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)
Release Date: Available Now
Love from the very beginning.
How far are you willing to go to save the person you love the most?
Are you willing to journey to the farthest corners of the world and battle powerful Gods to claim the power that can bring this person back from the dead? Would you be prepared to give up precious memories if it meant to summon the power you have to help you carry out your quest? The famous witch-gunslinger known as Kurohime has given everything to get her beloved Zero back and – in Volume 11 – she even goes back in time to discover what happened in Zero’s past that caused his heart to turn as dark as night.
During her battle with the Kurohime Punishment Squad in the last volume, a mysterious entity offered her the chance to travel ten years back in time to discover why Dark Zero’s heart is filled with hatred. Kurohime thinks that maybe she could find out what it is that caused his soul to sour and perhaps help avoid tainting his soul in the present. The mysterious figure only leaves her with a warning … if Zero finds out her identity it will cause her to cease to exist altogether.
Interestingly enough, Kurohime is transported directly into the frontlines of a major battle between undead armor-clad forces known as the Materen and a group of Old West-like gunslingers who fight under the banner of the Freedom Alliance. Onimaru immediately identifies the battle as part of the war that Kurohime herself helped stop. On top of that Onimaru also recognizes his human self as well as the fierce battle erupts right in front of them.
Among the gunslingers, Kurohime recognizes a cute kid running across the field with his guns blasting. It’s clearly Zero as a child and he sees her gliding across the sky using one of her transformed Witch Bullets. While Young Zero recognizes a Witch-Gunslinger when he sees one, Kurohime introduces herself to him as Himekojo. The sad fact is that there are many children fighting for the Freedom Alliance and Zero is but one of them. She isn’t exactly a welcome addition to their ranks but it is Zero that convinces them that she is good and will help them.
As the enemy attacks using their moving castle that’s shaped like a lion, the Materen have help that comes in the form of the members of the Kurohime Punishment Squad. They followed Kurohime through the time portal to kill her despite the fact that doing so might cause them to cease to exist if anyone from any side were to die by their hands. They have to be very careful in how they dispatch her so they wait for their chance to unleash their surprise attack on her.
Meanwhile, Hime does discover a few facts about Zero’s youth as a child soldier. Apart from the fact that he’s an orphan that was taken in by the leader of the Freedom Alliance, Zero has a sibling that reminds Kurohime of Dark Zero somehow. As the enemy attacks, Kurohime is a witness to the death of a few of the orphaned children that were in the frontline. It’s a moment the deeply affects Zero who is seen tending to the bodies of his little fallen comrades.
Vowing to aid the Alliance to escape with Zero and his sibling, Kurohime fights the enemy and finds herself going up against the members of the Kurohime Punishment Squad that attacks. She faces off against Barahime who has a very personal bone to pick with her and the outcome of the fight is actually very brutal. It also places Young Zero in danger as she decides to take on the rest of the members as Kurohime finally throws down the gauntlet and putting her life on the line to protect Zero. Judging from the conclusion of the one-shot story “The Village of Love,” Kurohime has really come a long way to become the person she is at the moment.
Volume 11 of Kurohime finds the Witch-Gunslinger on her own as she not only takes on the Kurohime Punishment Squad but also attempts to discover the reason Zero’s heart has turned so dark. We’ve seen her in some dangerous situations before but this time she’s fighting to change the past to save somebody she is determined to save. This is a manga that just keeps getting better and better.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Kurohime is sent back in time and is smack in the middle of a massive war that she helped end. In the skirmish, she encounters Zero as a child who is in the frontlines of the war. Kurohime discovers the truth behind Zero’s past as she deals with the Kurohime Punishment Squad that followed her through time. Plus, “The Village of Love” one-shot story concludes with this volume as well.
The art in Kurohime has been consistently great since the first volume and this volume isn’t any different with the only difference that the battles scenes are starting to look really amazing. The fan service certainly hasn’t changed much at all, though.
Kurohime has really come a long way since the first volume and her quest to save the boy she loves has taken a most heartfelt and exciting turn as we can clearly see in Volume 11 of Kurohime. Taking a step back in time, our favorite Witch-Gunslinger finds herself in the middle of a war as she discovers the past of the boy she loves. Kurohime fans will definitely want to pick this volume up right away.