Shaman Warrior Vol. #05 (

By:Matthew Alexander
Review Date: Monday, March 31, 2008
Release Date: Friday, November 30, 2007

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Park Joong-Ki
Translated by:Taeson Kang / Derek Kirk Kim
Adapted by:Taeson Kang / Derek Kirk Kim

What They Say
Yaki strives to survive in the nightmarish Butcher Camp for assassins, left in the desert by Genji in order to both "toughen her up" and protect her from the leaders in Kugai who want her dead. Yaki is the daughter of Kugai's former military commander, Yarong, the powerful Shaman Warrior who was betrayed by his own general and king. With Yaki somewhat safe, Batu searches for Yarong's killer, the heartless Death Lord Yuda, and plots to bring the rulers of Kugai to their knees.

Batu and the young Shaman Warrior Horakaan seek counsel with the desert renegade Aragorn, who may be building an army against Batu's former homeland. Back in the brutal Butcher Camp stronghold, Yaki considers a daring escape when she gains a few allies of her own.

The Review
Now that Yaki has become tough enough to act as the Assassin's captain, things get really interesting.

Yaki's rescue from the Wrestler's camp completely changes her. Her captain goes missing, presumably as punishment for killing the Wrestler's captain, and the boy Nejo's attempt to help her weigh heavily on Yaki's mind. Add in the memories of all the people who have been hurt or killed protecting her up till now and something has to snap. Realizing she wants to protect those close to her turns her into a ruthless fighter, and leads to her becoming the Assassin's captain by her mid-teens. Very good character development here as the story jumps a few years.

It has taken Batu awhile, but he finally tracks down the General of the Kugai army. He is the man responsible for killing Batu's master and Yaki's father. Before Batu can attack the General on the streets of a small village, a beggar pulls him aside. The man turns out to be the Shaman Warrior, Horakaan. The political intrigue kicks into high gear as Horakaan explains the current power held by the General and his King results from killing the leaders of opposing clans through treachery. That and most of the Shaman Warriors are dead. Batu could care less, but he knows his best chance at killing the General will be to side with Horakaan and the Manutu Clan. He also knows his best chance at killing the General will be with the help of a trained assassin.

Much of this volume follows Yaki's adventures as an assassin for hire. Her character development and the power struggles within the Assassin's camp was a welcome addition to this stories somewhat convoluted political strife and brutal fight scenes. I also found it exciting to finally see what kind of fighter she has become, especially since her father was supposed to be the most powerful Shaman Warrior to ever live. The overall political struggle between the King and the surrounding clans has some rough spots in the storytelling, but various flashbacks help move things along. Now with the various characters of this series coming into contact all at once, it seems Batu may be close to achieving his revenge on the men responsible for Yaki's current lot in life, orphaned assassin. Oh, revenge can be so bitter sweet.

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: 12.95
Pages: 208
ISBN: 1-59307-859-1
Size: 5" x 7 3/8"
Orientation: Left to Right
Series: Shaman Warrior (aka: Dangoo)