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Hear the tale of the poor Red Dragon Letty. While dragons in general have a reputation for being some of the fiercest creatures in the realm, Letty is quite the opposite - timid, passive, and about as dangerous as an overgrown rabbit. Naturally, the mere thought of someone like him surviving on his own in a world full of every conceivable sort of fantastic peril is nigh impossible, so it's a good thing he's got his family to protect him, right?

Of course, after Letty utterly fails to guard the family nest from hunters, he's swiftly kicked out and forced to fend for himself. Doomed to fall prey to any number of adventurers wanting to make him into a new shiny armor set, his only chance to survive is to find a nice, safe place to call home. After exhausting every possible avenue he can think of to secure a house on his own, Letty meets Dearia, an elf who's highly learned on home acquisition and will gladly find a suitable living space for even a creature like him. Together, they embark on a journey to explore the world filled with fantastic wonders, scoping out one locale after another to find Letty's dream home... and making sure he doesn't wind up slain for EXP before he gets there.

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Dragon Goes House-Hunting (Dragon, Ie o Kau./ドラゴン、家を買う。 in Japanese, lit. "Dragon Buys A House") is a manga written by Kawo Tanuki and illustrated by Choco Aya. It can be described as a lighthearted comedic romp in a fantasy setting that plays with many tropes associated with fantasy worldbuilding and RPGs. It was serialized in Monthly Comic Garden starting in 2016, with Seven Seas Entertainment licensing the English release. An anime adaptation by Signal.MD was announced in 2020, premiering in April 2021.


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Dragon Goes Trope-Hunting:

