Greetings! Before I go into my weekly BL ramblings, I wanted to let you in on some changes in the schedule. I’ll be hosting Jon Spencer’s creator showcase in October, and I’m guessing everyone knows it’s a time-wise challenging task. Which is good! It just means there are many great bloggers who are putting good content out there, and I get to host them on my blog! However, with the new season starting, I only have so much time in my hands.
This means I’ll be officially taking a break from my Friday reviews for a while. If I really feel like writing about something and actually have the time in my hands, I might do so. I also feel like I have become repetitive in my reviews, and a little break might help me get more creative. Or not. We’ll see about that. In the meantime, I wanted to end season 1 (lol) with a fun title.
Title: Ninja Stalker!
Author & Artist: Fujiwara Asahi
Status: Completed, 1 volume.
Where to read: On Futekiya!
Snacks and freshly brewed tea right when you feel tired from work, replaced inkstone right when the one you’re out of the old one, clothes being mended right after you notice a hole in them, a room that’s being kept clean. And these things happen almost magically, without you asking. This might sound like bliss for our busy-as-ever modern day lives, but not to Shinosuke. He lives way back in feudal times, and he’s the lord of the Tanba Province. Hence, his personal space being tampered with can only mean one thing: an intruder.
Shinosuke might be our dense-as-a-brick main character, but he’s on the nose about the intruder. Benimaru, a runaway ninja who lost his will to live is saved by the words of Shinosuke, who happened to pass by the woods when he gave up. So just like one does, Benimaru follows Shinosuke home to repay him in any way he can and that meant doing his chores in secret using his stealth skills. Totally to repay him, you know. No other motives whatsoever. You can’t catch Benimaru slipping.
I hope the summary above doesn’t give you the impression that this is a tear-jerking period piece where a samurai and a ninja get together against all odds. On the contrary. It’s ridiculous in a good way, with lots of running gags and funny circumstances. It does follow some common patterns: realization of feelings, Shinosuke’s obligations as a feudal lord and having to find a partner to marry, Benimaru being followed by other ninjas from the village creating tension in the story. However, all of these plot points are embellished with whimsical expressions or situations that manages to keep the story fresh and engaging.
Another aspect that scored points for me was the art style. Both the lines and tones used are so bold and coupled with the lively characters, the pages are full of energy and they just pop at you. The chapters are a tad shorter than usual. Since I was reading it during its release, one chapter a day didn’t feel enough as I have grown fond of this dumb and dumber duo in such a short time.
While I wouldn’t say Ninja Stalker! is a masterpiece, I had a good time reading it. It’s fun and full of vigor, competently drawn, and overall a series that I was glad I got to meet. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for other works of Fujiwara Asahi.
That was all from me! I didn’t think of doing this before so it might take me a while to edit all my posts, but wanted to let you know I’ll add platform/publisher tags to my manga reviews so it’ll be easier to find something to read from a certain website/app. A big thank you to my blogger and Twitter friends alike for the continuous support. It seriously means a lot and thanks to you, the time I put into this blog feels worthwhile. Can’t wait to come back to gushing about dudes falling in love with their bestest bros in a yes homo way again. See you tomorrow!
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