Art/Story: Tsuyoshi Watanabe
Translation: Christine Dashiell
What They Say:
Rintaro and the other Dragons of Nangokuren fight to save their school! Saizo and his forces are in trouble, but desperation makes for a dangerous enemy. Can Asuna use her extensive training from Rintaro to overcome the final opponent? And could Rintaro finally learn the secret to vanquishing his greatest enemy-his lethal erection? It all ends here in this final volume of Dragons Rioting!
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the Ren-Black Battle to Rule well underway and the fate of Nangokuren hanging in the balance, the academy is leading after winning one match and tied in another. But with the next battle the deciding factor, everyone is nervous to see who will step forward to defend the school’s honor, that is until Ayane, Dragon of Flashing Star strides confidently onto the stage. However Saizo still remembers how she turned his prized student Iori and thus sends in someone to punish this insolent girl, Isami – Black Mist and Dark Skies’ Silent Frozen Hunger. As the two opponents face off, the crowd is abuzz with anticipation, wanting to see one of the Dragons pummel this outsider for daring to violate their home, but they are in for a surprise. Even as they seem evenly paired, after a contest of speed, it is readily apparent this white haired masochist is faster than the red headed battler, resulting in numerous cuts all over her body. The following clashes are just as horrendous, each resulting in the academy’s defender receiving even more injuries, showing she is no match for this sadist as she takes pleasure in torturing her opponent.
With Ayane now teetering on defeat and Isami amused by her persistence, she asks her adversary why she is so opposed to friendship. The tale she unravels is one of betrayal, in which she lived in a war torn country where every day was a fight to survive with her fellow orphans, but it did not take long for those companions to beat her down for what meager rations they received. With her rage now even more inflamed, the ivory assassin advances for what she assumes will be the final assault, but not before Rintaro cries out a few words of encouragement for his student. Amused to think anything can help this pitiful girl, her overconfidence is readily shown as she dashes forward ready to end it all, but Dragon of Flashing Star stands her ground, seemingly oblivious. However as the Silent Frozen Hunger lands what she assumes will be the last, she is surprised to see her claws strike nothing, her prey has vanished. It is not until she feels her opponent’s presence behind her and the stunning effect of the blow does Isami now realize she has lost. With the last of her breath, the pitiful girl gasps and asks how she was beaten, to which Ayane proudly replies she has gotten stronger due to her determination to protect her allies and the friendship with her Master.
Now that it is clear who has won Ren-Black Battle to Rule, Rintaro steps up onto the stage to congratulate Ayane and try to lend any assistance to the losers. However Saizo does not want it to end this way, his ambitions cannot end like this and when a particularly burly girl screams out Tachibana’s name, the crowd is befuddled when she states she wants to see them fight. As murmurs of confusion echo throughout the auditorium, they soon coalesce into one overriding agreement – everyone want to watch the new student council president battle this outsider. If Rintaro wants to be the next Dragon, then let him prove himself, and what better way than to show who is the strongest. However even as the leader is unsure if this is a wise decision, the muscular female steps forward and embraces the stunned boy, revealing herself to be Kentaro, his father. His identity now shown, this formidable man questions his son, telling him he must fight Saizo, otherwise he will always be after him and he also cannot turn his back on such determination as a martial artist. With his mind now made up, the two square off in the ring, with a declaration the Black Mist and Dark Skies school will stop challenging Nangokuren. Glad to finally face off with his rival, the oppressive man agrees, stating as long as they get to battle, he doesn’t care about anything else. But with the stakes now nullified, will the two combatants be able to fight with the purest of intentions or is there something else on the line?
When I heard this would be the finale for Dragons Rioting, I was quite shocked, thinking this series could have continued on through the rest of the characters’ school years. Since the three Dragons are separated by one for each class, with Ayane and Rintaro being freshmen, it would have been nice to see ever more awkwardness between student and teacher, but perhaps mangaka Watanabe didn’t want to extend it that far? Whatever reasoning there is for this abrupt end, it is bittersweet, since there is no concrete solution presented for our hero’s reason coming to Nangokuren – cure his Hentai Syndrome.
Although it is hinted in the end with the introduction of a new character, as usual this solution is not taken seriously and brushed off with the flair which makes this series such a joy to read. And while most of the other plot lines are essentially still left open, the main being who is the strongest of the school, it appears there still might be a chance for a sequel, since it only ended a year ago in Japan. If this is the case, we might have more of the antics of Rintaro to look forward to with plenty of martial arts action, and of course, the main reason why it is rated as Mature – loads of fan service with half naked girls plus pop culture and risque jokes.
This finale still had all of what attracted me to this series, the fantastic martial arts scenes encapsulating the first half of the book, with the end of Ren-Black Battle to Rule being the focus for the story. While we knew Nangokuren would win, it was still a pleasure to watch the epic fight scenes with Watanabe-sensei’s fantastic illustrations of these amazing girls. Even if they appeared to be shallow on the surface with panty shots and shredded clothes, it was the essence why Isami and Ayane battled which made the story so stirring. While the former denied the importance of these relationships, it was the Dragon of Flashing Star’s loyalty, compassion and dedication to her companions which granted her the power to win in the end. It is this type of heartfelt narrative which made this volume my favorite, pushing forward the need and belief to have trust in your friends which will allow you to stand victorious against overwhelming odds. But even as we thought things were settled with the end of the tournament, the rousing conflict between Saizo and Rintaro only served to reinforce this friendship premise even more. You cannot but smile widely and clap when you see the finale, our champion combining everything he had learned in the Academy into one phenomenal attack, combining his lessons and weakness turned into strength to accomplish what he could never do alone.
But as the story came to a close, Watanabe-sensei could not help but slip in the other reason we are drawn to this series – plenty of fan service and comedy. The cure for Rintaro’s Hentai Syndrome was as ridiculous as the disease, allowing the new character to burst onto the scene in the more inopportune time. Although we never see a true cessation to his problems since he always uses the School of the Blue Moon Reflected on a Lake to escape from unnecessary excitement, it was pleasing to see the strength of his attacks lessen over the series due to his exposure to these busty heroines and in time develop true friends with the opposite sex. Maybe this was the real intention of his father by sending him to Nangokuren, but whatever the purpose, it proves to be a rousing success for both his son and we as readers.
And as we bid a fond farewell to Dragons Rioting, you cannot but remember the antics of the characters with fondness, even as we view with amazement the fantastic full color cover of the Dragons displayed in all their glory. Each one may have earned the admiration of their fellow students through physical strength, but in the end, it was the trust they had in each other, the determination to protect Nangokuren and the respect for each others’ skills which allowed them to rise above conflict to protect what they valued the most – the students and friendships of the Academy.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Series Grade: A++
Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: December 19, 2017