In the dawn of the Meiji period, the Gokumonjou, an inescapable prison, has been established in the middle of an enormous lake to counter the soaring crime rates the new era has brought. Serving as the ferrymen are the famous Kumou brothers: the eccentric family head, Tenka; the reckless but noble second son, Soramaru; and the guileless youngest, Chuutarou. In spite of their grim work, the three lead relatively peaceful lives in the ever-cloudy town of Oumi, together with their housekeeper, Shirasu Kinjou.
But buried in the long history of Oumi is the legend of the terrifying "Orochi," a serpentine beast that awakens every three hundred years in a human vessel. Unbeknownst to Soramaru and Chuutarou, the actual job of the Kumou family is to seal the Orochi away before it fully revives—or the world will be plunged into destruction. Amid the monster's next resurrection, the Kumou family must find the resolve to keep laughing under the clouds.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Volume 1: Utakata ni Warau (2 parts)
This is my first review, but seeing how this manga doesn't have one yet, I thought I'd give it a shot.
Hope I can do this awesome series justice.
Story (10/10) - On the surface this Donten ni Warau is mainly about the three Kumo brothers who are in charge of transporting prisoners to the inescapable lake prison. But this is only the beginning of it. It quickly becomes evident that the story has much more to it than that and the reader gets to quickly see the plot unravel chapter by chapter. Even though there aren't many chapters yet, already it is evident that
all the characters are related in some way and will further contribute to the story later on.
(Keep in mind that the series is still ongoing, so this is just an evaluation of the story so far.)
Art (10/10)- To summarize the art in this story? "Wow"
The characters expressions are all done brilliantly, with emotions written all across their faces. The panels are all excellently paced with never a confusing, cluttered, choppy or dull moment. Simply breathtaking.
Character (10/10)- The characters in Donten ni Warau might be my favourite part of this spectacular series. From the oldest slightly pompous brother (but incredibly lovable), to the somewhat awkward middle brother seeking independence from his eldest brother's shadow the characters are all well fleshed out. And if that in itself isn't enough, the reader is also allowed the privilege of seeing all the different sides and colours of the characters, making them all the more real. Also, it seems that many of them, even the ones you know best, have a secret they've been keeping up their sleeves.
All this, and keep in mind, this series is just getting started.
Enjoyment (10/10)- Enjoyment? Unless you skipped over the review and straight to this, the answer to this should be pretty obvious.
But, just in case I'll summarize. Donten ni Warau- I can truthfully say I've enjoyed every moment of it. Filled with a mixture of happy, funny moments, sad scenes, suspense and a beautifully woven plot (so far) I've enjoyed every minute of reading this amazing series.
Like the person before me this is my first review. I have read all of the chapters out right now which is 16 so I'm basing the review on that.
I came upon Donten Ni Warau pretty much by accident but I thought the art looked nice so I gave it a shot. For the first chapter or so I thought that it was a decent manga but I thought it would be all about 3 brothers who transported criminals to prison and this would be the whole plot of the story. How wrong was I?
Story: 10/10 - It is a very original story,
which I found very refreshing. I'm not one to get emotional over manga or anime, the only anime that has ever gotten me emotional is FMA. This had me crying like a baby by the 15th chapter and its not a soppy, girly sort of manga - far from it! It's action packed with a really good story with it but it does get the reader absorbed into it and you get so attached to the story and characters that it does get to you when something happens!
Art: 10/10 - The art style is also pretty original but very beautiful. The emotions of the characters are portrayed very well in facial expressions and the backgrounds are something to be praised! Overall, very beautiful and original artwork.
Characters: 10/10 - There is a character for everyone to like and hate in this! For me Tenka is no.1 but I know others will have different opinions on different characters. The range of different characters with different personalities will appeal to everyone.
Enjoyment: 10/10 - It's very rare that I enjoy a manga so much after only 16 chapters but this definitely succeeded in doing so! It's become one of my favorite mangas very quickly and if you are the type that likes action, fighting, samurai, historical, adventure, psychological and emotional stories then you will love this! I would recommend it to anyone!
So overall, a very very good manga and well worth the read! Always leaves you on the edge of your seat and wanting more! 10 out of 10 for everything!