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Nabari No Ou, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Paperback – May 12, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
What really attracts me to this manga is the characters. There are a multitude of characters that are easy to become attached to, all for different reasons.
One complaint I do have for this manga is that I've never been particularly fond of the artwork. Something about some of the faces is just off, and some character's limbs look like twigs. Regardless, as the series progresses you become used to it and the style even begins to fit.
This first volume starts off the series pretty well, though it is kind of exposition heavy, as many first volumes tend to be. We get into some serious action very quickly, and by the end of the volume, most of the major players in the story have been at least seen, though there are some more left to come and a plethora more to discover about each character.
All in all, a great manga for anyone, whether they like ninjas or think they are ridiculous. This series is very popular already, (with everyone from yaoi fangirls to your average boy), and I hope it sells well in the U.S.!
Kamatani's manga is naturally going to be compared to Masahi Kishimoto's mega-popular series Naruto, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Both series feature ninjas, both have strong plots building toward an ultimate battle of good vs. evil, and both feature orphaned young men who have to overcome a dangerous force within themselves in order to become the most powerful ninja possible. But Kamatani has created characters who are unique enough to stand up for themselves. Yes, they do share similar character types with Naruto, but those are also character types that are prevalent in a lot of fiction. Miharu is fascinating as the main character. His apathy makes for an interesting change from manga that are usually about determined, driven people. You can't help but laugh at the means by which he gets out of situations, using his cute, young, helpless looks to make people bend to his will. When he does finally join in a battle, he throws that cuteness back into the faces of allies and enemies alike.Read more ›
The plotline follows Miharu, a somewhat normal but apathetic teen who just wants to inherit the family okonomiyaki business in peace. Unfortunately for him, he has the secrets of everything trapped inside of him & several different factions of ninja want those secrets to either be used or hidden away. If it were up to Miharu, he'd continue to live normally, but the powers within him want to be used & will not be denied!
I actually rather liked this manga. The plot isn't entirely new, but there are a few nice new twists to it. I like that Miharu is extremely apathetic (on the surface, anyway) about everything & that he often uses some of his latent talents (cuteness, ect) to his own devices. He provides a good chunk of humor in the series, which is definitely a bonus. The artwork is nice & I like the manga's pacing. We get a pretty good look at the developing dynamics between the characters & there's a nice plotline going on.
The only thing I'm worried about is that while there's a chance for the plot to grow into something truly wonderful, there's also the potential for this to develop into horribly bogged down plotlines ala Naruto. Still, this is a pretty good start to a series, so I'll be picking up the next volume to see if the good plot & pacing continues.
The first volume introduces the basic ideas and several mysteries not to mention a zany group of characters. The initial lightheartedness (or apathy as is the case of the main character) is explored throughout the series and we find that what may have seemed like a way to make a character "quirky" has more depth than one might initially think.
The basic premise is straightforward enough: Miharu has an unusual power that everyone in the ninja world wants to harness. Whichever ninja group has it will be the most powerful since it can essentially "grant a wish." This would upset the balance and his allies are trying to prevent it.
A few themes that crop up later on are gender identity and trauma. I found them both to be relatively well handled and it's impossible not to feel sympathy for nearly all the primary characters of the series.
It's the kind of series where things aren't "spelled out;" a lot is left open to interpretation and it's assumed the reader will piece things together. That isn't to say you'll be left without a clue, simply that it's a more in-depth series than the "standard" shounen manga and since it deals with ninjas not everyone may be expecting that.
All in all, it's very well done. Furthermore, as is usually the case, it takes a different road to the anime and covers more ground, so if you've seen the anime, you're sure to be interested in the manga.
As a side note, I was a bit disappointed to see that Amazon shipped me a slightly used copy of the book when I bought it new (it has a noticeable crease) but it wasn't too bad.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This series starts off maybe a bit slow for some, but it gets better each volume. It's a sad story, but funny at times, filled with action and very different. Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by Sphinx
I was a little hesitant to read this simply because it seemed rather childish but I have to admit it's very enjoyable to read. Read morePublished on February 24, 2011 by Dojo Master
there are a lot of good stories out there, but few make me say, "thank you for not ruining your characters!" ranks up there with the bestPublished on January 9, 2011 by kacey waltemade
At first it started out slow, but it does get better, in the begining. It does have its funny moments, kind of making fun of those moments where people just help because it's right... Read morePublished on September 27, 2010 by Jessica
Came in lovely condition, it's utterly hilarious, and a HUGE change from the Naruto series...
I recommend this to all non-ninja and ninja fans!