March Story Vol.1 by Hyung-Min Kim, Yang Kyung-Il (art)
Series: March Story #1
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Shounen
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Release Date: October 19th 2010
Synopsis: Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for M audiences. Among the quiet villages and towns of 18th century Europe, demons known as the Ill hide within the most beautiful works of art, sparked to life by the torment of their creators. Attracted by their jewel-like allure, the unwary find themselves possessed by the Ill and driven to horrific acts of violence. Only the hunters of the Ciste Vihad can dispel the Ill.
March is one such hunter, tracking the Ill from town to town to find the antiques that contain the demons before they can possess anyone. If the worst has come to pass, March’s full powers are unleashed to battle the fiendish Ill. Born of tragedy, the artifacts all have their own tales to tell, as do each of their victims. But March’s story may be the most tragic of all.
It has been a long time since I have been so mystified by a beginning of a series. If a person wants to start a series, this is how they should start it. With an intriguing introduction to the main character, a couple of amazing stories, and a dose of master storytelling.
I might as well insert a little warning in the beginning of this review. Awhile I label this manga as something in the Young Adult age group, I do think that only people who are mature enough to handle some adult things should read this. There is a good amount of blood in some of the chapters, and some nudity. I don’t think that these were used in excess or were just used to be used, though.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s go on!
As of right now, I can say that March Story is a story that follows March, a hunter of Ill. Ill are beings that live inside old artifacts, waiting for a human to pick them up. When a human picks them up, the Ill possesses the human and drives them to insanity with their whispers, and then take over the human’s body. The only thing that can stop an Ill is a Ciste Vihad, a person who has gotten the Ill possessing them under control. And that is what March is, a Ciste Vihad.
Of course, I believe that there is a much deeper storyline that is going to come into play in the future, but this first volume only touches upon what Ills and Ciste Vihads are, and the characters with the chapters it contains.
Most of the chapters in this volume have a very sinister feel to them. There is blood and screaming and horror. But there are some that are actually quite heartwarming. My favorite chapters is the one with the glass deer. It was such of an amazing chapter.
March is an enigma of a character for a time until about the middle of the volume. We don’t even officially know her gender until then. All we know at first is that she is a hunter that eliminates Ill. But when we actually get to know her and her past, well, it’s pretty painful.
The reoccurring side characters are also very good. I especially loved Jake, the chubby (an understatement) fortune teller that immediately caught my attention, for some reason. And Rodin is such of an interesting person. He is the man who owns a shop that sells items that have been cleansed of the Ill inside of them. And he isn’t at all hesitant to rip people off. It’s quite funny 😛
And Yang Kyung-Il’s art is GORGEOUS! Everything is vividly drawn, with great detail, and obvious love. Heck, even the dripping blood is nice to look at at times. Seriously, the art is Pandora Hearts pretty. That’s saying something.
This is a great beginning to a series. And if this continues, this might become tied with Pandora Hearts as my favorite manga series. The mangaka’s have a wonderful idea for a story. I would definitely recommend this for fans of D.Gray-Man since it does have similar elements.