In a land where magicians cast spells on bullets in order to perform magic, like summoning powerful monsters. There was once a witch so powerful that she challenged the gods and was cursed for it.
10 years before the current time of the story, that witch challenged and defeated another magician, and in doing so saved a small boy, who instantly fell in love with her and was inspired to use guns as his "Sword of Justice". That boy was called Zero. When he was ready, he set out on a quest and found that woman who saved his life... or did he? She is not the same person that he idealized; she is selfish, rude, arrogant... and quite a bit shorter. But at the times when she feels Zero's love and self sacrifice for her, she can bring forth incredible power. So the two set out together to find a cure and the reason why the gods only bothered to curse her.
Before official serialization in Monthly Shounen Jump started (2003-07), first three chapters were published in Monthly Shounen Jump Special Issue "Gokujou," (2000-2001) and 5th chapter in "Jump Original" (2002). 4th chapter, about Kurohime past, never got published because it was deemed inappropriate to publish at that point of serialization and instead it was remade and used in later part. From chapter 48 (vol.15) serialization moved to Jump SQ's official website. Chapter count restarts from chapter 1 in the 2nd volume.
Mahou Tsukai Kurohime had fourteen volumes printed in English under the title Kurohime by VIZ Media from September 4, 2007 to November 4, 2009, before the series was dropped.
In 2006 a game was released for the Xbox 360 that surprised quite a few gamers with its uninspired game play, poor level design and terrible dialogue. After receiving largely negative reviews from both critics and gamers, Bullet Witch quickly sank into obscurity and poor sales have thankfully prevented a sequel from being made. What many people didn't realise was that the game took a great deal of inspiration for its main character from a manga by Katakura Masanori that began serialisation in Monthly Shounen Jump four years earlier.
So how does Mahou Tsukai Kurohime compare to a game that received widespread criticism?
The story begins with Zero, a boy whose life was saved by the legendary magic cannon user Kurohime, a witch so powerful she challenged the gods ... and died in the process. Ten years later, Zero has taken on the role of bodyguard to a young girl called Himeko, and the pair are on a journey to find a way to remove the curse that has been placed on her.
On the surface Kurohime appears to be nothing more than a fairly generic shounen manga, and that's a fairly accurate perception for the first few chapters. The plot tends towards the generic, so much so that the series places an almost unnatural emphasis on comedy, and the story can sometimes seem to have little or no direction at all. The mangaka has tried to introduce far too many things at once, and because of that the manga needs a little time to find its feet. Once the reader gets to chapter eight though, the plot gains more momentum, and the series takes a much darker and more dramatic turn which culminates in a truly singular moment in shounen manga.
After that, things get a little ... confused.
The main problem with Kurohime is that after the conclusion to the first arc the mangaka has attempted to expand the storyline in order to accommodate events that are bigger in scale and far more grandiose in concept. Unfortunately it seems as though Masanori didn't know when to stop, and while the narrative does continue to make sense, the addition of things like time travel can makes actions and events more convoluted than they need to be. The resulting plethora of threads meandering through the storyline make it difficult to reach a natural conclusion with all of them, and some of minor plot arcs can feel as though they've been forced into the story so that it can move on to something new.
That said, it's fairly obvious that this was due to the time constraints all serialised manga tend to face rather than a lack of ideas.
While Kurohime is very clearly a shounen manga, there are occasions where the artwork wanders into shoujo territory, which isn't a bad thing to be honest as it does emphasise the more emotional moments rather nicely. The characters are often well drawn, and the scenery is kept simple and straightforward in order to highlight the variety of spells and abilities on offer, with emphasis placed on how they're used and who or what they're used on. There are, unfortunately, two major downsides to the artwork, the first one being the way the quality of the work drops quite sharply during comedy scenes. The second is the inclusion of ecchi in a series that really didn't need so much of it as there are already plenty of things to keep the reader interested. It's pretty obvious that the decision to outfit several of the female characters, especially the Shinigami Angels, in outfits that leave little to the imagination, is nothing more than an attempt to cover up some very shallow development.
It all sounds a bit counter-intuitive, doesn't it? I'll explain then.
In manga, as in food, the first bite is with the eye. If a particular meal looks good in a picture or on a plate, then the natural assumption is that the food will be just as good. The trick is that even if the meal is only average at best, as long as the presentation is close to that of the picture then the person eating it will "fill in the blanks". Manga, comics, cartoons and anime tend to follow the same principle, and it's often the case that characters who are nothing more than average will often be perceived as anything but, simply because of how they look and the actions they take. A similar methodology has been used in the fashion industry for decades, and for many people the display of an idealized form, especially a nubile one, is enough to stop them asking unwanted questions.
