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Our intrepid heroes.
Rath: Hey, ugly! We are the slayers of the unholy, the keepers of justice, the guardians of truth!
Thatz: We cannot be defeated! We are the Dragon Knights, scourge of demonkind! And, uh... we're kinda lost.
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A manga series by Mineko Ohkami, Dragon Knights tells the tale of the war between the Dragon tribe led by Lykouleon, who seeks to protect the world, and the Demon tribe led by Nadil, who wants to take it over. To help save the day Lykouleon sends out his best fighters, the Dragon Knights. Traveling to Nadil's dark castle they cut of his head, ending his reign of terror.

And all of this happens before the first chapter.

Now that the heroes have the head of the Demon Lord, they must protect it from everybody else who might seek to bring Nadil Back from the Dead, or simply claim his power as their own. Of course things are never easy, and with evil plots, foul monsters, and shiny distractions around every corner, the Knights will have their hands full trying to keep their victory as such.

The manga was serialized in the shoujo magazine Wings from 1990 to 2007, and compiled into 26 volumes. It was licensed in English by Tokyopop.

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Not to be confused with the trope, Dragon Knight.


Dragon Knights provides examples of

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Kharl might be a brilliant Mad Scientist alchemist, but he cannot remember anything else and his home is a disaster.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: When the specter needs to have a talk with Kitchel, because she refused to talk to a "ghost" he took the physical form of a small, squirrel like creature instead, known as Sacreds in their world, to get her to listen.
  • Affably Evil: Can apply to Kharl, he even unknowingly buys flowers from one of the heroes and accepts his invite to lunch. Also Sabel.
  • The Ageless: Most of the characters in this series seem to stop aging around their 20s or so, except the humans, for whom Time Marches On.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Kharl the Alchemist creates demons from scratch and demon seeds that turn other species into demons. He has a fondness for some of his creations, especially Rath. He also made a pill to keep his assistant Garfaxy eternally young.
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  • Alien Sky: In the Demon World, the sky's a shade of purple.
  • All-Encompassing Mantle: The preferred attire of Shydeman, Shyrendora, and Kharl.
  • All Just a Dream: When Rune wakes up from his crossdressing contest nightmare in the Gaiden.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Dragon Lord's castle is where all the knights (and most of their allies) live and plan.
  • All Your Colors Combined: Not used in battle, but the five Dragon Officers (represented by different colors) were suppose to use their powers together to seal away Nadil's head.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Alfeegi, Kaistern, and Lykouleon are all able to do a few final tasks or past some last words before expiring.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Wind Staff allows Cesia more control over her already potent powers.
  • Animate Dead: Sabel's primary power as a puppet string master.
  • Anime Hair:
    • Kharl's odd, winged bird hair style. Other than that, most of the hairstyles are quite tame.
    • The women (and Gil) often have impossibly long hair.
  • Animorphism: Cesia spends some time cursed to look like a Sacred before Rath can undo it completely.
    • Gil turns into a demon wolf. It's a whole thing.
    • Inverted with Crewger and Illuser, since despite being dogs, Rath is using their bodies and definitely looks humanoid.
  • Anyone Can Die: Alfeegi, Lykouleon, Kaistern. Even Rath dies, although he comes back.
  • Art Evolution: Ohkami changed her style practically from book to book until the later half of the series when it stabilized a little...
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: There's Varawoo, the fish, and then the giant one-eye monster. And then Diamond Clover and Yusurugi
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Rune, when he's mistaken women, is mistaken for a very attractive one.
  • Back from the Dead: Happens quite a lot, most especially with Rath and Nadil.
  • Badass Longcoat: Worn by Tetheus for most of the series while he kicks ass in combat.
  • Battle Couple: Rune and Tintlet to a certain extent, along with Rath and Cesia.
  • The Bartender: Thatz and Kitchel have a barkeep friend that pops up on occasion to give them advice.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Kitchel, for most of her outfits. Eventually Cesia joins in on the fun too.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: While he's the most polite and courteous of the knights, Rune's got the worst temper.
  • Big Bad: Nadil, of course. And he also doubles as the Evil Overlord.
  • Big Eater: Thatz. Food is one of his two great obsessions, the other of course being money.
  • Big Good: Lykouleon, the Dragon Lord. He is literally the knight of the Light Dragon.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Tokyopop's translation work is... less then consistent at times.
  • Black Magic: Pretty much anything Nadil casts...or any of the villains, really. Kharl can turn faries into demons and nearly wiped out the species that way.
