Historie takes place in ancient Greece and follows the life and childhood of Eumenes, who historically was the secretary and general to Alexander the Great. Historie includes characters such as Aristotle and King Philip II of Macedon and begins around 343 BC, which was a time of Macedonian expansion.
Historie is a historical manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki that tells the life story of Eumenes, a secretary and general to Alexander the Great. Although the story is fictional, Eumenes was a real person. Historically, his past is largely a mystery, hence Iwaaki was able to take artistic liberty in his manga.
The Mainichi newspaper calls Iwaaki's vision of Eumenes' past "Bold and unique." Jason Thompson, one of the best-known manga critics in the United States, says that in terms of scale, ambition, and plotting, Historie is the author's masterpiece. (Source: Wikipedia)
In 2010, Historie won the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival Grand Prize in manga division and in 2012, 12th Osamu Tezuka Culture Award.
Alright, let's make Historie.
Haha. Oh, wow, bad pun.
If your a true fan of historical manga, then you'll most likely enjoy this for it's content. Especially if your into ancient greek/persian history. The story at the beginning lacks a little something that I like to call complexity, and it continues on that way until some things happen that cause Eumenes to leave his hometown.
As with all of Iwaaki's work, there will be some that find the art a little plain or too sketchy for them. This is definitely not art that would be pleasing to those who are fans of shiny, glittering bishonens from a hardcore
shoujo manga. This art really makes you feel like you can see the soul of a character just by looking through their eyes.
Speaking of seeing a characters' soul through their eyes, I'm pretty sure Eumenes (especially young Eumenes) has no soul to should through his eyes. He is the only character that you can't really feel any emotion other than an indifferent bliss radiating from them. He's more of a cold and calculating scholar for most of the series, even when he learns potentially traumatizing stuff. I suppose due to the nature of his race, that's how he is supposed to be though. But some of the other characters, woah. You can tell right away whether they are kind-hearted or filled with malice.
Any fan of Historical or even Seinen manga will undoubtedly enjoy this. It's simplistic, but thoroughly enjoyable. It draws on in with something that I can't quite put my foot on, maybe it's the little quirks of humor that are thrown into the story while not taking away from the seriousness.
Admittedly, there's not a whole lot of action. Just a fight here and there, then one pretty epic battle, but again not too many fights. So if your a real hardcore fan of action manga, then that might put you off. If your a fan of highly detailed art, then Historie's art, again, might put you off. Other than those two downfalls, there's really not too much else that's all too bad about it.
When it comes to historical themed works, most are adjusted and tweaked upon to create an arguably more fascinating story behind such setting. Historie is no exception, and although it is based on a real person by the name of Eumenes, Iwaaki Hitoshi was able to take an artistical approach on it as that person's past is shrouded in mystery. The author of this work managed to create a fascinating story in which people familiar with the greek history will find themselves pleasantly entertained. However, there are some issues with the manga, being the inconsistent jumps in timelines as well as its direction the biggest
hinderance for some.
The story of Historie is focused around Eumenes, which spans from his childhood to his adult self as introduced in the first few chapters; he was historically Alexander the Great's secretary and general. This should also speak for the setting itself: it takes place around 343 BC, which coincides with the Macedonian expansion. In addition. Eumenes meets several reknown people in greek history such as King Philip II or Aristotle. What further enhances the experience of this work at a personal level is to observe how Iwaaki treats and incorporates his story in the several occurrences that take place, mostly of what happened in reality. This concerns mainly occurrences such as political conflicts, expanding on the different factions of the current world and how these affected either the life of the protagonist or the Macedonian reign itself. As for the pacing, it was surprisingly well done, despite its share of slice of life moments: it felt fast and satisfying, which in turn keeps the reader interested in the story.
