Ka Shin Fu Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 178
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-749-4
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Ka Shin Fu

Ka Shin Fu Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     March 27, 2008
Release Date: October 31, 2007

Ka Shin Fu Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Makoto Tateno
Translated by:Vivien Chien
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
The Kourenji Family, a wealthy Japanese empire, is looking for an heir to its massive wealth. The two candidates, Karou and Ryuugo, are fighting for the position. But as they two pit their strength against each other, Kaoru starts to show another side of himself. It seems he might be more interested in winning Ryuugo than the family fortune...

The Review

This book has DMP's standard large trim size and full color dust jacket. The print quality is very nice, with sharp lines and dark blacks, while the paper quality is better than most. I have no complaint on the packaging front when it comes to DMP's books.


Tateno's art is gorgeous, all clean lines, sharp chins, and sweeping hair over brooding eyes. Pretty boys aren't all she does either, which is a nice change of pace. Old women, young women, older men who aren't the flowery BL standard - there's plenty of variety here, and little chance of getting characters confused. Her panel layouts are standard but work very well, and she makes good use of backgrounds.


All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original. The translation flows smoothly without any rough spots.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

The elderly matriarch of the Kourenji family is searching for the next heir to the family fortune. By tradition, the heir is a direct descendant of the family ancestors, leaving cousins (and former lovers) Shuu and Yuuichi the most likely candidates. But their grandmother Masami's favored candidate, Mitsuko, is from the wrong side of the family, so she decides that the new heir will be the child of Mitsuko and either Shuu or Yuuichi.

When that plan falls apart, Masami waits twenty years before attempting to select a new heir. By this time Mitsuko's son Kaoru is old enough to be the new head of the family, but there's another candidate - the dark and moody Ryuugo. The shock of having two boys to consider leaves Masami in a coma, and the next head of the family undecided.

Ryuugo and Kaoru each have their own motives for coming to the Kourenji house, and their mere presence seems to be enough to shake loose some long-buried family secrets. In the end, the two reach their own peace with the Kourenji family, but not in the way you might imagine. Can the two of them find peace and escape the past together?

After finishing this I honestly wasn't sure what to think. The time jump was confusing, especially with so little time given to Shuu and Yuuichi's relationship. With the way the book started out, it felt like they should have been the focus, rather than sending them to the sidelines. And the final chapter with the two of them so aged was just odd. Still, Ryuugo and Kaoru were an unusual couple, and Kaoru especially had more depth than your average BL character, although not everything about his personality rang true.

The political situation was odd, with twists that came seemingly out of nowhere and felt more like tacked-on plot points than a natural development. This is a pretty book, but it really could have been so much more.


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