Day 8: The Water Dragon’s Bride by Rei Toma


Shojo Beat brings “Dawn of the Arcana” creator Rei Toma’s latest fantasy series “The Water Dragon’s Bride” to fans.

Young Asashi had a normal day with her parents at home when something dragged her away into another world. As she searched for a way to go back, she found a village like those from ancient times. Luckily the residents spoke the same language as her, but were wary of red hair and green eyes. One of the boys Subaru only wanted to help her, but his mother along with the rest of the adults arranged something special for their new guests. Wanting to increase their blessings, Subaru’s mother who took in Asashi brought her new “daughter” to the lake where some of the villagers created a strange stage and display. For as long as they remembered, the people worshiped the Water Dragon and periodically offered a sacrifice for continuous prosperity. They jumped on the opportunity after seeing the young girl as an expendable individual. Even though Subaru tried to stop them, the adults proceeded and threw her into their god’s lake. Hoping that the water would take her back home, Asashi woke up once again in another strange place and in the presence of an elegant yet brash being, the Water Dragon. Though the god told her he would wait for her to fully grow into a woman, he decided to keep her within his magical home. Asashi’s journey to return to her family became much more difficult but nothing could stop the girl’s fighting spirit.

Once again Toma starts the story with her female protagonist in a perilous situation like in “Dawn of the Arcana.” However unlike Princess Nakaba of “Dawn,” little Asashi has very few agency and support since she is just a child. It is a bit shocking to see how many grim problems she faces just in the first volume. The tales of human sacrifices to be deities’ spouses is not unusual in the fantasy, especially with female characters. Some readers may look to Korean artist Mi-Kyung Yun’s “Bride of the Water God” that Dark Horse Comics as reference, but Toma adds her own twists mostly through Asashi to make her series stand out from others. It is a shame that the interior pages are in black and white because the artist mentions in the volume how she created her characters with a color of inspiration. For now, readers must settle with the full color covers.

Visit VIZ Media’s site to find more information both “The Water Dragon’s Bride” and the complete series of “Dawn of the Arcana.”