Manga Monday: Übel Blatt by Etorōji Shiono


This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a really violent series, it’s Übel Blatt by Etorōji Shiono. It is a Seinen, Young Man, series with content unsuitable for those who may be squeamish or don’t like nudity.

Plot Synopsis: Beginning some twenty years prior to the start of the manga, the story narrates on how Koinzell, then named Ascheriit, was a young, prodigious swordsman whose skill granted him the fabled title of Blatt Meister (literally “Blade Master”). His deeds made him one of the fourteen chosen by the ruling emperor of the Empire of Szaalenden to venture into a dangerous quest to defeat a powerful enemy invader known as the evil nation of Wischtech, of whom the many powerful engines of destruction and dark sorcery made a dangerous foe. Each armed with a lance blessed by the Emperor himself, and thus known as the Fourteen Lances, the chosen traveled far into the enemy’s wasted landscape, losing three of their ranks to the perils of the land, until they arrived into a forest where seven of the eleven remaining decided to forfeit their mission, fearing for their lives. Nevertheless, Ascheriit and three of those still bent on following the Emperor’s will continued, and incredibly succeeded in their deed, returning victorious. It was then that the seven who abandoned the mission ambushed their comrades and massacred them. On returning home, they told the Emperor that the four they killed turned traitors against them, and after dispatching them the seven completed the task. Thus, they were hailed as heroes and dubbed the Seven Heroes, while the four who were killed became symbols of treachery and received the moniker of Lances of Betrayal.

Thus, the story tells of the voyage of Ascheriit, who indeed survived the slaughter and vowed to take the head of his traitorous companions, now powerful nobles and warlords hailed as saviors by the people.

Plot: The plot is really dark and very violent, expect more blood and violence in this series than just about anything I’ve ever reviewed before. I love it for the seriousness of the tone and it’s lack of hesitance to cover subjects most find uncomfortable. Do be warned that there are sex scenes in this series, and it’s used in sometimes very gross ways, although never by Koinzell and his friends.

Character: Koinzell is pretty stoic, but he does care about his comrades. That being said if you piss him off don’t expect to die a pretty death. The rest of the cast is memorable, and I like Ato out of all the characters other than Koinzell.

Art: The art for this series is perfect, I love the detail and the dark tones. It must be a pain in the ass to apply all that ink tone to all dark parts of the page.

Overall: If you don’t mind a bit of blood, skin, and a dark tone, you’ll love this series.

For those who like: Dark Fantasy, Lots of blood and violence in their Dark Fantasy, Bad ass characters, Amazing artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or the occasional nudity/sex scenes.


Light Novel Thursday: Spice and Wolf by Hasekura Isuna


This week I’m covering a different kind of series, where Merchants battle with money and their wits instead of swordsmen battling with weapons. It’s Spice and Wolf by Hasekura Isuna.

Plot Synopsis: Spice and Wolf’s story revolves around Kraft Lawrence, a 25-year-old traveling merchant who peddles various goods from town to town to make a living in a stylized historical setting with European influences. His main goal in life is to gather enough money to start his own shop, and he already has been traveling for seven years while gaining experience in the trade. One night when stopped at the town of Pasloe, he finds in his wagon a pagan wolf-deity named Holo who is over 600 years old. She appears to be a 15-year-old girl, except for a wolf’s tail and ears. She introduces herself as the town’s goddess of harvest, who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Despite her responsibility to watch over the town, she wants to go back to her homeland in the north called Yoitsu; she believes the people have already forsaken her and that she has kept her promise to maintain the good harvests. Holo wants also to travel to see how the world has changed while she has remained in one place for years. She manages to bargain her way out of the village by making a deal with Lawrence to take her with him. As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the Church.

Plot: The plot isn’t an immediate catch, but it sucks you in once you get past the odd way of speech that Holo uses. It definitely has a lot of tension between Holo and Lawrence about whether they will or won’t hook up and it causes no end of drama, but the rest of the series is awesome.

Characters: Holo is wily and constantly outwits poor Lawrence, who is either constantly poor and just getting by or fairly wealthy.

Art: This series has amazing art, and it definitely shows in the Anime Adaptation, which sadly only covers the first four volumes of this 17 volume series.

Overall: If you enjoy a different kind of adventure series you’ll love this series.

For those who like: Economics, Wolves, Medieval Settings, Romance.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, Action scenes that really just come down to Batman Gambits.