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Sanctuary  
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Description
Two young men vow to transform the destiny of Japan, by any means. As children, they survived the horrors of the Cambodian killing fields together. Now, can they topple the leaders of both the Japanese Parliament and the yakuza crime syndicate?

Although cold and calculating when need be, Hojo and Asami exemplify the traits their colleagues lack: loyalty to friends, compassion for the downtrodden...and an irresistible way with women.

Deputy Police Chief Ishihara sets out to expose their ingenious machinations, but instead falls helplessly in love with Hojo...

Note:
While this was originally 12 volumes in Japanese, when translated into English by Viz it was printed three ways: first in comic book form (each issue had 2 chapters), second in a 5-part 14-vol compilation of the comic books, and finally in a 9 volume manga series. Because the translation is so early, the books were flipped to English left-to-right orientation.

The nine English volumes correspond to these compilation parts, floppy issues, and original chapters:

V1: Part 1, Issues 1-4, Chapters 01-12
V2: Part 1, Issues 5-9, Chapters 13-27
V3: Part 2, Issues 1-5, Chapters 01-13
V4: Part 2, Issues 5-9, Chapters 14-26
V5: Part 3, Issues 1-7, Chapters 01-13
V6: Part 3, Issues 7-8, Chapters 14-16; Part 4, Issues 1-5, Chapters 01-09
V7: Part 4, Issues 5-7, Chapters 10-14; Part 5, Issues 1-3, Chapters 01-05
V8: Part 5, Issues 3-8, Chapters 06-15
V9: Part 5, Issues 8-13, Chapters 16-22

Type
Manga

Related Series
N/A

Associated Names
Убежище
サンクチュアリ (史村翔)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.14 by Manga Underground (2483d ago)
v.13 by Manga Underground (2504d ago)
v.12 by Manga Underground (2517d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
14 Volumes (Tankoubon - Complete)
12 Bunko Volumes

Completely Scanlated?
Yes

Anime Start/End Chapter
N/A

User Reviews
N/A

Forum

User Rating
Average: 8.7 / 10.0 (479 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.58 / 10.0
10
 41% (196 votes)
9+
 22% (104 votes)
8+
 20% (96 votes)
7+
 8% (36 votes)
6+
 4% (21 votes)
5+
 2% (11 votes)
4+
 1% (3 votes)
3+
 1% (4 votes)
2+
 1% (3 votes)
1+
 1% (5 votes)

Last Updated
August 29th 2014, 12:01pm PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
1990

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Big Comic Superior (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Viz (9 Omnibuses - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #636 increased(+193)
Monthly Pos #1212 increased(+184)
3 Month Pos #1509 increased(+5)
6 Month Pos #1448 decreased(-134)

List Stats
On 438 reading lists
On 829 wish lists
On 1061 completed lists
On 45 unfinished lists
On 237 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]
 

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My face when I saw Sanctuary was nothing but faces   
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
by Fundefined
June 19th, 2010, 3:44am
Count the amount of panels in Sanctuary that are just reaction face images. It's at least a third of the entire series. 1/3 of the series is nothing but extraneous close ups of people's faces. My favorite is the face gazing to the heavens at inappropriate intervals even if they are facing each other. Naturally with a story and cast of such epic proportions, one expects some face recognition panels to remind the reader, but Sanctuary takes it to an absurd level where in every meeting there is recap face panel of every member there. No matter what type of action is happening, expect a face shot of every character there. Even worse is the double zoom face panel when the main characters speaks. Sometimes it gets more absurd when it turns into the triple zoom when they zoom into the eyes.

Oh yes, the eyes. The automatic test to see if this character will be significant to the plot and thus their coolness factor. Sanctuary's main fault is that it tells you the reputation of various characters and their notoriety and then proceed to never justify it. So and so boss/police/politician has such amazing wit and power yet they rarely put up a worthy challenge to the main character. Worse yet, is if they do actually put the dynamic duo on their heels, they withdraw because of the overwhelming presence of the their eyes. Their very gaze seems to stop every opponent and have them comment on the determination and fire they see within their eyes.

There is no denying that Sanctuary is chauvinistic. I would be fine with this, if only they didn't throw it in your face in every volume with the most useless character ever: Deputy Police Chief Ishihara. I imagined at worst the "tame the indepedent women" bit, and the "on opposite sides of the law but madly in love" act but her sheer uselessness was sickening. She did nothing. She is a Deputy Police Chief working on a huge mafia bust, yet all of the police action is done by her subordinate while she loiters around without doing anything related to being a police officer. She shows no sign of intelligence or hold any sort of job responsibility. Her entire existence is to fall in love with Hojo (in a unconvincing manner), and have him cocktease her until she gets relegated to occasion sex scene girl. Yet she consumed more panels than many other important characters and disrupts the flow the series when she periodically shows up to fawn over Hojo. Politics and Crime professions are male dominated but you don't need Ishihara, who seemed to be set up as a main character in the beginning, always reemerging to remind us about her meaningless existence and near ruining the series.

Of course the politics are simplified and the ideas presented are far-fetched but they make sense in context of the story. Early on it showed on trouble on the political side when most of Asami's actions were gimmicky speeches but it gets better as he moves up the political ladder. The crime side tends to be better though at times the yakuza barely offer resistance to Hojo and his fiery eyes.

The character designs and art are excellent and the art superb but the characters less so. Hojo is invincible making all of his crime buddies minus Tokai forgettable. Isaoka starts off as an unconvincing antagonist but becomes probable the best character and biggest threat. They all have their *@!$-yeah! moments to various effect.

