September 10, 2009
Kentaro Miura – Dark Horse – 2009 – 33+ volumes
And with that, I’m caught up. Boo. I had forgotten that Dark Horse was switching paper stock until I read this. It’s noticeable, but doesn’t really strike me as a bad thing. I like my manga pulpy.
Anyway. There’s a huge, HUGE fight at the end of this volume. Actually… make that through the entire volume, but it gets particularly intense towards the end. And sort of funny. Guts kills a single gigantic demon tiger that crashes a high-society ball, then slays a herd of gigantic demon tigers that bust in after that one is dead. Then the town is sieged by horned demons. Guts slays them. As the heroes make their escape, a gigantic elephant behemoth larger than the buildings, similar to the one they fought a couple volumes ago, appears out of nowhere. Flanking it are the horned demons. Riding on demon tigers. Guts clashes epically with the elephant monster, and then as a finisher, jumps off the top of its head and slays several of the tiger-riding demons, tigers and all, as they are about to attack Schierke and company. I mean, it’s awesome, but it’s also way over-the-top in a hilarious way.
I think I enjoyed these fights even more because Guts had an audience. I laughed as panel after panel featured nobles, aristocrats, soldiers, townspeople, and pretty much everyone not in his party staring in open-mouthed shock as he fought. I’m glad that the series stops to acknowledge what is happening is insane every now and again.
There’s lots of important plot developments, like the very religious aristocrats of the port city having to suddenly accept the existence of magic when the demons appear and Farnese, the daughter of the most influential man in town, uses witchcraft to save them. Her father doesn’t quite accept it, but her brother and new beau do. The two new characters… while I don’t really want them in the party, they are at least amusing for the time being. The beau, Roderick, is a knight-in-shining-armor-type of guy who just isn’t equipped to slay the demons like Guts and company. Farnese’s brother is a coward, though, and has no problem cowering behind little Schierke in a fight. I kind of liked that.
And… now I have to wait for new volumes like everyone else. Bah.