Title: Emerald a.k.a. エメラルド Genres: Seinen, One Shot, Action, Adventure, Historical, Suspense Author: Samura Hiroaki Artist: Samura Hiroaki Publication: Kodansha serialized in Afternoon Start Date: 2001 End Date: 2001 Number of chapters at review: 1, completed Number of chapters read by reviewer: 1
General Overview: Sarah Rocker is forced to play a little game with Mr. Randolph also known as the Alchemist. Rosalie is testing Jimmy "Massacre's" marksmanship. Yet, these two seemingly unrelated events are delicately tied together.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
It's a sketchy but finished art. The characters are well drawn and well proportioned. The hand gestures are great. The facial expressions are really good and add more depth to the characters. Both of these supplements the scenarios well. All these minute details just accentuate the story more.
The setting of the story takes place in a town in what could be termed as the "wild, wild West." There is a sense of law but mainly, the authority is in the gun. This town is a home to the legends of Johnny "Ray Gun" Fox, Jimmy "Massacre" Weed and Black Rose. But, life in the Wild West
Sarah Rocker's father died but not before amassing a debt that couldn't be paid. On that same day, Mr. Randolph appeared with a possible solution: a guessing game between a glass rabbit and a glass coyote. Sarah's mom also accepted Mr. Randolph's proposition once but lost. In losing, she became a prostitute. Now, Sarah's in the exact predicament playing the same game her mom played with Mr. Randolph.
Mr. Randolph is also called the Alchemist. There isn't much background information on how and why he's referred as such. Just like Mr. Randolph, the story never went into depth about who Johnny Fox, Jimmy Weed and Black Rose are. Then again, there wasn't a need to go into their past.
Women has to come up with a different way to strategy to survive in the hostile life of the Wild West where men rules by the might of the gun. The manga best word it:"Power is power and a gun is a gun. These are the way of men; not us women. At any time, you must not give up hope, and always be ready to use your mind. Then, have a little courage to execute it. That becomes the weapon to beat guns."
It's a very brief yet entertaining about the Wild West. There are other works out there that portray cowboys or the west but it's usually with a touch of surrealism i.e. samurai alongside a gunslinger. It's also not a planet comprised entirely of the West. The story is an isolated incident that took place in a fictional town in a fictional Untied States of America. This is a great western fiction.
It was a good story and brilliantly executed in my opinion. Samura Hiroaki did a fine job putting this together. It has all the ingredients to make it a masterpiece.
For those looking for a short read, I would recommend this.