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Manga / Dragon Drive

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The cast of Dragon Drive, featuring hero Oozora Reiji and his dragon Chibisuke in the center

Dragon Drive is about a boy named Oozora Reiji, and his adventures in a virtual world. No, not The Matrix, this world is where children go in secret away from the adults, to play a game called Dragon Drive. Each child gets his or her own dragon, hand picked by his or her own personality. Reiji goes to check this place out and finds himself with the weakest dragon there: a tiny squirt, which he names Chibisuke. But what he didn't know was that inside Chibi was a power stronger than he thought.


The manga and anime provide examples of:

  • The Ace: Anime-only Tachibana Kyoji is seen as this at school. Subverted in that Himuro soundly thrashes him at Dragon Drive within seconds.
  • Alliterative Title: Dragon Drive.
  • Aloof Ally: Himuro after his Heel–Face Turn
  • Always Someone Better: Himuro Hikaru, for both Reiji and Sumishiba. He motivates Reiji and infuriates Sumishiba.
  • Amusing Injuries: Reiji, in every episode's eyecatch where he receives Ash Face, or even Harmless Freezing, from a dragon's elemental breath.
  • An Ice Person: Kanpa, Hagiwara's dragon
  • Anti-Hero: Himuro Hikaru and Sumishiba Ichiro after parting ways with Toki. Both go down a level (Himuro from V to IV, Sumishiba from IV to III), but Sumishiba is more mentally balanced to begin with, and Himuro remains a much darker character.
  • Ash Face: Each episode of the anime features an eyecatch where Chibi blasts Reiji with a burst of flames.
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  • Ax-Crazy: Himuro in the anime and first half of the manga.
  • Babies Ever After: Kind of. In the epilogue, pretty much the entire cast seems to have Generation Xerox children who have even inherited their parents' rivalries.
  • The Berserker: Rokkaku, generally when he's had a little too much to drink.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Reiji, Maiko, Hagiwara, Towa and Tachibana in the final battle in the anime. Also, Himuro does this twice. Once when Reiji is about to get eaten by a dragon, and Hikaru shows up on his new dragon and fries it; and another time in the anime when Reiji is fighting and losing against one of the Shishinryu.
  • Bittersweet Ending: They defeat the Big Bad, but only by merging the two worlds, which causes the dragons to disappear. However, we do see that Future!Takumi revives Dragon Drive 17 years later, so they get to see the dragons again.
  • Blank White Eyes: Toki when possessed by Shinryu in the anime
  • Blindfolded Vision: Himuro after the Time Skip.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Himuro.
      Toki Kouhei: Hikaru's just a crazy battle freak!
    • Rokkaku has his moments.
  • Bond Creatures: analyzing a teenager's genetic code reveals the dragon they are destined to partner with.
  • Bound and Gagged: Maiko is kidnapped at one point to use as leverage on Reiji and this trope happens.
  • Breath Weapon: A lot of the dragons.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy:
    • Otohime Taro, from the second half of the manga. Will fall asleep if nothing "interesting" is happening, and won't fight unless he thinks it will be exciting. He is also the best Dragon Drive player around.
    • Himuro might also count, in the beginning. He's a high school dropout because he simply got bored with it, and only rarely shows up at the Dragon Drive center to kick the asses of everyone in the place before going home.
  • Broken Ace: Himuro. Originally seen as perfect and the unmatched champion of Dragon Drive, he loses it when Reiji manages to catch him off-guard and nearly defeats him. Clearly has a serious inferiority complex, and actually breaks down into Manly Tears at one point when Reiji refuses to fight him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Reiji takes plenty of abuse in the eyecatch of every episode.
  • Catchphrase: Sumishiba's assertions that he will win "in ten minutes".
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Yukino Maiko, although this is shown much more in the anime than in the manga.
  • Competence Zone: Only children of a certain age range are able to enter Ri-Kyuu.
  • Dark Is Evil
  • Death Glare: Himuro has a very effective one. Somehow, he even manages to pull one off without opening his eyes after the Time Skip.
  • Disability Superpower: Subverted with Himuro after the Time Skip; his eyes are always closed, not because he can't see (presumably), but because he stopped using his eyes in order to sharpen his other senses and gain power.
  • Elaborate Underground Base
  • Evil Laugh: Toki after being assimilated into Shinryu and beating the hell out of Reiji and the rest of the cast.
  • Evil Plan: Toki's plan to take over Earth and Ri-kuu.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Post- Time Skip Himuro. Possibly subverted in that he actually doesn't see and never opens them.
  • Eye Scream: Rokkaku and his dragon, Thunderbolt. Each had his right eye ruined in a fight with Kouhei.
  • Generation Xerox: The kids in the epilogue. Practically everyone has one.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Reiji starts drooling when Hysteric Rose flirts with Silver.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Played with concerning Himuro after the Time Skip. He has very obvious scars on his face and hands, and probably more. Considering he's a fairly dark Anti-Hero, they're not quite as jarring as they could be.
