Drifting Dragons has now flown onto screens worldwide via Netflix this month. Although the art style is a departure from the manga, it’s done a great job of capturing the feel of the series. Amusingly the cel-shading turns the stylised pants of the Quin Zaza’s sailors from the manga into thicc butts that would make Kim Kardashian proud. The series concludes with the events of Drifting Dragons volume 3, so there’s no better time for a review. You can pick up Kodansha‘s sky faring cooking adventure in the west physically and digitally.
After the action of volume 2, Drifting Dragons volume 3 starts with a slice of life palette cleanser. Takita don’s her detective hat as she tries to discover the artist responsible for a very risque drawing of Vanniebelle. I’m a big fan of these short stories that give us a little insight into the secondary and tertiary members of the crew. It’s worth noting that most of the events of this chapter happen much earlier in the anime.
The chapter ends with Takita “taking a trip” and becoming separated from the crew, leading to her meeting some new friends. This new arc is the meat of the volume and takes us right to end of the volume (and anime). The arc packs a lot in but keeps flowing at a nice pace, never becoming bogged down or stale. Without giving anything away, it becomes very reminiscent of a Ghibli-esque adventure).
Takita shines as the star of this volume as Mika takes a backseat. That’s not to say there is no development for the rest of the crew. Vannabelle admits to Mika that she comes out of her shell around Takita, it’s sweet to see an almost maternal bond forming between the two women.
Of course, it’s not all set grandiose charter development. We see Gibbs become a little self-conscious about his hair. These small elements continue to add pockets of comedy to the series while rounding out the characters nicely.
Is Drifting Dragons still a cooking manga?
It’s worth noting that the final two chapters of the volume do not contain the trademark Dragon meat recipes. Admittedly, I’m not sure how they would have shoehorned them into the story at this point. But, it’s worth noting to see if this trend continues in volume 4. Will this gourmet adventure, be all adventure and no cooking?
Drifting Dragons volume 3 continues to shine in the art department. This time around, we get to see a nice variety of original dragon designs. I have to say that the series pushes your expectations of how a dragon could look and each dragon looks both exciting and unique.
Not only do the dragons fly off the page, but the backgrounds also continue to look amazing. It was very hard not to make this review a slide show of amazing panels of the varied locations in this volume. These designs continue to make Taku Kuwabara one of my favourite mangaka drawing manga currently.
Is Drifting Dragon volume 3 worth reading?
The world and stories of the Drifting Dragons universe continue to grip me. As soon as I finished volume 3, not only did I immediately start to imagine what could happen next, but I also started to create my own stories set within the universe in my head. It’s this quality combined with well-rounded characters and a fantastic art style that make this an easy recommendation to anyone that enjoyed the first two volumes.