Emperor\'s Castle Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Netcomics
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 176
  • ISBN: 1-600-0905-83
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Emperor\'s Castle Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     January 24, 2007
Release Date: December 01, 2006

Emperor\'s Castle Vol.#02
© Netcomics

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kim SungMo
Translated by:Michael Han
Adapted by:Michael Han

What They Say
Chunhoo rescues his son Sukgi from his death sentence only to discover that the decades have finally caught up with him. His son despises him for his mother's fate and all the lost years. Chunhoo reveals to him the secret story of how he learned Shi-Nan-Joo. He tells of the tragic fate of his martial arts master Yoshi and the hunt for the mysterious enemy that took his eye, a masked man with no name or trail who wields the power to defeat Shi-Nan-Joo.

Meanwhile, the warden of Sukgi's prison lets loose the Blood Demon Guh-Ryong, his deadliest prisoner, to avenge the shame of Sukgi's escape. Stunned by the loss of the Kito Brothers, the Imperial household of Japan contracts the two deadliest fighters in Japan to hunt down father and son and slay them where they stand. With new enemies on their trail, Chunhoo and Sukgi hide in the red light districts of the outer provinces of Korea, a cesspool of forbidden carnal pleasures.

But, the strength of the Nihon Saikono Warrior can't be hidden for long, even so far away from the cities, and Chunhoo must choose between keeping his secret and saving the life of the son who hates him.

The Review
It's a prison break and the Emperor himself has come to retrieve his son from clutches of a misguided justice system. Sentenced to death Goo Sukgi thought he not have a chance left but a father he never meet is giving him a reprieve. Once freed, he quickly comes to the realization that escaping from prison and death may bring a life filled with many more horrors than he saw in jail.

Sukgi had to deal with the possibility of death. There is nothing more frightening than that. However, in a criminal justice system there are ways to forestall death from behind bars. Outside there are way too many variables to deal with if you are a marked man. And if being an escaped convict was already risky, he now has to deal with an ?gEmperor?h in his life. There goes the idea of any freedom. Pick your poison Sukgi, jail and the death penalty or serving the Emperor who also has a price on his head!

The Emperor believes he has the skills of a god. He has no fear and no apprehension to anything. He always feels he knows best and so far his actions have lived up to his own hype. The Emperor knows nothing but success but right now with additional baggage he is uncharacteristically on edge. Sukgi is baggage right now. He is unknowingly holding his father the Emperor back. And pride is making it very difficult for Sukgi to see how much authority and respect just the aura of an emperor has over the people. Luckily the rest of the public can see it and they force the notion down Sukgi's throat when they prostrate themselves before his father. Yeah, who is the king?!!

Lord it doesn't get much more seinen than this. Volume two of Emperor's Castle starts off with a prison break and then moves in two directions - hiding in a red light district and Kang's ascension to Nihon Saikono Warrior. While living amongst the prostitutes and pimps, Kang's attitude and strength command respect that can only be called international. People stare at him with awe for his very presence represents power. As a reader, I memories of Freeman come to mind. Kang has an icy gaze that can force men down to their knees and make women say "I just want to do it with him!" (taken from chapter four). The influences from Japanese and Hong Kong mafia films are also clear. So for someone looking for hardboiled story-telling with style and attitude, this one seems to have the right stuff for success.

One point about the translation though... Nihon Saikono Warrior? Hmm?! Nothing to ruin the experience but is their such a thing as Koenhongo (Korean/Japanese/English)? That just seems to be off in at least one language.


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