Tuesday, April 04, 2006

KageTora, v. 1

By Akira Segami
Published in the U.S. by Del Rey Manga

Slugline: A dangerous ninja is given the assignment of being the instructor to the head of the martial art dynasty’s cute but klutzy daughter.

KageTora introduces Kagetora, a modern ninja that has been given the prestigious assignment to assist the Toudou dynasty of martial arts masters. Normally this means being their bodyguard, but after rescuing a klutzy girl on the way, he arrives to the Toudou dojo to discover that he is instead train Yuki, the teenage daughter of the current head of the dojo. She has tried everything else to awaken her daughter’s natural talents but has failed.

So who is the daughter? Could it be the cute and klutzy girl from the beginning of the story? Of course. Will Kagetora fall in love with her? Is there any question? Will he go to school with her and cause all sorts of wacky romantic misunderstandings? Why is there even a question mark after the last sentence? Will Kagetora feel unable to express his feeling towards Yuki for transparently meaningless reasons and will there be a female friend that distrusts Kagetora and a fixation on Yuki? Please let it stop now.

You see, I’ve seen all of these elements before. It is standard story, well executed, but still quite predictable and I can sense the checklist the creator is following. Maybe the series will improve, but in the first volume I see nothing to recommend the title unless the reader has never read or is fond of school romance titles, or enjoys martial arts stories.

- Ferdinand

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