The title introduces the manhwa nicely, it is effectively about hunting Dragons and using their meat to create high quality, highly lusted after food which also has the benefit of providing a great amount of nutrition and energy. The exact setting hasn’t been introduced yet, but from chapter 0, it became obvious that Dragons have fallen to the level in which they are now able to be hunted down for their meat by the residents of the world in the current era. The main character is called Incia and she seeks to become the best “Dragon Chef” with the help of the Holy Sword, Kalsis, which she meets in this first chapter.
Firstly, thanks to Toriko and Shokugeki no Soma, the cooking genre has become something exciting to look forward to, so Dragon Recipe within the realms of the cooking genre with its hunting driven plot, has me quite excited and interested. The fact that Dragons are involved makes me even more excited. Dragons are fascinating, those majestic, grand beings, full of enigma and bursting with immense power and presence, they may be fictional creatures but they are captivating fictional creatures with such enchanting forms.
The story introduces itself with Incia as a child and on the brink of death due to starvation. She is saved by traveling chefs who intended to enter the cooking competition at the palace. One of the chefs uses their highly valuable Dragon meat to cook a dish capable of saving Incia from death. It is most likely due to this moment that Incia became so fascinated with cooking as well as Dragon meat and how invigorating it can be to a person’s health/life.
Fast-forwarding a bit, we are reintroduced to Incia when she is older and present in a town holding an event with the objective of pulling out a “Holy Sword” from a stone. The Holy Sword is called Kalsis and is unlike ordinary swords, this one has a “life”/”soul”/”consciousness” of its own. After having the sword boast how immensely powerful it is and how challengers from around the world over seven years were unable to succeed in removing the sword from the stone, Incia arrives with a hammer and chisel in hand. Completely flipping the script on how a person would normally carry out this challenge, Incia is able to succeed and meet the requirements of forming a contract with Kalsis. I am surprised no one thought of such a method during the seven years, but I guess no one was aware such a lateral way of handling the situation existed. This scene introduced Incia as quite the flexible thinking individual and one who didn’t constrict her thoughts within a “box”.
Kalsis herself in human form is quite the character, I definitely wasn’t expecting such a form after the boasting she had carried out earlier. Upon inquiring why Incia would need a Holy Sword, we are informed on Incia’s intentions of cutting a Dragon and requiring a sword capable of carrying out such an act. The cliff hanger to the chapter was Incia’s comment of her already having acquired a Kaiser Dragon, a dragon three times the size of normal dragons and the dragon revered as the Strongest Dragon amongst the Strongest Dragons, the “Bloody Grim Reaper”. The readers can most likely assume the Kaiser Dragon has already been subdued by Incia who was unable to harvest its meat due to her inability to cut it, this brings us to the present and why Incia needed Kalsis, a Holy Sword.
The fact that the story is starting off with such an unexpected development, the fact that Incia has already subdued the strongest Dragon, makes wondering how the story will develop from now on quite exciting. If the story is about Dragons and hunting them, it makes my mind wonder quite intensely why the strongest dragon was the first dragon to end up subdued. It is possible that Incia and the Kaiser Dragon came to a mutual respect for each other during their battle, which we have yet to see, and ended up forming a bonding. That would make more sense and allow for Incia to be an incredibly relevant character in this Dragon Hunting era. Kalsis’s past with her ex-master would also end up coming in relevance to Incia and her journey across this world.
One of the most notable aspects of Dragon Recipe is its art style and colouring (ELDO does a fantastic job with it). The use of lightening and white/brightness within the colouring gives Dragon Recipe such a unique appearance, one which demands your attention and causes your eyes to melt in its beauty, softness and detail. The art work and colouring are so sharp and centered you can’t help but not want to lose yourself in it. And even though it is only the first chapter, the personality of the characters as well as their emotion were conveyed nicely through the art.
Very much looking forward to next chapter and seeing what the Dragon Recipe is actually about.
Enjoymeny level: 9/10