Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Manga Monday: Itsuwaribito

It's not technically Monday anymore, but better late than never, right?

Itsuwaribito (Volume 1)
Yuuki Iinuma

Utsuho is an itsuwaribito.  Itsuwaribito have a bad reputation as violent thieving liars, like pirate samurai.  But Utsuho isn't your typical itsuwaribito.  He's made it his code to lie in life, like an itsuwaribito, since he believes that the truth only gets people hurt.  When he was a child, his entire household was slaughtered because he was gullible enough to answer the questions of some bandits truthfully.  So despite the monk's rebukes who raises a village full of orphans, Utsuho can't stop lying, and won't.  When the entire village is destroyed by a group of itsuwaribito, however, Utsuho makes it his mission in life to continue helping others, like the monk taught him, but he will do it his way - through lies.  It's an odd idea, but Itsuho thinks that there are good lies and bad lies, and unlike other itsuwaribito, he wants to use good lies to help people who need his particular services.  One of the first people he aids is a talking tanuki (raccoon) who he helps in a confrontation with a hunter.  Pochi, as the tanuki is called, becomes Utsuho's little sidekick, and while he's very gullible, is a nice addition to the book, adding a touch of humor and, well, cuteness.  Many of the scenarios that Utsuho finds himself in are suited to his abilities, as he taunts bad itsuwaribito with his lies, even involving himself in a lying contest at one point, really showcasing his abilities.  Of course the premise itself is a little cheesy, and it's very convenient that Itsuho happens to stumble upon these plots of other itsuwaribito that his particular abilities can overcome, but overall, this is a decent action series.  It's not the most compelling series out there, but the artwork is clear and the story is interesting enough to keep one turning the pages.  The stories are more self-contained and episodic than a lot of stuff out there, but it works for the main character's mission in life.  More compelling characters and less annoying taunting from the protagonist would probably make the book much more appealing, but as is, I give it a lukewarm recommendation.

1 comment:

Sherman Unkefer said...

This is a good post. Thanks for introducing me to Utsuho.