Sunday, September 27, 2015

Manga Review: Kaze Hikaru, Volume 23, by Taeko Watanabe

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Volumes: 37+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 22.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the 1860s in Japan, a new era is dawning. During this time fraught with violent social upheaval, samurai of all walks of life flock to Kyoto in the hope of joining a band of warriors united around their undying loyalty to the Shogunate system. This group became one of the greatest (and most infamous) movements in Japanese history...the Shinsengumi!

Sei is badly injured when she rescues Shoji in a surprise attack against the Shinsengumi. Though she seems to be recovering, Shoji is haunted by the incident and Sei’s role in saving his life. His behavior is so unreasonable that Saito threatens to revoke his role as Vice Captain! Meanwhile, Captain Kondo returns from a disappointing trip to Hiroshima…little does he know that some of his closest confidants are conspiring against him!


I tend to stay away from historical books, just because I’m not a fan in general. I’ve tried reading some, but I have a hard time getting into them. This book surprised me.
Thankfully, the synopsis at the beginning of the book filled me in enough to get into this book, what with not having read any of the previous volumes. Clearly there were a couple important incidents that I’d missed, but this volume was relatively easy to follow.
And while it is historical, with clearly labeled dates and political dynamics, it’s also a comedy. There are serious moments, with fighting and remorse, and Okita starts getting depressed in the first half, but there’s also a lot of joking around, moments where the characters are laughing and teasing each other. I liked the budding romance between Okita and Sei, and the modesty they have with each other, which makes sense for the time period.
It also seemed like the author really knows the time period this is set in, which is good.
I was surprised by how enjoyable this volume was, and I liked the main characters. And even how some of the side characters seemed to be changing.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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