Yuka Katsuragi, a beautiful TV news reporter, has attracted the affections of a Yakuza thug, Katsuji Yashima, who travels with his brother all the way to Spain to find her, only to have his affections rebuffed by Yuka. A terrible earthquake hits, and Katsuji, his brother, and Yuka, along with four high-schoolers in Spain on a field trip, all fall deep underground. While trapped below the surface, they encounter a mysterious old woman who reveals to them prophecies that the wealthy nation of Japan will meet the same demise as the once-prosperous city of Carthage. Katsuji and the others insult the old woman, who then sends them to see the world of the future with their own eyes, a future of desolation and death...
I actually can’t believe Buronson (aka Yoshiyuki Okamura who wrote Sanctuary) wrote this manga, it’s both hilarious and pathetic. The core concept is sound, but the actual execution is not only awful but insulting, hypocritical and misses the mark so badly.
The idea of commenting on Japan, its identity, its possible future is all well and good, but there's no commentary on Japan's own misdoings (its treatment of indigenous people or neighbouring countries, etc), not even sly winking, it’s all played very straight-faced which makes it look like fascistic propaganda.
The story itself is very simple, which is not a problem in itself as the
most classic parables of humanity are simple in nature, but this manga’s simplicity is indicative of its bone-headedness. The art is reminiscent of Miura Kentarou’s Berserk but lacking vitality, skilled composition or anything resembling worthwhile imagery in general.
The last speech at the end of Japan is so bizarre it’s like the author not only forgot what he was writing about, but the name of the manga itself.
Very disappointing output from an author and artist who are capable of so much more and have indeed gone onto better things. Avoid this.
Stumbled upon this in the [url=http://www.mcjp.fr/]maison de la culture du Japon à Paris[/url], a japanese cultural agency quite famous among Japan's lovers here in France.
Il was visiting their shop which is expensive to say the least. ^^' and went "Wow!" Buronson, famous Hokuto no Ken and Sanctuary writer, famous for his manly men PLUS Kentaro Miura, also famous for his manly men?
This has to be the team of the year! And at a post apocalyptic story at that!
Took it for the sheer awesomeness of theses authors and their duo.
And I wasn't displeased. Ok, the story is quite sketchy: it's a social and economical critic of
1992's Japan (this manga was written in 1992 and published in my contry in 2008).
You take a Kenshiro/Guts look alike, give him a Casca (the journalist he is infatuated with), a bunch of "who cares about tomorrow?" Japanese youngsters, who are quite dislikable (the two yakuzas are the good guys!!! o_O) and you have them travel by mystical means quite ridculous (a carthaginian magician? Really?Who knows about Japan, at that???) in a Hokuto no Ken background.
It's action all the way, with the "normal men" (the journalist and the youngsters) looking after the criminals for advice and protection.
The manly hero is very moral for a yakuza, helps japanese people oppressed by the "evil" neo europeans, as Japanese people are picked on for being the country which behaviour harvested most of the tragedy that befell the future.
This, I didn't like: this manga reeks of a bit of nationalism (which is normal, as yakuzas are known to often be right-wingers). Europeans are the bad ones and do not think at the least that their beheviour was a bit responsible for the global catastrophe (pitiful. We are as much responsible of global warming, economic disasters and all as the United states and Japan, especially in 1992).
In the times of 1992, you can see spanish kids begging the japanses youngsters for money, as would indian kids of today. Even by 1992 standards, that was not a normal behaviour, I can tell you. Spain was poor then, but not so much as this.
As for the qualities, I would tell that action is neat, psychological reactions of the bunch of heroes are plausible and that art is great.
There is a christic figure which is depicted as kind of ineffective. That is this manga's authors's thoughts, you can tell for sure!
The end is quite good, as the hero as a goal in mind which is the right solution to this world's evils. And it's logical for the name he uses for it reveals the utopia he plans to build.
Kind of a Hokuto no Ken for the faint of heart, with a social and economic critic which is not subtle at all, but is quite effective, especially, in the light of what we see of Japan's actual crisis, it prooves to be quite prophetic.