Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1

Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1

Welcome to a very belated midweek manga review. It’s so late it should probably be called something else, but it won’t be because, reasons. Another fairly slow news week, but I still managed to ferret out a few stories to tide you over before heading off to this weeks review!

And now, onto this week’s review of Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1!

NinjaSlayerKills1Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1
Manga by Koutarou Sekine, Created by Bradley Bond and Philip Ninj@ Morzez
Kodansha Comics, 208 pgs
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)

Neo-Saitama, a futuristic dystopia straight out of a 90s cyberpunk novel, is controlled by the ruthless Soukai Syndicate. On their path to domination their cybernetically enhanced ninja battled rival gangs, uncaring of the civilians caught in the middle of the bloody gang war. Now, one year later, their actions have finally caught up with them in the form of the enigmatic Ninja Slayer! From new comer Koutarou Sekine comes Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1!

Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1 has the odd distinction of being a remix of the original Ninja Slayer story, intended to be newcomer friendly and with a more shonen-y feel than the source material. With nearly all Ninja Slayer novels and manga adaptions still unreleased in the U.S., it’s difficult to tell what’s been altered, what’s different and how the elements are remixed. As a straight forward action series though, it’s not too shabby. Koutarou Sekine wastes little time in getting to the action as the volume opens with a flashback touching upon Ninja Slayer’s origins before skipping ahead to Ninja Slayer on his path of vengeance. From there things don’t really let up and it’s almost entirely non-stop action and fights for the rest of the volume. The characters are simple and basic at this point, with Ninja Slayer looking for revenge and nearly every other ninja being a mustache twirling villain, in the case of the Laomoto-Khan that’s almost a literal description.

Pages from Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1

History you won’t learn in school.

Under Koutarou Sekine’s hand, the non-stop action looks fantastic, with energetic and dynamic fight scenes, and a general aesthetic that oozes cool. The various ninja look interesting and just this side of ridiculous as they come loaded with cybernetic enhancements ranging from strange tread like arms, massive tubular heads and more. The backgrounds, though limited, are detailed and gorgeous, full of neon signs, futuristic buildings and massive highways. They tend to drop out during the action sequences, leaving us with speed lines, explosions, smoke and the like.

Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1 is a fun, action packed manga with a great look to it. The character designs and general aesthetic feel like a welcome throw back to the halcyon days of the late 80s and early 90s, where cyborgs and Bladerunner style cities where common place. That said, the artwork is the best thing about the series at this point.

Ninja Slayer Kills, Vol. 1 is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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