Takeru: Opera Susanoh Sword of the Devil Vol 2 Manga Review


Title: Takeru: Opera Susanoh Sword of the Devil Vol 2

Story:  Kazuki Nakashima

Art: Karakarakemuri

Publisher: Tokyopop

ISBN: 9781427815712

May Contain Spoilers

This series has come out of nowhere and has knocked my socks off.  I don’t feel that the humor always hits its mark, but the combination of attractive art and rollicking action has yielded a one-two knock out.  There were several twists in this installment that took me by surprise, and when I hit the last page, I didn’t want the adventure to end. 

The three Takerus have been accepted by the women warriors of Jagara, and they have agreed to help them defend their kingdom and the Sword of Susanoh against the invading armies from Amamikado.  Izumo is still intent on finding the weapon, and he thinks he’s getting closer to recovering it.  When the armies of Amamikado launch a surprise attack, traitors are revealed and all hope for survival is almost lost.  Will the Takerus be able to fight their way out of this mess?

Galloping along at breakneck speed, this volume uncovers Oguna’s true identity, and turns allies against each other.  With most of the focus on the confrontation with the forces from Amamikado, once the battle begins, the action doesn’t let up.  A couple of the plot devices seemed a little too convenient, but there is so much going on that a few bobbles didn’t detract from the story.  This is very much like a popcorn action flick, and as long as you don’t examine all of the underlying structures, it provides some solid entertainment. 

The characters are fairly one-dimensional, with the villains providing a splash of evil for no other reason than to drive the action forward.  There is no character development, just a group of individuals who behave within a rigid set of rules.  If you’re good, you’re good, and if you’re bad, you’re really bad.  Unless you are possessed by a cursed sword, and then all bets are off.  The formula works because the good guys are likeable and you’ll want to see them win. They have certainly become the underdogs, though, and things have gotten very precarious for them.  It’s going to be a long wait until December, when volume three hits the shelves.

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by Tokyopop