Lots of drama in these two chapters of Noblesse. It has actually been a while since I was this excited about the Manhwa, even taking into account the previous two chapters. That is not to say that Noblesse has gotten boring in the past few weeks.
As I have mentioned before, the Manhwa merely fluctuates between levels of excitement, but never quite striking boredom. Maybe it’s the flash back. Because as much as we know about the Noblesse story so far, there is still so much left to uncover, especially following Muzaka’s emergence in the last arc.
Muzaka’s world continues to grow more complicated, the werewolf finding his patience worn by the barbarism of his kind. As his respect and admiration for his new friend continues to grow, Muzaka has no one else to turn to but Cadis.
SO much talking in these two chapters, so much tension. And let’s not forget the dramatic entrances. I don't know how much of chapters 331 and 332 were assigned to silent stares and one sided conversations but I loved every bit of it.
This isn’t quite Noblesse at its best; the manhwa excels greatly in the action arena. Yet Noblesse has the ability to do so much with so little.
The majority of these two chapters were devoted to Muzaka moving back and forth between his pack and Rai’s residence, doing lots of talking and growling and threatening, never quite finding the answer to his problem.
And there was more than enough thrilling moments to keep me glued to my screen throughout, probably because of all the tensions that were raised regarding Muzaka’s dilemma.
It is interesting considering the unique situation he finds himself in; as I saw it the argument came down to one simple fact. The werewolves want to slaughter and rule over humanity. Muzaka has no rational reason to stop them.
And to an extent Mudaka’s reasoning was quite sound. So the nobles have a strict policy against interfering in human affairs? So What? The werewolves live under a freer code, doing as they please, with no leash to hold them back from any of their desires. And the fact that they had left mankind alone for so long came down to simple interest. They didn’t want to snack on man before. Now they want to.
With these varying philosophies in play, there is no way the wolves and nobles can avoid conflict. The nobles don’t just hold humanity in high regard. They live to protect them. And with Mudaka and crew’s belligerent attitude towards their lesser cousins, Muzaka’s friendship with Rai seems ready to splinter even before it begins.
+Watching Muzaka and Rai’s friendship flourish is still proving amusing to no end, especially the constant surprise revealed in Rai’s expressions over the wonders of the world. The more we learn about Rai, the more tragic his character feels, especially in taking into account the reason he separates himself from his kin, which I presume has to do with the actions he believes he will have to take whenever the nobles run amok.
RATING: 9/10, these chapters were both amusing and entertaining, especially the tension surging through the wolf pack.
HIGHLIGHTS: Muzaka and Rai
And here I was, thinking that Nanatsu no Taizai was proving too slow for me to read on a weekly basis. The only word I can use to describe these two chapters is ballistic. That is how good they were, discarding the niceties of the last few weeks and getting to the nitty gritty of the story.
Ban’s arrival on the battle field seems to spell doom for Meliodas and his attempts to rescue Elizabeth. Hendricksen’s plans are waylaid by a worthy foe.
Simple fact: I found these chapters exhilarating and it was quite a surprise, mostly because of how fast events progressed. The interactions between Ban and Meliodas were the most interesting, as subordinate attempted to kill master with the aim of reviving his great love.
And Meliodas was surprisingly cool with the entire setting, going so far as to offer Ban the opportunity to revive Elaine using his life once the entire fiasco with Hendricksen ended.
The chapters managed to keep the clash between the two sins entirely unpredictable, so much so that I was curious as to whether Ban would take Meliodas’ offer to take his life.
And when he did in the next chapter, I couldn’t help by smirk at the sudden dark turn of events. So much character development took place in these two chapters, the revelation regarding Meliodas demon side (though I highly doubt that it is that simple), Ban’s perspective on Meliodas and the hierarchy between them within the context of the seven deadly sins.
Hendricksen’s business almost took a back seat, if not for the events of that last panel, with father and son contending with Hendricksen’s demon might.
I love the turn the manga has taken in just two chapters, spiking the tension and making for an interesting story to come in the future.
It is worth mentioning that the art got a little untidy in several places, not quite confusing but not exactly pleasing to look at. The quality of the story does allow me to overlook the art, but only barely. Deadly sins is starting to remind me of Magi in that sense.
RATING: 8/10, that’s two points taken away for the lacking art. Elizabeth is still useless. I loved that one panel that has Ban asking what it is with princesses and getting kidnapped.
I cannot wait for the anime.
HIGHLIGHS: BAN AND MELIODAS. GRIAMORE.
No fair, the heroes always get the best transformations. First Ichigo and his Bankai, then Naruto and his Biju cloak, now Teresa and that awesome abyssal form.
I have to take a minute and think…
Battle chapters do not get better than this. Chapter 153 felt like it was moving right in front of my eyes, the visuals drawn to accurately represented the dynamic battle that was ensuing on the pages.
I have to say it. THIS WAS AAAAASOMEEEEEEE!