  • Bond One-Liner: From Tetheus, talking about Varawoo, a giant demon fish:
    Tetheus: Just a thought... but you may want to throw this fish back.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens a few times to Rath when the other two knights don't want to deal with him.
  • Breaking Out the Boss: Nadil's resurrection was a long process set up meticulously by his minions.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens in the first book when Rune explains to the readers where the Knights are and how they got there. Pops again a few times later on in the series, but not too often.
  • Broken Treasure: Whoops, there goes the Wind Staff. The replica just is not as powerful.
  • Bus Full of Innocents: "Like kidnapping a Kindergarten bus!"
  • Canine Companion: Crewger and Illuser, Lykouleon's dragon dogs. Of course, Crewger is also quite fond of Rath.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Rath gets drunk very easily.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Of course, it doesn't hurt that the author started out drawing Yaoi comics.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Dragon Knights has tons of Chekhov's guns everywhere. Sometimes, they only show up in illustrations or page splashes.
  • Co-Dragons: Both Shydeman and Shyrendora act as dragons for Nadil's army, with Shydeman having the power to manipulate bodies while Shyrendora has the power to manipulate minds. Even though it's implied that the two should have the same amount of power, Shydeman tends to act as the leader of the two.
  • Combat Stilettos: High heels are all the rage in Draqueen. Even the guys wear them, even to the final battle.
  • Combat Tentacles: Used by Shydeman and Shyrendora in battle. Eventually results in Body Horror.
  • Comforting the Widow: Raseleane, in the last volume.
  • Convenient Terminal Illness: Kaistern, when Rath is dead and needs a new life force to be resurrected. Kaistern had already been corrupted by contact with demon water and his body was rotting anyway, giving him limited time left. So he offered his lifeforce up to Cesia to give Rath.
  • Cool Sword: We've got your rare, ultimate sword, swords on fire, and your successor's sword.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Thatz ends up having a butterfly net just when he needs one.
  • Creepy Twins: Shydeman and Shyrendora certainly qualify. As well as Rim Kanna and her sister.
  • Curse: Poor Cesia suffers from these all the time, as a literal curse magnet.
  • Dark Action Girl: Cesia, when she's in evil mode, is badass as hell.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Sabel converses with the Death Faerie, Alfeegi, after Alfeegi dies.
  • Deal with the Devil: When Cesia exchanges herself for Nadil to call off the siege on the Dragon Palace.
  • Death Seeker: Rath desperately wants to die, as revealed in volume 5. Unfortunately, he's simply not allowed to, and the one time he manages it, they just bring him back to life.
  • Death Glare: A favorite of Rune and Alfeegi. Not that it seems to work at keeping any of their coworkers in line.
  • Demon Head: Not quite so extreme, but Rune and Alfeegi pull this face a lot when lecturing their coworkers.
  • Demon Slaying: A favorite past time of Rath's, although the others wish to keep him on mission more often. Angst points for the fact that he himself is a demon.
  • Demonic Possession: Nadil manages this on Rath.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: When Kharl invites Nohiro out for a short bite to eat at a cafe. However, it's not clear if Kharl realizes who (or what) Nohiro is.
  • Disguised in Drag: All three dragon knights do this in the first book.
  • Distressed Damsel: Not so much with Cesia as a Dark Action Girl, but Raseleane tends not to do much when she gets kidnapped. Again.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: The Death Faeries are pretty comforting, all things considered. Alfeegi even thinks one's kinda cute.
  • Dragon Rider: What else did you expect of a manga titled Dragon Knights?
  • The Dragon: Both Shydeman and Shyrendora take on this role. Not the literal dragons this series is full of.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Rune is quite possibly the king of this trope and is mistaken for a women even when not in drag.
  • Empty Shell: The basis of Sabel's powers. He finds dead bodies of people, takes their souls, and then creates puppets from the corpses.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Much to Rune's dismay. Of course, once they realize he's actually a boy, they usually back off.
  • Evil Minions: Like any good Evil Overlord, Nadil has about a bajillion of these.
  • Evil Twin: Rim Kana uses this to trick the Dragon Knights during their first encounter, leading to Spot the Imposter. And then ironically, she has her own evil twin.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Gil's sporting an eye patch once he comes back!
  • Face Death with Dignity: Most of the good guys that die permanently do so pretty calmly and courageously, especially Ruwalk and Alfeegi, who refuse to allow the villains to win, and Lykouleon, who spends several volumes dying.
  • Facial Markings: Shydeman and Shyrendora can really only be told apart by the colored shapes on their faces.
  • Fairy Companion: Ringleys, Meteaura, as well as Nohiro's little entourage.