  • Accidental Murder: Letty is a Gentle Giant who wouldn't hurt a fly, but at one point he accidentally trips and falls over a group of human mercenaries, crushing them to death due to his size and weight.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the anime, Dearia first appears in the original scene that opens episode 1, while in the manga he first appears near the end of chapter 1.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Victor repeatedly tries to charm Nell, which would work were he always in his attractive human form, but he still tries to do it even when he's a regular bat. Predictably, it fails.
  • Catchphrase: Victor's is "[It's] by design!".
  • Censor Box: Parodied in one scene where Dearia warns Pip not to wander off with "suspicious people" when he goes off to play by himself—this warning comes with a shot of the usual Hero party that Letty keeps running across, but with their eyes censored. The group starts complaining about being blinded because of the black thing suddenly covering their eyes.
  • Comically Small Bribe: A bonus page reveals that the non-human community finally managed to convince Dearia to take the position of the Dark Lord by offering him a super rare collectible card of his master, Jormungandr.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Chapter 11 shifts away from Letty's group to focus on the adventures of Huey (the hunter who stole the egg that Letty is supposed to guard, leading to the latter's exile) as he tries to track down the red dragon.
    • Chapter 16 has Pip wander off to play and get into a solo adventure.
    • Chapter 24 follows the recurring Yuusha party as they try to find a HQ for themselves.
    • Chapter 30 sees Dearia's master Jormungandr go looking for a new home.
    • Chapter 31 returns to the Edax Arena crew as they look for a way to move their circus.
    • Chapter 32 catches up on what Letty's "underlings" have been doing since he gave them his home.
    • Volume 7's side story is about a day in Nell's life back home.
  • Death Is Cheap: Since the story is set in an RPG Mechanics 'Verse where priests can easily resurrect the dead, Dearia (and sometimes Letty) can repeatedly kill and loot the pesky "heroes" they run into without coming across as villainous. In fact, one of the Running Gags in the series is how Letty keeps on encountering the same hero party whom Dearia incinerated to the bones in the first chapter, even though these run-ins would almost inevitably end with said heroes' deaths.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Dearia describes Heroes as "Murderers who rob, kill, break pots in civilian homes and help others to usurp kings"—which is typically par for the course of a standard Hero's Journey in RPG games, but is never brought up thanks to the Protagonist-Centered Morality. It's an apt description of what the players usually do when told from their enemies' perspective, however, especially in games where Video Game Cruelty Potential is a thing.
  • Designated Hero: In-universe. Despite acknowledging the virtuous connotations of the title, "Heroes" in this setting are described as a group of delusional brutes who commit robbery, murder, raids and treason in the name of "justice" and "righteousness", but which is really just a cover for their desire to get rich and famous quickly. It's also revealed that the Yuusha party who regularly go after Letty have persistently stalked Nell during her runaway.
    Dearia: As for heroes, they are simply murderers who have no qualm as to who they kill [...] To list the terrible deeds that heroes have commited is a task that no man, nor elf, can undertake.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Just as Letty is starting to get used to living as a gladiator in the Edax Arena, the guards suddenly announce that the human margrave who owns the Arena is dead, and that his successor is closing down the place.
  • Easily Elected: The Demon King is chosen through a lottery, and Dearia accidentally wins it when he participated in the lottery to obtain the consolation prize.
  • Elfeminate: Dearia is a male elf, but his silky locks and long eyelashes makes his appearance look more similar to the beautiful female harpies than other humanoid male characters. A flashback shows that all the male elves in his hometown have similar, delicate appearances.
  • Extraordinary World, Ordinary Problems: Despite the High Fantasy setting, the main plot revolves around a dragon's house-hunting journey instead of any epic goal. Also, Letty has to constantly worry about things like earning money to pay for his house and feed his chick, getting a job, and paying taxes.
  • Fake a Fight: All of the fights in the Edax Arena are staged to ensure maximum profits for the Arena. Basically, the games are more like pro wrestling shows than actual gladiator games.
  • Fall-in Angel: How Nell's parents met; her mother was late to the marriage interview, and arrived by falling from the sky. For her father, it was Love at First Sight.
  • Feet of Clay: Letty is a weak and cowardly dragon who just wants to find a house where he can live in peace, but thanks to a combination of Contrived Coincidences, unfortunate misunderstandings and Gossip Evolution, he becomes known as the infamous "Flame Dragon King" capable of leveling entire cities in a single breath, and who intends to lead an army of monsters to take over the world.
  • Floating Continent: The Edax Arena crew's solution to moving their circus is to create a flying landmass and set the circus up on that.
  • Foil: Letty is the second dragon after Varney whom Dearia helps to find a home, but the two couldn't be any more different. While Letty is a gentle and timid coward who shies away from conflict whenever possible, his predecessor Varney is an arrogant and violent Blood Knight who goes on multiple rampages against numerous human strongholds in order to test their strength. When Letty hears about Varney, he laments that he can't hold a candle to his predecessor's powers, although Dearia points out that they do have one similarity: both are penniless dragons who nevertheless wish to find an expensive home to live in.
  • Forced from Their Home: The plot begins when Letty is kicked out from his home for allowing an egg to get stolen under his watch. The rest of the series is about his adventures to find a new home to live in.
  • Gentle Giant: Letty is an adult dragon who probably couldn't hurt a fly (at least deliberately).
  • Gladiator Games: In Chapter 9, Letty gets captured by a group of humans and made to fight in the Edax Arena. Fortunately, the gladiators are well-treated, as they are in cahoots with owner and the guards to rig the fights and maximize profits for the Arena.
