RED (ADVANCE REVIEW)

Posted On May - 15 - 2008
  RELEASED BY:   DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING
  AUTHOR / ART:  

SANAE ROKUYA

  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / B&W
  PAGES:   200
  RATING:  

YA

  RELEASE DATE:  

05/27/2008

  REVIEW DATE:   05/15/2008
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD



A manga featuring love and danger in feudal Japan sets an immersing backdrop to an epic romance in the stand alone story Red. Prince Yasuharu ran away from his responsibilities as heir to the kingdom four years ago. Now going by the name Taichi, he lives with his loyal friend Yoichi and is closely looked after by police commander, the stoic Yasuda. But when political shake ups happen and politicians make backroom deals to take out the last heir, Taichi has to deal with assassins and one in particular turns out to be a handsome man known only as Jiei who can’t seem to make up his mind of whether to kill Taichi or seduce him!

Red is a stupendous and involving romantic adventure. With the feudal Japan setting and assassins after princes in hiding, it makes for a great romance when the assassin in question falls for the prince. When the political state of the nation is thrown into turbulence and orders change, Jiei has to make a fateful decision. But so does Taichi. He has to choose to either take up the mantle he so ardently wishes to avoid, or to run away at great personal cost. Both come at a steep price and when push inevitably comes to a hard shove with his friends in danger and even one of his own possibly betraying him, Taichi could go either way.

One of the things that makes this stand out from the usual yaoi is the great story.  It holds compelling intrigue and well developed supporting characters throughout the tale. Although there are a couple of questions I would have liked to learn more about, all the important questions are answered by the time the story draws to a close. The story between Fu and Yasuda was particularly interesting. And the chemistry imparted between Taichi and Jiei was engaging from the moment they met. How their lives end up tied together was a fun bit of plotting.

The story holds a great art style. The illustrations are very well suited for such a feudal romantic piece. There are bared blades, distinct and handsome character designs, and dramatic moments are illustrated keenly. The artist has a good sense and range of expression for the various characters. 


IN SUMMARY:
Duty, honor and love are found in the manga Red.

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