Genres:Seinen, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Number of chapters at review:41
Number of chapters read by reviewer:41
General Overview: In order to end a great war between a land called Wischtech and a country called Szaalanden. The emperor of Szaalanden sent 14 young hero's on a mission to defeat Wischtech, giving each a lance. Three would die along the way. Four betray the group. Seven achieved their mission and returned as heroes. Getting wealth and power as their reward.
Now twenty years have passed, and the lances of betrayal have reappeared in the border lands. A mysterious young swordsman named Koinzell suddenly appears and kills an entire group of their soldiers. Who is he? What is his goal? You'll have to read to find out.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Ubel Blatt's art is a mixed bag. The actions, attacks, and monsters are all very well drawn. Most characters look quite good but there is a lot of repetition in their features, hair and facial features in particular. This leads to new characters looking a lot like old ones with a slightly different outfits and haircuts. The backgrounds don't really stand out as good or bad. The artist clearly doesn't put much effort into them most of the time, but it doesn't really hinder his storytelling so i won't penalize him too much for it.
This is a plot driven manga with no shortage of surprises and plot twists. Koinzell's deep tragic story serves as an excellent driving force for it. Though be warned, due to the dark nature of the story humorous moments are few and far between in this particular manga.
The characters are, for the most part, excellent. Like many other fantasy manga's Ubel Blatt is not at all shy about using stereotypes, but the author makes sure there is an emotional under layer that keeps the characters compelling and helps you get attached to them.
The villains in this tale are a different matter though, they don't seem to get much depth at all and many seem to be driven by nothing more than the author's need for them to be bad guys.
At first glance you would think the main theme is "revenge" but i think "betrayal" is more accurate. Revenge suggests the desire to get even or inflict suffering on those who wronged you, but that isn't what Ubel Blatt is about at all. There is much more sadness to Koinzell than there is anger.
The author really does a good job of creating a world for the events of the story to take place in. The plot and the way the story is told are also rather creative. I can't say more without spoilers, naturally.
This is good manga with great story telling and a lot of action. It's story is rather dark though and lacks humor. I recommend it for those who are fans of Berserk, they have certain thematic elements in common.
Spoiler: Manga's images taken from earlier chapters to avoid spoiler, generally the art improves show