A lot of fighting manga center around the main character growing and solving his inner problems. Dragons Rioting, on the other hand, is a story about the main character trying not to die from sexual stimulation while trying to solve his inner problems.
This manga by Tsuyoshi Watanabe in Monthly D
ragon Age Magazine is the story of Tachibana Rintaro – a teenage boy starting his first year of high school. From the time he was a child, Rintaro has had a severe illness that has almost claimed his life several times. The illness is called Hentai Syndrome. When Rintaro becomes sexually stimulated – he will die. Rintaro’s father, a man ripped out of a martial arts story, takes him into the woods to seclude him from women and train him to have control in case he ends up in danger. Rintaro will need that training – as he is starting high school at Nangokuren High School. A school that is filled with martial arts and 99.9% female student body.
Dragons Rioting is a ecchi fighting manga. (“Ecchi” describes a series with many sexual tones or imagery, but is not purely sexual in nature.) Many manga and anime series have this imagery in it – mainly it is used for what is called “fan service,” providing something gratuitously lurid for the fans, such as a character who is always in skimpy clothing (certainly nothing unique to this form). In manga, many fan service-related scenes revolve around sexual situations. These may be the character having body parts shown, revealing underwear, or putting the character in some moderate to extreme erotic scenario. However, there is a limit to what the majority of these ecchi manga show or go into. These are not pornographic stories – there is a limit that they do not cross as for many of these the intended consumer of the series is a teenager.
To that end Dragons Rioting is a series that has so much fan service it becomes a sort of meta joke on the whole idea of it. Since Rintaro cannot become sexually aroused – every time he is put in some kind of sexual situation his life is at risk. Besides fighting, most of Rintaro’s skills are used for evasion purposes. Many times he uses martial arts to dodge seeing women’s skirts blown up by the wind, scaling buildings to avoid scantily clad women or creating walls from the ground to hide a girl who has had her clothes destroyed. Rintaro’s life has become a struggle to survive.
But what is this story actually about? Well the plot is very simple. Rintaro comes to the school to have a normal high school life. That does not happen, first because of his illness and all the women at the school and then second because the entire school is filled with martial arts fanatics. Everyone at this school is some sort of fighter or martial artist, and they all compete with each other to be the top of the school, or a “dragon.” The school has three dragons at the moment, but that is always subject to change, as someone stronger will always come and go. Rintaro ends up being put headfirst into this three-way struggle as he intermingles with the dragons and begins his own path to dominance.
From here the story takes a much more basic fighting turn. Many of the secondary characters are the ones doing the fighting though, as spare a few fights – Rintaro is amazingly overpowered. I would not say unbeatable, as he does have a few tough fights, but he is very easily able to defeat many in his way. In that respect, Dragons Rioting is less interesting as a fighting story – because Rintaro is so overpowered. It is interesting for him to use some different move from time to time to quickly end a fight, but it gets a little stale. The other characters fights can be fun, but spare the three dragons, the other side characters are not so memorable.
This is a story that shines in the absurdity of the premise and the humor of the scenarios. If you can get past the gratuitous fan service, and see the humor behind it, you will be in for a very fun ride. Go read it.