily discernible than the former, I guess.
More than anyone else, Aoki herself is scared the most about these sudden changes, which makes a lot of sense and I find that being expressed so much rather relatable, which is probably part of the charm.
Your teen years are full of changes to your physique, your mental, and the way you talk and whatnot, so it just comes across as a rather natural portrayal of that exact struggle…
Except, this is a coming-of-age story published in Shounen Jump, so of course there has to be more to it than just another Slice of Life setting, right?
Well, RuriDragon has a lot more to offer than just the slice of life and a coming-of-age plot that you’ve seen before. The way that Aoki and her classmates interact with each other is quite realistic – for a shy yet popular girl.
At the same time, each chapter is filled with comedic moments that give the whole story its own charm of sorts, despite the absurdity and the supernatural elements.
Furthermore, RuriDragon’s art style kind of reinforces that sort of realism in an oddly unreal setting of an up-to-that-point human girl suddenly growing horns and doing other things that aren’t supposed to happen to a human girl. Oh, well!
As of the time of writing this post, there are only six chapters out but I can assure you that they’re incredibly good! The art style is lovely. The characters are charming. “May I touch your horns?” gets me chuckling every time.
It’s a fun story with interesting plot devices although I found some pages to be a bit too heavy on the comedy, although that’s probably just a minor nitpick.
I highly recommend checking out RuriDragon yourself! It’s amazing!