KageTora Vol. #07 (Mania.com)

By:Matthew Alexander
Review Date: Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Release Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Akira Segami
Translated by:Satsuki Yamashita
Adapted by:Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir

What They Say
Though sworn to protect and train Yuki, heir to the Toudou martial arts family, Kagetora has fallen in love with her - and the forbidden feelings are mutual. But when Nao Takatou, a talented archer and spunky tomboy, enters the picture, Kagetora finds himself thinking about another girl, much to Yuki's dismay.

The Review
Nao really has the hots for Kagetora now, but she can’t bring herself to the point of expressing her love to him. She decides to try to show her interest in a way without words. After a study session with Kagetora, Nao asks if she can sleep over because her parents are out of town. Kagetora can’t leave her on the street so he agrees and offers her his only futon. Nao will have nothing of it and demands he share the futon with her. Hmmm, I’ve seen this situation before. Does Kagetora assume she wants something and bust a move, or should he not jump to conclusions? Well, if you’ve been keeping up with this series you can probably guess the route Kagetora will take.

Time passes and the archery match gets ever closer. Nao better hurry up and make her move before she runs out of time. Unfortunately for her, even by the day of the match she still hasn’t expressed her love. Now Kagetora will go back to his normal life and they will no longer be able to spend extra time together. As a last ditch effort Nao comes right out and tells Kagetora she likes him in hope of continuing her Ninja Fairy Tale. Not surprisingly, he shoots her down and breaks her heart. Then he spends the next few days worrying about his decision.

This may be the final turning point for me in this series. Until now I’ve accepted the silly premise of a ‘servant/master love that can never be’ story as a means for the author to express his fascination for ninja tools. However, I am incredibly disappointed with Segami’s poor execution of this love triangle story with Nao. The idea of a love triangle sets up the possibility for a LARGE amount of conflict. Too bad this particular story sputters and dies before it even has a chance to bloom into wonderful emotional chaos. I would have preferred to see the author pull no punches and let the love/jealousy pick up speed before laying the boom on one of the three characters. To make matters worse, the extra story at the end of the volume tells a short story about one of Kagetora’s ancestors and how he acted as the oyakume for the Toudo master’s daughter. It’s sad to say, but I really preferred the characters in that story over Kagetora and Yuki. Oh well, I’ll just have to see what the next volume has going for it. And lastly the Packaging grad is really low because the spine is cut short and a large amount of dialogue is crimped.

Mania Grade: C+
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: C+
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 208
ISBN: 0-345-49146-6
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: KageTora