Akaneiro. Story by: Justin Aclin. Art by: Vasilis Lolos. Created by: American Mcgee of Spicyhorse Games.
"Long ago, The red girl, the forest mother, and the huntsman joined their strengths to defeat a dangerous yokai (demon). As their legend grew, the order of Akane grew, Drawing our inspiration from the three. When the yokai discovered the way into our world through Yomi Island, they threatened to overrun humanity. The order of Akane rose as one and drove back the invasion. Balanced was restored. Since then, the red hunters have sought to maintain that balance, but balance means that sometimes we are victorious..."
Kani, a young Ainu girl, is training to become a demon hunter with the order of Akane. Her first lesson in training is training to be alert and aware, but to also not back down from a fight. "You aren't really going to hurt me are you?" It's only then that Rin, one of the demon hunters, sets her straight about the Demon Hunters. "You're training to become a Demon Hunter, not a demon petter." "This is why we hunt Yokai. The blood of the Yokai becomes Karma...and Karma gives the order it's power and it's wealth." The blood of the Yokai (demons) becomes crystals. Ever watch the Super Man movies and see what the inside of the Fortress Of Solitude looks like with all those ice crystals? Well the crystalized blood of a Yokai looks just like that, just not as big of course.
Rin, seeing Kani as a weakling and not taking her Demon Hunting training seriously, has Dai (another hunter) excel Kani's training by throwing her into a pit. But alas, it's no ordinary pit, it's a pit with three powerful Yokai, who are sure to tear Kani apart. How will she make it out alive?
Elsewhere... Mitsuo and Fumiyo are off not too far from Kani's village. It appears in this comic that Fumiyo has a way of sensing or communicating with Kani through previous slain Yokai that Kani has battled. Mitsuo: "What makes you so sure it was Kani?" Fumiyo: "I spoke to her. I know she didn't change her mind...Joining the order meant everything to her. She wants to protect this world." They take up their weapons and decide to head towards Kani's village to check on her, but along the way Mitsuo hears a disturbance in the cold winter air. ?: "heh" Mitsuo: "Did that fox just laugh at us?"
I don't want to completely spoil this comic for you, you'll just have to check it out for yourselves to see how the story concludes, and is Kani survives against three Yokai. What was with the laughing fox that Mitsuo and Fumiyo came across? Will Rin and Dai leave Kani to die, or will they help her?
The artwork of this comic is very reminiscent to that of ancient Japanese artwork that you see on scrolls in museums or if you happen to have an international district in your local town. That being said, I felt that the artwork was lacking in some areas and stronger in others. It wasn't as steady as I'd like it to be. It's like trying to read a Punisher comic and knowing that a panel has the Punisher, but the artwork looks like a 6 year old drew it.
So how's the storyline? The story is pretty interesting. It tells of an ancient lore about the red girl, the forest mother, and the huntsman being the basis for the order of Akane, and why so many have attempted to be a red hunter (yokai killer/demon hunter). It of course features a main character who's a bit of a weakling, and her friends (who aren't in earshot of her) sense that she's in danger and come running to her aid. It almost felt like Star Wars in a way, with how Luke Skywalker having had his arm cut off by Vader was gripping to some piping of Cloud City and calling out to Leia with the power of the force. Of course I'm still curious as to what was meant by Fumiyo when she said "I spoke with her." Did she communicate telepathically, or did she actually talk with her but earlier in time? It was hard to distinguish that. Mitsuo looks like a ninja with his mouth covered by a black cloth with red markings.
Overall I just wasn't as impressed with this comic by Darkhorse Publishing, as I'd like to be. I give this comic a 5/10. By the way, if you google search Akaneiro, you'll find that Spicy Horse & American Mcgee have made a video game for Akaneiro. Their Kickstarter was fully funded and you should be able to see the game on Steam as of now. Let me know what you think of the game, or if you decide to pick up the comic and give it a read. I can be contacted on twitter @JonFromSeattle, and here on geek-io by sending me an email to Feedback@Geek-IO.Com with the subject "Slater's Clubhouse." Thanks for reading this short review. I'll try to be a little more in depth with future comic reviews. Until next time fellow geeks.
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