Sword of the Dark Ones Vol. #03 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 204
  • ISBN: 1-4012-0649-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Sword of the Dark Ones Vol. #03

By Julie Rosato     August 30, 2006
Release Date: October 01, 2005

Sword of the Dark Ones Vol.#03

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Story by Yasui Kentaro, Art by Kotobuki Tsukasa
Translated by:Akira Tsubasa
Adapted by:Jake Forbes

What They Say
The thrilling final volume! When Leroy Schwartz took down the head of the Crimson Despair Assassins Guild and reclaimed his long-sword Ragnarok, he thought his mission was done - but he was dead wrong! The sadistic vampire Charvert has captured Lena Northlight to use as a pawn in his master's hideous plans.

After 5,000 years of conflict, the Dark Ones will stop at nothing to annihilate humanity... even if it means becoming the very creatures they despise. Mankind's last hope is the weapon forged to defeat these creatures centuries ago: the sentient sword Ragnarok, Bane of the Dark Ones.

The Review
Leroy and Ragnarok have finally rescued Lena's sister Mana, who was being held hostage by Crimson Despair, but in the process discovered Cartel and Lena are being held captive themselves by the vampire Dark One named Charvert. Charvert faces off against the pair for revenge - not only against Leroy for all humankind, but against Ragnarok, the weapon responsible for the Dark One's undoing centuries ago. However, while battling Charvert turns into quite a challenge itself, he's not the real problem. Lena and Cartel are, after all, just bait in his master's plan to obtain Leroy.

You see, when fighting the humans proved too costly to the Dark Ones, they came up with a better plan - to breed them out instead! Behind it all is Ashgan, Cartel's father. Cartel, as it turns out is a half-blood, (hence his existential ponderings), but with the look of a Dark One could never be accepted in human society to carry out Ashgan's plan. Leroy, however, looks quite human and is therefore the perfect tool to do so. Appalled, Leroy seals his Dark One powers vowing to defeat Ashgan as a human, with only the sword forged by his kind thousands of years past. This volume, and in tune with the series as a whole, builds up a crescendo that climaxes in a tremendous battle which takes the strength of all the players still alive and Ragnarok's most prized ability to win.

In the end I could say there are questions left unanswered; we don't know much about Leroy's past, nor anything of his future. And how is that Ragnarok has a human form and why does Lena, an assassin, have a Heavenly Wolf for a partner? But these things aren't really important to the plot at hand and instead pique one's interest in reading the material from which this manga is adapted. If I had access to it, I know I would.

The art has held up consistently throughout the series and there is plenty of action to get caught up in here. I like how sometimes panels get spread out across both pages as it makes for some nice movement and reminds us to really look around at what's happening. CMX's production job for this volume is the best of the bunch; included again is the color poster and not only are most of the SFX translated, they're better integrated with the artwork/panels than before. By the time of this book's printing, the tight binding issue had been completely cleared up as well.

This was a surprisingly good series; I admit to have been drawn in by the coverart alone but in this case glad to have judged a book by its cover. Simply put, it's an attractive, well-told fantasy-action story. It remained entertaining and composed throughout all three volumes, and especially with the censorship issue from volume one cleared up, I have no problem recommending it to others.


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