Thursday, March 18, 2010

Manga Review: Buso Renkin

Manga: Buso Renkin
Story: Nobuhiro Watsuki
Art: Nobuhiro Watsuki
Distributor: VIZ Media
Number Volumes: 10

Sorry it has been a while since I did a Manga Review blog. Without further a-do, lets get the show started.

I was looking at this Manga to read, but kept putting it back on the shelf because of that Butterfly Dude on the cover. How can a Cool and Hip guy like myself be caught reading a book with "Butterfly Man" on the cover. Well, I finally broke down and got it when I saw it at the Library (cool, free read). Only thing that sucked was that I could not find the 1st issue (nor the 5th). So I jumped in on the 2nd issue. I did not miss much as there was a great introduction to what happen previously to catch me up. I have read the entire series, so THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD.

Summary (thanks to VIZ):

"Buso Renkin is the story of teenager Kazuki Muto, who dies trying to save a girl who was being attacked by an eerie monster. The next morning, however, Kazuki is left wondering whether it was all a dream. Lo and behold, the girl, the monster, and his death are all real! The girl, Tokiko Tsumura, was actually trying to slay the homunculus (a beast that can take the form of humans, but whose main source of food is people), but Kazuki got in her way. To revive Kazuki, Tokiko replaces his heart with a "kakugane," an alchemy device that allows him to summon a lance with which to fight the monsters. It turns out that Tokiko is a member of Renkin Kenshi (Alchemist Soldiers), an organization sworn to protect the world from the diabolical creatures. Soon, Kazuki joins Tokiko in her quest to terminate the sinister being that creates and controls the homunculus."

OMFG- Butterfly Dude Figure - WTF!

The underlying theme for the entire thing is Alchemy. Seems like no one can keep their hands out of, so we have a band of Renkin Kenshi trying to keep the world safe from the Homunculus. I will skip the beginning as I know you read the Summary and I do not need to re-hash that part again.

Feel the Power Kazuki!
I got involved with the 2nd volume pretty fast and found my self enjoying the story line. This poor kid (common theme here again) gets pulled into this great battle with only his nerves and guts to help him. We find that Tokiko is to be Kazuki's love interest through out the series. She is pretty much trying to be his solid ground while he is just a newbie trying to find himself and the power he holds.

Now the enemy, the Homunculus look like humans (or animals) that can changed into horrible human eating creatures. Though they seem to disorganized, they are actually being ruled by Dr. Butterfly (got to check out his mustache) and he is some one's Great Grand Father - wonder who that may be? This is also the crazy Chouno who actually dying. He becomes a homunculus in hopes of curing himself and living forever (dummass, this never works out). With all that power, he takes down the one person who he despises the most - his father and then lays waste to his entire families organization. He also has a love / hate relationship with Kazuki as he sees him as a rival. Later in the series, they become allies to help save humanity. He is also called Papillion Mask in the series.

He pulled a butterfly mask out of his undies??
This is just Fucked Up!

We see Kazuki and Yokiko in many fights with several different homunculus. Now what sucks with all this is that he lives on school campus with his sister and friends. So he has to be careful with what he is doing and not to include the school in these fights. Now we know this never works and he ends up having to save his friends and let them in on the secret. Along the way, he is introducted to Captian Bravo who ends up taking Kazuki under his wing and helping him to mature as a person and with his Buso Renkin.

Kazuki and Tokiko fighting a Hawk Homunculus

What ends up happening later is that Kazuki becomes a Victor as his kakugane changes into a black one. This happens as he fights a recently resurrected Victor. These guys need to literally suck the life out of everything around them to battle and gain more powers. So you can see why now everyone is trying to kill him before his powers become fully realized. Poor Kazuki is added to the list of hunted as he can also become a Victor and is a threat.

Kazuki fighting Victor

In the end, the only way to save himself and the world is to push Victor to the Moon. There is no life force to be drained and everyone is saved. They even move all the homunculus as well there and everyone lives happily ever after.

This Manga was a fair read, but at times took a damn stupid turn of events (Beach Scenes). The battle parts were killer and I loved the variety of characters and their skills/weapons. This is still a great "little guy overcomes issues to win the day and save the world" feel. I was impressed that it only ran for 10 volumes and didn't get crazy with side topics at times. There is much more to the story, as I generalized as much as possible. I did not want to give you too may spoilers and want you to read it yourself.

I still can't get my brain to wrap around Chouno and that damn stupid butterfly outfit. I am sorry, but I need to say this - "it is so damn gay!". I am now awaiting the hate mail on this :)

Overall Rating: C

btw: it is out as an Anime now as well (26 episodes).


  1. I read the first two volumes and didn't read any more. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. The story didn't make enough of an impression on me to really make me want to go further. HOWEVER, I love Tokiko's weapon, it looks really cool. Her weapon is 75% of the reason I even picked up this series.

  2. @lovelyduckie ~ I probably would of dropped it as well, but it was a free read from the library. Butterfly Dude - ewwwwww


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