Saturday, December 1, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Jackals by Kim Hyung-jin and Murata Shinya

Murata Shinya
Kim Hyung-jin

Cicero City, a city infested with immigrants where people of all races scramble to find work and shelter. Infested with destruction and slaughter, it's a chaotic society. Living on the outside of society, the Jackals are professional assassins with no allegiance, available to the highest bidder. This is their story.

Alternative names


Manga reader sites (free)

Rosy's scrawlings on Jackels
Jackals is first and foremost about the violence. I thought I'd recommend it as a quick blast of good, old-fashioned ultra-gore that is so much a part of what mangas and anime are. There is a nice, neat plot to tie it all together and a few issues for Alligator Nichol to overcome, mostly due to his mother, the deadliest Jackal in Jackal history, Alligator Roxy or Shinigami. There's a girl in the mix although she's an unlikely match for a free-lance assassin. There are also tangled webs of revenge killings and gangster politics that have Alligator Nichol unwillingly playing a central role in the escalating violence. But really, despite there being so many great characters, you want to read this for the violence. It is extreme and there's many a person being cut in half.
Amongst the manga action and horror genres there is a tendency for the violence to continually escalate without end, the series continuing on with no real satisfactory conclusion in sight. The story is more focused on a succession of battles than what the battles mean and the results of them. Within Jackals you'll find a snapshot of a city at its worst, a gangster war looming and then gripping the city. And like all wars, it eventually comes to an end but with many consequences upon the lives of the survivors. Jackals focuses on the build up of war and the war itself, with only a few glimpses into the past and future to place it in a world view. As such, although the manga is focused on violence an is as gory as the best of them, Jackals is a concise story and well constructed.
The art by Kim Hyung-jin is smooth and flowing, particularly the action scenes. There's the occasional drawing of eyes as 'beast' eyes but instead they're a little like those superheroes have that are called glowing eyes. Anatomical accuracy isn't always there but such deviations generally serve to accentuate the traits of each character, particularly the fighting traits. Otherwise, there's a careful balance between light and dark that makes each panel engaging.

I'd recommend this manga to: lovers of bloody action stories. That's about it really.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

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