Kamunagara Vol. #04 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Release Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Translated by:Ogasawara Tony
Adapted by:Ogasawara Tony
What They Say
Hitaka Kugaya, scion of the Clan of the Sword, continues his battle to "purify" invaders from another dimension, although he has yet to regain his right arm, which has been consumed by the Holy Sword, Himuka.
One weekend, Hitaka's kendo coach, Haruka Narugami, takes him to meet her grandfather, a retired swordsmith. There they are shown a tanken (short sword) made from "Hihiirokane," the same material as Himuka.
Little do they know that they are being followed by two governmental "Directors of Ceremonies," the mysterious Amano and the Chief of Ceremonies' own daughter, Mizuha. But along the way, Amano and Mizuha are confronted by one of the Invaders, Yukue Noumi, who's after the tanken himself...
Hitaka's nightmares are beginning to come true. Not only is he and Kanata running for their lives on a regular basis, but he now has even more people wrapped into this mystery. Everywhere he goes someone is waiting for him. They come with monsters ready to kill. And when they are no longer capable of doing that, their enemies resort to theft or kidnapping. Hitaka's 'past' has caught up with him but he does not understand it all yet. He does not fully accept it yet either. Nevertheless, the Invaders wait for him to believe. They wait for him to help open the gates to allow their era to finally begin. Will he be able to end this Ceremony before it starts or will he be invited as the MC of this potentially chaotic event.
After four volumes I still do not know what exactly is going on in Kamunagara. However, because of the rush and thrill I get from each volume, I always seem to come back. Maybe I can compare this to watching a car accident for entertainment purposes. There is something wrong about both but I have to say it hits something primitive within my manga brain. What I find intriguing about this series is the desperation. These characters always seem to be chasing after or running away from something. The way Yamaura presents this situation I don't think the characters really know what or why either. So as frustrating as the writing can be, the confusion seemed normal. No, I think confusion was more integral to the slow development of a plot.
So is there a plot?
Amazingly there is one. It is as deceptive as the characters are, but under all this mayhem it is the supporting cast that fills in the gaps. Like a good bench and bullpen they bring a different game plan that must be strategized against. Their actions are driving this series through to its many peaks; pulling it out of the valleys of confusion. Moreover, as a reader, I felt I could live with moments of controlled chaos in manga form (even when the character designs make concerned about the casts blood pressure). If anything, I feel this title just does not work well in this dose size. Maybe 400pgs at a time would work. Details are revealed so methodically, it almost feels cryptic. So to get more story in one sitting might help.
Guess that's why I'll be ordering volumes five and six together soon.
Mania Grade: NA
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: AW Productions
Orientation: Right to Left