During a school cruise trip, a group of friends are thrown back to the year 1636. According to history, in 1637 a revolt known as the Shimabara Revolt broke. It was a rebellion by Christian rebels and led by a charismatic youth known as Amakusa Shirou, which ended in the defeat of the rebels and resulted in the loss of 3,000 lives. Hayumi Natsuki, our heroine, is mistaken as Amakusa Shirou by the villagers she met, never mind that the real Amakusa Shirou is male. Apparently the real Amakusa Shirou died the year previously, before gaining recognition or popularity as a leader among the people. Before long, she became famous as some-sort of heaven-sent angel and people started calling her "Shirou," believing she is the savior prophesied 25 years before.
I didn't really intend to write a review on this manga, but I saw that no one has yet and that this particular work has gone mostly unnoticed, so here I am. Anyway, let's cut to the chase and get into it.
The story starts out with a group of teenagers, who are clearly at the top of their class in more ways than one and in the student council, who get thrown into what is basically feudal-era Japan. Each one of them arrived in a different place and at a different time, so some of them had already lived there for years when the
others first arrived. This particular element creates conflict, which I really liked, and another thing I particularly liked about this manga was its consistency in setting. In many manga that I have read in which the main character(s) get thrust into a different world or different time, they are able to go back and forth between the worlds, which these people cannot. This also creates a conflict and tension that is really nice in this kind of story. Anyway, though the story isn't the most original, I gave it a 9 because of the way it creates conflict with the setting and circumstances. Also, though it definitely contains romance, the romance is not the main focus and is shown to be less important than the real plot- possibly rewriting history in Amakusa.
The art is very 90s shoujo (which it is indeed from that era and genre, so it should be expected). Though it is not the greatest art ever, it is still pretty great for its era and does not detract from the story at all.
The characters are very interesting and well-done. Though Natsuki can be a bit unbelievable sometimes (is anybody REALLY that honest and selfless?), all characters are shown to have distinct personalities and purposes, as well as being dynamic (well, maybe not Natsuki for being dynamic). YES, these characters live, love, and learn from their mistakes. They grow as people, which is great.
This manga has kept me hooked for the past couple of days and has been well worth my time reading it. I am excited to see how the characters continue to grow - maybe Natsuki will grow too, who knows - and see the rebellion of Amakusa unfold. I'm hopin' for some good friendship, deaths, and bloodshed here. All in all, I would give this series a 9 and also recommend it to anyone out there who have the time. And who don't, too, cause I sure as heck don't and here I am! Enjoy.