Kuraki Fuzuchi is a quiet young man who has immense psychic powers and sword skills. He later meets Takeo Nanachi, a college student with similar latent powers. The story opens with Nanachi traveling to a small shrine in the mountains for a festival that only occurs every 49 years, in order to purify his (now deceased) grandfather's sword. There he meets Kuraki and later accidentally stumbles upon Kuraki's initiation ritual as a Shaman. From there on, their lives are inexplicitly intertwined as they encounter various ghosts, spirits, demons, and other characters with supernatural powers while the author also provides a parallel running story depicting their previous life.
Yakumo Tatsu follows Nanachi, a 21 year-old university student, who goes on a trip with his seniors to Izumo village. Why Izumo? Well, because the leader of this expedition wants to gather info for his new play with the theme of ancient Japan. But what they find there are suspicious villagers who want to kick them out, a teenager with hormonal mood-swings, closed-door witchcraft and-
RITUAL MURDER! Dumdumdah!
First of all, the art was mainstream. No details, a little lack of consistency and disproportionate mumbo-jumbo. It wasn't the shoujo sparkly-sparkle, big round lava-lamp eyes with omnipresent flower backgrounds, type of mainstream; it was the I’m-too-lazy-and-inartistic-to-have-stylised-illustrations type. Not
to say that it was terrible, but it wasn't anything to compliment either.
The plot of the manga was very much in-your-face; there wasn't any room really to think about any unusual or thought-provoking ideas, simply because the author didn't put any such ideas in the plot in the first place.
So much for story depth.
But if we look at the plot flow, you'd thankfully find no contradictions (YET! I'm not convinced) in the story, because it generally lifts from ancient folklore while adding a few original contributions from the author.
Still, the actual plot itself is very controversial to say the least.
For example, why- just, why, is the other main character, Fuzuchi, being petted and supported by Nanachi for FLIPPING KILLING HIS DAD! Huh?!
Where's the police, the authorities, the secret service?
Where the Hell are they?
And how come Nanachi is being sympathetic? Even worse, at one point he says (paraphrased): 'well, the only way for Fuzuchi to stay on the right path was for him to kill his dad and create a bond.'
Cause you know, he couldn't be bonded with his dad without killing him...
I mean, come on, this type of thinking should just get thrown in the trash or at least, get Nanachi thrown into jail.
What were you thinking, Author?!
To stop me from continuing to dissect the crap story content, I'll change the subject.
THE COMPARE OR DIE! COLUMN (Yes, another one!)
Yakumo Tatsu reminds me a lot of Tai Zi Ye (which sucks) with a bit of Selected Pandemonium (which is awesome) thrown in; I needn't remind readers of how much I hate Tai Zi Ye because I bet my hatred is just oozing out off your monitor.
Reader: Then, why didn't you drop this like a sack of mouldy mash potatoes after chapter 1, MazMaz?
To put it simply, dear reader, it's because of the mediocre art.
The only plus of Tai Zi Ye was it's completely, awesomely weird art which had created the right atmosphere to fully bring out the sick plot of the manga; thankfully (or unfortunately), Yakumo Tatsu's mainstream art saved it from never appearing on my dropped list.
A lot of the content can get really twisted, really fast (see above) but, I'd recommend this to people who can identify the bad and still keep going. The plot itself was fairly good and the art wasn't terrible; it's a good read if you're looking for just a good read.