Toady’s post is on Samurai Deeper Kyo volume 1 by Akimine Kamijyo. It is the first in the series and is 208 pages long. It is published by Tokyopop. The cover Kyoshiro on it with a shadow behind him of someone going to attack. The intended reader is someone who likes samurai stories, historical (sort of), and surprisingly romance; older teen and adult only. There is language, sexuality, and lots of violence in this manga. The story is told from third person god point of view with the characters thoughts being read by the reader. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- 1604 A.D. Four years after a devastating civil war, Yuya Shiina earns a living by hunting outlaws. When she captures Mibu Kyoshiro for a small bounty, she has no idea about the dark secret he carries within. Kyoshiro shares his body with the spirit of Onime-no-Kyo, a legendary assassin who has killed a thousand men.
Review- I love this manga so much. I read it 10 years ago when it was first brought here to the USA. The art is very good, the story is interesting, and the characters are intense. Yuya and Kyo are OTP to this day. It is all about the characters to me. Yuya is a very determined young woman who wants revenge for her brother’s murder. Kyo is a jackass. He wants to be free of Kyoshiro again and be the most powerful warrior. The only reason he does not kill Yuya is she head-butts him and tells him that she will not beg for her life. If he is going to kill her then do it, otherwise get out of her way. The art plays a very big part of telling the story. Kyo’s eyes are very expressive. His face when Yuya heat-butts him is hilarious; pure disbelief. No one stands up to him like she did/does. At least no one that he thinks as weaker than himself. One thing Kyo/Kyoshiro are not the same person. They are different people from the same family. That is something that you have to remember as you are reading the series. Plus Kyo would kill anyone who thought he was anything like Kyoshiro. I do not think that Kyoshiro has an opinion about that at all.
I give this first volume a Five out of Five stars. I bought this manga with my own money many years ago and I am looking forward to rereading and falling back in love with Kyo.
The anime series was acquired by Media Blasters under its AnimeWorks label in 2003. briefly aired on Encore network channels in the United States.
The TV adaptation takes extreme liberties with the plot, and only vaguely follows the plot of the manga. Kyo is an artificial construct, born of Kyoshiro’s attempt to purge violence and cruelty from himself i.e. Kyo is the dark half of Kyoshiro’s soul in a Mibu-made homunculus . While Kyo is resealed inside Kyoshiro after losing a sword fight to him, the circumstances behind it are different. Kyoshiro confronts Kyo at the Battle of Sekigahara in order to stop his bloody rampage, rather than to protect Sakuya. Apart from these and flashbacks to his time with Muramasa, Akira and Hotaru, the anime provides fewer details of Kyo’s past. The character of Yuya is often relegated to a peripheral character, while the role of the kenyou is enhanced.
The anime is a great deal of fun but mentally separate the manga from it. Once you do that, you can enjoy this series. My only problem is that Yuya is not as important as she is in the manga. She is the reason that so much happens in the series. But that said I still love this series. It is so much fun and takes the story into a new place. I own the soundtrack, so I must share the opening theme song.
Samurai Deeper Kyo is a manga series written and illustrated by Akimine Kamijyo. Set during the Edo period of Japan’s history, Samurai Deeper Kyo follows Demon Eyes Kyo , a feared samurai seeking to regain his body after his soul is sealed inside the body of his rival, Mibu Kyoshiro. Kyo is joined in his search by the bounty-hunter Shiina Yuya, the heir to the Tokugawa shogunate Benitora; and Sanada Yukimura, a known rival of the Tokugawa.
Samurai Deeper Kyo was serialized from October 15, 1999 to May 10, 2006 in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine, and collected over 38 volumes. The manga was adapted into an animated television series in 2002. The Studio Deen production aired on TV Tokyo from July 2, 2002 until December 23, 2002, for a total of 26 episodes. Both the manga and anime have been licensed in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The manga was acquired by Tokyopop in 2002. However, by 2009, Kodansha allowed its licensing contracts to expire, preventing Tokyopop from continuing the English version of the series. Samurai Deeper Kyo was shortly thereafter picked up by Del Rey Manga, who have completed the series by releasing volumes 35 and 36 in a single volume and volumes 37 and 38 in a single volume.
This is my favorite series of all time. I love everything about it. From Kyo and Yuya to the over-the-top plot and action scenes. I own all 38 volumes and all the anime in its special wooden box. I own the soundtrack because I love this series so much. I have gotten into nerd fights over this series. It has everything you could want: awesome action scenes, love conquers all story, hot guys, a kick-ass heroine, and so much more! If you can get your hands on it you need to read this series.