Mar 12, 2010
Hassohappa (All reviews)
I watched two episodes of the anime and dropped it. Some time later, I stumbled upon the manga and began reading it on a whim. I didn't like the art, story, or ANY of the characters.

And now it's one of my favorite manga.

The artist has a very distinct style that suits the mood of the manga very well. She seems to get the hang of it around chapter 25-30; from chapter 40 on, the artwork is GORGEOUS. Every new chapter is like a masterpiece.

The characters seriously grow on you. I had initially liked none of them, but later somehow ended up liking nearly all of the main and supporting characters, which rarely happens to me.
Just reading their descriptions, they sound average and boring, but they're not. An example is Thobari-sensei (who happens to be a ninja). "Afraid of vehicles" is a fairly common trait in manga characters. But in no other manga will you find an adult who literally will run across Japan over the course of a week because he's afraid to ride the train.

The plot sounds really cliche with ninjas and scrolls and such, but believe me IT'S NOT. While the majority of the characters do fight, the manga is more centered on the characters than on fights. It's nothing like Naruto. No one shouts out their signature flashy move, no one's attack will hit a building/rock and make it crumble, there's no guy with huge muscles, none of those lame things that are normally in shonen manga.

Most of the arcs at the beginning are unimpressive, but after chapter 30 or so, as you become more attached to the characters, it gets better and better, up to the point where you may actually cry later on (I won't say why, read it yourself).

To sum it up, Nabari no Ou does not seem very good at the beginning. But later on, its strengths emerge in its characters and art. Overall, I would say this is one of the most seriously underappreciated manga out there.