Review: Samurai Deeper Kyo (Volume 16) (2002) Manga | My Reviews 02 AUG 2012

Kyo and Hotaru begin a fight to the death at the first of the Five Shining Gates. The two collide in a sizzling-hot flame that burns up both their bodies – and makes the ground tremble! Then Kyo’s ultimate technique, Suzaku, rises up into the sky…

Written and illustrated by Akimine Kamijyo, Samurai Deeper Kyo is a manga series set during the Edo period of Japan’s history, following Demon Eyes Kyo, a feared samurai seeking to regain his body after his soul is sealed inside the body of his rival, Mibu Kyoshiro.

Volume 16 now has us well and truly deep into the story, with Yuya now only having a matter of hours left to live as one by one the star markings on her chest slowly fade away. That said, this particular issue is pretty much completely devoted to the epic and fierce fight between Kyo and Hotaru, as the latter’s hatred towards Kyo is seemingly enough to raise his abilities to an even higher level than what they already are! (Intermixed in the big fight are a lot of flashbacks as well, attempting to explain the relationship between Hotaru and Kyo, as well as the reasons behind why Hotaru acts the way that he does.)

If you are already engrossed by the Samurai Deeper Kyo world then you will undoubtedly enjoy the backstory provided, but as per usual, the fight itself is so overwrought and over the top that it is difficult for it to try and maintain your interest for as long as it does, meaning that you’re probably going to find getting through this volume a lot more tedious than what Akimine would have hoped for.

The drama is depressingly heavy and there aren’t many laughs to be had here, but at the same time the over the top nature of the battle and what is being said leads to a lot of it feeling quite silly at times.

The artwork is okay I guess, standard pretty boy manga fare, with plenty of lines, action and a decent amount of detail. It won’t necessarily blow you away, but it certainly isn’t bad at all.

Overall, I didn’t really enjoy this one very much, on top of which I am now a little concerned as to what ludicrous depths Akimine will have to sink to with the next battle at the second gate in the next volume.

(Oh, never mind. He kind of gives us a good idea in the closing pages of this one: Panty-flashing, syringe throwing nurses. Right then…)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.