Welcome to another post in bonutzuu’s Manga Archive, where I log the famous and the obscure manga I’ve read either in print or as eBooks.
Juuhime: Sincerely Night is the prequel manga to Takadono Madoka’s light novel series, Gun Princess (Juuhime). Long ago, the gods took magic away from mankind. However, a few chosen ones are able to seal magic into bullets and use them in battle.
Luca Aslacion was about to be executed because he drained the blood of magic users and sold them as magical drugs. However, Gracis, the ‘Mother of Darkness’ who’s able to use magic without bullets, begged for his life. In exchange for his extended life, Luca now has to become an executioner and do all the Church’s dirty work.
I wasn’t expecting much from a 4-volume manga I ordered on a whim because I wanted the ‘free shipping cost’ promotion from buying another manga. The first volume just screamed ‘cliched’. However, as the story goes on, it gets more and more interesting.
At first, I was expecting Red Raven or Chrome Breaker vibes, but this was different. The story has a bunch of interesting points, but it was quite rushed. I had no problem with that, because a lot of it is sort of cliched. It’s basically Luca reuniting with his lost siblings but finding that they’re not the same people he knew anymore, stuff like that. Luca always had to play the villain, but in the end he’s a pretty likable character. Gracis is quite bland. She’s the typical naïve, airhead, glutton heroine. I was a bit surprised that I care so much about her by the end of the manga. What magic did the author do…?
What I enjoyed, though, was the back and forth conversation between the story writer and the manga artist. You could read it in the cover jacket and the extra comic at the end of each volume. There’s this one volume where Ichimonji Kei, the manga artist, drew Gracis shooting a beam out of the star emblem on her forehead, and called it her new attack and said “please don’t let Takadano-sensei (the writer) see this.” In the next volume, Takadano-sensei was like ‘Gracis shooting a beam from her forehead? Are you (friggin’) kidding me?’ Lol that was funny.
Since this is a prequel manga, it left some points unresolved. However, the main ones have been resolved, at least. One thing I’d like to comment is that Luca forgot about the Gun Princess completely… like, can you please at least mention it at the end or something if you’re going to make that his life goal or something. Oh well, at least the manga was focused on itself. Not gonna complain.
Speaking of the art. At first I didn’t care about it too much. It looked like the manga artist drew with a black ballpoint pen or something. The faces and anatomy are bent out of proportion sometimes and it’s so obvious. However, (this may sound a bit creepy but) wow, Luca’s ass. I did not expect a shounen manga to draw such a pretty ass. Okay, ahem, forget I said anything. Generally, the style fits together very nicely. It has this raw feeling to it, which I quite liked.
Overall, it was better than I expected. Not a masterpiece, but fun.