Teresa. Priscilla. Fight.
I don’t always hate battle oriented chapters. But unless I am reading more than one chapter at a go, they can get tiresome (precluding battle oriented series like Breaker), mostly because very little actually happens in terms of story progression.
Unless you are talking about Claymore. All I can say is WOW. I enjoyed this chapter so much more than any other battle oriented chapter in 2014. This is what I have been waiting for, the final clash between titans.
And it doesn’t get any better than this. I was actually slightly underwhelmed by Teresa’s initial clash with Priscilla, which felt a lot like every other claymore/awakened being battle we had seen so far.
Chapter 153 elevated the stakes however, availing to us the Priscilla/Teresa battle we have all been waiting to see for more than a hundred chapters.
Priscilla was even more of a monster this time round, spewing appendages and limbs from all over her body, further morphing her physical form until very little of her former self was left.
Teresa proved why she was number 1, reacting to every one of Priscilla’s attacks with seamless precision, her every sword stroke purposed to bring about immediate and rather accurate destruction.
This is how you initiate a fight between godlike claymore. This has to be the best fight in the series so far. Every time you thought it was done, someone pulled a new trick out of their bag.
These 25 pages of claymore felt more like 50. Norihiro Yagi, this is how you do a dream fight.
And that final panel…am I really expected to wait a WHOLE FOUR WEEKS for the next chapter?
Oh, Claymore, why do this to me? I want more, RIGHT NOW.
REVIEW: 10/10, +10 bonus points. I love chapters that leave me exhilarated and that is what Claymore did for me this week, and I am not a very excitable individual.
Howard Shore’s The Return of the King is one of my favorite pieces of music to listen to. While not the masterpiece most other people would call better known orchestral tracks from more famous composers, this particular piece seems to encompass everything that is The Lord of the Rings: the mystique and ethereal essence of the epic world of middle earth.
Rather than the flow of the violins and cellos, it is the flute that really gets me, that one instrument that creeps in suddenly and takes what was already a magnificent piece of orchestral music to new heights, this probably being the reason why the Concerning Hobbit track stand out so much in my mind, most of which is played via flute.
And the relevance to Witch Hunter? The Manhwa reminds me of The Lord of the Rings symphony, specifically the “Return of the King’ track. Witch hunter elicits the same level of mystique and epicness I have come to expect from my favorite symphony, only without the flute.
And by that I mean the manhwa walks the fine line between ordinary and shonen masterpiece, juggling all the balls of a great story telling but never quite stepping into story territory of greatness, in a way stranding itself with the title of almost ordinary.
Witches suddenly declare war against humans, causing two-thirds of the world to fall apart. They summon monsters called "Supporters" and devastate human residences... but why?
Survivors gather people with the power to combat the witches and called them Witch Hunters! Tasha Godspell is one of the strongest witch hunters, nicknamed "The Marksman" along with his "Jack-O-Lantern" looking Supporter. He fights the witches but cannot really bring himself to hate them...
Witch Hunter was one of the first seven manga I ever read and it is probably for this reason that the series intrigues me so; however, where many of its plots and twists seemed innovative at that time, my current experience with manga has allowed me to approach it with a new perspective.
+THE STORY: I spoke of witch hunter as lacking the proverbial flute, that one element to elevate it to greatness. But maybe that has more to do with the author’s lacking planning skills than anything.
Witch Hunter is a thrilling tale of magic and epic battles. It tells of a world that once knew piece before the witches declared war on humanity. The title of witch primarily imputed to the females, the only gender capable of safely manipulating the mana that their hats-the very tools that would entice them into the supernatural realm-grant them, women and girls from all over the world answer the call of magic and are driven to wage war against mankind king under the auspices of the four great witches of the East, West, North and South.
Standing to oppose them are the witch hunters, human beings accessing witch like powers through special items and artifacts, granted the mandate to hunt these vile creatures and their supporters- special entities that serve witches- and to bring peace to the world.
However everything is not as it seems among the witches and their alliances. One witch hunter, Tasha, the magic marksman, fights to defeat man’s deadliest enemy; yet the fate of his sister, Aria, a witch seduced by magic in the past, prevents him from hating them or taking their lives. Witchhunter follows his path, his attempts to save his sister, understand the story being the woman that taught him mana manipulation-the White witch- and the secrets that his supporter, Halloween holds.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call witch hunter the pinnacle of shonen; it has that much potential. The cast of witches is massive, each with a story to tell and a dark addiction to magic. The witch hunters are just as intriguing and no clash between these two parties is every the same, revealing new powers, pasts and magical forms.
Recent arcs, further unveiling the scope of the witch hunter world, specifically the introduction of Great Britain, the Knights of the round table and their connection to Tasha’s Guinevere, have only served to expand an already expansive world.
Little effort is spared in unlocking the tales of each new character the story brings into Tasha’s fold, the most impressive of which has to be Xing (if that is indeed Xing, I keep confusing the three).
