Title: Shut Hell (A.K.A. Akuryou - Shuto Heru, Shutoheru)
Genres: Seinen, Action, Gender Bender, Historic
Author: Itoh Yu
Artist: Itoh Yu
Publication: Shogakukan (Serialized in Big Comic Spirits)
Start Date: 2008
End Date: Ongoing
Number of chapters at review: 19
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 19
During the 13th century, the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan, led series of attacks upon the Tangut empire. From the rotting dregs of the Tangut, Shut Hell, the evil one, is birthed. A fearsome beast that hunts its prey, the Mongols. Though as a predator of the Mongols, she finds herself in the company of a lone and young Mongol prince, Yurul. Perhaps, the only Mongol she can't kill.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
The style of Itoh Yu seems amateurish but not in a negative tone. It's rough and doesn't look polished like other artists. The style has this almost "quick draft" feel to it. By that I meant that the art style seemed as if it hadn't finish the process of drafting. It looked as if it was done with in one pass. Maybe sketch-like style would be a better way to describe it.
The overall art style could dramatically improved. Also, some scenes, the character(s) could have been better worked in with the environment.
On the flip side, the art grew on me. It's a particular style that easily distinguishes itself. What I like about Shut Hell is that at times, a lot of things are happening in one scene but it was clear on what was happening. Perhaps the author isn't so worry about the level of detail of the art work but rather interested in telling a story.
It was almost an excellent story. There's an oddity in the storyline. I'm not sure what the intentions of that author was but it disrupted a totally good story.
The story might seem like an action story but it's more like a tragedy in a literary sense. It paints a great picture of the time. Itoh Yu didn't cut back on the gruesome details of what battles were like in a war in ancient times.
Each character has his or her own uniqueness in the setting of this story. Of course the setting is war and I must honestly say that I have never come across such brutal characters that were developed by war.
Shut Hell is extremely brutal. She's much more than a beast at times. She's almost demonic in how she dispatches her enemies.
Then there's Yurul. An oddity in an environment were warriors are born. Instead of learning the art of war, Yurul is a scholar. Of course, the young prince ambitions are different from his warmongering people. Instead of war and destruction, he seeks to preserve the remains of an enemy country.
Each character that is presented so far does a great deal in enhancing the story. Though, the oddity does drop the score down.
Preservation and survival. A very powerful theme. How the manga portrayed this was beautiful. This theme could be seen between Shut Hell and Taika or between man versus a country.
You can't preserve something if it doesn't survive disaster. So, survive should be placed as the highest priority. Once, there is no longer the need for survive, preservation then takes priority. Both require a lot of effort but survival is only for a season. Preservation takes the effort of many generations. If one generation lapse, what's left to preserve? Very little.
This, seemingly, historic plot really dives into the them of survival and preservation. Because of this, Shut Hell (manga) makes death even more intriguing. Death could either be singular or for the masses.
It was almost an excellent manga. The main characters seem to play some sort of role but I can't seem to connect the dot. This little blemish or hopefully not seems to throw off the consistency of the story. I'm confused as to what is the actual premise of the story? I suppose, the mangaka is going to expand upon that in the future.
For those with an appreciation for historic settings and like action adventures, Shut Hell is a good read.
Last edited by segua; April 26, 2010 at 04:58 PM.