My copy of Übel Blatt volume 23 came in the mail today so I sat down to read it, barely able to recall what happened in the previous volume.
I started Übel Blatt wayyyy back in 2012 when I was still in middle school, all because a manga blogger I used to like said that it was this captivating tale of revenge. It was. Until OP Glenn happened.
Fourteen people went over the border. Three were slain. Four deserted, labeled the Four Lances of Betrayal. The remaining seven returned victorious, hailed by their countrymen as heroes.
Though… it didn’t happen that way. The seven ‘heroes’ were actually the ones that deserted, leaving the remaining four to finish the mission on their own. When the four returned, the seven brutally murdered them at the border and claimed fame to themselves.
Twenty years later, one of the fallen four returned on a quest for revenge. His name is Koinzell, ex Blatt Master, now a shota elf with an amazing ding-dong. (Ref: Ubel Blatt vol 0)
I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of Übel Blatt. It was dark and tense, and you feel for Koinzell’s quest for revenge. You want to see him cut down those who wronged him and finally be able to clear his name. You also start rooting for the others who decided to follow him around. The fights were well-drawn and paced, and all in all it was very enjoyable.
Until somewhere in the middle, Übel Blatt became more of an obligation than an enjoyment. I felt that I’ve read too far to drop, so I just grinded my way through the latter half. It did pick up a bit at the last volume, although I felt that there could be a more climatic ending than *spoilers* Koinzell just going into OP mode, burning Glenn to death, while Ato, Peepi, and Ikfes just stood around watching him *end spoiler*. To be honest, at this point I can’t remember what the heck Glenn’s motivation was.
Koinzell’s last line in chapter 125 “My journey… it’s finally over.” I think captures many of our feelings reading this manga: it was friggin 10 years in serialization and it’s finally over. (Although the author did comment on the manga’s jacket that he didn’t really feel Übel Blatt was over.)
I really did enjoy the manga. I enjoyed watching Koinzell cut down those who wronged him despite his handicap. I enjoyed seeing them repent. I enjoyed the stark contrast between the happy memories up to their betrayal, and how it all went to hell twenty years later. What really killed this manga for me wasn’t that Ato and Peepi barely had a presence or that Elseria and Rozen were there just for the sake of being there, it was the main villain. It was baby face Glenn. He’s just standing around acting cool, then he suddenly got burned by Elseria, then suddenly turned into a giant wailing kaijuu only to be vaporized by Koinzell. It looked amazing on the manga pages, but when I actually wrote out what happened, I went ‘what the heck was that’.
Although I gotta comment: the author did end it on a good note and I like it, even if it didn’t have as much of an impact as I thought it would.
Oh well, one more long overdue manga over.
Here are my other long overdue mangas, if you’re interested: