Title: Samurai Deeper Kyo Genres: Shounen Author: Kamijyo Akimine Artist: Kamijyo Akimine Publication:Weekly Shounen Magazine Start Date:October 15, 1999 End Date:May 10, 2006 Number of chapters at review:308 Number of chapters read by reviewer:308
General Overview: Samurai Deeper Kyo is set in the period of Japanese history after the Battle of Sekigahara. Bounty hunter Shiina Yuya encounters a medicine peddler named Mibu Kyoshiro. Within the body of the seemingly innocent Kyoshiro is trapped Demon Eyes Kyo, a legendary slayer of 1000 men. Kyo is trying to find his true body while Yuya is searching for the killer of her brother. Together their journey would change the face of Japan.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
The art is great, characters are well proportioned and their clothing are are fairly detailed. Landscape and scenery shots are beautifully done. Action scenes cool to look at and easily to follow.
The plot is well structured and flows at a good pace. Many mysteries and secrets are presented as catalysts for the character's motives, the plot unravels more as they seek to find out the truth behind their loved ones and the world they live in. Initially straightforward goals would eventually expand and become part of much larger schemes.
There are loads and loads of characters, these include some truly despicable villains as well as many sympathetic and redemption worthy individuals. The main cast in general gets quite a lot of character development as each experiences their individual growth through the course of the manga. Unfortunately the protagonist still possesses that common shonen plot shield, where he prevail through fights by virtue of sheer will and resolve just because he has to, reasons for victory basically boils down to 'he's just that badass'. As a result I found myself more drawn to the supporting cast and the antagonists in general. Praises must also be given to the character designs, even cannon fodder can look pretty bad-ass in this manga.
Loneliness, bonds, finding acceptance, the value of family and friendship are all prevalent themes in SDK. With most of its character's been either antiheroes or antivillains, there's plenty of focus on morality and what it means to have a worthy existence in this world.
The storyline is quite formulaic, the plot twists and surprises generally falls within the established boundaries of a shounen manga. Many concepts and conventions have been used and reused. Although the characters are quite original and have their unique traits, the manga hardly treads into uncharted territory for its genre.
Plenty of likeable character, effective storytelling, engaging story combined with good quality art makes this a very enjoyable and worthwhile read. It's hardly avant-garde material but does what it sets out to do very well.