  • Harmless Freezing: Another amusing injury for Reiji featured in the eyecatch of the anime, where Kanpa breathes snow all over him and freezes him.
  • I Choose to Stay: Himuro stays in Ri-Kyuu rather than return with the others at the end of the first half of the manga.
  • Idiot Hero: Oozora Reiji. So, so much.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Shinsaber
  • In Vino Veritas: Meguru, coupled with not remembering a thing the morning afterwards.
  • It Was with You All Along: In second part Agent A asked Takumi to find Raikou-oh Edea, the only dragon that can defeat Genryuu. The very first Raikou-oh card Takumi retrieves from Agent A, the Raikou-oh that was always with him IS Edea.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Himuro and Sumishiba
  • Laser Blade: Himuro's first dragon's primary attack
  • Light Is Good
  • Lightning Bruiser: Chibi in giant-awesome-beast-mode on occasion, both of Himuro's dragons, Shinsaber in the anime
  • Loners Are Freaks: Himuro. In the anime, he even has a speech about it. He literally does not understand the concept of friends, and wants to figure out what the difference is between Reiji and him by fighting. Even more so after the time skip, when he has been alone in Ri-Kyuu for ten years. Reiji tells the others that Hikaru has spent too much time there and will be useless to them.
  • Made of Iron: Reiji is the most prominent, but many characters suffer through injuries, explosions, and fights without the bat of an eye.
  • Magikarp Power: Chibi seems utterly useless until, out of nowhere, he transforms into a monstrous dragon.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Maiko's dragon's attack.
  • Olympus Mons: Senkoukura, Shin Saber (although Shin Saber is more like of Infinity +1 Sword as it can be used as sword literally by Senkoukura), Raikou-oh Edea, Shinryuu, and Genryuu. And in case you think Shinryuu and Genryuu isn't strong enough, they can fuse into stronger dragon. Ergh.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Hikaru is this about Reiji
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Reiji, before the Dragon Drive thing. But he doesn't actually miss it.
  • Our Dragons Are Different
  • Punch Catch: Manga-only, chapter 22 When Reiji and Hikaru go in search of Shinsaber, one of the last trials was a test of strength. Hikaru challenges Reiji to a fight to the death, but Reiji refuses, Then Hikaru begins to attack Reiji with punches and kicks. When Hikaru takes one last punch, Reiji holds it with his hand and says he will not fight, at least not at that moment.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Chibi in his smaller form
  • The Rival: Himuro Hikaru
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Sumishiba has a couple of moments before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Sumishiba about Meguru in the anime.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Toki, while speaking for Shinryu
    • Himuro has at least one.
  • The Stoic: Himuro Hikaru. When he's not being Ax-Crazy or a Blood Knight. Falls more under this in the second half of the manga.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Sumishiba and Himuro.
  • The Thing That Goes "Doink": Shows up a couple of times
  • Took a Level in Badass:
  • Trapped in Another World: The heroes are trapped in Ri-Kyuu and must defeat Toki's plans before they can go home.
  • Tsundere: Maiko but its downplayed. Her tsun-tsun amounts to giving Reiji grief about always giving up on things. Otherwise she's pretty nice. Type B.
  • Twin Tails: Maiko sports them to go with her tsundere-tude.
  • The Vamp: Anime-only character Towa Sayaka. Called out by Maiko.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Maiko.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Himuro's fear of ghosts in the manga.
  • The Worf Effect: Hagiwara, a couple of times. Sumishiba in episode 4, when he is utterly curb-stomped by Himuro.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Reiji's plan defeat a local Villain with Good Publicity. See the village is threatened by a dragon and leaves gifts to appease it. Its actually the villain's pet and he's using the gifts to pay off his gambling debts, but no one will believe Reiji and Himuro because they're outsiders who actidentally broke the dragon's shrine. The villagers want to sacrifice him to appease the dragon. The gambit is thus: "We'll defeat the dragon for you. If we fail, then the dragon gets its sacrifice. If we succeed than your village is safe from the dragon without the need of sacrifices".
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Towa's hair is pink, Kouhei's is blue. There are a few other slightly odd hair colors, but those two stand out.
  • Your Eyes Can Deceive You: Himuro essentially says this to the Raikoo users when one of them asks why his eyes are always shut.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real:
    • Agent S mentions that a serious fall within the game world could result in brain damage for the player.
    • There's a moment in Reiji's first game with Himuro where Reiji crushes his phone in fear and his hand is actually bleeding when he gets out of the simulation. The resulting in-game explosion also left Himuro with a cut on his cheek.


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