With dynamic battle scenes and an evolving story, there is no end to the series’ potential.
Except so much of it feels wasted, the reason being the mangaka’s clear confusion over his own story.
It is difficult to tell exactly where Witch Hunter is going, and that is largely because the author himself has no idea, having admitted a while back that he was basically coming up with the story as he went along.
Maybe One Piece and Naruto have spoiled me; but there is something entertaining about reading a manga with a purpose, whose story has a fairly specific plan, allowing for better cohesion than Witch Hunter achieves with its various arcs. And the confusion that result is unfortunately evident.
+THE CHARACTERS: Witch Hunter both rises and falls with its characters. The cast is massive and the manhwa does a brilliant job of availing appropriate screen time to most, if not all characters, taking the time to place focus upon even those characters that have no notable relevance.
That being said the witches tend to blend into each other, not only because of their designs but personality. It feels like we are constantly met with the same old ‘beautiful but cold, harsh and cruel’ girls intent on causing chaos with little purpose in mind-making it very easy to hate them.
The fact that we are more than a hundred chapters in and the series is yet to reveal its many secrets, especially the purpose behind the Witch’s war does not help a manhwa with a monthly release. Tasha, Xing and Taras are some of the most well rounded characters I have seen in shonen. The witches however seem to fall by the way side, even Verette, who gets more screen time that most.
+THE ART: Witch Hunter is a Manhwa and as such boasts better art than most other manga you will ever encounter. That being said, Witch Hunter is extraordinary even when compared to other Manhwa, not only possessing clean designs and sharp drawings but allowing the dynamism of each character and explosiveness of each scene to shine through.
The best way to describe Cho Jung-man’s artistic capabilities is this; he has the ability to create atmosphere better than most other series.
Witch Hunter is great, that much I will admit, highly entertainment. It is a must read for anyone with a love of shonen; the characters entertaining to follow, the action scenes explosive and the story fast paced, providing thrilling twists and turns at every turn.
The best arcs will keep you glued to the manhwa for several hours on end, while the worst are still worth the read. That being said, Witch Hunter could be so much more.
It is a would-be shonen masterpiece that keeps failing to achieve its full potential because there is no plan directing its path and that is bound to hurt it in the long run.
The manhwa is yet to disappoint me in any egregious manner, yet I foresee some disasters in its future if the author doesn’t craft a cogent purpose behind the entire Witch Hunter plot.
And the Manhwa could benefit from a weekly release.
RATING: 8/10, the manhwa has a tendency to time jump, progressing in the present in one chapter, leaping to the future in the next chapter and then utilizing the chapter after that to reveal the details of what happened.
This might prove confusing to some people. I know there where moments where I kept thinking I had skipped a few chapters.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Xing (Lee) flashback arc (best written flashback in a manhwa or manga ever), Halloween’s development, the clash between WH and the Bai Long empire.
There is a part of me that couldn’t really take seriously the tension Nanatsu no Taizai seemed determined to inject into the final panels of chapter 86; maybe it’s because Ban has been gone for so long that I more or less forgot about him.
I don’t want to call this a cheap attempt on the mangaka’s part to elevate the sense of danger, but that is what it looks like.
The victory Meliodas and crew attained seemingly shatters as Hendricksen makes his final move. It is just as Merlin returns to her new master’s side, taking her immense strength with her, that the scourge of the demon blood is loosed against the kingdom’s wounded remnants.
Maybe I am leaping to conclusions a little too quickly; I mean, what do we really know about the sins? Is it that difficult to believe that Ban would betray Meliodas for Elaine’s sake? Has Ban actually done anything to prove himself too honorable to commit such treacherous acts?
No, not really; I still do not buy that last panel though, and suspect that the next chapter is going to focus around Ban’s fight with Hendricksen. It should prove to be quite interesting, considering Ban’s immortality and all.
Then again it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to suggest that Meliodas probably only managed to permanently scar Ban the immortal because of his demonic aspects; chances are Ban doesn’t have the advantage of immortality as he would expect against Hendricksen, in which case next chapter might take an interesting turn.
I don’t think anyone is going to take the berserker new generation threat seriously, not with the team that has been assembled at the palace; if the sins are smart they will let Gowther end the battle in one go, allowing everyone else to focus their efforts upon stopping Hendricksen.
I don’t know if I was that impressed with the way in which Dreyfus so easily broke down; even with Gilthunder’s revelation about the envy that drove him to kill his father I expected him to put up more of a fight that he did. Instead he simply crumbled like a child.
The art was a little off in a number of panels these past two weeks.
RATING: 7/10, Chapter 85 was pretty slow, very uninteresting but things picked up the pace with chapter 86; with Arthur’s offer to Meliodas accepted, I can take a guess at where the story is going to go in the next arc. Even with all these revelations coming to light one chapter after another, Nanatsu no Taizai still has a lot of story to tell.