A boy-meets-girl story in a world under attack by dragons.
With such a description, you can’t really expect much. But then again, with such a provocative blog title on a blog named “Oppai is Justice”, you also can’t expect anything.
Expectations drive our thinking processes. Stuff like:
- I wonder if the steak at that restaurant is delicious.
- I heard such and such was a really bad work; I better don’t watch it.
- The reviews on RateMyProfessors.com said the professor gave a lot of homework; I’m obviously not getting her.
What we expect empowers us to get a certain reaction.
So tell me, what do you think of Dra+Koi‘s description on VNDB? It’s just that line in italics in the opening of this post. Nothing more.
I expected something dark and edgy. Even though it looked colorful, something irked me into thinking someone will probably die. After all, this is a work published by Nitro+; it gave us grimdark works like Kikokugai and Saya no Uta.
And I’m not the type who goes into dark and edgy works these days. Maybe when I was 15, I would. But my current 19 year old self has a total fascination with anything cute. I’m not too enthralled with their works. Saya no Uta was alright; Kikokugai was laughable; and Demonbane‘s absurd amount of sex scenes and text walls make my eyes bleed. Not to mention a certain butcher is an asshole and he loves to publicize a certain magical girl show at any instance. Rationally, one shouldn’t connect the works to its rabid fans but all of us do. Like moe fans with their ‘waifus’ and bronies with ‘bestiality,’ I have no choice but to subconsciously connect the majority of Nitro+ fans as ‘goffik kids who write stuff at fanfiction.net.’
So I was of course skeptical when I tried out Dra+Koi. Advertised as a comedy, it makes me recollect the frustration from reading Demonbane.
But alas, I was wrong.
It’s legitimately funny.
And strangely endearing.
Condensing an absurd love story, adding dragons and random Hirasawa Susumu lyrics into the mix, and allusions to the Norwegian mythos sound like a bad idea. All you can think is “What the fuck am I reading?”
It’s a work that doesn’t make sense and make sense at the same time. A FLCL, if you will. Just something crazy and clever. And like FLCL, it imparts on us lessons.
So what does Dra+Koi teach us?
It’s good to be high.
It’s good to have a crazy girlfriend.
It’s good to break the expectations of tradition.
If we analyze it, it’s a clever play on the expectations of a boy-meets-girl love story and the whole hero-kills-a-dragon story. It comments that romanticism is a good thing in this cynical world. So engage in some drugs and find some love.
I have no doubt this work will be overlooked as something trashy and fun to read during the weekends with friends; at the same time, I am mesmerized by the poetic endings. After all that craziness, it suddenly dived deep into a commentary on tradition and love. The last choices in the game take a lot of time to think about.
Thus, this is not the usual Nitro+ fare. You can expect chuuni writing, a lot of sex, and the such, but it’s a hopelessly romantic work. Dra+Koi is idealistic; maybe in this forsaken world, we can finally learn to love. And if we must break tradition to love, then do it.
Maybe I’m being VDZ and started exploring this work a bit too deeply. And the fact that I am high while writing this post.
But it is probably a truthful commentary on not just the world but Nitro+ itself. They’ve started releasing works that are just not dark and edgy anymore. Apparently, Urobuchi has learned what a “thank you” is during his work in Gargantia. They realize that love is something important. Even in their dark and edgy works, they touched that theme as some kind of hope.
There are many stories I wish I wrote them. They often empower me to be a better writer. If I ever write something like Dra+Koi, I would be a happy person. On drugs.