  • Fantasy World Map: Thankfully, Draqueen is always illustrated in each volume.
  • Fisher King: Without a proper Dragon Lord healthy and in good condition, Draqueen suffers terribly.
  • Flashback: Happens in both Whole Episode Flashback and Flashback Cut forms.
  • Flipping the Table: Done by Thatz when he's frustrated that the crew can't find a way to get across the dead soul moat to Nadil's castle.
  • Flung Clothing: As Rath changes out of his dress disguise to do battle.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Varawoo and Garaba, the latter of which is actually used for flying transportation.
  • Fog of Doom: Nadil has a giant ocean of souls protecting his castle.
  • Fortune Teller: Quite a few of these, including Cesia, Salazar, and Delte.
  • Gambit Roulette: When the first step in your plan is your own decapitation, you have got to be really confident in the other steps.
  • Ghost Amnesia: Fiji doesn't remember Rath, Thatz, Zoma, or Ringleys when they run into her as a ghost in Nadil's creepy ocean.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Kaistern battles without his glasses... it is never explained why.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Interestingly enough, it's only the heroes who have scars. Thatz has his from his former street days. Gil's scars mostly come from torture and self-infliction. Ruwalk has some across his chest from his encounter with the "terrible demon". And Rath has a scar across his neck after his first suicide attempt in volume 6 to replace the one on his face he lost.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: volume twelve neatly cuts away just before Rath loses his head, literally and provides reaction shots until the mess is cleaned up.
  • Healing Hands: Fairies have powerful natural healing abilities they can use on others.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Cesia and Zoma make theirs by the end of the first volume, but other notable examples are Gil, Bierrez, and Sabel.
  • Hellish Pupils: Sabel's eyes are shaped like this, as well as Gil's in his demon form.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The darnas.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Cesia makes a promise to never let Rath get himself killed by his own suicidal tendencies. She does mess up once, but then all she's got to do is bring him back.
  • Hyper-Awareness: It's mentioned that Alfeegi's got keen observation skills.
  • I Have Your Wife: Nadil kidnaps Raseleane more than once. It always works.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: Rath, at least in part due to the necessity of him wearing a light dragon amulet at all times.
  • Inconsistent Coloring: If only because Ohkami can't ever stay consistent with a character design.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Queen Raseleane is basically immune to anything Nadil tries to coerce her into. She loves Lykouleon and that's it.
  • Interspecies Romance: Downplayed. Most of the fantasy races in Draqueen all look humanoid with fangs and funny ears, even when fae and the dragon tribe and humans and demons date.
  • Inverse Dialogue Death Rule: In spades. Mooks get offed fairly easily. Any of the dragon tribe allies who die? They'll talk forever.
  • Invisible to Normals: The death faeries are almost exclusively seen by those dying.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Gil and his inability to control when he turns into his cat demon form. And Cesia when she turns into a Sacred because of a curse.
  • In the Hood: Shydeman and Shyrendora spy on the knights while wearing hooded cloaks.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Alfeegi is rough to live with, being very type A, but it's always for a good cause.
  • Karma Houdini: Kharl, despite the many problems he causes for both sides and being the direct cause of the near extinction of the Fairy tribe, ends the series in pretty much the same position he was in at the start of it.
  • Kill It with Fire: Several people in the series use this as their preferred method, such as Gil, Fedelta, and of course Rath, who leaps straight into Pyromaniac levels at times.
  • Kill It with Ice: Rath oddly enough can also do this, despite being the Dragon Knight of Fire and his own normal tendencies.
  • Kill It with Water: Rune does this as the Dragon Knight of Water.
  • King Incognito: Hugh, Lykouleon's alias. It doesn't fool Alfeegi.
  • Lethal Chef: Both Rath and Kharl are abysmal at cooking. Rath somehow manages to put sand into porridge and Kharl managed to make a mandrake out of a salad!
  • Language of Magic: Whenever Nadil casts the spell on Lykouleon that curses him to bleed to death, he speaks it in a strange language made up of square shaped characters. Quite possibly Black Speech but it's never clarified.
  • Licking the Blade: Garfacky does this at least once.
  • Life Energy: When Rath needs to be resurrected (at least one of the times), he takes Kaistern's, as it's a requirement once he lost his own.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Tetheus turns out to be related Shydeman and Shyrendora, just defected to the side of good.
  • The Lost Woods: Home to the fairies, almost impossible to find by anyone else. They had to go into hiding after Kharl started working his evil on them.
  • Love Triangle: Tintlet and Rune, with Lim Kana in love with Rune.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Several of these. First we've got the dragons and their knights. Then Lykouleon used to have a pair of demon dogs, Illuser and Crewgar, and Kharl had a pair of birds that helped him with his alchemy.
