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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Manga Review: Ooku: The Inner Chamber, Volume 11, by Fumi Yoshinaga



Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Signature (VIZ Media)
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Volumes: 12+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 10.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In Edo period Japan, a strange new disease called the Redface Pox has begun to prey on the country's men. Within eighty years of the first outbreak, the male population has fallen by seventy-five percent. Women have taken on all the roles traditionally granted to men, even that of the shogun. The men, precious providers of life, are carefully protected. And the most beautiful of the men are sent to serve in the shogun's Inner Chamber...

Tokugawa Harusada connived for years to place her son in the shogun’s seat, and now she’s enjoying holding all the reins of power while Ienari is relegated to breeding duties. But while his mother sees him as nothing but a mindless stud horse, Ienari has been reading The Chronicle of a Dying Day and dreaming of a better future for his country—one free of his mother’s increasingly cruel control.

Review:

I have not read any of the previous volumes in this series, and this is typically not something I would pick up.
I’ve read a few other books by Yoshinaga, and I do like her artwork and storytelling. It’s pretty and realistic, very expressive and subtle, with some nice humor mixed in when needed.
I’m not a historical fan, so I will say that I didn’t fully enjoy the story line. Not having read the previous books, I was also a little lost in the story line, and had a hard time following a few times. There wasn’t any catch-up at the beginning, though.
I did like some of the humor, and the way that women are seen as the powerful, strong ones in society. That’s such a different vision than most have. I also liked how the fathers doted on their children, even if some of the sexual relations I didn’t like, what with some of the guys sleeping with a lot of women. I was also intrigued, and rather horrified, with Harusada’s character and underhanded scheming.
This was an interesting volume. I can see why a lot of people like it, especially fans of historic fiction, even if it’s not really for me.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

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