Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shinobi Life (manga, vol. 1) by Shoko Conami

The cover art of the first volume of Shinobi Life caught my eye a while back. I think I've only ever stumbled across one review of it, which basically said "this was okay." Since I was going to be getting it via a library, I figured that "okay" was good enough.

I think I was able to check out the first three volumes, although the only one I ended up reading was volume 1.


The heroine of the story, Beni, is a girl who blames her father for her mom's suicide and who is therefore determined to die in a way that would be her father's fault. Kagetora is a ninja from the past, transported to the present (Beni's time), who thinks that Beni is Benihime, the person he serves. He saves Beni, the two of them are transported back to Kagetora's time, Kagetora saves Beni again, and then they're both transported back to Beni's time.


This was mediocre. It reminded me a bit of Full Metal Panic! (clueless and serious military guy strives to protect spirited girl), except I remember Full Metal Panic! being more fun.

All my preconceptions about what this volume was going to be like were based on the cover art (I didn't even bother to read the blurb), so I figured there would be a modern day setting, with modern day shinobi (possibly similar to Nabari no Ou), and romance. The time travel aspect took me by surprise and was, generally, pretty lame.

Kagetora was mind-numbingly bland and not very bright. Beni was exceptional only in her initial determination to die. Yes, okay, so she blamed her father for her mother's death. Seriously, though, there had to be better ways to strike back at her father than trying to die in a way that could be considered his fault. While it's certainly possible that Beni becomes more interesting in later volumes, so far we have a heroine who constantly needs to be saved and whose hips keep giving out on her (so Kagetora can catch her, of course). Not exactly exciting. Also, isn't it usually a person's legs or knees that give out, rather than their hips?

I'll put up with a lot for pretty artwork, but even that wasn't all that great. I doubt I'll be continuing with this series.

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