  • Mad Scientist: Kharl, the demon alchemist, and of course, he's got his Alchemy lab as well.
  • Magical Eye: The source of Gil's demon powers is the demon seed planted in his right eye.
  • Magic Knight: All of the dragon knights, predictably.
  • Magic Music: A flute is needed to open the gates of the Water Realm.
  • Magic Wand: The Wind Staff, used especially by Cesia.
  • Man on Fire: Done subtly with Fedelta. He's always got a poof of smoke floating away from him. Sometimes Rath engulfs himself in flames too.
  • Marionette Master: Both Sabel and Rim Kana have the ability to create People Puppets.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Ohkami was a fan of The Lord of the Rings, and it shows. Even though it's a Japanese series, none of the names adapt well to the Japanese language, there are European-style castles, and European-style dragons.
  • Off with His Head!: Nadil's head is being carried around by the knights for the first few volumes until they can safely inter it in Draqueen's vault.
    • And then Nadil takes Rath's head off to place his own on the body—welp.
  • Older Than They Look: Really all of the cast except the humans, of which there are few. Making for a confusing timeline. Most of them are quite possibly Really 700 Years Old, but it's even mentioned that most members of the Dragon Tribe don't remember their age. At least Immortality Begins at Twenty.
  • One Head Taller: Not that Kitchel's too tiny, but Tetheus is certainly very huge. And then you've got the Huge Guy, Tiny Girl with Alfeegi and Reema.
  • The Only One: Poor Rath, everyone's depending on him, as Lykouleon's only heir. Even the villians.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: First you've got the elemental duel dragons, who chose their Dragon Knights and then aid them on their adventures. Then you've got the Dragon Tribe, which is the governing family of their country, Draqueen, and characterized by immortality, eternal youth, Cute Little Fangs and Pointy Ears.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Elves in this series serve as the egulators of nature, have the longest life spans of all four species, and the ability to heal.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They've got four ears.
  • Pillar of Light: Three of these mark the boundaries between the Eastern and Western worlds.
  • Portal Pool: Sabel teleports through water to get around places.
  • Power Limiter: The blood crystal that Lykouleon gives to Cesia is meant to seal both her demon personality and powers.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Cesia's hair changes color and length frequently based on how dominant her demon side is and what curse has been laid on her.
  • Recurring Dreams: Rath has the same dream about a battle a couple of times. It's never fully revealed what the dream was suppose to have meant.
  • Red Baron: Bierrez calls Kharl "The Master of the Macabre."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Tetheus's eyes turn red whenever he senses a demon near by.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: When Nadil first curses the Dragon Lord, the sky turns red back in Draqueen.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Rune's really not much of a fighter.
  • Resurrection Gambit: The story opens with Nadil's head already in custody with the Dragon Knights Rath, Rune, and Thatz. Problem is, that's exactly what Nadil hoped would happen when he lost his head, and it ends well for none of the good guys.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Sacreds are meant to be unreasonably adorable. Even Rath thinks they're cute.
  • Royal Blood: Pretty important in Dragon Knights, since most of the plot revolves around how the Dragon Lord lacks an heir to the throne and the crazy measures they have to take to circumnavigate this problem. Members of the royal family are subjected to Blood Magic too. For the Dragon Lord, his blood is like a powerful, super condensed form of light magic, too potent for anyone but the Queen or blood relatives to touch it.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Lykouleon is killed by Nadil's curse in the end.
  • Sapient Steed: The dragons are quite intelligent and communicate with their knights (especially Fire!). They also get ridden.
  • Saving the World: Dragon Knights is solidly epic fantasy and the entire plot revolves around saving the world from Nadil's machinations.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Varawoo, a giant demon fish, is sealed away by the Water dragon so that he doesn't flood the world. Of course, this makes things a little tricky when Rune comes to unseal the Water dragon. But it turns out Varawoo can be sealed by multiple things. After Rune releases the Water dragon, Tinlett seals the demon fish instead, until finally Rune returns with enough power to seal Varawoo within himself.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Sinistora, who looks just like the then dead Crewger, sending Rath spiralling since Rath is currently possessing Crewger's body.
  • Shinigami: Shinigami in the Dragon Knights world take the form of Death Fairies, and turn out to be what Reema and Duma truly are. Little is shown about them except that they are visible only to those near death and their job is to lead noble souls to the afterlife after granting them one wish. Interestingly, they are the only characters in the series to wear Eastern styled clothing except for when they decide to done the Black Cloak. Later on, Alfeegi comes back as a Death Fairy.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Meteaura was mistaken as male in the book she first appears in.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Shydeman is always shown to be the calmer brother, while Shyrendora is more of the hot-headed sister.
