"Middle Edo Period—One state becomes the gathering place for sinful martial artists, who believe in nothing other than power, know of no other way of life other than letting oneself go wild in the battle. That state is the Unabara State, the 'Haunt of Demons'..."
Washitzu Naosata, the ruler of the powerful state, Unabara, is looking for his successor. He calls upons all his 31 sons, and tell them to search for whoever they believe to be the strongest martial artist of all. Each of their chosen martial artists then are to fight against each other until only one is left standing. Whoever is the winner, whoever has the strongest martial artist in nation by his side will become his successor...
Out in the midst of the mountain is the doujo of the "Daigame Ryuu" (Giant Tortoise Style). There lives Kurogane Gama, the son of the legendary swordsman, Kurogane Jinsuke, who is believed to be able to kill 1000 martial artists in Unabara. There, one of the son of Washitzu Naosata, Washitzu Naoshi, comes in search of the legendary swordsman, only to find that he had gone missing several years ago. After seeing the battle style of Gama, he instead chooses to ask Gama to come with him. Wanting to become stronger, Gama agrees to his offer, and that marks the beginning of Gama's battle to become the strongest of all ...
Gamaran, while following the typical shounen formula of someone yearning for power who happens to have a mysterious/famous father, has much more going on underneath the surface than appears at first glance.
The story itself seems very familiar at first, as a young boy tries to become a martial arts master in order to defeat some grand arch-enemy and even enters a competition to try to hone his skills. However, the setting of Gamaran adds another layer to this much-repeated story and draws the reader back in time with many historic subtleties to a time when swords ruled Japan and martial arts were the epitome of warfare. Additionally, the description of how each martial technique works with some realistic logic (and some not so realistic obviously) is still intriguing and demonstrates the author's passion for the weapons and martial arts of Japan's past.
For a manga such as this to work, detailed artwork needs to show off the moves and the weapons of every character so that any following explanation actually makes sense. The drawing itself is not overly unique, but it is done well enough that the reader is occasionally caught off guard by the artistry of the page he/she is looking at.
The main characters have detailed histories that are revealed as time goes on and each one has their own main antagonist, which helps spread the focus away from Gama, although not in a way that takes away from his central role. The teamwork aspect adds a nice touch as they can teach one another and work together to defeat enemies. A lot of information is also revealed about main antagonists, giving the series even more depth. The variety of techniques and weapons also add a nice touch to both protagonists and antagonists.
I happen to love shounen stories and this one satisfies my every urge. Staying realistic is a nice touch, especially with the explanations and the historic element only gives it more bonus points.
Definitely a great manga and one of my current favorites. read more
The story is quite original, a martial arts competition where fighting styles are pitted against each other to find out which style reigns supreme. The art however, is not something to be bragged about. The faces are quite similar and emotions could use some working on. The characters however, are very original and suggest that the author should change the art to enhance the enjoyment of the storyline. The enjoyment was okay, but felt that it could make a bigger impact.
The manga is quite fast, things constantly happen and it doesn't feel like it's getting slower and boring, it's moving forward and it doesn't waste time with useless training for a long time just for one fight, the mangaka understands that people don't read an action manga for the training but for the fights, and there are a lot of them.
The action is great as the fights seem to be realistic, they're fast and decisive, they don't keep on for many chapters and are well executed. It also helps that the fights are diverse enough, not only between the different characters but the same characters won't win all the time, they are well thought out tactical and situational fights.
The characters are all great and there are a lot of them, all interesting with their backstories and motives and they are all different enough.Gama isn't afraid to kill, he does it because he understands what a fight for survival entails, but don't get me wrong.. he's not a savage blood thirsty monster that only wants to kill to seem likehe is badass, he will avoid doing so if not necessary, it's just that he will kill when he has to.
All the supporting characters have their charm and are awesome in their own way, the manga just feels epic, and I'm not just saying epic because people spam it at the moment whenever they like something but I really get excited for the fights, to see the progress of the characters and what they'll do.
The art is good, above your average manga, it has a lot of detail and the action is well drawn, the characters are unique and their appearance suits their personality and all around there's little to complain when it comes to the art, because one can understand the battles.
I really do recommend this to anyone that likes battles with swords and amusing fights without many fillers and aquick pace.The story is quite generic but it is well written and paced and just flows nicely.
Feel free to express your opinion about this review and don't hesitate to comment about your opinion. :)read more
Before I start: This is my first review, so it’ll be not something perfect. If you read it, I want you to feed me back so I can write next one better.
I can desribe Gamaran with only one phrase: A complete blast of action. No unnecesarrily complex pilot, no emotional breakdowns, only ever-changing action and fighting. It makes Gamaran the apex of perfection in shounen action/fighting series in my opinion. When I see “action” and “fighting” in genre section, I want to see some real fighting but most of modern shonen “fighting” series are full of other things than fighting. But Gamaran is sincere; it’s a fighting series and it gives you fighting. Nothing more, nothing less. I love this side of the series.
Let’s talk about fights in Gamaran. They are perfectly fictionalized. Nakamaru Yousuke-sensei is aware that in ancient Japan, duels are concluded in several swings since duelists didn’t wear armour and this fact is reflected really well in Gamaran. Also, Nakamura-sensei makes us feel that he has a considerable amount of knowledge about ancient weaponry and not only Japanese ones. You can see it description of weapons in series. It takes Gamaran one step away from its peers. Like all shounen fighting series, Gamaran also has some “supernaturality” but somehow it also has some reality. And since fights are relatively short, we always see new fighters and different fights. It makes Gamaran less boring.
Even though there’s no significant character in Gamaran, characters are still ok. They don’t have complex personalities but they make the reader feel they are alive. And as a reader, I don’t expect complex characters in a shounen fighting manga. I advise you not expect it as well.
All in all, Gamaran is really worth reading. This series is a perfect example of how a shounen fighting manga should be: short and full of ever-changing action. read more