Aug 8, 2016
I read an English fan-translation, and I'm pretty sure more than a few things were lost in the process of translation. The story's resolution confused me, so I went back and read it over. That actually made it worse, as I discovered more flaws in the story. Anyway, my evaluation as follows...
I'd really like to give this a higher rating, but I just can't ignore all the plot-holes, character inconsistencies, contrived circumstances, and loose ends. Any subject matter that deals with the manipulation of Time is always tricky due to the inherent paradoxes, but the resolution of this story is nothing short of inscrutable.
example of a character inconsistency: the queen repeatedly asserts her disbelief in magic, despite having asked Eide to work his time-magic on her, and being an actual living testament to its effects.
An example of a contrived circumstance: a female character (Neleh) needed to find the protagonist, Oldman. Later they just happen run into each other when some guards are chasing her...but why were the guards chasing her? I don't believe this part was ever explained. It's just random and too convenient.
An example of a loose end: Oldman gets his magic from a cosmic butterfly...just who or what is this butterfly?
On the flip-side, there is enough humour and action present to keep the plot from being a complete disaster, and I think one of the best parts is the chase scene in volume 3 that culminated in a climactic death-match between Rebecca and Hammer.
The art is incredible (especially the chapter covers) and is of the realistic type, similar to what you'd find in western-style comics rather than Asian ones (although it's actually pretty similar to Takehiko Inoue's Vagabond.) Beside the high standard of drawing, the action is also well presented.
Despite the relatively short length (only 4 volumes), the characterisation is pretty strong. The old but resourceful Oldman, the crippled but fiery Rebecca, the inventive but lecherous Vincent, and the ditzy but loveable Neleh compose the principal cast, and they make for a fun and interesting bunch. Although Oldman is the primary protagonist, the others too have their moments and are crucial to the plot in their own way. Even the secondary antagonist, Hammer, was quite compelling as a powerful adversary.
Personally I like the characters and would have loved to see a continuation or expansion of this story, or perhaps new stories involving them.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8
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