Title: Shaman Warrior #2
Author: Park Joong-Ki
Publisher: Dark Horse
May Contain Spoilers
After being forced to abandon his master, Yarong, the shaman warrior, Batu has set up digs in the middle of the desert. Caring for Yarong’s child, his solitude is disrupted by the arrival of Horakaan, a young warrior with shaman blood. When he tells Batu that everyone with shaman blood is being ruthlessly hunted down in Kugai, and that his pursuers will soon be upon them, Batu has no choice but to travel with him to Manutu. Though he longs for vengeance for the lies told about his master, first he must take Yaki to safety.
Shaman Warrior is a frenzied action tale that rushes breathlessly by. There aren’t even this many fights in Berserk! Unfortunately, you have to wade through a lot of meaningless sword slashing and aerial martial arts to find tidbits of meaningful plot. This is a great read for a Saturday afternoon, when you’re winding down from a hectic week at work. There’s not a lot to think about between the covers, but there is a lot of rapid motion to keep the pages turning.
I liked the introduction of Yaki, Yarong’s young daughter. She’s a little cutie! While I don’t particularly like the character designs for any of the male characters, Park Joong-Ki has given a spirited and bubbly life to Yaki. She acts tough and defiant when Horakaan first crosses paths with her, but when Batu, learning that his beloved master’s name has been befouled by the very people he died serving, unleashes his rage, she cowers from him, suddenly fearful of her protector. She’s the only reason I’m interested in reading any further volumes of Shaman Warrior.
The action scenes have improved since the last volume, and it was easier to follow along with the fighting. I just wish that the confrontations meant something. Other than demonstrating how ruthless the participants were, they really didn’t have much significance, and that made them boring. The cover, like the first volume, really grabbed my attention. I only wish the contents had been as compelling.