Dragon Head review: Get your mind out of the gutter!
Dragon Head is a post-apocalyptic disaster manga by Minetaro Mochizuki which ran from 1995-2000. It was published in the US by Tokyopop for a total of 10 volumes. Dragon Head is shrouded and mystery and builds so much suspense you’ll never be able to predict what will happen next.
Dragon Head starts out with a class on their way back from a school trip. As the train they are riding goes into a tunnel, disaster strikes. The train derails and the entrance and exit of the tunnel has been sealed off. Teru, Ako, and Nobuo must survive the darkness of the tunnel where there is danger nearly every step of the way.
The characters develop in an interesting way as the series progresses. Fear plays a major role in the manga as Teru often wrestles with his fear and ultimately over comes it. He’s your average male protagonist who steps to the plate when the situation calls for a hero. Ako also develops along the same lines as Teru except her fears make her sleepy. She often falls asleep at odd times but as the story progresses she is able to suppress her fatigue. During their journey through the tunnel, Teru and Ako develop a deep bond with one another making Dragon Head a survival romance story.
The art style of the manga is seinen style. Although there is a lot of death in the manga there is not an insane amount of gore. Mochizuki allows the horrors to reveal themselves through the story rather than overwhelm the reader with absurd amounts of disturbing graphics.
Overall I liked the manga, the mystery kept me reading wanting to know what exactly happened to the world of Dragon Head. Some of the explanations are neat to consider but a true cause for the catastrophic events is never really discerned. I definitely recommend this manga, its real page turner. Check it out and tell me what you think happened in that world.