SAMURAI DEEPER KYO(37) (講談社コミックス) コミックス – 2006/4/17
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関ケ原の戦より4年、千人斬り伝説復活す! 手には5尺の大太刀、背には太極図の紋、面には鬼が如き深紅の眼! 百万両の賞金首その名は鬼眼の狂。
9月13日生まれ。 デビュー作:「週刊少年マガジン」1999年第26号より『SAMURAI DEEPER KYO』にて連載開始。コミックス:『SAMURAI DEEPER KYO』全38巻、『SAMURAI DEEPER KYO』限定版第24巻・第27巻・第31巻、『SAMURAI DEEPER KYO』公式ファンブック陰~IN~、上条明峰画集『SAMURAI DEEPER KYO』陽~YOU~、『しろがねの鴉』全3巻など。
Kyo is cooling off outside when Yuya unexpectedly follows him... and tries to seduce him. Unsurprisingly, it isn't actually Yuya -- it's actually a ninja named Mahiro, who has a four-year-old grudge against Kyo, an army of black widow spiders, and gravity-defying hair. After his encounter with Mahiro, Kyo changes his mind about Yukimura's offer -- he will take part in Ieyasu's tournament, and exchange the shogun's head for his old body.
Unfortunately, the tournament isn't gonna be that easy. Benitora, Yukimura (disguised as a girl) and Kyo effortlessly carve their way through the others in the tournament, but they've already been detected by Ieyasu and his forces. Plus, Mahiro is still skulking around. And things take an unexpected turn when a masked combatant reveals that he recognizes Yukimura -- and turns out to be someone very close to him, both personally and in skill.
Like the last couple volumes of "Samurai Deeper Kyo," the fourth volume blasts through its story at a rapid clip -- basically the entire tournament is covered in this one volume, with the focus being less on the actual fighting and more on what is going on behind the scenes. And Akamine Kamijyo manages to inject more mystery into Kyo's background with the story of Mahiro and her sister, as well as a twist ending that you definitely won't see coming.
Along the way, we get plenty of elaborate sword fights, thuggish and/or creepy combatants (including a cannibal and a serial killer), and plenty of spurting blood and crazy-eyed expressions. It gets grimmer as the tournament winds on, and it becomes obvious that our heroes are in a massive trap -- and Yukimura is forced to fight one of the big battles of his life. But Kamijyo manages to weave in some comic relief as well, such as Yuya shrieking and climbing onto Benitora's head when she sees her doppelganger.
And this volume sees more development of Yukimura -- he's still the seemingly lighthearted, fun-loving guy ("Are you ready to see it roll?") who apparently has no qualms about putting on a dress. But it turns out that one of Ieyasu's fighters is someone he knows very well, and we see that he's a very kind guy who cares about and respects his ninja servants -- in fact, he becomes terrifying (spooky insane eyes and a lighthearted grin) when one of them is injured defending him, and called a "fool."
"Samurai Deeper Kyo Book 4" manages to take us all the way through a fighting tournament with a minimum of one-on-one team fights, and Akimine Kamijyo manages to throw in some surprising twists. Can't wait to see how this pans out.
Kyoshiro desperately tries to fend off the crazed Jimon without releasing Kyo, but when Jimon reveals the bloody extend of his obsession Kyoshiro stops trying to hold back the inner killer ("You got what you wanted. You woke me up!"). Jimon has a perfected, near-impossible technique to use against Kyo, and even if he defeats this guy, he's still got to deal with the incredibly creepy miko who has a message from his past.
Then Yuya gets a chance to shine: She becomes involved in the fate of a young boy and his baby sister, who have become ensnared in a gang of thieves run by a cruel prostitute. Temporarily blinded, Yuya can't see to fire her gun -- but she may be able to take out the gang leader anyway.
And after rescuing a little old lady from some thugs, Yuya and Kyoshiro learn that the old woman's home mountain is coveted by a local gang called the Kidou Clan. One of their assassins, the icy White Crow, gives the old lady three days to vacate her house -- but when he tells his master of Kyoshiro's creepy presence, another assassin called Black Scorpion decides to take the young man out. And I don't mean in a romantic way.
"Samurai Deeper Kyo Volume 2" is a smoother ride than the debut volume -- there's less frenetic flipflopping between comedy and gory action, and the two (or is it three?) main characters seem to have settled into their niches. And while he doesn't provide any answers yet, Kamijyo also drops more hints of the conflicts in Kyo and Yuya's pasts -- particularly a mysterious "he" that seems to inspire earthshattering rage in Kyo.
Kamijyo also blends together humor ("But Demon Eyes Kyo is so SHY!"), drama and some heartrending moments (such as Kouta and his bizarrely tiny little sister). And the bloody action goes up a notch with the introduction of the Three Colors Gang -- not only do we have the bloody sword-swinging and slashing from Kyo and Jimon, but we have a guy who can spew thousands of poisoned needles from his mouth. I can only imagine what the other two are capable of.
Despite seemingly being a wuss, Kyoshiro does demonstrate in this volume that he has a lot of courage -- he almost lets himself be beaten to death rather than endanger innocent villagers by releasing Kyo. He's still a huge lech, though -- and it turns out, so is Kyo. Yuya turns out to be less mercenary than she acts, and Jimon turns out to be WAY crazier than even those wide insane eyes would imply. To make it even more embarrassing, his great enemy doesn't even remember him ("Who the hell are you?").
"Samurai Deeper Kyo Volume 2" smooths out the initial ripples of the series, and introduces some hyperpowerful new villains for the next time. This series is definitely fleshing out nicely.