Welcome to Ivart, a kingdom where dragons roam freely and a few select knights get the honor of riding them. These creatures are highly intelligent and are especially particular with the humans they like, but that’s not a problem for Melissa. Having grown up in the castle as a maid-in-training, she’s been around dragons her whole life, and the dragons have taken a particular shine to her.
The time quickly approaches for Melissa to set off on her own. She decides to leave the castle where she grew up to experience more of the world, but before she can even pack her bags, an interesting proposal is placed before her: follow her childhood friend, one of the greatest dragon knights in the kingdom, to his family home and help take care of the wild dragons, all while masquerading as his lover. It’s an easy yes for Melissa even with the lover stipulation. But what else lies in store for this dragon-loving girl and her new role?
Beautiful Art and Addicting Story
While we all know the old adage about books and covers and judging them, it is an inevitable process of manga shopping that it happens all the same. Luckily for me, this time it worked out!
When I came across The Dragon Knight’s Beloved, I was immediately drawn in by the cover artwork. The bright colors, the character designs, and, of course, the dragon were more than eye-catching. The first few pages of the volume are quick to point out that the cover isn’t just a fluke. Each page is heavily detailed with scenery and backgrounds that immediately put you into its high fantasy setting. Watching the world unfold and grow made it feel as if I had stepped into Ivart myself.
Of course, beautiful backgrounds are nothing without the characters that inhabit them. Melissa is adorably designed with fun hairstyles and billowy dresses, and her love interest, Hubert, is more than enough eye-candy to get any ikemen admirer’s heart throbbing and wallet opening. It’s not just these two main characters that got special treatment, though. The dragons and side characters are well fleshed out with their own unique looks, designs, clothing, and more. But the best thing, by far, is the expressions the characters make. So much emotion (and information) is conveyed through each of their facial expressions that I found myself spending more time than I usually do examining each panel as I read.
While The Dragon Knight’s Beloved’s artwork is what initially snagged my attention to the series, it was the story and characters that quickly had me hook, line, and sinker.
Melissa is a great MC. From her adorable design to her innocent personality, she’s easy to love and easier to root for. Her love and dedication to dragons is heartwarming and seeing the majestic beasts return that affection is great. Melissa is the type of character many people will quickly be able to relate to while still retaining her individual personality and not drifting into the Mary Sue trope.
As for her love interest, Commander Hubert already has me head-over-heels. His sweet and gentle disposition quickly drew me in, but it was his determination and dedication to his duty, his dragon, and a certain someone, that put that doki-doki feeling in my chest. Seeing how calmly and carefully he carries out his job was nice, but watching him take matters into his own hands when he fears he’s losing Melissa became one of the highlights of this volume for me. I love how much expression the artist put into his character for this very reason. From happy, to alarmed, to raging mad–every facial expression was powerful, and it gave his character in particular even more depth.
The main plot of the story is intriguing, and volume 1 does a great job to get the ball rolling. Through the art, characters, and narration, the world is nicely established and the potential conflicts are introduced. The pacing is absolutely fantastic, too. It doesn’t drag at all, but neither does it feel like it’s going too fast. This is thanks to the writer and artists fitting in segments here and there to further expand on characters, their emotions and relationships, and the plot in ways that show rather than tell. This is fantastic storytelling and goes to show just how polished the manga is.
The Only Issue
In terms of story and translation, there are no worrisome problems. In fact, the volume as a whole is wonderful. The only issue I have revolves around how grainy some of the images are in the review copy I received. I’m not sure if the issue I experienced was with my particular digital file or a downside of electronic manga in general, but the differences between the PDF and physical volume are stark. Since I can’t say for certain if the issue is an isolated one or not, I would highly recommend reading a physical copy of the title if possible.
Shojo, otome, and fantasy fans will find a lot to love in The Dragon Knight’s Beloved. If the beautiful artwork isn’t enough to interest readers, then the story and characters are. Melissa and Hubert captured my full attention, and I am eager to see what will happen in volume 2.
If you liked The Dragon Knight’s Beloved, you might like…
Art: Ritsu Aozaki
Story: Asagi Orikawa
Character Design: Akito Ito
Translation: Anh Kiet Ngo
Lettering: Jaewon Ha
Cover and Logo Design: Hanase Qi
Proofreader: Kurestin Armada
Copy Editor: Dawn Davis and Meg van Huygen
Editor: J. P. Sullivan
Prepress Technician: Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein
Production Associate: Christa Miesner
Production Manager: Lissa Pattillo
Managing Editor: Julie Davis
Associate Publisher: Adam Arnold
Publisher: Jason DeAngelis
Published in English by Seven Seas Entertainment
A special thank you to Seven Seas Entertainment for allowing us the opportunity to review this title. Receiving a review copy of this title has in no way altered the opinions expressed in this article.
- Beautiful artwork
- Great characters and world building
- Interesting story with a detailed plot
- Digital copy's art is very grainy
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