Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol. #07 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-59182-543-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol. #07

By Jarred Pine     July 14, 2005
Release Date: June 01, 2004


Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol.#07
© TOKYOPOP


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Akimine Kamijyo
Translated by:Alexander O. Smith
Adapted by:

What They Say
Sasuke realizes that he and Kyo share more than murderous intent in their eyes ... they both two wield the same Muramasa sword. Soon the two engage in a brutal test to see who owns the true 'Tenro' sword fabled to have slain thousands. And while the competition heats up, emerging from the shadows is a ferocious foe from Kyo's past: Bikara, one of the generals from the battle of Sekigahara.

The Review
Packaging:
The cover art is the same artwork from the Japanese release, featuring Kyo and Sasuke brandishing their swords, with the only difference being the background. Instead of the plain white, the background is a faded forest that bleeds into the paper walls from previous releases. The cover is also glossy, which really makes Kyo, Sasuke, and their swords really stand out. The Tokyopop logo appears at the top, which I find much more stylish than the giant “KYO” logo found on the Japanese tanks. Volume number appears on a blood drop in the lower left corner, and the creator name is in the lower right. The back cover features a background illustration of Yukimura.

Inside there is a “Dramatis Personae” character chart at the beginning, two pages of “Kamijyo Circumstances”, and the appropriate chapter headers with character art. Extras include a character profile of Yukimura, a Q&A with with Kamijyo, and 3 pages of fan art, including a guest piece from Fumiya Sato. The print quality is solid and overall a very nice presentation.

Art:
Kamijyo’s strength is in his creative character designs. From the pretty bishie boys, to the curvy women, to the moe and the ugly brutes, it’s a wide range of different styles. They are clean and use a good mixture of both line and tone shading, looking really slick. Very stylish and easy on the eyes.

The background art is okay, although it is pretty much non-existent. The forest setting is hampering any great backgrounds from being drawn, as they are mostly a repeated pattern of murky trees. The action artwork is good, with nicely laid out panels, but I still wish there was more action and less posing.

Text/SFX:
The SFX are left untouched and are not translated, with no glossary, and that is about my only gripe. Honorifics are left in place, along with the cultural terms with a glossary provided. The names are kept in original format with last name followed by first name. The translation reads very nicely and carries the appropriate attitudes perfectly.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
Kyo and company continue their quest through the forests of Aokigahara in order to reach Kyo’s body, but they won’t make it far without running into more of The Twelve. This time the unlucky member who meets Kyo’s sword is Bikara, the giant brute that is a perfect combination of speed and power. Kyo and Bikara have a bit of a past between each other, and they now finish what they started 4 years ago on the battlefields of Sekigahara. Once again, Kyo gets pushed to the max and just when you think Kyo is down, he unleashes and awakens even more power to take care of Bikara.

It is definitely starting to feel a bit repetitive. Kyo takes on a member of The Twelve, he gets pushed even farther to his limits, gets more powerful, whoops ass, rinse, wash, repeat. The feeling of surprise is also gone, as the battle is pretty much straightforward with nothing really to keep me on the edge of my seat as I had been with previous volumes. Kyo is extremely powerful and is not going to lose until he reaches The Master, a battle which cannot get here soon enough.

There are a few interesting side stories developing, but this volume is missing all that soap drama, plot twists, and samurai espionage from previous volumes. If there was more to the opponents and the battles, they would be more interesting to watch unfold, but it just feels like standard fare here. I also don’t like how Yuya has pretty much been pushed to the background and is now being used as kidnap bait, being dragged across the Slope of Hell by Shidara, Antera, and Bikara. I enjoyed her more as a strong bounty hunter kicking ass with her gun and good looks.

The best part of this volume is the little side story where Benitora takes on Akira/Ajira. Akira is sort of the male version of Okuni, he is full of information and teases everyone as well as the reader with his little leaks. Akira ends up backing down from Benitora after he senses his strong animosity that stops Akira’s sword. Just how powerful is Benitora? I am waiting for him to unleash his true strength and Akira to finally have that showdown to the death with Kyo.

Comments
Kyo is slowly starting to lose it’s interest with me with this current storyline. It is dragging on a bit too long, feeling a bit recycled and stale, and lacks all that great soap drama and plot twisting of earlier volumes. There’s plenty of sword action and attitude, but I find myself wishing I had a fast forward button. It is also sad that Yuya has pretty much fallen into the background and is no longer that character she was at the beginning of the series. The Akira and Benitora side story is the most interesting, and so far they are the most interesting characters to follow through this arc. Something special needs to happen soon, otherwise it’s going to be a long ride until Kyo meets The Master. Still enjoyable, but leaves me a little frustrated.

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