Shuriken and Pleats vol. 1 by Matsuri Hino (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
April 23, 2016 by Dennis Amith
A balance of beauty and action, newfound emotion and youth, I like how this first graphic novel of “Shuriken and Pleats” has kicked off thus far and I can’t wait to see how Hino develops the story and the characters overtime. Overall, a solid debut for Matsuri Hino’s “Shuriken and Pleats” and a manga series worth recommending!
© Matsuri Hino 2015. 2015 Hakuensha, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Shuriken and Pleats Vol. 1
STORY AND ART BY: Matsuri Hino (樋野 まつり)
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Hakuensha Inc.
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga
RATED: T for Older Teen
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016
When the master she has sworn to protect is killed, Mikage Kirio, a skilled ninja, travels to Japan to start a new, peaceful life for herself. But as soon as she arrives, she finds herself fighting to protect the life of Mahito Wakashimatsu, a man who is under attack by a band of ninja. From that time on, Mikage is drawn deeper into the machinations of his powerful family. Follow her story in volume 1 of Shuriken and Pleats.
For Hakuensha, one of their most popular mangaka is Matsuri Hino.
Best known as the creator of “Vampire Knight” (for “LaLa” magazine), she has returned with a series titled “Shuriken and Pleat”, which has been serialized in Hana to Yume and two graphic novels have been published.
And now the first volume of “Shuriken and Pleat” has been released in the U.S. courtesy of Viz Media.
“Shuriken and Pleat” takes place during the Meiji Restoration and as it was the end of the samurai, ninjas have to travel across the seas in search of new employers to make a living.
For young Mikage, she has a solid emotional bond with her master, Mr. Rod. But as a shinobi, the first rule is to throw all traces of emotion when on a mission. And she has been warned about it repeatedly.
But for the wealthy Mr. Rod, a man who’s enemies have killed his wife and child, he looks at Mikage like his own daughter, wanting to adopt her and move to Japan to raise her.
One day, Mr. Rod was assassinated. Before his passing, he paid Mikage a lifetime’s salary and she was released by the ninja to pursue a new life in Japan and go to school like Mr. Rod had wanted.
While in Japan, she sees ninja trying to kill another man. But the ninja were able to shoot a dart which has poisoned the man, who now needs an antidote. But manages to protect him.
She protects the man, who soon after wants to hire her as a ninja to protect him. But Mikage wants to live a normal life. While going back to an apartment owned by Mr. Rod, she finds it in flames.
But as Mikage wants to rush into the burning apartment, she is stopped by the man named Mahito Wakashima. And we learn that Wakashima is a friend of Mr. Rod and because Mikage wants revenge on those who killed her master, she is willing to help Wakashima, even if it means going against other ninja.
But why was Mr. Rod targeted and what is Wakashima’s link to Mr. Rod? Find out in the first volume of “Shuriken and Pleats”!
From the creator of “Vampire Knight” comes a ninja story unlike others you have read before.
Focusing on a young female ninja who lost her master, she goes to Japan to live a normal life, only to be caught up in an attack on another man, whom she protects. But with the man’s link to her deceased master, now Mikage wants revenge but to protect this man against other ninjas who are bent on wanting him dead.
What’s interesting is the fact that Mikage has no true social skills, so she is trying to get used to this new life around people, especially people her age. Going to school but also trying to understand these emotions that she has (as a ninja, she was told to not have any emotional attachments to people she serves).
But now free to live a normal life, her return to Japan unfortunately is not normal as she must uncover why ninja are trying to attack Mahito Wakashima, a colleague of her master, Mr. Rod.
The artwork by Matsuri Hino is as elegant as her work in “Vampire Knight”. Her way of conveying emotion through a character’s eyes, her use of hair swaying in each panel.
A balance of beauty and action, newfound emotion and youth, I like how this first graphic novel of “Shuriken and Pleats” has kicked off thus far and I can’t wait to see how Hino develops the story and the characters overtime.
Overall, a solid debut for Matsuri Hino’s “Shuriken and Pleats” and a manga series worth recommending!
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