By the artist of "Fujimi Orchestra," this manga version of the popular Heian period novel focuses on Senjumaru, a chigo at the Nyorin temple of Saga. Young and beautiful, Senju has to withstand constant abuse of conceited monks. However, his teacher and head patriarch of the temple helps Senju escape from their clutches, leaving him with a letter of release. When a government official, Fujiwara Moroe, saves Senju from his pursuers, Senju vows to serve him in return for his kindess. In this story of blossoming young love, will Senju and Moroe be able to show their true affection for each other?
I have read this Manga mainly because of the historical background and am a bit disappointed in that aspect.
While we get to see a bit of the political situation related to Senju, an abandoned Child who might just be related to the Fujiwara clan, the main focus of this Manga is clearly the romance between Moroe and his servant Senju.
The Monks from the temple that Senju grew up in pursue him for his beauty while his fellow chigo resent him for it, Senju struggles throughout the whole Manga to retain his virginity...
....That is to say, while the storyline certainly had some potentially interesting
aspects, it was (in my opinion) overall lacking, as the Manga was too short to expand the political intrigue and solely focused on Moroe's quite intense love for Senju.
The story is concluded by a short rescue mission of the Monk who saved Senju, it might be the "climax" - it is anticlimactic; the climax is short and proceeds with almost no incident; it resolves itself too quickly and no suspence is build up.
Afterwards, the remaining issues pertaining Senju's linage are covered in a short conversation; it's quite disappointing.
We mainly get to know three characters, Senju, Moroe and Narihira.
While Narihira is pretty interesting and shows several facet's that I would expect from a noble, such as flowery language, and his behaviour towards Senju in their first meeting, etc., Moroe seems often unrefined and barely adds to the historical feel. He could have just as well been starring as a business man while behaving the same way and none would have complained.
Senjumaru is erratically mature and innocent. This might be expected of a young child brought up the way he was; he lacks knowledge in certain areas (such as sexual intercourse), but is educated in caligraphy and understands the consequences of most of his actions. Still, I wouldn't call his character impressive, and certainly not something I would recognize as a main character.
I might even go as far as to call him "uninteresting" or "boring"; he does not take action but mainly reacts the world around him--.
Overall-- I rated this Manga " fair"; it's not bad, but it leaves much to be desired-- it has pretty art and the story is, while not perfect, still enjoyable enough to give it a quick try.
If you like historical Manga, you might want to try it-- it's not a very deep story, but it was sweet in it's own way.
It contains some smut as well, but it was not the main theme, so you might be unsatisfied if that is your main concern about this Manga.