Last year I looked at the team-up train wreak that was Japan and realized I wasted like five dollars and a few hours on writing more unsubtle than mine. While looking up some info for it I did come across it's big brother King of Wolves. I decided to read that and then didn't so that's why I'm just now talking about it. Relevancy is clearly not my strong suit,anyway lets get on with King of Wolves.
As mentioned above this is the big brother of the red-headed step child that is Japan. Published in 1989, a year after Buroson's Fist of the North Star had completed it's run and a year before Miura's Berserk would begin it's own . It is paced better with a stronger story but lacks the fangs that Japan had. Not to say it was really that bad either it's just insubstantial.As before Buroson is on story duty while Miura is doing the art Anyway, I like talking about plots so lets do that.
The story follows Iba and his girlfriend Kyoko as they both get pulled into a never explained portal of sorts that takes them back to the thirteenth century Mongol Empire. Her entrance to this realm happens a year later and is used as a way to introduce everything. It follows their efforts to one return home and two keep history flowing as it should. History having a very loose definition here,in that Genghis Khan was apparently a Japanese hero that fled his homeland to start anew in mainland Asia. The book tries to use actual dates to explain it away and I can not tell if it's being serious or not. The plot is driven by a string of wholly uninteresting fights that Iba wins using his kendo techniques and his odd sword that he just seems to have. It does make sense that no one would really be used to his style of fighting so they do lose easily. It doesn't make them any less boring though.
The time line that Iba and Kyoko try to protect seems pretty lax about events. As long as Genghis lives to his recorded death it doesn't seem to matter who has his name. Because I'm pretty sure that Iba's fighting style and sword may cause some things to change but nope it's fine. The whole idea of it is more Stein's Gate and less Sound of Thunder.
Speaking of lax the tone and message are not sure of themselves. The aforementioned origins of Genghis Khan are ridiculous but again I do not know if it is be serious or not. There is a almost bro like relationship between Iba,Genghis and his general but it still plays Genghis as a bit loony and blood thirsty. His desire to have a pure Japaneses baby comes the hell out of no where and pushes him into cartoon villain territory with his attempt to steal it from Iba and Kyoko. It is hard to discern if this is some tragic love story or a zany gorefest.
The characters themselves they are all bland and uninteresting. Iba has no personality outside of we must preserve history. I guess him and Kyoko bond over there lack of personality because they have the chemistry of wet paper bags. Kyoko stops doing anything remotely interesting once she reunites with Iba. Her only real contribution to the plot is having a baby,because that's all we ladies are good for I guess. Everyone else is just a jerk,that wants to murder and /or rule the land. Yes I realize that the period of time was fairly violent but just because it was doesn't mean everyone was a blood thirsty lunatic.
Lets give Buronson a break and start talking about the art,it is okay. I don't know if Miura just really like drawing Casca or what but Kyoko is basically her without her likability. The Mongol empire was apparently a precursor to the bad future of Japan everything is barren taking place primarily in deserts and on plateaus. I realize that those places would be kind of sparse but you could still make them look interesting. However if barren was the intention then they did hit it right on the nose. Genghis's right hand man is a giant in his first appearance then normal the rest of the time,go go action perceptive. I don't mean to bash Miura but this wasn't his first dog and pony show,he should know better.
When I first read this manga I was pretty okay with it I figured it's better than Japan but now that I've had time to think about it,it is almost worse than Japan. It has a better structure and is not as ham-handed as Japan but that's all it really has going for it. Japan had some train wreak qualities that made it somewhat memorable but this is the Seinen equivalent of shojo fluff. Nothing really wrong with it but completely forgettable.
Till next time Stay Positive