SPOILERS ahead. Proceed with caution. Some of the most shocktastic ones were actually hidden, for better appreciation
Do all of the dragons have a "starfish" form, or that's just Hoshimaru, Ensof and Trickster? If so, how do they "evolve"? If not, why are those not more like the other dragons present on the series, which are much more elaborate, and equally lethal, if not less?
I think they all start out like that. In volume 2, Satomi wonders what's going on in Bungo's head for Hainuwele to "turn out that way", suggesting it used to have another form, and in the chapter What Can I Do For You Now?, we see "Broomstick" in a starfish form in a flashback. There's nothing clear on how exactly they evolve, though it seems the bearer's mental state has something to do with it (Oni might be a decent example here).
What exactly happened when Norio died? Vagina Dentata took another form, but was it part of the Otohime "formation" process, or it was a consequence of Norio's death? And if it was the process of metamorphosis into an "adult" dragon, why did it collapse at the end?
It seems to be a bit of both. Norio probably wouldn't've been able to merge with Vagina Dentata to become an Otohime anyway, being as they were so far apart at the time, but it looked as though he forfeited the ability to become Otohime in order to get his feelings for Takeo across the best he could (i.e. having VD change into the form with the foetus). Naturally, VD then dropped dead because Norio had died. Something like that.
And while we're at that, why couldn't Hoshimaru transform Takeo into an Otohime? Apparently, being actually "virgin" isn't a prerequisite for the posistion...
If being a virgin was a requirement to becoming an Otohime, there'd probably be no Otohimes at all, because hardly anyone dies a virgin in this series.
More seriously, though, there's the additional mystery of how Takeo could get Shiina pregnant even though his radiation poisoning would've made him sterile. This might be one to take to WMG later, as there's no clear answers.
Why only Komori and Shiina (of all people) regenerated after dying? They were not the only dragon bearers to die during the course of the series(heck, who didn't?)
I don't think Komori regenerated so much as the Government Conspiracy happened to find him when he'd just begun to merge with Push Dagger to become an Otohime, and then they stopped the process and left him in permanent life-death limbo. As for Shiina, your guess is as good as mine there.
Well Shiina's shadow dragon is the bloody Earth so why wouldn't she regenerate?
She wasn't in communion with her dragon yet, much differently from Komori's case. Besides, why didn't anyone else regenerate?
I think I remember Mamiko regenerating her clothes after being raped, she apparently wasn't interested in "repairing" anything else. Also, when Takeo was starting to suffer the effects of the radiation badly, somebody (I think it was Mamiko) pointed out that he didn't do it out of guilt for Norio's death. In Shiina's case, I think that Mamiko might have been responsible. Remember that they each seem to control different aspects of the Earth. Still it's nevert clear in which moment the old body is absorbed (seems to be a requisite) in order to be able to produce the copy (and if the copy was made from the corpse, why not just to dissapear said corpse, or just repair it?)
Oh, and yes, everybody died, but only a few had their shadow dragons at hand, and even then, a couple of them choose not to do anything about it.
What I'm finding especially strange about Shiina's regeneration is that, IIRC, aren't shadow dragons unable to replicate living things in that way? I think that was stated in the What Can I Do For You Now? chapter, where Kyouji's "body" in the hospital was basically a lifeless husk with no soul. I suppose Shiina might be a special case since the Earth is essentially controlled by two bearers instead of one, among a few other possible reasons, but it's still weird to me.
If I understand what you mean, I think that the fact that Shiina's head got missing when she "died" plays a big role here. That fact only gets a passing mention, but I believe it to be important. They say the brain can survive more than 30 seconds after a decapitation, so if if the Earth absorbed Shiina's head in time, it could have just attached it to a new body to keep her alive. So, there's not contradiction with the fact that dragon's can't replicate life/souls. On the other hand, the worms that Oni produced when he Killed Aki Honda seemed to be moving... perhaps they weren't replica's? (I have not seen how the anime handled this last bit, BTW, I have just read the manga)
Thanks, that actually makes a lot of sense now. Regarding the worms, I'd wondered if Kitoh didn't regard that sort of animal as having a "soul" in the same way as a human or other vertebrate, until I remembered that one of the random Otohime seen in the final volume was a sea pen. I had another look at the scene, and interestingly enough, there wasn't really anything to indicate that the worms were moving of their own accord; it looked more like they were just being "secreted" from Oni (for want of a better word). So I guess it's all consistant after all. (The worms moved by themselves in the anime, though; but then again, the anime also had dragons like Ain-Soph apparently moving of their own accord, which doesn't seem like it ever happens in the manga.)
What on earth happened to Satomi in the end? The last we see of her, she's overlooking the sea with Bungo's corpse at her side, and we don't even get a death scene for her. and on a similar token, what was with the merged Hainuwele/Amapola in the final chapter? Can shadow dragons even do that?
It's quite clear she was either killed by the furious mob or died with everyone else. About the merge thing... yep, I didn't, either. Maybe Bungo's dragon became hers, and both dragons fused?
I don't really buy any of that, to be honest. Anyway, I had a bit of an epiphany regarding the mystery the other day, and I've posted my ideas on what happened on the new WMG page.
What was done with Hiroko's body? At the start of the next volume, Shiina's Dad says that they might still find her, possibly alive, which Shiina knows is not true, and causes her distress. Did Shiina dispose of it herself, or did Hoshimaru somehow destroy it? Remember, the area was swarming with police, after the murders of Aki and her posse, and the maiming of Miyoko and any suspicious thing - like disposing of a body- would have gotten noticed big time, and I doubt Shiina had the skills or stealth to pull that off.
I got the impression that the Government Conspiracy had a hand in that. In chapter 40 (which tends to get skipped in the scanslation sets, but can be found on mangasketchbook's site) it's revealed that Oni was captured after the incident and had an autopsy of sorts performed on it, so it's highly likely that the bodies of Hiroko and her parents were similarly taken away. As for the police, Vagina Dentata landed on one of their cars as they were about to break into Hiroko's house, so that may well have led to them going away.
I assumed that Hoshimaru absorbed it. In the anime, at least, they made a point of showing him absorbing flies and other bugs, and he can produce things much larger than himself (like those sword things), so...
Akira claims that "En-Sof" is Hebrew for "The Godhead from which Springs God", which I guess sounds rather badass, except it's not true at all. As a native Hebrew speaker I can assure you that "En-Sof" actually means "Infinity" (Literally, it means "no end"). This troubles me.
She doesn't know better? Looks plausible (and quite Watsonian) to me.
I understand that dragon children links with living organisms to get soul later. To become Otohime owner of dragon child has to willingly send his own soul to it, right? They merge, the adult dragon is created. But what happends to former owner. Is he "taken" from the world and becomes only one part of dragon or stay who he was only in other form? Mishou was able to act normally and still remembered Shiina. Even if it was stated a few times that Otohime joins only with its dragon.
I'd say it's a bit of both, dragon does all the acting now, but it retains some of the linker's memories if they're strong enough. Notice how she doesn't seem to notice her parents at all. Or Shiina's just special as we all know.
Maybe I'm just frustrated, but what really makes me scratch my head is this: the Dark Horse version is reviled. Why haven't fans done a complete scanlation of the series? And if they have, why is Dark Horse all I can find on the manga websites?
There's a service pack that scanlated the pages taken out/edited in volume 7. The remaining volumes have been scanlated as well, though chances are if you read it on-line you'll get the Dark Horse version. Maybe scanlating the first few volumes is just too frustrating?