Tail of the Moon 15

February 20, 2009

I grabbed this one at random from my stack because I’d heard that Rinko Ueda was a fun and light read.  She is, and I was pretty happy with this volume, even after it had so much stacked against it.

I was a little disappointed after I realized this was the last volume in the series, because it’s a bit harder to follow the end of a series when it tries to wrap everything up than it is to just jump in the middle of something.  I was doubly put off by the fact that this is a historical romance with a lot of figures from Japanese history.  I tend to dislike stories like this because I always feel like I’m missing something by knowing zilch about the subject matter.  Also, it’s always just hard to jump into a series this far in.

But it was fun.  After reading the plot summary and firmly establishing in my head that the main couple was Usagi and Hanzo, I just followed along as the series played out its end in action, betrayal, war, and revenge.  I knew none of the characters, but some of the romances in play were pretty sweet in their way, and everyone’s fondness for the main character also made it somewhat easy to follow what was going on for some reason.

I especially liked the fact it included a “several years later” story in the back following one of the young characters from the main series.  I always love it when stories do this, especially longer ones, because it’s just fun to see how everyone lives their peaceful lives in the end.  Even if you don’t know who anyone is.

It also occurred to me that this is probably the only manga I’ve read with ninja (ninjas?) in it.  I was thinking about it, and I could come up with no other series I have with ninja, which I thought was just bizarre.  I thought maybe it was because I avoided historical-type manga, but I own several samurai stories, and all the other historical manga I could think of, even from Dark Horse, had samurai and not ninja.  Maybe Shadow Star is about ninja?  Maybe I’m thinking too hard about this, though.  Maybe there’s something big I’m forgetting.  Maybe it’s something everyone else reads and not me, something insanely popular I’m just missing the boat on completely.

Honestly, I’m not going to go back and pick up the early volumes of this series, and there are far better things to read.  But it is really fun and addictive, and I have a feeling I would have gone back for the whole thing had I started with an earlier volume.  If you happen across it, give it a try if you’re looking for a light read.  It’s definitely not hard to get into, even with all the history, which is copiously footnoted in the back, something I thought was nice.  It’s probably especially good for kids, and even in the last volume in the midst of war, the violence was pretty light (there was one death, but it was not a bloody death).  If you’re as old as I am, you’ll hate yourself a little bit for liking it, but I can imagine young girls eating it up.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

9 Responses to “Tail of the Moon 15”

  1. jun Says:

    This is a series I’m gradually collecting via Mangatude. I bought the first several but it hasn’t been a priority purchase by any means.

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  3. Connie Says:

    I think it’s one of the only series I can think of where I would enjoy it enough that I would read it if I borrowed it from the library or if someone gave it to me, but I would never buy it myself. It’s cute, but… not that great.

  4. lys Says:

    I’ve been thinking of coming back to this series too—I got to about volume 5 and realized my interest was waning, but if my library has it I’d be willing to check it out. It seems like most readers who’ve been following along have found it pretty solid and enjoyable.

    By the way, if you’re ever looking for more ninja-manga, Shinobi Life is a pretty fun take on the subject (also set in the modern world, although there’s at least one visit to the past). Teru Teru x Shonen is also rather interesting (and about modern-day ninjas)… but I’m still not entirely clear about what’s going on in the story.

  5. Connie Says:

    Oh, thanks for that, I knew there had to be at least a couple other series out there. I forgot about Teru Teru x Shounen. I keep wanting to get that one, actually, but there’s something about the plot summaries that puts me off a little. The covers always make me want to buy it, though. It sounds really close to Captive Hearts as far as being a boy-protects-girl type story.

  6. Pirkaf Says:

    I just read the first volume of this series and it was surprisingly enjoyable. I can’t imagine buying 15 volumes but I may buy the second one justo to see how the things turn out… or maybe not… we will see… but it’s a sweet shojo manga that doesn’t take itself much seriously and a nice relief between two volumes of Dororo… ;-)

  7. Connie Says:

    Haha, I can imagine it fitting in strangely well with Dororo.

  8. Pirkaf Says:

    Yeah, they’re both historical manga.. sort of.. ;-)

  9. Connie Says:

    Sadly, I always seem to learn more from series like these than the serious-type stories that revel in detail and accuracy. Or even actual history books. ^_^;

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