That doesn't automatically mean that the characters in Kurohime are terrible though, but given that this is a fantasy action shounen manga, many of the related issues attached to the genre raise their heads on a number of occasions. While there is a degree of growth amongst the people that Zero and Himeko meet, the series tries to walk the fine line between a character led plot and an event driven one, and this is ultimately what hampers the development of certain roles in the story. In addition to that, the usage of so much comedy early on in the series hides some average characterisation, especially where Himeko is concerned. Zero isn't actually a bad character at all, and because his thoughts and actions maintain a consistency that is lacking in many of the other roles, it leads one to wonder why everyone else is only so-so.
Even with all of that, Kurohime is still a pretty enjoyable story, with a bold plot that's refreshing to see in shounen manga, and that's taking into account Masanori's attempts to outdo the conclusion to the first arc. Okay, so there's a lot of genericism in the series, especially during the latter half, and the characters aren't as well realised or developed as the story could have made them. In the end, these are issues that can be ignored as while the storyline is sometimes convoluted, it's rarely tedious.
Kurohime may not be perfect, but it does deliver a good degree of action and excitement, and many of the problems it has might have been resolved if the series had been a little longer. In comparative terms, Kurohime is easily one of the better fantasy action manga out there, and while it may not be the best at what it does, at least it's not Bullet Witch.read more
When i started to read Kurohime I thought it would be a common action-adventure story but i got inmersed in the story in less time than in the common, i just got in love whit the characters, excluidings some minor flaws, the art its great I can easily understand whats happening in the story, I greatly recommend this manga and wait for a posible anime.
At first it doesn't seem promising but after the first volume it does its magic.It's a manga that goes unnoticed most of the time,the cause of this could either relate to the unknown mangaka or the fact that at first it's mistaken to be like all typical shounen mangas.
My decision to write a review on this one was to offer you my point of view.
The story of this manga is being told quite nicely.It unravels softly and slowly with no problems concerning its telling(maybe one or two) or leaving holes behind.The way it is told mostly resembles a legend,but that's the charm of it.It contains a few elements of originality,such as the magic bullets,but not to the point of giving it the title of Unique.It doesn't reach anywhere where no manga hasn't reached before.Despite all that it still worths a chance,all it takes it's the art of "craftmanship".Since the mangaka has that ability then this ought to be ood,which is.The only real problem that discourages its readers from getting far into the story is the first few chapters(lasts a volume or even more),that mostly focuses on adventures of Kurohime and Zero.That being the real problem has as a result that the readers will drop reading it without getting to the real story,cause from a point on it ets very interestin.Too bad it didn't get directly to the story from the start.ALthouh a reason why the mangaka might have done that was so that we can get to know the main characters better and relate to them better.That's a possibility.Another error to the story is the key to Kurohime's curse,which happens to be Love...
It sounds all romantic as the genre suggests but after a point it loses its essense by being over-used to grant Kurohime screentime and have more battles.Other than that I don't find any other error.
I find the art simply beautiful.The lines are nice and you can make out the drawing/design easily without a hard time.Same happens with the battle scenes.The lines there aren't confusing nor messy making your head hurt.The characters design also is pretty and it's easy to tell them apart.
They have a past,they have feelings and they have aspirations.It focuses on the gradual change of Kurohime's behavior,from good to bad,without rushing it.Zero on the other hand is a nicely developed character,even better than Kurohime.He appears to be the simple nice kid who would sacrifice himself for anyone,but after a while you get to see his other side as well.The enemies as well have a past and reasons for their actions and it's good that the mangaka doesn't forget them.The only thing that kind of bothers me is the drama of the characters,at times they turn very dramatic,to the point where you feel that they're miserable,but it's to be expected when it's moving force is "love" and everything revolves around it.
I myself totally enjoy.It's not to be taken seriously nor totally lightly.I liked the battles the character designs,the adventures,the plot later on and there were some really good and unexpected twists.
Aside from my tastes and being objective here,I believe it serves its purpose it's supposed to pretty well following all the genres that have been tagged to it.Maybe typical at times but that doesn't stop it for being good.I rated it based on other popular shounen anime and manga out there since they're of the same type.read more
This story starts off beautifully with characters and a way of fighting that one can truly fall in love with. It rises into a beautiful crescendo of love and self sacrifice and comes into one of the most heartbreaking scenes one can imagine. -_- Then it goes on for another 65 chapters and all the beautiful scenes and character development gets sh** on. It turns into such a pathetic piece of crap that it makes you wish you hadn't read it at all because the characters you cared for so much are (figuratively) trampled to death. Wanna enjoy this manga? Please for your own sake stop reading at chapter 15. If you don't you'll regret it. Iv'e done all I can.read more