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.
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.
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.
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.
‘Alexander the Great as written by the author of Parasyte’ was my entire knowledge of Historie going in. In my mind I had the image of Rider from Fate/Zero stabbing parasitic aliens that eat your face with his spear, but sadly twas not the reality. Historie is actually about a secretary of Alexander the Great, an orphan who goes on many adventures before becoming Alexander’s aid.
At least, that’s what the back of the books promise. There are seven volumes out and Alexander is still a kid and hasn’t recruited any secretaries yet. This might sound like the plot moves really slowly, but that isn’t really
the case. Heck, sometimes it glosses over seemingly massive plot twists in barely any time at all. In one scene the main character has been sold as a slave on a ship, but the slaves kill their boss and taken over the ship. However in the space of two pages the author goes “and then the ship sank”, a turn I thought deserved a little bit more exploration than just a two bloody pages.
The problem with Historie is it feels very aimless. The main character references the Odyssey and how much he likes the character of Odysseus because, unlike the other war heroes who get by on sheer brute strength, Odysseus wins battles using his brain. The story does appear to be following an Odyssey-esque tale, following our main character as he thinks his way out of the situations he finds himself in. The main character is rather likable because of how much cleverer he is than everyone around him and the audacity of some of the stunts he pulls off. The story does seem to forget random other parts of his personality that I thought were going to be a big part of his story. The start introduced this idea of his struggling with his barbarian upbringing and possibly savage inner side, but the next several volumes don’t bring that side of him up again.
The main story also doesn’t seem to be able to focus on a particular side of the main character. The earlier volumes are about his barbarian upbringing and wild side. Then he goes into the Odysseus tales of valour through intellect shtick. Half of the time though things just happen to him. Sold to slavers, picked up by Macedonian King, making toys for mentally disabled kids. It all just falls into his lap with no input on his part, which I don’t feel makes a good use of the traits they were supposedly developing. Plus the latest volumes seem to have forgotten he exists entirely and have focused exclusively on Alexander, now that they’ve finally introduced this king of kings.
It’s not that Alexander’s story isn’t interesting in itself. The writing in Historie is generally very good. I just wish the author would sit down and decide what it was he wanted to this story to be about. Parasyte had a laser sharp focus with what it wanted its story to tell. Historie feels like a bunch of Ancient Greek history thrown together into a pot. Also in comparison to Parasyte, I’m starting to realise the author doesn’t have the greatest art. Parasyte was able to hide that with its bizarre and imaginative body horror. Historie is gory, but it doesn’t define the story the same way it does in Parasyte. In fact, I’m not sure what it is that defines Historie, beyond the whole Ancient Greece setting, which is exactly the problem. It’s a very well written manga. I’m just not sure what it’s writing about.
The story surrounds a guy called Eumenes who was originally thought to be Greek but then turned out to be adopted and was actually Scythian (did those people even exist, and did they create the scythe?). Anyhooo, he turns from master to slave and then to foreigner and THEN to secretary of the Macedonian state (which has Alexander as a prince). Meanwhile, he tries to dodge as many as life's punches as possible and enjoy following King Philip around in bloody battlefields and advising the man when he is allowed to. The end (up to where I read).
Firstly, if you had watched Alexander the Great
(the movie), you may have assumed Eumenes to be Hephaestion (you know the guy that Alexander has everywhere and may have had a rather lewd relationship with). Well, that's what I thought! Am I the only one who rushed headfirst into this Manga, attracted by a supposed 'realistic' biography of Alexander the Great's conquering? No, and most likely, I won't be the last.
Is it WRONG to expect a Manga to feature a historically sound plot when it promotes the story as being based on history? Well, it turns out that I expected too bloody much because let's face it, Alexander the Great DID NOT have a snake tattoo coincidently above his left eye nor is Hephaestion a separate personality living within Alexander (Dissociative Identity Disorder much?) so WHY did I have to read this load of hullabaloo? Because the author felt like it, that's why.
The art, for all my ranting, was in tip-top shape until about volume number 5 where it got a bit 'general' if you know what I mean. But still after volume 5 (in comparison with other Manga), the art was in great shape. My only consistent criticism was that the faces of the characters were not fleshed out appropriately and at some points it looked like someone stuck on the faces on scenes where there was a lot of hand-throbbing detail. However, kudos (as the Greeks had once said) to the illustrator, their efforts have certainly been acknowledged.
However, that is not to say that we (the Readers) have forgiven the author for placing some rather questionable characters within the plot. For example, we see Queen Olympos screwing (rather vividly) a sweaty poet when Hephaestion-possessed-Alexander enters her boudoir; after he leaves, she kicks the sweaty guy out of her bed, calls in the guard outside her bedroom, tells him off for letting Hephaestion-possessed-Alexander into her room and then (rather crudely) screws him too. I mean where does that add to the rather fictitious situation? The fact that she's a whore (it's true, no one can deny it)? Well, I think the readers would have thought that anyhow due to the previous blatant scenes of intercourse between her and random men (not to mention some animals too).
