In the quiet little town of Miyakono, life takes a drastic turn for many residents. The residents have forgotten the old traditions and have abandoned the gods. By destroying the mountain and filling in the rivers, an ancient charm, which protected the town from the onslaught of the ten Kenzoku, was broken.
These ancient and monstrous creatures gather the souls of their victims to resurrect their creator. The only humans that can fight these beings are those who have been chosen by the four gods guarding the town. These gods are: Suzaku, who protects the south, Seiryu, who protects the East, Genbu, who protects the North, and Byakko, who protects the West.
Upon contact with the gods the chosen must give up their most precious thing in exchange for a jingi, a sacred weapon. They, along with the few who have spiritual sense, are the only ones who can see the Kenzoku and thus must fight together to save the greater population who are unaware of the danger.
Still, the Jingi users are only human and their weakness causes many deaths, some unavoidable, some harrowing.
Otogi Matsuri is a relatively short series. Only twelve volumes long, this is its strong point. Being a short series, the pace is fast and there are no wasted chapters. The action is non-stop and the character development is intense. How can character development be intense? When everybody dies, is how.
This doesn’t spoil anything as you get the inkling that death is going to be common when there are deaths within the first four pages. The sheer amount of death is what makes this seinen rather than shounen, and I love it all. Is it bad that I think that death is the best tool for character and plot development?
Additionally, the artwork matches the high intensity of the plot. The dark and light tones effectively control the face. The more dark tones used the more intense the picture looks while light tones can be linked to the opposite. Moreover, there is an exquisite attention to detail. I noticed this first in the character’s eyes. From just the eyes I could tell exactly what the character was feeling. Details such as this made the characters feel more alive while the details in the background helped the overall feel of the picture.
Although fairly straightforward, the action and plot is adrenaline pumping. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series; once I started I could not stop. If blood, gore, and death doesn’t bother you, I highly recommend this manga. Not only does it have action but it has a wonderful romantic undertone. From where I am now it could go any way.
GO Rating: 4.5/5