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Nabari No Ou, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Paperback – May 12, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
Book 1 of 14 in the Nabari No Ou Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Yuhki Kamatani's debut work, NABARI NO OU, was a finalist in the 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival in the "Story Manga" category. The series' popularity later led to its popular anime adaptation.

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Product Details

  • Series: Nabari No Ou (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yen Press (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759530033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759530034
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate ninjas. I really do. Despite that, this particular ninja manga is very dear to me, mostly because it often makes light of the fact that it is a ninja manga, (it can be very genre-savvy, with often hilarious results), and because the main character himself is rather displeased with the fact that he is a ninja.
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.!
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Format: Paperback
Miharu has always gone through life ignoring everything around him. He doesn't get involved with anything, ever. So far, he's even resisted his teacher's attempts to get him to join a school nindou club, where members learn the ways of the ninja. He's just not interested in that type of thing. But when actual ninjas begin attacking him, and when the students around him are revealed as ninja themselves, Miharu finds out that his body hides a dangerous secret. He is the Shinra Banshou, "the secret art with which it is said one can rule not only the world of shinobi, but the surface world as well." Now Miharu's apathetic nature is challenged as the hidden power within him fights to take him over.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I'm always skeptical of manga such as this. Much like the other reviewer, I'm not that much of a fan of ninja. They're just too overdone in today's manga. Everywhere you turn, there's some new manga or anime coming out with the same 2-3 plotlines. But I decided to give this manga a try because I figured that it would be wrong to typecast this series.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is for the series as a whole without direct spoilers.

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.
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