Art/Story: Tsuyoshi Watanabe
Translation: Christine Dashiell
What They Say:
Rintaro’s got a problem: Sexual arousal can be deadly for him. This is terribly inconvenient when he’s admitted to a former girls’ academy where 99 percent of the student body is female! And worse, school supremacy is constantly being fought over in a conflict centering around three powerful girls — the Dragons!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Rintaro was a normal six year old boy, until he had an accident which caused a great strain on his heart; after being rushed to the hospital and several tests later, he was diagnosed with an extreme case of Hentai Syndrome. Due to his condition, if he is sexually over simulated by the opposite sex, all of the blood will rush from his core and go to his groin, causing myocardial infarction and ultimately his death. Determined not to let this happen to his son, his father was resolute and took Rintaro into the mountains to train to control his disorder. He must master the martial arts techniques of the School of the Blue Moon Reflected on a Lake. Only with these breathing, meditation and strength skills will he be able to restrain his body and thus, have a chance to live a normal life. However, as he is now, he must be isolated from women and remain a virgin for the rest of his life.
After ten long years of abstinence, his father has acknowledged that his son mastered his teachings, and is now ready to return to the world to attend high school. However, there is only one place where Rintaro will be safe, the largest boys school: Nangokuren. Only in this environment will be able to study without interference from the fairer sex and thus, his Syndrome will not be a detriment to his life or his studies. But, as he is about to cross the gates of the institution, two boys named Kosuke and Tamao stop him, warning him not to enter unless he doesn’t want to view the other students. Peaked by curiosity, he heeds their advice and guards the boundary until the unmistakable chattering of humans approach. It is not until they are within view does Rintaro determine that his threshold is about to broken as two groups of girls approach from opposite sides, boxing in the courtyard. As the two leaders or Dragons stand off before their clash, the unfortunate sufferer soon realises that unless he can escape, he will be doomed to be surrounded by the pairs he dreads in droves … and their effect will be multiplied to the utmost. Can his training sustain him within this vile situation or will he have to endure the impact of multiple blossoms before he explodes?
When I first started reviewing Dragons Rioting, I immediately was reminded of other fighting manga read or watched in the past: Ikki Tousen, Tenjho Tenge and Maken-ki!, just to name a few. Of course, all involve martial arts/fighting within a high school environment, but the protagonists are also beautiful busty females who over the course of the books, are stripped down to their panties or even worse; and since this is not a hentai, all of the naughty bits are tastefully covered by conveniently placed rubble or other environmental interference. This all works to project the main problem of Rintaro’s situation: instead of being placed with a school whose namesake means Men’s Purgatory, he is now in a former all girls’ school where is surrounded by the numerous dysfunctions of his condition. Of course, there is no signature blood squirting from his nose since that would mean his demise, but the methods by which he tries to remain calm and escape in the quickest time possible are all hysterically oxymoronic compared to the norm for this genre. You cannot but feel sorry for Rintaro and hope that he will be able to make it out while at the same time wish that the events are lengthened so that we can laugh at his situations.
Tsuyoshi Watanabe has done a masterful job of comically combining Rintaro’s suffering, dynamically over the top battles and buxom beauties to create a wonderful story of endurance within a harem atmosphere. The average male reader will of course ogle the fan service dotted across the pages, but it is a shame if you overlook the strong female leads who want nothing more than to protect what they deem the most important. We are introduced to the three Dragons: Ayane who wishes to protect her friends and classmates, Kyoka who wants to crush anyone who is weaker than her and Rino with a mysterious agenda that she controls from the shadows. Watanabe-sensei has crafted this story into a tale of heroism and intrigue all overshadowed by Rintaro’s condition by which he can never seem to catch a break. But it is these escapades which entwine the characters into relationships which will hopefully cure him of his plague and perhaps a normal life?
Yen Press has branded this as Mature due to sexual innuendos, panty shots and peers into copious amounts of cleavage, but they have also released Teen titles which have gratuitous amounts of violence and blood; perhaps the manga received this rating due to the prudishness of Japanese society, but I do not see the logic that gore is less damaging to a teenage mind than tame sexuality in which the latter is seen publicly more often than the former. Hopefully this rating will be changed with a future release.
Dragons Rioting is a becoming a great story of suffering and friendship which I hope will extend into a complete franchise within the near future. The unconventional relationship of Rintaro and Ayane adds to the humour while at the same time will hopefully it will grow into something which will solve the problems of the school and our heroes. While he may not like it and she may naïvely trust someone who all others have branded as a pervert, this friendship is something which will anchor their lives into a tale which will be a joy to watch unfold in the near future.
Content Grade: A+
Art Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 17th, 2015