The supreme beings that created the ogres have a problem. They are responsible for maintaining the delicate balance of nature, but they may have to eliminate the human race to do so. If mankind disappears, will a new order of sentient beings claim their sovereignty over the planet? Either way, Zakuro holds the key to the future of the world!
It really shouldn’t come as any real surprise that I enjoyed this volume. I liked Togari, Natsume’s previous series released by Viz, and I discovered it the same way, by reading a volume in the middle of the series. Even though most of this volume is fighting, Natsume still manages to get enough story through to keep me interested throughout the volume.
The volume starts in the middle of a fight with Lacey, and ends with a fight against Akebi and the discovery of the supreme beings’ plan. One of the things I liked about Togari was the way Natsume blurred the line between good and evil. Good characters are shown to have dark sides, and the characters thought to be evil might not be so bad. This theme shows up again here, as Zakuro and Mikito come to understand each other better. Mikito acknowledges his own dark side and tells Zakuro he believes he has a light side. It’s not a big or even pivotal moment, but it’s the one that has helped convince me that this is a story worth pursuing. I know this isn’t a new or original concept for a manga, but I think Natsume does it particularly well.
Most of this volume is one big battle after another against supreme beings who seek to control Zakuro and his power. But these battles do more than make the pages fly by. Natsume knows how to use battles to develop his characters and make the fight mean more than fancy moves and power ups. I really enjoyed the development Mikito and Zakuro got in their battles with Lacey and Akebi. I also liked the way Akebi was shown to be more of a sham with his supposed “love” for his ogres. The scene with Seri at the end was nice too. Even though I really didn’t know the character, I could still feel for him.
The art is well done, with realistic looking characters and scary monsters. I was kind of turned off by Zakuro’s design when I first saw it, but now having read a volume, and knowing more about him, I actually like it. The ogres can be pretty creepy too. Kurozakuro is a solid shonen action series with some good thought-provoking moments. I certainly enjoyed it enough to want to go back and catch up on the series.