  • The Great Serpent: It is revealed that Dearia used to apprentice under the Great Serpent, Jormungandr, who is the single largest creature ever introduced in the series. Dearia was barely the size of one of his master's scales.
  • Hero Antagonist: Huey is a hunter who seeks to defeat Letty, but unlike the invoked Designated heroes that Letty frequently runs into, he is portrayed in a much more sympathetic light, being genuinely concerned by the potential threat that Letty might pose to humans, and having more noble standards than the Glory Hound heroes.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Most elves currently live in a hidden village at the tip of a branch of the World Tree. In this case, however, they're hidden because they had no idea how to approach the younger races and decided to withdraw from the world. Letty wonders if they're just really socially awkward. (Dearia was too curious for the older elves' liking, so they packed him off to 'study abroad'.)
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapters are called 'Houses', with the majority of chapter titles referencing homes or houses. The anime translation calls episodes 'Estates' or 'Properties'.
  • I Just Want to Be You!: After hearing Dearia's story about Varney, Letty is inspired to start emulating the Black Dragon.
  • Loophole Abuse: After Nell demands a house that's free from cracks, holes, etc., Victor offers them a house that has no roof because water-proofing wasn't a part of Nell's requirements.
  • Lovable Coward: Letty is a coward who initially tries to run and hide whenever he encounters something scary or dangerous. However, he's so sweet and innocent that one can't help be fond of him. Moreover, his cowardice is justified due to him having no combat abilities at all while as a dragon his hide, organs, and bones are all extremely valuable crafting components so heroes are always trying to kill him.
  • Maou the Demon King: Originally a title born by the leader of the non-humans in their liberation war, it decreased in importance over time to the point where it was foisted on Dearia.
  • Medium Awareness: The inhabitants of the setting are aware that they live in an RPG Mechanics 'Verse and all the consequences therein. The Yuusha can be humorously slaughtered over and over because they'll always respawn unscathed, Letty can't fly despite being built for it because he simply hasn't unlocked the necessary skill yet, everyone has a literal status card that they can look at at will, etc.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Here, they're human-sized bipedal bats with the ability to assume human form. They lack the traditional vampire weaknesses, but they dislike minty smells.
  • Parental Substitute: Letty finds himself filling this role for Pip.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Chapters 22-25 have Dearia leave the party to go visit an exhibition, leaving Letty to have new, wacky adventures with Victor the vampire, a frankly horrible realtor who is constantly recommending defective houses.
    • Chapters 30-32 look at what some of the side characters are up to, moving the main cast to the sidelines.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Dearia is somewhere north of a thousand years old.
  • Relax-o-Vision: Used when Letty catches Nell up on what's happened since the last time they met, along with a helping of Blah, Blah, Blah on Letty's part.
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse: The world seems to be structured like one huge fantasy RPG video game, with stats and various in-game mechanics depicted in full.
  • Running Gag:
    • Due to being a dragon, Letty is frequently targeted by "heroes" who want to claim the honor of slaying him, and keeps on running into the party whom Dearia incinerated in the first chapter.
    • There's also how Letty keeps getting called out for breaking the 4th wall (saying that the egg he lost would respawn, looking for hidden cameras).
  • Shady Real Estate Agent: Victor, despite being a real estate agent recommended by the Queen (Nell's mother), seems pathologically incapable of offering a decent home for Letty, and all the ones he'd try to sell to Letty are unlivable, one way or another. On several occasions, he tries to sell pest-infested houses with leaks and cracks on the wall and pass it off as "design", and at one point offers a house with no roof because Nell's requirements for a house (no leaks or cracks, etc.) doesn't specify that it must have a rooftop.
  • Shout-Out:
  • True Companions: The gladiators of the Edax Arena and the guards get along really well and seem to regard each other as family. After the arena is closed due to the owner dying—effectively leaving everyone jobless—they decide to form a circus troupe so that they could remain together.
  • Unmanly Secret: Varney's youngest child Emile thinks his desire to open a flower shop would disappoint his father and Dearia, so he tries to keep it secret. Letty and company help him to open up about it.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Naturally for the setting, monsters are often targeted by adventurers - especially the Yuusha - looking to gain spoils, EXP, or just because they can. This is understandably seen as a problem by the monsters and even some other humans who find them to be abhorrent or a nuisance, but often times they're rendered the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain due to their sheer incompetence as the monsters of the world become more savvy in dealing with them.
  • Wasted Beauty: Played for Laughs. Victor the vampire is a giant bipedal bat who can transform into a handsome Long-Haired Pretty Boy using magic (although he can only transform for 3 minutes at a time). While, at first, Nell, Letty and Pip are impressed by his Vampires Are Sex Gods appearance, they don't remain charmed for long, since he's really a Shady Real Estate Agent whose house recommendations are always variations of The Alleged House. The fact that he sometimes tries to use his attractive humanoid form to close a deal on particularly bad houses only makes it more infuriating when he does transform.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Chapters 17-21 go over Dearia's past, including how he became the Dark Lord and his travels with Varney.

 
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Cassandra the Sphinx

Cassandra uses her "riddles" to distract the mercenaries sent to kill the monsters.

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