This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a really violent series, it’s Übel Blatt by Etorōji Shiono. It is a Seinen, Young Man, series with content unsuitable for those who may be squeamish or don’t like nudity.
Plot Synopsis: Beginning some twenty years prior to the start of the manga, the story narrates on how Koinzell, then named Ascheriit, was a young, prodigious swordsman whose skill granted him the fabled title of Blatt Meister (literally “Blade Master”). His deeds made him one of the fourteen chosen by the ruling emperor of the Empire of Szaalenden to venture into a dangerous quest to defeat a powerful enemy invader known as the evil nation of Wischtech, of whom the many powerful engines of destruction and dark sorcery made a dangerous foe. Each armed with a lance blessed by the Emperor himself, and thus known as the Fourteen Lances, the chosen traveled far into the enemy’s wasted landscape, losing three of their ranks to the perils of the land, until they arrived into a forest where seven of the eleven remaining decided to forfeit their mission, fearing for their lives. Nevertheless, Ascheriit and three of those still bent on following the Emperor’s will continued, and incredibly succeeded in their deed, returning victorious. It was then that the seven who abandoned the mission ambushed their comrades and massacred them. On returning home, they told the Emperor that the four they killed turned traitors against them, and after dispatching them the seven completed the task. Thus, they were hailed as heroes and dubbed the Seven Heroes, while the four who were killed became symbols of treachery and received the moniker of Lances of Betrayal.
Thus, the story tells of the voyage of Ascheriit, who indeed survived the slaughter and vowed to take the head of his traitorous companions, now powerful nobles and warlords hailed as saviors by the people.
Plot: The plot is really dark and very violent, expect more blood and violence in this series than just about anything I’ve ever reviewed before. I love it for the seriousness of the tone and it’s lack of hesitance to cover subjects most find uncomfortable. Do be warned that there are sex scenes in this series, and it’s used in sometimes very gross ways, although never by Koinzell and his friends.
Character: Koinzell is pretty stoic, but he does care about his comrades. That being said if you piss him off don’t expect to die a pretty death. The rest of the cast is memorable, and I like Ato out of all the characters other than Koinzell.
Art: The art for this series is perfect, I love the detail and the dark tones. It must be a pain in the ass to apply all that ink tone to all dark parts of the page.
Overall: If you don’t mind a bit of blood, skin, and a dark tone, you’ll love this series.
For those who like: Dark Fantasy, Lots of blood and violence in their Dark Fantasy, Bad ass characters, Amazing artwork.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or the occasional nudity/sex scenes.