In the end, I didn't quite enjoy this as much as I hoped, what's worse is that I read up to volume 8= a very badly spent waste of time. What I finally understood was that ALL based-on-the-truth promoting objects/mediums are as based-on-the-truth as mainstream media and political speeches (you connect the dots). If you're in it for Alexander, go read up on his history (even Wikipedia would be more accurate). And if you’re in it to try and act sophisticated because 'oooooh, you’re reading historical Manga' then go read actual historical Manga. Finally, if you're in it to enjoy yourself, I think you're the biggest loser out of the three (I don't mean the show either).
So ladies and gentlemen, please busy yourselves with some less summary-deceiving story and leave this 8-volume-plus Manga well enough alone.
Iwaaki Hitoshi is mostly known for his series Parasyte, but only recently it got the popularity that the fans sought for the series. It was by most positively received, because it offered something both for veterans and new faces regarding this medium. Be it from the ideas, to its theme exploration, to body horror, to high paced fights, but what was most important was its revival and how positively it was received overall in the industry. As such I was really looking forward to watching the series, and the most important question was if it will meet my expectations.
To say it lightly, I was rather disappointed. There where many problems, which led me to be distanced to the author but curiosity got the better of me. This led me to reading his ongoing series, Historie. What really got me curious about Historie was its premise, which interested me mostly because of the involvement of The Great Alexander. However, Iwaaki wouldn’t be Iwaaki if he wouldn’t add some spice to the story with his unique ideas, that where so apparent in Parasyte. To my surprise Alexander wasn’t the primal focus of the story, or at the very least wasn’t at the moment, but rather it is about the life of the one who shall become his secretary, Eumenes.
The story starts out bizarrely with the introduction of Eumenes and many historical figures be it Antigunus, King Philip or Aristotle, who meet by chance. It was a bit off putting how it started out, but the story really starts kicking in when we get introduced to the life of our protagonist. From his childhood, to the very premise, that being the secretary of Alexander. The story moves surprisingly fast, especially when you take in account its slice of life feeling or at the very least that’s how I see this manga. Well, as mentioned the story moves fast, it has a variety of stories which are longer or shorter depending on how important the content of the arc is, however what really makes the stories move so fast might really be the combination of Iwaakis story telling abilities and his simplistic yet easy for the eye art. For that very reason his thematic use in this work is not entirely explored the way I hoped for, although you might say that it might be more of an don’t tell but show thing. On another hand the story is not really presented well. What do I mean? First it doesn’t have a sense of direction. Is the story about the life of Eumenes? Or the life of Alexander? The show doesn’t tell us what the ending point might be. Will the story end with Eumenes death? Or will it be Alexander’s? That might be one component you might take in account especially when you think about the scope of the story. Secondly the story has that absurd feeling of being way too convenient for Eumenes. It feels sometimes like a school oriented show, where the protagonist doesn’t need to do anything and something will happen anyway, but that is only a minor problem to me. On another hand I ask myself, how historically accurate this manga is. It says that History is made by winners but it is done the same way by the losers. As such a lie can have a bit of truth, and truth can be based on lies. As such historical shows have the luxury of interpretation. It can be historically accurate yet very differently presented. Such thing for me is Historie. Sadly I don’t have any knowledge regarding that time period or especially Alexander’s life, or even more so of Eumenes particular life. But I do see Iwaakis writing style being used, which leads me to the last story component I want to talk about, that being the plot twists. For one the twists in this show aren’t shocking or come out of nowhere, they seem all predictable but what I really like about them is the way it questions me. Has that really happened or is it fiction be it from Iwaaki or any other author? Which leads me to the conclusion of how awesome historical tales really are, but that certainly depend on the author and not the historical facts.
Let’s move on to the characters.
You know how Macedonia’s and Greeks tend to argue about which state Alexander’s is from? Which I found really funny, but sadly there is no real dispute to what character might become your favorite in this series, of course at the moment it would probably be Eumenes. For me the characters merits aren’t really their development, which is not really well handled by the way, but rather is the way they are characterized. Eumenes is an eccentric character, with a passion for reading. From that very trait almost his whole character is made of. It shows how a single passion may change your very life. From that point on we see his younger life, to his origin, to him using odysseys journeys as a way to look at his very own adventure, to his later days in Macedonia. However, as mentioned development in form of aging or rather getting experienced through out his aging, isn’t very well handled, or at the very least isn’t at the chapters I am currently at. His characters origin seems to don’t have a big role with his later years, and so do his initial traits change through out time, which realistically looked aren’t that important, but for me they are in such a medium. Another think I liked about him is that while clever, he isn’t the most intelligent individual in the series, despite that he is certainly portrayed as such, as he is the protagonist right, right? None the less he stays for me on a positive note. Other characters aren’t developed or presented as much as he neither is, nor is Alexander as he is currently still in his childhood, but he starts out interestingly as well. We shall see how Iwaaki will handle his character.
