Dragon Sister Manga, Volume 1 (English)

November 22nd, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I really can’t get enough of the atrocities perpetrated upon Romance of the Three Kingdoms in anime and manga. Unlike, say, Alice in Wonderland – which is already seriously WTF, Romance is staid and serious and political. So when anime/game/manga people rework it, it’s like dyeing Guan Gong’s beard hot pink.

In Dragon Sister, Volume 1 the story is pretty much left alone, except for one small thing…all the great heroes are turned into women. Unlike Koihime Musou or Ikkitousen however, we’re actually given a reason for this. To wit, the three Zhang brothers, leaders of Huang Jin rebels, are given magic that they decide they will use to save their land. In the course of their deep meditation upon this magic, one of the brothers decides that the best thing would be to turn all the heroes into women. Of course this backfires, turning them into women.

From there, the story remains surprisingly true to the original. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, both of whom are female, meet an uncommon common guy named Liu Bei and the three swear brotherhood under the peach tree.

But, in order to gain status for Liu Bei, whose leadership of an irregular force is dissed by the loyalist army, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu sell themselves out to Dong Zhou, who plots to kill Liu Bei in the middle of the battle so that she can keep them.

The art is very person-focused. There’s little background art and the action is a bit hard to follow, but the approach is soap opera like, anyway – lots of people talking about things, and little happening. Everyone is cute as opposed to cool and there’s a lot of posing going on.

Yuri is mostly in Dong Zhou’s open, lustful, desire for Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. Lust for power, lust for women, 6 to one, half dozen to the other.

And yet again, Guan Yu is shown with a interest in Liu Bei that’s less like sibling and more like love. I am so going to have to re-read this epic, because the idea of making Guan Yu have a thing for Liu Bei makes me laugh. It’s almost enough to make me want to write a BL Romance fanfiction. Almost. Don’t get your hopes up. lol

Ratings:

Art – 7 The cover is worse than the interior art
Story – 8
Characters – 8, even if they are caricatures of themselves
Yuri – 4 Predatory lesbian could have been *way* more predatory.
Service – 4-ish The heroes all have breasts, yes, but it’s not like they are flashing them.

Overall – 7

It’s not like this is *good* really, but compared to other Romance versions where the heroes are large-breasted women, it at least keeps close to the original story!

Many, many thanks to Okazu Hero Martin S. for sponsoring today’s review. I’m always happy to see what nonsense can be done with the Romance.

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8 Responses

  1. Hafl says:

    I think there’s the thing that Guan Yu is really incredibly devoted to Liu Bei and that is easy to interpret in a different way. And of course, there’s always Cao Cao trying to seduce Guan Yu away from Liu Bei.

  2. Anonymous says:

    More of this?

    Proof, if proof were needed, that significant portions of Japan don’t understand the difference between “can” and “should”.

    I repeat: look up “The Ravages of Time”, one of the few adaptations to treat the matter with respect.

  3. @Anonymous – I suggest just reading the actual Romance, rather than some other version. It’s a fine story on it’s own.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Done so, Erica.

  5. Anonymous says:

    To me, this story read a lot more like a sentimental trip down misogyny lane than anything vaguely resembling a much more ‘egalitarian’ manga like Ikkitousen. The concept of Three Kingdoms crossplay isn’t really that hard to understand, but still, the author bends over backwards to say, ‘Women aren’t actually supposed to battle.’

    The opening throw-away gag as exposition was completely unnecessary; it really only serves to plant males firmly in place as the catalyst of the plot. It also ret-cons any merit to the concept by shamelessly stating that any women appearing thereafter would be superior as men. “Why stop there? We should take away -all- their power. Make them women.” -I’m sorry, but after ham-fistedly forcing me to accept your story as a completely ridiculous farce, don’t try to tell me there’s any rationalization for misogynistic period sensibilities that I go on to be deluged by throughout the rest of the book.

    Next we move on to Liu Bei and Cao Cao…who are apparently still male? Apparently, the main attraction of a crossplay concept is seeing favourite characters remain the same. I guess the author needed someone for all those women to declare their devotion to…why was it you didn’t like Shitsurakeun sgain?

    I admit I had a little hope when I read the peach tree brotherhood scene, but the illusions of equality were pretty quickly smothered. Once again, the author relies on ridiculously contrived plot to shoehorn the women back into subservient roles with the introduction of another enlightened depiction of a womanising lesbian.

    Maybe some of the men are actually in drag, that would be cute, but overall the author went well out of their way to pander to misogynistic fiat rather than create an entertaining light-hearted story.

  6. One Piece says:

    nice breakdown, Romance of the Three Kingdoms is epic though o.o

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