SAKURA HIME VOL. 1 (ADVANCE REVIEW)

Posted On March - 28 - 2011
  RELEASED BY:   VIZ MEDIA
  AUTHOR / ART:   ARINA TANEMURA
  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / B&W 
  PAGES:   200
  RATING:   T
  RELEASE DATE:   04/05/2011
  REVIEW DATE:   03/28/2011
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD

From the creator of Gentlemen Alliance Cross comes an intriguing new fantasy series set in the Heian Era. Sakura is a princess betrothed to marry a young man she has never met, the son of the emperor. She is plagued by his annoying emissary Aoba. Her true feelings are quickly revealed as well as her lonely life in an empty palace with few servants and no friends. However a destiny awaits her and it could be a terrible one. She is fated to destroy, to be the one who wields the cherry blossom sword that can destroy the demons that consume humans. A heroic destiny perhaps, but it is not a blessing as Sakura soon finds out, but a most horrific curse!

As always Arina Tanemura creates an enthralling story that has mystery and layers to be unraveled. There is plenty of angst in the very first volume. Just when Sakura thinks she can be happy with her marriage she is faced with the most awful of betrayals. Heartbroken and horrified, wounded body and soul, Sakura must flee her home. She is saved by a female ninja named Kohaku, but after such a soul tearing treachery, can Sakura afford to trust anyone? She quickly comes face to face with the true nature of her powers, much to her horror. Just when she may have found a new friend, Oura appears ready to bring about Sakura’s very own nightmare!

It is a stunning first volume. The compelling story telling highlights the series but what helps it shine is the artist’s gorgeous art style filled with incredibly detailed soft pencils, beautiful characters, and a flair for the dramatic and the frightening when the scenes call for it.

IN SUMMARY:
A wonderful compelling new fantasy series from the creator of Gentlemen Alliance Cross.

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