Vol 1: Disciples of Avan 1, illustrated by Koji Inada
Dai is the lone human inhabitant of Dermline Island, which has become a haven for monsters after the events of the original Dragon Quest series (which is summarized succinctly for any reader who may have missed out). Dai has befriended many of the monsters, who are mostly well-behaved wild creatures now. A few quests of adventurers find the island and try to make names for themselves or cash in on fortunes in monster bounties, but Dai thwarts them at every turn. Everything changes when a dark power reawakens and bends the creatures back into the murderous monsters they once were. A powerful hero saves Dai and the island, but even his substantial power may be no match for a reawakened Dark Lord.
There is a lot going on in this first volume with tons of characters and plenty of escapades for Dai, so readers are sure to be hooked from the opening panels. Dai and his monster friends are super cute and pretty compelling from the beginning, so it's easy to care about them and what is going on with this isolated island. This is a little bit longer and larger volume that might deter some younger readers used to smaller texts, but chances are, once they get into the adventure, they’ll be flying through the pages without noticing. The chapters themselves are a manageable read, and there are several different adventures packed into one volume, so chunking the reading would also be easy for readers. This would be great for libraries looking for something more age-appropriate but as action-packed as Dragon Ball.
There is some fantasy violence, but no blood on the page. There is a character death, but it happens off page (and there's a distinct possibility they will return since we didn't actually see their death!)
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 4-9
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: March 1st, 2022
ISBN: 9781974728930 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Action Adventure, Magic, Friendship, VIZ Media
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I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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