Moving on to the art.
When I looked at he art of Parasyte I wasn’t fond of his art style, as such other as well have mentioned how bad he is, but you grow on it. His style is very simplistic. The art quality ranges depending on what scans you read. Either they are taken from the magazine or from the tankoban volumes, or the quality changes depending on it. His panels are usually composed of primarily character movement and a lot of white space, which as mentioned is simple and easy going, maybe even bad if you are really want to call out his art, but as mentioned it somehow works with his writing style. I wasn’t really paying that much attention to his art in general as I was more focused on the story but I still want to call out one thing I particularly didn’t like, that being his portrayal of emotion. It sadly doesn’t work. I strangely feel distanced more to the characters because of the art. The reason isn’t because the characters are emotional bricks like Rey or other what was it called...maybe kuderes or the like , but how not much attention was put on the faces. Oh, and the comedic moments on the most part don’t even make me smirk.
Lastly I wanted to say, despite all the negative things I mentioned Historie still works. I readied around 70 chapters in a couple of days. It never gets really boring, but I think the fans surely are agonized how the story might move slowly when you wait every month for a chapter release.
So don’t read it all at one go and take your time with it.
What a lovely series. I've found that this author's works are very calming and inoffensive; I always read these when I can't stomach anything else. This story matches the pace of real life much better than whatever else I've read: no emotional rollercoaster, no cheap drama to elicit false sympathy; no long drawn out shouting matches of feelings and relationships; no over-narration; no gratuitous violence, sex, sticky feelings, come to think of it, a good analogy is Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, but for adults with more politics and fewer gender jokes. If you like Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun but also like politics, you will like this.
the main character, he's mostly a realistic version of a nice, normal guy who is pretty smart, lucky, with a good memory and good hand-eye coordination. Thank god for a character that isn't made into a puppet of an morality argument or a cripple of a damaged backstory. We see his life, nothing's obviously over-exaggerated, thank god, except maybe how quickly girls fall in love with him, but that's ok because the author is trying to draw a parallel between the Illiad and this work. I loved the Illiad, if you love the Illiad, you will like this.
Wow, you must be thinking, this sounds like a godawful bore of a series. That is where you are wrong! Because the author doles out drugs to the reader in moderation, the parts of the story that do have feelings pack a poignant punch. But what does that do? It means the story actually feels meaningful. Surprise! I cried when I read this, just a little bit.
Also, little Eumenes is a friggin' psychopath, man. So there's that.
By the way, personally Historie > Parasyte because it's less in-your-face didactic and more history. This author tends to flounder and run around in circles once in a while, but with the crutch of actual history to fall back on, I think he will write really interesting work.
Cpr during aristotle's time? Just wth was the mangaka thinking lol...
It's an o.k. manga. Nothing special tbh. Dont get me wrong, i enjoy manipulation or romanticization of history when done right, that's not the case here tho.
Aristotle's characterization is not convincing. Plus weak lame-ass background as to how alexander developed his dual personality. My issue with this kind of manga is that when the main character is nearly perfect, it detracts from the enjoyment. What's so interesting about a prodigy who can do anything? (subaru is another manga that has this flaw).
I would have rated this 7 if it weren't for that ridiculous cpr scene.
This under-rated manga is quite enjoyable. It contains action, violence, drama, suspense, betrayal, and is thought provoking in a 'hisorically' unique way.
I didn't exactly know what I was getting into when I first picked this up - I had never heard of it and thought it would be a boring and uneventful story, with a distracting illustration style, and perhaps drag-on a bit...I WAS WRONG! It didn't waste much time to have me completely enthralled in the characters, their surroundings, the plots, and it's intellengent vision.
The manga is a little slow but if you can make it past the first few chapters then you are in for quite a ride.
The art is simple yet complex due to some of the crowd scenes. It compliments the story and never seems to overtake the overall message. The author draws some good battle scenes and adds a little humor once in a while.
Eumenes is a wonderfully written character that does through a lot of character development within the 104 chapters that I've read. His journey is a harsh but prepares him for the rocky life under King Philip. He doesn't have
much luck in the romantic department but every heartbreak is worth it and well-written. The author has a little less work as the series is based on a real persons life. However, the author is able to craft a story that is both entertaining and on point in terms of the historical standpoint.
This is less of an action manga than Kingdom and Vagabond. It is more of a psychological adventure manga.