Sanctuary is a good manga that has some big flaws in presentation and characters but the plot is unique and ambitious, making it a must read. The art alone necessitates manga fans drool over it, even if it's just more zoomed in faces.

... Last updated on July 1st, 2010, 1:15am
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One of the best   
Rating: 9.8 / 10.0
by CuthienSilmeriel
December 30th, 2009, 6:51pm
Without a doubt this is one of the best manga I've ever had the pleasure to read. This gripped me instantly and I found myself so engrossed I was foregoing sleep in order to read the next chapter.

Plot - 10/10
The plot was definitely intricate and that is what makes it so damn good. Not a light read by any means but what I love about this story was the way all the characters wove together whilst forging their own paths. Unfortunately the last chapter felt fairly rushed which, while still moving, did detract somewhat from the climax most of the manga had built up to. The plot, however, was excellent but a little overly dramatic towards the end to the point where it was slightly unrealistic at times. The cut-throat ambitions present in both the yakuza and politics made you wonder which path was light and which was dark, especially considering the deep long-running tie between top-level politicians and yakuza dons. The amibitions, whilst idealistic, really struck a chord and got me thinking about my own country what I was doing to get my own voice heard in English parliment. In this sense the plot definitely makes you think as well as being entertaining to read.

Art 10/10
The art was phenomenal. Enough said.

Characters 9.5/10
The characters were extremely well developed on the most part. My favourite trait is the fact everything each individual character does is in keeping with their nature. There is development without changing personality. Even supporting characters get a good look in and you can understand why each character acts the way they do. Most of the characters are well developed so you see the viewpoints of the enemy as well as Hojo and Asami. My only complaint is the lack of a role women play. Other than the american Bisset and maybe Yuki there were no strong female characters. The one female to get any real coverage was fairly weak-willed, doing little but stand around and worry about Hojo. Thankfully this degrading view of women is easily ignored in the presence of the other characters.

Overall 10/10
This was well worth the read despite it's faults and I recommend it to anyone.

... Last updated on December 30th, 2009, 7:12pm
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Great Series   
Rating: N/A
by az060693
November 12th, 2007, 5:15pm
This series is great, though I don't think there really are any such great men like Asami and Hojo today that could inspire such great change. Their principles and theories are sound, however, keep in mind that this is a manga, and certain elements of the story are geared towards sales, such as the woman and more. And rape, although we would like to disbelieve so, happens much more than we notice. In addition, the people in this story are actually human, opposed to the average manga character, which exemplify certain, and not all qualities of normal people.

... Last updated on November 12th, 2007, 5:19pm
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Reforming Japan, yakuza-style!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by pearlesque
June 12th, 2007, 9:42am
I'm not sure I even have the words to express how brilliant this manga is. I've only read the first three volumes so far, but I'm making progress on the rest... In any case, don't miss this manga if you like your action with a dash of politics, a touch of moral relativism and of course a lot of exquisite art!

Ikegami-sensei's art is, as usual, drool-inducing. So incredibly realistic and cinematic. The characters' faces aren't stereotypical manga faces -- instead they're almost photographic in their detail and believability. The same goes for backgrounds. Every car, lamp-post and building is flawlessly drawn.

As straight as this manga professes to be, it is also intensely homoerotic. I absolutely adore all the meaningful glances, heated power struggles and off-hand flirtations that Hojo has to deal with, both from men and from women. It's awesome. The man is a sex magnet -- with good reason -- and I'm sure that half the reason his lackeys are so loyal to him is because he's as pretty as he is ruthless. biggrin

Much love for this manga. The chinos, the suits, the guns, the women -- no matter what you want, Sanctuary has it!
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Spectacular   
Rating: N/A
by boomstick3000
September 10th, 2007, 5:06am
You're wasting your time reading this review and not reading Sanctuary.
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...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by canucks
May 19th, 2007, 10:22am
Terrific read for mature readers. This political thriller closely dissects the fundamentalist Japan and is not afraid to dispose of it. Do reference it with 90's foreign policies, Americanization, the Bubble, and Oligarchy for a better understanding.
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My favourite Seinen   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Kagami
April 10th, 2007, 2:07pm
I think I've read enough seinen to compare, and I think this manga is the best of its genre. It's a political thriller that will always keep you hooked with its many plot twists and cliffhangers. The characters are well defined and the drawing is really good. Maybe, female characters are too focused on sex in this manga, but it's not a really bad issue.

10 out of 10 for sure.
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Classic Seinen   
Rating: N/A
by Decel
August 14th, 2006, 7:05pm
This manga is definitely worth a read. There are lots of political elements to it as well as intelectual depth. The character development is great.

This is something that people who are even remotely attracted to the genre should read, or at least go through the first volume.
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This Manga has it all...   
Rating: N/A
by pokie
July 22nd, 2006, 3:52am
This is a great read and I really enjoy Ryoichi Ikegami's distinctive style of drawing. The manga is both an action-packed political thriller and a moving drama about the commitment between two friends. Highly recommended!
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An art in its time   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by ejusdemgeneris
February 18th, 2014, 1:42pm
Mind I tell the readers that this manga was serialized in 1990. Hence, the unusual western mob drama art and left-right reading orientation. Its artitst- Ryoichi Ikegama, was born around 1967 and started drawing at the age of 17. So, ranting on its crappy art is just telling Iron Maiden that they're not so heavy for metal.
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