The introduction of the manga isn't that well executed as desired, as opposed to when the author begins to deal with the past of Eumenes himself. Herein readers find themselves intrigued with his past, seeing themes such as racism, conflict, warfare and love treated in the narrative. The manga puts enfasis on the intelligent nature of the main character, meaning it tries to solve various conflicts through ingenuity rather than brute force. Other aspect worth mentioning is the little technological improvements that were being made in that epoch, be it either the creation of chess, making a moving toy, saddling, etc. What however can be a problem is the direction of the story: this often sways a lot between either Eumenes or Alexander himself, in which in various instances feels detached from the storyline.
Concerning the characters of Historie, these were not big by any means, where its main focus lay on fleshing out and developing Eumenes himself. He is an eccentric character from a disputable origin for that time; a man who has a thirsts for knowledge, sometimes indifferent, yet cunning in his area of expertise. In fact, his intelligence is one of the aspects that drives the story forward and enable him to encounter all the different characters. Speaking of which, there are historical figures introduced in which some are interesting to observe, as well as their past; however, there is not much development to be found on the part of these to the exception of few, which in turn can be an issue to some. There are no real motives to speak of, seeing that these are real historical characters, yet any inclusion of these would have maybe been a good addition to enhance the characters.
As for the art style of Historie, it is consistent, yet simplistic and basic: character designs are very simple sharing the same facial model, being the hairstyle the only real defining factor; the same could be said of the backgrounds as well. This doesn't mean that there are no great panels: there are in fact some very detailed and impressive drawings that depict the whole scope of either the battle or scenery itself. Concerning the occasional combat scenes, this are somewhat basic as well, yet it is apparent that the author improves over time. It also must be noted that there is hardly any use of shading techniques, which means that the panels often feel empty.
Historie was overall a very good read, in which following the life of Eumenes is one of the biggest aspects I enjoyed, including the approach of the setting itself. Naturally, there were some issues to be observed where the indecisive direction of the author is the main culprit. Being a fan of the historical genre, I could definitely recommend this manga to anyone with a slight interest in it, besides that it has an interesting story and character behind its premise. I might want to add that the bimensual releases can be very paining for the reader, so I would suggest to take your time reading this work.
There were only two reviews of this manga, and thus I decided to give my own review. Remember, this review may contain spoilers.
Historie's setup is the same as the popular seinen manga Berserk. We start out with a future view of the main character. Then it goes into a flashback mode, to see what has all led up to that point.
The story of Historie follows Greek/Macedonian/Persian history. Though this should not be viewed as educative, since not all history aspects of this manga are correct. It stays fiction after all.
We start out with Eumenes, a scythian boy who grew up alongside Greeks, even believing he
was a greek himself. Eumenes constantly has weird dreams about a woman with great swordmanship. After some shocking events with a scythian slave, he hears the truth from the potential killer of his ''father''. He hears he was a scythian boy all along, and thats when everything changed.
He is sold as a slave, and makes many encounters with new people, eventually becoming acquinted with Macedonia.
The art is nowhere near special or shocking. The art is good, and the background often stays clean, to emphasize the characters facial expressions. The character designs are well-done, and just from expressions you can see what the character is feeling.
The characters in this story are well developed, though some seem a bit shallow, the important characters shine through with realistic emotions and such. The protagonist Eumenes really shines through, and is considered a ''natural genious'.
If you like historic manga, you will lvoe this title. The characters are likeable, the story is good so far and the historic aspect of this manga is often correct. ( Characters mentioned, events that occur etc).
However, don't go looking for this manga expecting a epic highly-detailed story about the wars of Macedonia. You should read it for its story, and the character development.
---Note: This is a ongoing manga, my score is only for now. I will edit and/or change my entire review if my opinion changes.
-- Please give me feedback, this is my first review on MaL if you disagree on some points, or think I should elaborate on some points please do mention this.
After reading Hitoshi Iwaaki's 'Parasite', i had to read Historie, and i got to say, my personal opinions on this series is that it is pretty damn good.
the plot itself revolves around Eumenes, and his childhood, who would later in his life grow up to be the secretary and general to Alexander the Great.
Yes, it is a 'Historical' manga, but its actually very interesting, although i will admit it starts off a bit rough, but if you give it a chance and read more and more, it becomes very, very enjoyable.