Jan 21, 2019
tl;dr: A historical stealth action manga that is pretty solid in many ways, but doesn't seem to have aged well.
This is a manga based on Japanese history. To be quite honest, my knowledge of Japanese history is incredibly superficial, so I'm nowhere near qualified to judge how accurate of a depiction it is. However, the history as it is portrayed at least in terms of the politics and strategy involved seems realistic. There are times when it feels like it gets too wrapped up in this historical aspect and starts essentially info dumping in such a way that wouldn't be much different from what I would expect to find in a
history book, but overall this setting is quite interesting and portrayed very well. The various plots involved, some focusing on Hanzou and his abilities as a ninja, some focusing on Ieyasu and his tactical, political, and strategic moves, and most with them both playing a part to some extent were all pretty interesting with a good amount of intrigue involved. It also made the historical characters involved seem pretty interesting and worth further looking into. There were some major issues though. The pacing felt completely random, at times dragging on incredibly slowly and at times moving way too fast. And while the tricks, plots, etc. were interesting and suspenseful, the actual way they were portrayed felt lacking, in that I felt that I found the concepts of these much more interesting than actually reading through the manga's implementations of them. I think a pretty big part of that may be that this is an incredibly old manga, so based on the differences in art quality and based on how tastes in style have also changed since then, the art just looked terrible. But beyond that, there were other issues in that the panels used to convey scenes felt like they had a strange pacing to them showing things in a weird way, and furthermore there was a lot of superficial dialogue that didn't seem to have much point whatsoever, which just made the manga awkward to read, though once again, based on experience, such was common when this manga was published. Lastly, the manga ends at a completely random point, wherein historically the story of the characters definitely does go on, the manga just ends without any real resolution even attempted.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7
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