Author/Artist: Shinobu Ohtaka
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Released: April 7th, 2020
I received a copy of Orient Vol. 1 in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Orient Vol. 1 is the start of a new shonen manga, created by Shinobu Ohtaka (known for Magi), and published by Kodansha Comics.
In a world where demons are real, what is a person to do? Well, there are a few options. They could lie down, and accept the lies that they are being told (that demons are gods, and worthy of worship). Or they can rise up and fight the demon overlords.
You can probably guess which option Musashi chose. He had always been enchanted by the tales of the Bushi, as told by his best friend, Kojiro’s father. So it didn’t take much motivation to convince him to take up the battle, and try to create his own Bushi clan.
Orient Vol. 1 is the story of two very different friends. One, Musashi, is stubborn to a fault, and determined to become a Bushi. No matter the cost. The other, Kojiro, feels the weight of his ancestor’s, as well as the precieved pain and guilt they dumped on him. He loved the idea of becoming a Bushi – as a child. But he has since grown past that point.
Or so he thought. His friend is stubborn, and apparently quite good at getting into trouble. That’s really the entire premise of this first volume. There’s a lot of backstory, hopes, dreams, and fighting to be found in Orient Vol. 1.
The artwork is pretty bold – which is no surprise, given the genre we’re talking about. There’s a ton of fighting sequences and dramatic poses. Sometimes expressions (and eyes) seemed slightly…off, and that was mildly off-putting. But overall I enjoyed the art style, and everything it had going for it.
All things considered, this was far from a bad introduction to the world or the characters. Though I’ll confess that I’m not as fully invested as I had hoped I would be. Then again, some of my favorite manga took a few volumes before I was head over heels, so I’d be willing to read a bit more before I wrote off this series.