  • Sleep-Mode Size: The Duel Dragons can shrink down into smaller versions when their knights don't need them. It also seems to be implied that a Duel Dragon can only reach its full size when its knight is present.
  • Snow Means Love: Subverted. Rath really loathes snow. Especially since it reminds him of his hatred of Kharl.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: The barrier around the Dragon Palace that keeps demons from entering.
  • Soul Jar: Oddly enough, Rath is a living version of this trope; it's basically his role in the plot and why the villains want him so badly. He gets most of the extra souls extracted from him eventually and they're resurrected.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: The duel dragons, but most noticeably Fire. Not that he lets this stop him from communicating!
  • Split Personality: Cesia, who actually manages to have three distinct personalities, and arguably Gil with his demon form.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: See above regarding the Medieval European Fantasy setting. There are four races: humans, dragons, faeries, and demons, everyone important seems to carry swords, and most of them have magic. Also, dragons.
  • Storming the Castle: What the Dragon Knights did just before the series starts, And then later again, when Nadil has to be killed a second time.
  • The Stoic: Tetheus is almost never seen expressing emotion, even when Draqueen is in deepest peril.
  • Super Empowering: Cesia has the latent power to exponentially increase anyone else's power with just proximity, she doesn't even have to will it.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Of course, Cesia's evil side claims to be far more powerful than her true self. She even insists that she's the "real" Cesia and is shown to have much greater control over her powers. The same could also be said of Gil, who is more powerful in his demon cat form, but he has no control over his actions. Then arguably Rune, after he's gained the power of Varawoo.
  • Sword Fight: Plenty of those. Rath even spends a bunch of time in Draqueen's vault replacing broken ones and arguing over which he's allowed to take.
  • Tears of Blood: Rath, being Unable to Cry, actually cries tears of blood instead when Kharl first tries to revert him back into a demon.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Shydeman and Shyrendora.
  • Time-Delayed Death: Nadil's curse on Lykouleon, causes a slow, but inevitable bleed out.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Garfaxy is immortal only because of a pill Kharl makes up for him once every hundred years. Despite Kharl's absent-mindedness, he does always remember this. Garfaxy insists he should be turned into a demon, but Kharl finds his humanness entertaining.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Garfakcy is a human whose been serving Kharl for literal centuries and is deeply loyal to Kharl. In fact, he wishes Kharl would just turn him into a demon already, but Kharl finds his humanness endearing.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Ohkami actually does a good job of keeping the characters outfits different. There's even a chapter where the characters spontaneously decide to change their clothes after being in the same outfits for a few volumes.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Bierrez never gets Cesia.
  • Unwanted Revival: Oh, Rath, a black hole of angst. His only wish really seems to be that people would just let him stay dead.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Lykouleon and Raseleane are revealed to have met when they were children in the Gaiden chapters.
  • Villains Never Lie: Nadil seems to find that the truth hurts people far more than a lie would ever have to—after all, he commits some terrible atrocities to brag about.
  • Walking the Earth: Kaistern started out as a wanderer before he met Lykouleon and became a Dragon Officer. Of course, he still continues this mentality though, much to Alfeegi's dismay.
  • Whip It Good: Cesia's evil side summons a whip.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Rune, though to be fair to him it's never willingly. Of course, when you're as feminine looking as he is even "normal" clothing can end up looking like drag.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Sabel is terrified of fairies.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Happens a lot more often during the beginning of the series. The Dragon Knights had to do this a comple of times in drag, then you've got Hugh, and even Cesia's disguise as an innkeeper. Fedelta does a disguise later on in volume 6.
  • Winged Humanoid: Several of the characters appear with wings in illustrations or covers, including Rath, Cesia, Rune, Thatz, Zoma, Kharl, and Alfeegi. Then all of the little water light fairies have insect type wings. Rath actually does gain wings for a brief period, and it's implied that in the old days when he lived together with Kharl, they both had feathery wings on their backs. Zoma appears with wings for a fleeting second as well, seen only by the fortuneteller, Delte, foreshadowing his true identity later on.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Tetheus. When told by Kitchel that he can't use his sword on the monsters, he decides to suplex them instead.
  • You Can See Me?: Reema the Death Faerie to Alfeegi when they first meet. See Invisible to Normals.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Not only is practically every color of the rainbow featured throughout the entire cast, Ohkami doesn't even bother to be consistent.

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