Sunday, May 6, 2018

REVIEW: Yukarism (manga, vol. 4) by Chika Shiomi, translated by John Werry

Yukarism is a fantasy series with historical elements due to the way the main character keeps getting transported back to his past life as an oiran. This is the final volume in the series.

Parts of my review might be considered spoilers.

Review:

It has become very clear that if Yukari can't figure out how to break his, Mahoro, and Satomi's connections to their past lives, then history will repeat itself whether they wish it to or not. Yukari learns that Yumurasaki's death was much more terrible and tragic than he realized, and he becomes determined to find a better solution than Mahoro/Takamura killing Satomi/Kazuma.

This is one of those rare short manga series that's actually pretty decent. It's a bit inconsistent throughout, and the first volume is, unfortunately, probably the weakest, but this final volume was excellent.

Considering that the series started off more focused on Yukari/Yumurasaki, I was surprised at how important a character Mahoro became. I'm still not a fan of Takamura's scenes in volume 1, but I really liked how things turned out between Mahoro/Takamura and Yukari/Yumurasaki in the end, even if the explanation for Yumurasaki's numerous rejections of Takamura's offers to buy her freedom was a little awkward. Too bad it took them one and a half lifetimes to finally have a proper conversation, although sadly Yumurasaki probably couldn't have spoken so freely when she was still alive.

The action and tragedy in the pages leading up to the volume's climax reminded me of other historical series I've loved, like Peacemaker Kurogane (I've only seen the anime so far, which has some sad bits but stops prior to the really sad stuff). All flames, bloodshed, and crying. Thankfully, the series as a whole didn't end tragically, although I was afraid it would. And, oh, I worried about Mahoro in the aftermath, poor girl.

I did have some questions about Mahoro and Yukari's relationship in the end, and how things would work out considering their differing memories, but for the most part I found this to be a satisfying ending. I'm tempted to buy myself a copy of this last volume because I enjoyed it enough that I could see myself wanting to reread it. But, knowing me, I'd then decide I should own the first three volume too, and my shelf space is at a premium.

Extras:
  • Two pages of translator's notes.

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