In an era of ruin, mankind lives in fear of those branded with the "Devil's Mouth"—immortals who are demonised, hunted and killed, only to return and exact vengeance on those who have harmed them. Amid the endless cycle of hatred, a young boy and girl appear in a distant town, offering to bury an undead that has been tormenting its people.
But who is this boy who bears the mark of their enemy?
Shuumatsu no Laughter was published in English as Laughter at the World's End by Shogakukan Asia on August 27, 2014, and in Spanish as Una sonrisa hasta el fin del mundo by Milky Way Ediciones on September 26, 2017.
I'll be completey honest here, at first when Shuumatsu no Laughter was reccomended to me, I thought I would dislike it, seeing the cover and the protagonist looking similar to Naruto, and the whole "demon" boy being shunned by the people, it just seemed way to similar to Naruto and I just knew I'd judge it with unfair eyes. Let's hope my early assumptions were wrong.
Without going into spoilers, or repeating the synopsis, the story is about a demon boy and his little sister that offer to get rid of the demon terrorizing a town.
The story is pretty straightforward and doesn't really do
anything new, but it's still enjoyable. The manga sets an interesting backstory, but it is left pretty unexplored and leaves you wanting more. Not only is the backstory unexplored but various aspects of the story are mentioned but never explained. It ends up being one of those typical shonen-like stories that could have been more if it had time (or chapters, in this case) to properly develop.
That said, there are interesting aspects in the story, it's a pity they weren't further explored.
Nothing much to comment on here, the artwork is pretty solid. Demon design is quite unique.
The characters would have to be the less interesting aspect of the manga, characters are your usual archetype characters, the comical but extremely determined/ambitious protagonist and the sweet overly attatched little sister. The short length obviously leaves little to no room for development, so the characters are pretty one dimensional.
For someone going in with low expectations, I surprisingly enjoyed it. It's a short and easy read and has some interesting elements in it.
Unfortunately, Shuumatsu no Laughter ends up falling within the numbers of "lost potential" mangas out there. If the backstory, and some other elements introduced that were unexplained, had been further and properly explored, it could have been a better manga than it ended up being.
It could have been more, and I personally would have liked to see it continue, but for what it's worth, what Shuumatsu no Laughter is, is still enjoyable.
The first thing a person is going to see when they pick up “Shuumatsu no Laughter” is the cover. On the cover we see a character who strongly resembles Naruto from the series with the same name. A thought will then cross said persons mind. “This is just a knock off of 'Naruto'.” This will make the series hard to pick up for people despite the fact it is only five chapters long, but in reality the phrase “don't judge a book by it's cover” is apt. The story is nothing like “Naruto” despite the fact the creator of “Shuumatsu no Laughter” does in fact
pay some homage to the other series.
I think the main problem with the series is the relative shortness as there was honestly so much more the creator could have done with the theme in question. On the other hand the creator may not have wanted the series to become a “monster of the week” series just so the readers could in fact find out the fate in relation to the “white akuma”, and whether or not the world ends up being saved from the wheels of fate. Instead we get a short piece that focuses more on the psychological element as well as inter relations between the characters. The story also falls into many cliches as well that may have brought it down had the writer made said series longer.
The characters are ultra important when it comes to this particular series. This short series is after all about how people interact with each other, and how people act towards others in prejudicial ways because of fear. Sometimes fear is justified, but in other times said fear is not. This is a theme that is explored along with how those acting in prejudicial manners and those being prejudiced act towards each other, and why conflict does occur in real life.
The art work for this particular piece is also nice. The artist takes the time to fill every frame with important information in regards to the story line, nor is there any confusing action poses that a person can't read the movements of. Luca's design embodies the persona people would expect of someone labeled a demon, while his sister is the personification of pure innocence. The artist went out of his way to personify these attributes to each, and for good reason.
Ultimatly I enjoyed this short series a lot. Not only was it short, but I could feel empathy towards the characters. I enjoyed the plot twists for the stories. I also liked making the connections to “Naruto” and comparing the two on a critical level. While it is true that the two are their own pieces of work I think a person can also appreciate “Shuumatsu no Laughter” even more with a knowledge of Naruto. Or one could have it soured if one is to much of a fangirl/fanboy.
For its short length, I was pleasantly surprised to find an incredibly interesting world within Shuumatsu no Laughter. There's something wonderful about finding something so cool in something so small, but the hazard is that mere fact. I want more to this story, a lot more, and all I'm stuck with is this small little section within the main characters lives.
The story itself has solid pacing with an interesting arc and a comfortably placed origin story. The exposition never feels awkward or blatantly expository, and the origin story itself was really quite interesting considering the dynamic between the two leads.
There's a bit of a message
to this story, but it's definitely something we've likely all read in other shounen. The difference is that this story itself is surrounded by interesting characteristics that would have made for an interesting, much longer narrative.
Very clean. Ridiculously so. Proportions looked great and the combat flowed pretty well. Maybe 1 or 2 panels where I didn't totally understand the perspective, but everything else looked awesome.
Settings feel lively and the angles made things feel lively. The world wasn't just a placeholder for the main characters, but a thriving place for them to explore and interact.
I really liked these characters. They seem very interesting and I wish I could have spent more time deconstructing them as new events surrounded them. It would have been neat to see what Luca and Haru would have done if a third party member joined them.
Unfortunately, I enjoyed this manga a LOT. I say unfortunately because the length of this work (or lack thereof) is really bumming me out. Like, seriously, this is incredibly disappointing. I can't even feel comfortable giving it an 8/10 due to its short length. I think that, potentially, this work could have been worthy of an 8/10 and above, but since it's so limited, the work itself feels somewhat unfinished in that regard. A good work can stay enjoyable even upon finishing it, and after finishing this work, I feel pretty bad.
Basically, I want more, but since there isn't more, I'm just being a big cry baby.
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