He can't run! He can't eat hard food. You can't get any weaker than the boy named Hachimaru. But his dream is to become a samurai. For a boy who can't even survive without the help of his father, that dream seemed impossible. But when a samurai cat appears before him, his whole life will change! A legendary manga creator and a rising star come together to bring you this science fiction samurai epic!
Sometimes I wonder to myself why I haven't already dropped Samurai 8. So far, it fails to grab my attention. There are two reasons for this, its uninteresting narrative and confusing aesthetics. These two sometimes go hand in hand together making every read a Herculean task.
The first problem lies in the fact that Samurai 8 is essentially another bland battle shonen in terms of narrative. It lacks early Naruto's heart and ambition. Normally, I have great patience when it comes to such kinds of manga. Even with Black Clover's clumsy start, it managed to carve a niche and refined its narrative. For Samurai 8,
it's still an unknown but I trust Kishimoto on this.
Unfortunately, its aesthetic problems are far more sinister than its narrative troubles that it might be a deal breaker for this manga. I wish that Masashi Kishimoto was the one drawing this instead of Akira Ookubo. I was only able to follow other "generic" battle shonen because their art is as straightforward as their narrative. But for Samurai 8, it's potential for worldbuilding is pretty much stunted by the convoluted art. Reading Samurai 8 is not only a bore but its takes more effort to read than your average manga. There is no depth and shadows. It's hard to distinguish between character and background. It looks like a coloring book instead of a manga.
Unless there is a dramatic shift in the art, Samurai 8 might just be a missed opportunity for a compelling manga.
Before “Samurai 8” was even published, it was pretty hyped up. Not only the new series is presented as the Kishimoto san’s new work, but also being dedicated with a trailer of its own.
Thus, this brings to the most important question, is or will “Samurai 8” be as good if not better than “Naruto”?
For now, only until chapter 5, this question “does not have an answer” for a single important reason.
If one manga tries to build or pull off a universe of its own, it “requires time” for it to develop. “Samurai 8” might seem confusing and fast-paced at the moment; however, it is
alright though since this work’s predecessor did that exact same thing. “Naruto” speeded through its first chapter and still became a great manga.
Yet with that being said, there are evidence and reasons that make “Samurai 8” seem hella bright and promising so far.
!!MINOR SPOILER!! ▬▬ι═══════>
1. Within these four chapters, “Samurai 8” creates some elements such as mysteries and tensions that gives a great start for the story.
2. The art has the shadow of “Naruto” even though this new series is drawn by Ookubo san. Do not underestimate him! Since Ookubo san assists Kishimoto san in a huge amount of the storyboards from “Naruto”, his level of illustration is absolutely unquestionable. Judging from the depiction of the samurai that fought against Hachimaru, the male MC, he has the facial features that seem like the combination of the Second Hokage and Naruto~ Moreover, Ookubo san’s ability in creating the background is undeniable. You can check it out by yourself when you flip to chapter 2 pg 12 when Hacimaru is seating on his pet.
3. For character setup, it also has the shadow of "Naruto" as well. Hachimaru has the potential like that of Naruto and Daruma, a robotic cat, seems to take on a role like that of Jiraiya or Kakashi~
4. Personal Opinion: If Shounen Jump wants "Samurai 8", new series & new hope, to lift the pressure off from “One Piece” and the “Naruto” fans want it to be another great work, I believe that Kishimoto san, Ookubo san, and their manga production team will pour all their effort into delivering the best 20 pages (weekly) for their readers.
I am currently enjoying “Samurai 8”. But since it is still relatively new. I will give it a solid "Hachi" overall and “keep reading” to see how it grows! (ノ・∀・)ノ
Story: 6 (developing)
Art: 9.5 (might be confusing sometimes -0.5)
Character: 6 (developing)
This is a cursory review through chapter 5. The series is very young but there are already some glaring issues.
The positive is that it's a shonen manga written by veteran Masashi Kishimoto with art by Atsushi Ookubo, who does a good job emulating Kishi's art style. The fundamentals are there.
The story so far has potential but where exactly it's going is a mystery. Naruto wanted to be Hokage, Hachimaru wants to be a samurai. The difference is Hachimaru becomes a samurai right out the gate in chapter 1, so where to next? That said, I'm rating a 6 because what we are seeing is
going largely unexplained, which wouldn't be so bad but there is already so much being thrown at you that it just makes you think "What is even going on here?"
Related to my story gripes, I'm rating the art an 8 because the art is great, but is very busy, makes heavy use of white, and action sequences add to that feeling of "What is even going on here?" Someone says "Here's my attack!" then there's a couple panels of gobbledigook followed by the end result.
The characters are typical shonen characters. So far, the only ones of substance are MC Hachimaru (typical shonen protag) and his dad (knows more than he lets on). There's also a mentor character but they've yet to be fleshed out.
All in all, this series has legs, they're just the legs of a newborn deer. Coming from someone who wrote such a sprawling story in Naruto, I'd have expected more, but it's not bad enough to tap out before seeing a little more.
Something I've been waiting forever for, I love naruto, and trusted kishimoto with a new great WSJ manga.
What did I get? Nothing better than "Fine".
As for the story so far, it's nothing game breaking. Sci-Fi samurai with a generic main character and boring narrative, it's nothing new. I like the sci-fi part and think it can go in some very interesting and vast ways, but this review is set for the current.
Characters; like I said, nothing new at all and a typical shounen protag, will update when we learn more.
THE ART. It's not good. Maybe I'm being too
rough, but it's so disappointing how much the art degrades the experience. There is no shading, all you see is simple black and white. It's a puzzle to figure out what is the background, what is the characters and what the hell is happening in a fight when everything is just random bubbles. Trying to get myself to care for fights or the world when everything is basically a bubble or hard and distinguish is impossible. There are times where you get a nice double page of the town though, always appreciate that. The official scans are a LITTLE easier to understand if that helps, but still doesn't fix anything.
So far this is nothing worth your time, I'll be sure to update this if A) story becomes cool or B) the art randomly becomes better, but this review is for what I've seen so far and it's a steady 6