Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol. #10 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 216
  • ISBN: 1-59532-450-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol. #10

By Jarred Pine     August 29, 2005
Release Date: December 01, 2004


Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol.#10
© TOKYOPOP


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

What They Say
Death, Duels and Decapitation

In the eerie calmness, Kyoshiro and Nobunaga battle in an unbelievable state of tranquility. As the onlookers observe the two masters rendering the same deadly sword technique, the floodgates of Kyo's spirit and the Gates of Hell open, revealing a devious and deep secret. One thing's for sure: Heads are going to roll!

The Review
Everything is building into quite a nice climax here as it seems that Kamijyo is finding that magic again with this great shounen historical fantasy.

Packaging:
The covers continue the same format as previous releases, using the terrific looking Japanese artwork over the new bamboo forest background. The first printing this time does not use the glossy character/logo art over the matte finish. Instead the whole cover is more of a semi-glossy finish that doesn’t look quite as sharp. The print job looks great with sharp tones, but there are quite a few instances of alignment problems that cut off text. Extras include a couple chapter insert extras, more reader artwork, and strip manga from the staff. Overall, a disappointing step down presentation-wise from previous volumes.

Art:
Like I have said previously, I really enjoy Kamijyo’s character designs. They are full of personality and energy, with most of them being very good looking as well. Background art is pretty much minimal, although I noticed once they story moved out of the forest and into the town it seemed to have gotten better. Maybe I was just sick of the murky woods. Not too much action in this volume, but what is there is still pretty average.

Text/SFX:
SFX are not translated and there is no glossary for them, which is about the only strike against this title in this category. The names retain their honorifics, cultural terms are left in place with a glossary at the back, attack names are in Japanese with sometimes English translations accompanying them. The dialogue also reads quite nicely, keeping up the attitude as well as being clear on all the revelations and group names.


Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
The battle between Kyo/Kyoshiro and Nobunaga comes to a close, with not quite a bang but definitely not a whimper, and as expected the quest for Kyo's body will continue. Though Kyoshiro may win the battle, the true fight continues to be with Kyo inside of him. For a while it seemed as though Kyo was the stronger one keeping Kyoshiro at bay, but it looks as though Kyoshiro might have more control over his body than was let on. He seems to be content with letting Kyo continue his quest, taking over when the situation requires his presence.

Even though the battle with Nobunaga is over for now, the quest for Kyo's body begins from square one. Akira, as expected, makes off with Kyo's body and heads to Kyoto. Shindara, along with Antera and Makora (Kotaro), takes Nobunaga's head and travels deep into the heart of the forest where the Mibu Clan resides, the ones who were responsible for Nobunaga's previous resurrection. The Aokigahara story arc comes to a close, and as I look at where these characters are now from when they started this quest, they have definitely gone through a good amount of development. Yuya has probably changed the most after finding out her brother's murderer was Kyoshiro. She continues on with the quest, but is conflicted with many emotions and will wait to be able to talk to Kyoshiro to find out the truth. Kyo has also changed, no longer the emotionless thousand-man killer of legend, but a man who is able to have friends and protect them.

As the journey begins anew, the cast gets some nice downtime from all the action which provides some funny fanservice scenes including our favorite peeping tom, Benitora, and of course all the new revelations to push the story forward. It's hard to talk about what happens without spoiling everything, but after the battle the flood gates are opened and the twists and turns just pour onto the pages. It can feel somewhat overwhelming at times, as the twists do come in bunches and it is hard to keep straight who knows what, but the constantly changing dynamics and soap-opera style drama really do make for a fun read.

Comments
The Aokigahara story arc finally comes to a satisfying close, and as expected the quest for Kyo's body begins anew. It's great to see how the characters and the dynamics between each other have developed. All these characters are outlaws or castaways from powerful families, each one friends with the other but also using them for their own goals. The new plot twists and revelations in this volume continue to propel the story forward and keep it extremely interesting. You never know what is going to happen at each turn of the page, so I definitely give props to Kamijyo for creating such an engaging experience to go along with the posturing bishie boys with their swords.

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