The world of Ninja Slayer is quite a dystopian and violent one. Last I reviewed it, I claimed the world as being pretty high quality, even if the narrative can be incredibly difficult to follow. Honestly, that claim is still perfectly valid. We are introduced to the concept of school being a very dangerous place to go to, due to the bus routes going through dangerous neighborhoods. There are vigilante student gangs and we find out that the abilities of the Ninja are apparently tied to the soul. While this is a cool concept, it basically says that ninja are martial arts wizards. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing given the set up of the world.
In the first part of the book, we get to see these two “upper class employees” on a form of “ecological crusade” against a form of biologically engineered pest, the Bio Sumo Wrestler. Its basically a mass of feral flesh that escaped from the corporations that run the world. A ninja comes in to attack them and, naturally, we see Ninja Slayer continue his own crusade.
Suddenly, the story rapidly shifts to a new character named Yamoto. She and another character named Shogo somehow gained the soul of a ninja. Naturallym we are whisked away and introduced to their backstories and how traumatic their experiences were. But it also basically says, “HEY! THESE TWO ARE BONDED BY FATE!” Or at least bonded by a ninja soul.
I still can’t decide if I like this little idea since the concept of two characters being bonded and given powers at the same time, literally or not, seems rather cliche to me. However, since this manga has already broken the usual “world is confusing, stop reading” problem, I am still willing to withhold solid negative judgement for the time being.
I’m going to be honest: The sudden transition from Ninja Slayer to Yamoto is sudden and without segue. It is a bit jarring in an already confusing world. Especially since there was no mention of Laomoto (the big bad introduced in the first volume). I will admit that in the table of contents it is shown that there are now two stories going on alongside each other: that of Ninja Slayer and that of Yamoto. Perhaps in the next volume things will start to make more sense. But it is still intriguing enough that, despite the confusion, I still want to read more. Luckily, there is more to read!
Script: Yoshiaki Tabata
Illustrator: Yuki Yogo
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Translation: Christian Storms and HCL
Release Date: December 15th, 2015
Disclaimer: A copy of Ninja Slayer: The Last Girl Standing was provided to BentoByte by the publisher for the purpose of review.Tweet