Gabimaru the Hollow is one of the most vicious assassins ever to come out of the ninja village of Iwagakure. He’s ruthlessly efficient, but a betrayal results in him being handed a death sentence. He has only one hope—in order to earn his freedom, he must travel to a long-hidden island and recover an elixir that will make the shogun immortal. Failure is not an option. On this island, heaven and hell are just a hair’s breadth away.
Kaku transforms the clich d ninja hero trope into an unexpected psychological thriller in this genre-blending manga. Ninja Gabimaru the Hollow, nicknamed for his r sum of emotionless assassinations, awaits death, sentenced by a double-crossing chief. Though resolved to his fate ("Any parting words?" "Nah."), Gabimaru proves impossible to kill, despite several gruesome methods attempted. His ninjutsu training kicks in subconsciously, fueled by a deep-seated instinct to survive and return to his wife. Offered the chance to have his crimes pardoned, Gabimaru agrees to leave on an expedition with a group of death row criminals and master decapitator, Yamada Asaemon Sagiri, who is charged with keeping Gabimaru in line to find the elixir of life on a legendary island of paradise. But paradise comes with a price: those who set foot on the island never return and their decaying corpses morph into thousands of delicately blooming flowers. Using densely hatched lines and manga's typical lack of color to his advantage with copious shading, Kaku blends horror and shonen (teen male-oriented) genres. His detailed illustrations, reminiscent of Junji Ito's horror manga, imbue the tale with an unsettling, gruesome charm. This mysterious first volume, and its intricate artwork, launches the series with promise.
Oh my goodness…
Never wrote a review for a manga or book but this was a spectacular read. The flow of each panel was a delight, the art had me stop, appreciate and wanting to re-read the panels to get a better grasp of what was truly happening. I love the translations at the end of the book 1. Really enjoyed this read.
It’s starts off a little slow but it picks up heavily in the second half
Better than what I was expecting
I half expected a knock of more gory version of naruto from the ninja references however I was pleasantly surprised by where the story goes and how it explores the topics it brings up. Excellent art and so far great writing. I’m hooked and I already bought the next book and will likely buy the rest and read them all this week.