Review by: Faith McAdams
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Masanori * Ookamigumi * Katakura
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Advanced)
MSRP: $7.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Love and Punishment.
Having defied the Gods themselves, Kurohime has paid the ultimate price having not only lost her true physical form but also having lost the ability to be with the one she loves the most … a boy named Zero. She defies the Gods still with her quest to not only regain her lost memories but also reunite with her one real love that will finally break the curse.
In past volumes, Kurohime journey to regain more power via imprisoned Gods has left her making enemies left and right including the Goddess Yashahime who – in Volume 9 – resurrected her love Zero and turned the newly formed Death Angel against Kurohime. We’ve also felt the presence of something else that has set out to put a stop to Hime’s quest and now we finally get to meet them in Volume 10 of Kurohime.
After the heartbreaking reunion between Kurohime and Dark Zero, Kurohime not only gains a slightly older physical form but she also refocuses her attention on attempting to free Zero from his duties as a Death Angel. Volume 10 begins with the group – now joined by the child versions of the Snow Gods from Mt. Oosore named Yuki Otoko and Yuki Onna – planning their next destination. Kurohime wants to push on but it is Kazuma who suggests they all go to the grand city of Oedo in Yamato for much needed rest.
One of the biggest advantages of going to Oedo, of course, is that Kazuma is from there since he is the son of the Shogun of Yamato. When they do get there, it’s amusing to see that Kurohime and Kazuma do get to spend some time alone together … a fact that results in some comically awkward moments for the young man who is clearly very in love with Kurohime. He even asks her to come with him to meet his father.
Unfortunately, their time alone is interrupted by a giant flying whale/dragon transport (you really have to see this thing for yourself) called Kairyu that belongs to Otohime. Aboard the creature is Sword, a young girl who just so happens to be the leader of the Kurohime Punishment Squad that has come to the city to force its citizens to help them find Kurohime. On top of that, Sword doesn’t care about destroying the city as well as murdering the citizens.
The Kurohime Punishment Squad consists of Witch Gunslingers including a powerful sniper, a girl named Barahime that can bring objects to life and Saika (who was introduced in an earlier volume). Meanwhile, Sword takes on Kazuma’s father, the famed Shogun, as he attempts to defend his Palace and the people. Before the battle, however, he sends his daughter to give Kazuma something very important.
As the city crumbles around them, Kurohime and her friends battle the Punishment Squad. Kazuma and Kurohime take on the sniper and Saika only to find Otohime is tied to Kairyu. Freeing Otohime during the battle, the whale/dragon turns on their captors and manages to swallow them and Kurohime.
It is in the belly of the beast that Kurohime discovers that Kairyu is able to send a person back in time. It might be possible to go back in time to fix the past so Zero wouldn’t turn out to be her enemy in the present. There’s a downside to traveling back in time, though, and it could very well mean the end of Kurohime.
Interestingly enough, this volume ends in a cliffhanger and even more surprising is that Volume 1o includes a one-shot story called “Village of Love” that offers a peek into what happened directly after Kurohime was cursed and turned into a child. Hime finds herself in a strange village with beings that were reduced into infants after having defied the Gods. In the village she meets a child without eyes and a cute young man who aids Kurohime in looking for a way out.
Finding an exit, though, isn’t going to be easy seeing as the guardian of said village is a giant big-breasted woman that dishes out the ultimate judgement … and breast milk. This is two-part story that continues in Volume 11 but, if anything, it shows that Kurohime has come a long way as far as her personality is concerned.
Volume 10 of Kurohime is a volume loaded with plenty of action, comedy and even a one-shide side story that’s actually enjoyable. The direction the series is taking is an interesting one and even more so now as Kurohime’s quest takes a turn for the more interesting yet again. It’s no wonder we’re really beginning to love this series.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Kurohime and her friends reaches the city of Oedo to rest after the events of the last volume only to find the city overrun by the Kurohime Punishment Squad. Battling against experienced Witch-Gunslingers, the group attempts to save the people. Meanwhile, Kurohime discovers another way to save Zero.
We love Kurohime’s new look and the art in this volume is simply stunning … especially when Kairyu makes its entrance.
Things just keep getting better and better in the world of Kurohime and if you’ve been following the series for some time now you will definitely love Volume 10. On top of the great story, there’s a fun one-shot extra that makes this one of the best volumes of Kurohime yet.