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The Tiger Won't Eat the Dragon Yet Volume 1 Review


Volume 1 cover for Tiger Won't Eat the Dragon Yet

Publisher Summary


Dragons are as valuable as they are rare. It’s said their meat tastes exquisite, their blood can heal any wound, and their hearts grant immortality when consumed. A tiger is lucky enough to capture one, but as she’s about to devour the beast, she pauses—he’s much too young to make into a meal. The tiger decides to raise the dragon herself, and it turns out there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is it simply natural instincts that draw the predator and her prey to each other, or is it something greater...?


Author: Hachi Inaba

Translator: Giuseppe di Martino

Letterer: Greg Deng


Background

 

The Tiger Won't Eat the Dragon Yet is a manga series that runs in Kadokawa's Harta magazine in Japan (the same magazine that ran Delicious in Dungeon and Migi & Dali). Yen Press announced the series getting licensed in English on October 2023.


Review

 

At the start, the series shows you that this is survival of the fittest. Dragons are very rare with rumors that their meat tasting incredible while their blood can heal any wounds. A Dragon (he doesn't have a name so we'll refer to him as Dragon) gets wounded by a Tiger (also, no name, so we'll refer to her as Tiger). Dragon convinces Tiger to let him eat and get fat so he would be a better meal, postponing being eaten. This begins Tiger's and Dragon's relationship.


Dragon falls under the "smart and pretentious" archetype. He knows he can outsmart Tiger and does so for his and her benefit. A notable example was the deal to be eaten when he's been fattened up. The "trick" is that dragons live for a thousand years so it will take centuries before he would get into that state. Tiger would be dead before that point. He can be self-serving, which makes sense in the context of this setting being the wild. There is no civilization or humans around. You have to survive by any means.


With that said, there are times where he pushes Tiger to do or be better. One such example is when Tiger asks him about his age and whether he'll live longer than her. Dragon criticizes her saying that she believes everything others tell her instead of thinking for herself. He could have easily let her live in the lie but chose to give her advice that will help her throughout her lifetime.


Tiger can be summed up as naive. She only cares about the hunt and getting her next meal. Encountering Dragon has helped her be a better person (or should I say animal). Tiger continues to protect "her prey" Dragon, but you can tell she has developed a sense of kinship with him. While Dragon runs on planning, Tiger runs on instincts, being more "in the moment".


I think the art is incredible. The action scenes are fluid and easy to follow and the finishers capture the brutality that you would see in a nature documentary.



Tiger and Dragon facing off. Tiger wants to eat Dragon and is waiting to pounce


The series is a slow burn. The reader is getting to know Dragon and Tiger, how the world works through their eyes, and how their bond develops. I like that the story doesn't lay out the worldbuilding but makes the reader figure things out and come to their own conclusions.


Some might be concerned with the relationship between Tiger and Dragon throughout the volume. To me, it seems like the perception of the relationship is different between the two. Tiger sees this more as a close friendship or kinship while Dragon perceives Tiger as a substitute for his mother who caused him childhood trauma. There are scenes that can be perceived as odd or awkward to the reader, but nothing overtly explicit.


I didn't have anything in the volume that I disliked although nothing else significantly stood out to me other than the art. The characters are fine, but didn't capture me. I was more interested in the world itself and how things worked over their relationship dynamic.


Final Thoughts

 

If you're looking for a slow burn fantasy that focuses on animals surviving in the wild, this is a good pick up. You can read a chapter and take time to reflect on your experience. However, the characters aren't anything unique nor is there an overarching plot that the leads are striving towards confronting and/or resolving.


Verdict: Buy it on sale


The Tiger Won't Eat the Dragon Yet Volume 1 from Yen Press is now available at all retailers

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