Ragna is a dragon hunter who follows around the world’s best dragon hunter: a twelve-year-old-girl named Leo. He takes care of her day-to-day needs while she hunts the most ferocious dragons, who can take on many shapes outside of the typical giant lizards. One night, Ragna begins to have dreams of Leo’s death and a shrouded figure who bemoans how he couldn’t save her. He warns Ragna that this reality is coming soon. When the fateful day finally arrives, Ragna rushes out to confront the powerful dragon, only to be brushed aside into the town’s river. As he sinks to the bottom, the shrouded man comes to him again and explains that he is Ragna’s future self, and the only way to save Leo is to give him all the power he has been learning for twenty years. He also tells Ragna that the only way to keep Leo really safe is to team up with Crimson, the dragon monarch, to eradicate all the dragons from the world.
Time travel narratives always present interesting problems, and this one is no exception. Crimson of the future warns Ragna of the Future of the consequences, so I appreciated that there isn’t just this time-bridge and hand-over of power with no backlash. Ragna’s switch to seeking Crimson/ditching Leo was really sudden; I didn’t enjoy how he abandoned Leo suddenly, especially after the build-up in the first half of the volume where he repeatedly states what he is willing to do to save Leo. I’m also not quite sure why Crimson wants to destroy all the dragons, but that will probably be revealed in future volumes. I also wonder how much more Ragna can grow as a hero, since he has been basically maxed leveled at the beginning of the journey. Having an over-powered hero is only fun in One-Punch Man.
Square-Enix rates this as Older Teen, most likely for the violence. The scene in Ragna’s dream where Leo dies is pretty gruesome. Otherwise, there is nothing else in volume one that would not be suitable for younger teens.
Sara’s Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: Square Enix
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
ISBN: 9781646090563 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Fantasy, Action Adventure
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