Senran Kagura: Skirting Shadows Vol. 1 (Seven Seas Entertainment)


Rating: 2/5 – There Are Better Fanservice Options Out There.

Right off the bat, let me own up to a little bit of bias…I love pretty much anything the video game company Natsume brings to our shores. I’m a Harvest Moon addict and I’ve wasted many an hour on their newest release Hometown Story. The fact that I’m not a famous artist yet? Yeah, I blame it on a chronic Rune Factory addiction. So when I found out that a manga had come out based on a Natsume game, it didn’t take much effort for it to take top position on my review stack.

Sadly, all the love that I have for a company can’t protect it from a lackluster product, and while Natsume really didn’t have anything to do with the creation of Senran Kagura, I had to do my best to separate the company from the book in my mind as I read it. The book, and the game it’s based on, involves a quintet of shinobi (female ninja) who are in the midst of their development, both as ninja and as spokesmodels for breast enhancement, as they face off against a rival school with equally nubile young ladies-in-training.

To say this book lays on the fanservice does a disservice to the word, not to mention that it falls into the same tropes and clichés that hinder many a book of this type: the two girls who are maybe a bit too friendly, the gratuitous beach scene, and the oversexed member of the group who finds an excuse to be undressed at the drop of a skirt. They’re all in this first volume, and it’s likely you’ll find more of it in the next volume, and the one after that…but that’s only if you’re masochistic enough to read that far.

If you’re looking for pure titillation and fun fanservice goodness, you have other – better – options open to you than Senran Kagura. Natsume games will always have my heart, and while I’ve found a few doujinshi of Harvest Moon and Rune Factory out there, I wish those would find their way to a printer and my shelf over this sorry mess.

Reviewed by: Al Sparrow – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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