Knights, Vol. 2
by Minoru Murao
DMP, 192 pp.
Rating: Young Adults (16+)
The second volume of Knights is out and the story and action continue apace. More is revealed about Mist and his allies, old foes return and the plot takes an unexpected twist towards the end.
The second volume continues to follow Nina, one of the women Mist and Euphemia rescued in the first volume, as she attempts to track Mist down. Unfortunately things don’t go well and soon she finds herself in need of the duo’s help once more. The first half of this volume is actually quite good and action packed, not to mention that it reveals more information on Mist and the organization he’s a part of and gives us a rather tantalizing glimpse into the organization of the Saints as well. The second half, sadly, didn’t really click for me. Following the action and twists in the beginning it slows down considerably as Mist and his allies find themselves participating in a jousting tournament. While it does introduce a new character and touches upon Mist’s childhood trauma some more, something about it just didn’t click. At this point it feels a bit separate from the ongoing battle between Mist and the Church but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a solid connection built in the third volume. There was also something about the tone of it that just didn’t work for me. It had a slightly lighter and more comedic tone while my appetite was still whet for action and intrigue.
While the second half felt a bit lackluster after the fantastic opening tale it’s far from my biggest issue with Knights. No, that would be Euphemia. She continues to be bizarre and fan servicey, at one point she dumps aphrodisiac upon herself and lures a group of enemies away, allowing Mist to do battle with their leader. Later it’s revealed that she, uh, exhausted them through carnal means with the exact means being depicted in silhouette . In a series full of manly men, even pretty men being manly, and running each other through with swords, Euphemia’s quirkiness and rampant sex drive sticks out like a sore thumb. Sure, she provides some comedic relief, but at the same time she’s so over the top and unbelievable that it’s distracting and pulls me out of the story.
Minoru Murao’s artwork continues to be solid and impressive throughout. The highly detailed character designs, exciting and interesting action scenes and more all help make the book shine. The amount of detail he crams into some of the scenes is really impressive and during the fight scenes he’s able to lend a strong sense of weight and impact to the various techniques and attacks. It’s really a fantastic looking book and is a worth a look for the artwork alone.
We’re two volumes in a so far Knights has been pretty enjoyable so far. While the humor doesn’t quite click with me, particularly Euphemia, it’s not enough to turn me off from this lovely looking action series.
Knights, Vol. 1 is available now. Digital review copy provided by the publisher, Digital Manga Publishing.