Musashi and his childhood friend, Kojiro, learn the legend of the Bushi - demon fighting warriors who use their katanas to fight even in the name of humanity. The only problem is, the two of them seem to be the only ones who think the demons are bad. Musashi hides his dream to become a Bushi and instead goes to school to become a miner, but he fashions his pickaxe to be a katana and continues to hone his skills in sword-fighting. On the day Musashi goes out to the mines, he discovers that his sword practice was well worth it, and that his dream of becoming a Bushi is much more obtainable than others made him believe.
The storyline in the first volume is extremely repetitive. Musashi keeps repeating how his dream is to become a bushi, and Kojiro had to struggle for several pages throughout the volume about his identity as a person with a bushi ancestor. The demon metal horse that he rides in on is a motorcycle with tons of spikes on it, so where is the fuel for this bike in this world? The main issue I had that was completely untouched was how this human society trains young folk to believe the demons are great and that bushi are bad. What do they have to gain from training their children to believe this? There are some sacrifices that are made to the worldbuilding in this volume in favor of the fast pacing and action sequences. If you or your students are into a bit of mindless violence, this might be a decent title to get into. It might be better in a library where Magi, the previous work by this mangaka, is popular.
The art was very detailed and there were some really intricate and impressive fight scenes. Despite the ludicrousness of the main character's katana, his character design is well done, and he looks believable as a sword-swinging fighter.
Sara's Rating: 5/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Tags: Rating: 5/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Demons, Action Adventure, Friendship
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