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Thunderbolt and Lightning

RuriDragon, Issues 6 to 12

By Masaoki Shindo 

1 May, 2024


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Masaoki Shindo’s RuriDragon (Japanese: ルリドラゴン, Hepburn: Ruridoragon) is a Japanese modern-day manga series. Originally a one-shot published in Shueisha’s Jump Giga magazine in December 2020, RuriDragon was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump starting in June 2022.

Due to Shindo’s ill-health, the manga was placed on hiatus after six issues. In March 2024, new installments began appearing on the Viz website.

Ruri’s plan to sleepwalk her way through high school was complicated by the appearance of two razor-sharp horns on her head, the unexpected discovery midclass that she sometimes breathes fire, that she heals surprisingly quickly, and Ruri’s mother’s off-handed revelation that the three previous discoveries are due to the fact that Ruri’s father is a dragon.

Having come to terms with fire-breathing and the horns, Ruri is confronted with another unexpected draconic ability.

Ruri and her classmates are startled when Ruri is suddenly surrounded by static electricity discharges. These disappear as swiftly as they appeared. Unlike her first breath of fire, Ruri neither injures herself nor any of her classmates. Still, it’s the sort of event that is worth mentioning to her mother.

The static discharges are likely a side-effect of another emerging draconic trait1, the ability to summon lightning. Despite Ruri’s mother’s calm demeanor, there is cause for concern. Lightning is potentially destructive, not something Ruri should do at school. At the same time, letting the charge build up indefinitely could impair Ruri’s health.

Ruri is the first known human/dragon hybrid2, so Ruri is in uncharted territory. The only option is to experiment with various coping mechanisms to see what works and what does not. An anti-static bracelet seems to contain the sparks, but more extreme measures are needed to grant Ruri control over her draconic traits.

To Ruri’s intense displeasure, her mother’s first idea involves vigorous exercise. Being stupendously lazy, Ruri avoids physical exertion. To make matters worse, her mother reveals that she is an adept athlete, easily defeating Ruri in every sport the pair try.

Back in school, Ruri is confronted with another inexplicable development. Classmate Maeda seems cool. It would not be misleading to say that Maeda actively dislikes Ruri. Ruri and Maeda have never interacted so what could Maeda possibly have against the half-dragon?


In keeping with the manga’s general tone of sustained reasonableness, while I won’t explain the nature of Maeda’s grudge against Ruri, it’s a perfectly reasonable grudge, one that has nothing to do with Ruri’s being mixed-race and everything to do with Ruri being Ruri.

The adults around Ruri display an amusing combination of pragmatism, calm, and indolence. When Ruri begins shedding sparks in class, her homeroom teacher pauses briefly to ask if Ruri thinks she is going to die, then carries on with the lesson. Ruri’s mother only deals with the repercussions of Ruri’s draconic traits as they come up, rather than stressing Ruri with a heads-up about potential abilities that have yet to complicate Ruri’s life.

Sustained calm and applied pragmatism is admirable; the lack of bigotry is a refreshing change. But the calm may be fragile. What if Ruri’s electrical powers had manifested in the form of an actual lightning bolt? What if another student had been hurt badly or killed? What if the school had been leveled? I don’t think people would have been calm then.

The good news is the latest installments are as well drawn and enjoyable as the first six. The bad news is that now that I’ve discovered that they exist and have archive-binged the latest episodes, I will have to wait for the creator to deliver more. But at least there will be more.

Ruridragon is available here (Viz). Online only, as far as I can see.

1: We are told that there are nine draconic traits, which Ruri’s mother mentions only when they become relevant. So far, Ruri has experienced three or four: the horns (plus fangs and odd pupils), the fire emission, and the lightning. Healing may also be another trait or simply a necessary secondary power needed survive traits like fire and lightning. Flight is another possibility. That accounts for four or five so lots of room left for surprises.

Speaking of possible surprises, emissions from other orifices can also manifest as fireballs. This may be hard on the school and household plumbing, not to mention Ruri’s skirts. Ruri’s classroom status is very lucky that her fire production manifested as fire-breathing, because I bet there is less social allure in being the girl whose fart incinerated the desk behind her.

2: You may have questions about how exactly Ruri’s mother hooked up with a dragon. Dragons in this setting are the size of school buses and in no way humanoid. This is addressed in the one-shot manga that preceded the manga. Or rather, the question is raised and then dodged by both Ruri’s mother and Ruri’s father.