Saturday, March 30, 2013

Manga Review: Sengoku Nights, Volume 1, by Kaoru Ohashi and Kei Kusunoki

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Tokyopop
Volumes: 2
Spoilers?: No/Very Minor.
Buy it here: Amazon. (Out-of-Print)

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the creators of Diabolo When evil is resurrected, it's up to one boy to give them hell.At first glance, Masayoshi Kurozuka is an ordinary high school kid...until the day he discovers that he is the reincarnation of an evil woman named Oni-hime, who sold her soul to the devil during Japan's warring period. Masayoshi must come to grips with his gruesome destiny--while fighting off legions of ghosts, the remnants of men killed by Oni-hime! From the creators of TOKYOPOP's Diabolo comes a sinister and compelling horror story taken from traditional Japanese mythological roots.


I picked this two volume series up a while ago, mostly because I knew there were only two volumes, Tokyopop had recently closed and I wanted some of their completed series’, and I loved this authors’ other series, Diabolo. Diabolo was my first ever manga, it’s what got me to read more, I love it, and I hold it in a special place in my heart.
This volume wasn’t too bad, but I don’t think it’s going to be as good as its predecessor.
Sengoku Nights is about a boy, Masayoshi, who is the reincarnation of a woman, Oni-Hime. Oni-Hime/Masayoshi doesn’t remember the past for a bit of this book, but he has a demon working for him, Nozuchi. Although, Nozuchi was lovers with Oni-Hime and expects to be the same with Masayoshi, even if she’s now a he, Masayoshi wants none of that.
Oni-Hime locked up Nozuchi, as well as a whole lot of other demons and spirits in some mountain, but the mountain’s been sold and an exorcist set them all free, so now all of them are after Masayoshi for revenge. Including, in a surprising turn of events, Oni-Hime’s father, who is a horrible person although I’m not going to spoil why.
We meet the exorcist, who seems alright at first but is actually working against Masayoshi, and I’m sure we’ll find out why in the next book. There’s also Masayoshi’s friends, including a girl who is obsessed with all things supernatural but hasn’t seen any spirits or demons herself, and Masayoshi, I think, likes her but hasn’t told her about him being a reincarnation. Then there’s Grandma, a spirit who helps Masayoshi, although she isn't actually his grandma. Lastly, there’s Masayoshi’s parents, who we see very little of, but who I don’t really like. At all. Particularly his mother, who’s a bitch to her husband, even though he’s not much better because he never fights back.
One big downfall to this book were the obvious sexist elements. It’s possible that the remarks are probably only because of the time they are set in, as it was back when samurai’s were around, but still. I didn’t like it.
This was pretty much just alright. The artwork wasn’t bad, I liked seeing the similarities in the art to Diabolo (but mostly just because it’s nostalgic for me), the characters were alright, the story is alright. I have the next, and last, volume, and I plan to read it soon.

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