Good Ol’ Captain America Disclaimer- Kind Of?
So. Yes. For all intensive purposes, when it comes to Anime, Manga?
Now having said that, I am going to give myself the credit of a little background context. Since starting my work in a bookstore, I have become much more familiar with the genre and do have a general working knowledge of it. It is very basic and limited but general. For that reason, I am going to provide a summary of Seven Deadly Shadows, which I normally don’t do. However, in this case I feel it is imperative to provide, for those more familiar with the genre (and with Japanese Folklore) than I am. Being I am not an expert on either, I don’t want to attempt speak to either and make a terrible mistake.
Seven Deadly Shadows Summary
Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.
But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.
Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.
With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil
Anime, Manga and Japanese Folklore
For what I do know of the inspirational foundations of Seven Deadly Shadows, I would without hesitation, suggest it to fans of these genres. I believe they would completely love it. With the half fox/half boy and demons and ghosts that can only be seen by the main character, Kira and maniacal monsters… but don’t let that scare off non-anime fans because there are things to love for others, as well.
Kira is an amazing female lead that is written is realistically. She isn’t your typical chosen one and her arc is far from predictable. Plagued by insecurity and unsure of her powers, she often finds that who she should trust and who she can trust are two different things. Those she was led to believe were evil and treacherous are would be allies. Her path is confusing and scary. Courtney Alameda and Valynne Maetani pull off the confusion and conflict within Kira fantastically. Right up until the end, Kira’s continued to grow through what she didn’t know and how it affects her actions and how it affects those around her. In some ways, she reminds of Sarah Calhoun in Witchy Eye, which are the type of female leads we need more of, and it is great to see!
Kira’s grandmother is also a refreshing side-character that comes about in the story. I can’t say too much about her without spoiling some of the plot but she was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the rest of the characters weren’t nearly as developed as I would like. The parents, and Kira’s brother, relationship could have been developed more considering their importance to the story. Although her parents do play a role towards the end? I kept waiting for her brother and younger sister to just do something more. Especially considering how Seven Deadly Shadows starts, but I won’t say more.
AND THEY’RE OFF!
Thank you to Harper Teen for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Start Deadly Shadows when you are ready for heart palpating action from the get-go that won’t stop. It starts of with a bang and for the most part, it doesn’t stop till the end. The pacing does falter here and there through the middle piece of the book. However, I think that with the speed of the first and last 30% of the book, it really doesn’t hurt the enjoyment factor or drag down the plot too much. There is enough character development, plot twists and depth to keep it interesting even when the pace slows down. And when it picks up again, you’ll hold the breath you didn’t know you had, right up until the end.
Gods And Monsters
Everyone knows I’m pretty much a whore for them at this point. Whether they are made-up or based in culture, BRING ME ALL THE GODS. The more they meddle in the lives of human the better. What can I say, I find it all fascinating. Seven Deadly Shadows does not fail in this area with Gods and their minions causing havoc. Often it is the living that are more ugly than death with some of the strongest writing coming around the areas of that fine line between the two. When you can live in the area where the most grotesque of things can seem beautifully haunting, it is an amazing feat. That isn’t about dead is dead because it is set-up in folklore that is steeped in tradition. It is made easy to understand without pulling you out of the story.