Yaotsukumo begins with Tsukumo, a seemingly normal high school girl. She is skilled at some kind of sword fighting which she practices with her father often and has a best friend named Chii-chan. One day on her way to meet up with her friend, Tsukumo is attacked by a mysterious slasher. She is barely saved by an immortal boy who she met years ago, named Yao. Yao tells Tsukumo (can you see where the title comes from yet?) that she is the Tokijiku, a being with the power to bestow immortality to a person. Yao was originally given immortality by the first Tokijiku.
Yao asks a simple request from Tsukumo: "Kill me." Being immortal, he wishes for nothing more than to die and return to his deceased childhood friend, the original Tokijiku.
While the plot is not really that bad overall, there are many things in this 10 chapter manga which I think could have been removed. I think it would have worked fine with only 4 chapters instead of 10 as a lot of what happens between Chapter 2 and 7 is more or less filler. There are many elements in this story which do not contribute to the ending at all and many characters serve almost no purpose.
Art - 6/10
This manga contains a fair amount of gore, especially involving Yao since he is immortal and can survive being cut in half as his organs are spilled all over the ground. The art is very dark and tries a little too hard to make characters look dark even when they are supposed to be good. The character designs are simple (Tsukumo looks similar to Yui from Yumekui Merry and several other characters I can think of). The characters' eyes are drawn strangely as well as they are just 3 or 4 circles surrounding where their iris should be. It gives kind of a demonic feeling to some of the characters who are supposed to be human.
Character - 5/10
Really the only important characters are Tsukumo, Yao, and a god who's name I don't remember ever being said. Tsukumo and Yao make a good couple as long as you forget that Yao is 800 years older than her. Tsukumo is a fairly good female lead. She doesn't always sit on the sideline while Yao saves her (in fact Yao is actually pretty weak) and instead saves him a couple times. The drama between the two involving the original Tokijiku, who Yao loves, is also kind of interesting but is a mostly addressed during what I think could have been taken out of the story altogether. And lastly, the god is just your typical supernatural, mediocre villain. His motives are never explained and the only thing they ever tell you is that it's because of "karma." Other than that, there's just a few pointless supporting characters who gets shoved aside like the minor characters in Sword Art Online to make way for the main plot and characters.
Enjoyment - 6/10
I would not recommend this manga. It's just slightly below average all around and does not have anything special. It's a little similar to Nabari no Ou, but not as good, and I really believe that over half of this story could have been removed, and it would not have affected the ending at all.
The subject of immortality is one that I have always been fascinated with. Surely it would be painful, so much so that you would seek your own death in any way you could. So when I find something that deals with immortality, I can't help but be curious as to what shape the story will form.
Yaotsukumo is about an ancient line of females that can grant immortality to anyone they so choose, and about one man who has been there since it all began.
Even though that paragraph may make the story sound interesting, it is so riddled with plot holes that it makes swiss cheese
look compelling. On top of the plot holes, we have characters who are introduced for a chapter, and then never really appear again. A few of these characters are immortals too, so not having their backstories ruins the whole point of telling a story about immortals, in my opinion.
The art is rather rough, and looks down right bad in some places. The characters eyes bother me to no end. It isn't the worst artwork I have seen, and there are some pages that actually do look good, but altogether the art was displeasurable.
As for the characters, aside from the two mains like I said earlier, no other characters get fleshed out, and never appear again in most cases. If you get interested in one of the side cardboard cutouts, be prepared to be disappointed because literally no side characters get developed in any meaningful way.
All in all I give this manga a 5, mainly because the story had an intriguing premise. If you are a fan of immortality stories, it's short enough that you may as well read it. If you aren't bump the score down to a 4, and don't bother with this.
A dramatic romance featuring the themes of reincarnation and immortality! Jumping right in, Yaotsukumo introduces us readers with a common tale of a mortal who wants to live, and an immortal who wishes to die. The story is intriguing and there are many elements that set it apart from every other story about immortals. ...Right up until the end, where it falls completely flat. Whether it is due to the author's poor storytelling ability or whatnot, the fact remains that Yaotsukumo starts off with a great amount of potential, but is unfortunately not utilized to its full extent.
One of the key charms of Yaotsukumo is
the art style. While others may disagree, I really enjoyed the art style. It is a refreshing change: the author utilizes bold strokes of black with creative angles that give scenes a very intense feeling. This works especially well for such a manga filled with gore and action, and the clean artwork makes it easy for the reader to follow along. However, it is important to note that sometimes the character anatomy is a bit off, and the art style combined with said unique angles makes it difficult to differentiate between what is the author's style (eg: thin limbs) vs. what is anatomically incorrect (eg: heavily elongated limbs).
The two main characters have simple designs, but they are effective and memorable. Side characters tend to have slightly more complex designs, but their main flaw is that they are one-time-use characters. Whether it be Tsukumo's best friend, the servant Mutsuki, or even the tsukumogami Aria, they are all quickly introduced and abandoned just as quickly. There is absolutely no room given for these characters to develop. Even the growth between the two main characters is small and limited.
Overall, Yaotsukumo was an enjoyable read, albeit far too short. The manga pulls you in for an enriching and one-of-a-kind tale, only to suddenly disappear and leave you yearning for more. Unfortunately, no amounts of fantastic artwork can fill the huge gaps within the story of Yaotsukumo.
In short, a summary:
+ Easy to get into, and easy to follow.
+ Unique and attractive art style.
+ Imaginative and heavily action-packed.
- Unsatisfying story that feels undeveloped and incomplete.
- Barely any character development.
- Characters aside from Yao and Tsukumo are never delved into and hold no significance after their entry-chapter ends.