By Kawo Tanuki and Choco Aya. Released in Japan as “Dragon, Ie wo Kau” by Mag Garden, serialization ongoing in the magazine Comic Blade. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Nan Rymer. Adapted by T Campbell.
It can sometimes be hard for a book to live up to its premise. Some series just have such a good starting point that the imagination takes off before you even read it, and this can lead to expecting too much. Fortunately, there are a lot of funny moments in Dragon Goes House-Hunting, a book that mostly relies on the titular dragon reacting in a ridiculous manner to the various houses that he’s being shown. Because make no bones about it, the premise of the title is absolutely what happens. Every chapter the demon lord who is also the dragon’s realtor has a fresh new house to show off, and every chapter we see the ludicrously off-putti9ng reasons no one up till now has bought it. If I’m being honest, there’s only one big flaw in this series: I found Letty, the dragon himself, to be rather irritating and wussy. But that is pretty much the point.
Letty is a pampered NEET of a dragon who has been thrown out of his parents’ house for accidentally letting the dragon eggs he was watching get stolen. Letty seems to live IN a video game world, as he points out the eggs will just respawn when the next adventurer party cones along, but gets thrown out anyway. He is a young, naive dragon with lots of people who want him dead, and so, after many harrowing situations, ends up in the hands of Dearia, who is a respected architect and real estate broker… as well as a demon lord, a fact that is third on his list. Dearia is pretty mild-mannered, and seems quite happy to find Letty a house. The trouble is, this is a fantasy RPG-land. And Letty is a massive wuss. Combining these leads to things like the house with all the built-in traps, or the house that’s haunted, or the house with the portrait that reveals your deepest secrets if you don’t give the right password.
Despite Letty irritating me a lot of the time, he’s basically good at heart, and the best part of the book was the growing friendship between him and Dearia. Towards the end Dearia simply decides to build him a house to order, and while this works out fine at first, it does highlight the problem that Letty is not like other dragons, and would much rather just curl up and stay away from the hustle and bustle of the universe. Dearia seems to have been friends with another dragon in the years before he met Letty, and it’s not hard to see that the endgame here may simply be Letty staying with Dearia and going on journeys with him. But if that happens, we wouldn’t see more ridiculous houses and Letty’s reaction to them, i.e. the primary reason to read this series. It may not quite match up to the premise in my head, but it’s pretty fun.