Mania Grade: C
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- Art Rating: B-
- Packaging Rating: B
- Text/Translatin Rating: B+
- Age Rating: All
- Released By: ADV Manga
- MSRP: 9.99
- Pages: 184
- ISBN: 1-4139-0081-X
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Left to Right
Sky Blade, Sword of Heavens Vol. #01
By Mike Dungan
July 24, 2004
Release Date: June 01, 2004
Sky Blade, Sword of Heavens Vol.#01
© ADV Manga
Writer/Artist:Story: Hyun Kang-Suk | Art: Ah Shin
Translated by:Trisha Eggleston
Adapted by:What They Say
Jih-Ro is destined to become the ruler of the land, but someone else shares his fate, a man born on the same day and at the same time as himself. As legend dictates, one man will die, and other will rule the land, so Jih-Ro must comb the country until he finds his counterpart, assuring his own place on the throne and escaping the grave. A task of this gravity will prove difficult, because this journey will determine more than the destinies of two men- it will decide the fate of an entire land.The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the blurb on the back of the book only mentions Jih-Ro, he's really a minor character compared to his counterpart, the amazingly stupid and clumsy Il-Geum. The story opens with a group of women fighters taking out a band of marauders, providing us with both action and pantyshots. Shortly after this battle, Il-Geum happens on the scene and takes a sword he finds there. What he doesn't know is that it's the Sword of the Crescent Moon, a very powerful weapon. Since he's wearing it when he walks into a tavern later that night, people assume he's the one who took out the marauders. He's only too happy to let them think that, since it means he can get free food and drink. At the tavern are Jih-Ro and the woman who killed the marauders, Soo-Ah "Emerald of Virtues" Baek. The rest of the marauders arrive and attack, but Jih-Ro uses extraordinary technique to kill them all without seeming to do anything at all. Meanwhile, the clumsy and cowardly Il-Geum manages to get Soo-Ah into more and more compromising positions until she vows to kill him, only to be stopped by Woon-Jung "Jade of Ice" Nahn, another very beautiful, very deadly fighter. Il-Geum's brand of charm backfires on him again, causing Woon-Jung to vow to kill him as well, which only leads to Woon-Jung and Soo-Ah to fight each other over who gets to kill him.
Meanwhile, in a seemingly unrelated story, a group of fighters travels to the Palace of Divine Goddessess, which certainly lives up to it's title. It's filled with nothing but beautiful women. They have sent a letter advising the leader of the fighters that they are going to kill him, and he's decided to take the fight to them. They are totally taken off guard when they're warmly received by the women who all fawn over them. When they come to their senses, it's left to the newest member of the group to fight all four of them. The fact that she's totally naked from taking a bath is only of minor concern to her.
Back in the main story, Soo-Ah and Woon-Jung nearly destroy the tavern fighting each other, but call a truce when they discover Il-Geum has snuck away. He finds yet another beautiful, deadly woman on his journey, who warns him that he belongs to her, and no other woman may have him.Comments
ADV offers us another martial-arts manwha with Sky Blade. The fanservice quotient is high, with plenty of beautiful women. Il-Geum's idiot personality is a bit tiresome, not being anything new. The art is solid, with stong linework and well composed pages and fight scenes. There is a slightly comic feel to a lot of it, as if the artist was a student of Osamu Tezuka of Astroboy fame. Backgrounds, when present, are well designed. In most cases, though, the backgrounds are not shown so as not to overwhelm the action.
The cover is a bit odd. The main art with Il-Geum and Soo-Ah weilding swords is fine, but there is a green band across the top, with nothing in it. It looks out of place, as if the original art wasn't tall enough and this was the most ADV could do with the extra space at the top.
ADV's art reproduction is adequate, helped by the heavier than normal artwork, and minimal screentoning. There is no real extras in this volume, not even translator's notes.
There's plenty of swordplay and fanservice, but with a tiresome and unoriginal main character like Il-Geum, not much else to recommend this title.