Nov 6, 2010
The story itself seems very familiar at first, as a young boy tries to become a martial arts master in order to defeat some grand arch-enemy and even enters a competition to try to hone his skills. However, the setting of Gamaran adds another layer to this much-repeated story and draws the reader back in time with many historic subtleties to a time when swords ruled Japan and martial arts were the epitome of warfare. Additionally, the description of how each martial technique works with some realistic logic (and some not so realistic obviously) is still intriguing and demonstrates the author's passion for the weapons and martial arts of Japan's past.
For a manga such as this to work, detailed artwork needs to show off the moves and the weapons of every character so that any following explanation actually makes sense. The drawing itself is not overly unique, but it is done well enough that the reader is occasionally caught off guard by the artistry of the page he/she is looking at.
The main characters have detailed histories that are revealed as time goes on and each one has their own main antagonist, which helps spread the focus away from Gama, although not in a way that takes away from his central role. The teamwork aspect adds a nice touch as they can teach one another and work together to defeat enemies. A lot of information is also revealed about main antagonists, giving the series even more depth. The variety of techniques and weapons also add a nice touch to both protagonists and antagonists.
I happen to love shounen stories and this one satisfies my every urge. Staying realistic is a nice touch, especially with the explanations and the historic element only gives it more bonus points.
Definitely a great manga and one of my current favorites.
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