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Azumi focuses upon the life of the titular young female assassin. The manga begins an indeterminate number of years after the Battle of Sekigahara. As Azumi begins her duty, the manga introduces its characters into mainstream history. Many of the early missions that Azumi undertakes are the assassinations of the prominent supporters and generals of the Toyotomi Clan, against whom Tokugawa Ieyasu expected to again go to war. The manga 'reveals' that many of the Toyotomi leaders who conveniently died of diseases or accidents prior to the final confrontation between the Toyotomi and Tokugawa were actually victims of assassinations by Azumi and her comrades, thus indicating to the reader when the events were taking place.
Note: Won an Excellence Prize at the 1997 Japan Media Arts Festival and the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1998.
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its one of my favourite manga's out there. The only thing i don't like about this manga is the translation speed... like seriously... by the time we'd get to its sequel, most likely 30-40 years would have passed by then. so frustrating! UGH! But i still love this manga.
Probably worths your time.
Sometimes i really wish to comment on comments, but that would eventually start flame wars all over the site xD So, i only wish you to heed my coments and disregard anybody elses... just kidding (?)
READ THIS ASAP. I waited a long time to have a lot of chapters to read, it was worth it!.
Be aware that this is somewhat gory, but i have seen much, much, MUCH worse than this, this is mostly blood and a lot of dismembered bodyparts >_<, but hey, that is the way real samurai battles were fought.
This manga has good action scenes, and it's nice how the author tries to tie mysterious real life deaths to Azumi's assasinations, but the story has a big problem: Azumi is flawless. And this makes it ultimately uninteresting. It quickly gets into the formula of "nice secondary characters meet Azumi, very strong enemies try to stop Azumi but they can't even touch her although the secondary characters are all wiped out".
It gets ridiculous how some of the enemies are presented as the very best warriors of all Japan yet are killed by the main character in a couple of pages, managing at most to scratch her skin. Any tension is lost when you know that the protagonist is so overpowered, so the author resorts to killing secondary characters instead.
I had to drop it because this pattern tired me. It doesn't look like it's going to change.
Couldn't stop reading
This story if nothing else, is very entertaining. I know it doesn't have romance listed, but there is definitely romance...lots of tragedy. The story is never stale either. It doesn't feel episodic. I was never like "cmon lets get this part over with already."(maybe because I was just really into it) The art is detailed, it makes the fights comprehensible to me. The tragedy gets to me sometimes and is annoying, but I have 0 regrets about reading this.
Big waste of potential
Well, for one, if you're looking for a complex or layered story, you're not going to find it here. The dialogue remains (sometimes tiringly) simple throughout, and you'd probably need to be a major samurai fan in order to get into the politics later on. For me, I was willing to overlook these things because of the refreshingly invincible protagonist and the commentary regarding the mistreatment of women during that time, and I even tolerated Azumi's gullibility and softness towards the villains. Well, after she befriended a crossdressing cretin, it went downhill from there.
It has now taken a serious dive in ch. 104. There's really no plausible reason the author would turn a capable individual into a total dumbass (unless it was a sort of indictment on the idealist archetype). Well anyway, this unfortunate turn of events has lowered my rating from a potential 8.5 to the (generous) one you see before you. A real shame.
Anyhow, I don't know what's with all the talk about the faint-hearted. Sure there is violence as befitting the time period, but popular manga nowadays such as Berserk, Gantz, Blade of the Immortal, and Vagabond are much worse in terms of sadistic brutality.
... Last updated on September 30th, 2015, 11:53pm
Tragic and Gripping
Azumi is a tale of tragedy, revenge, and enlightenment. It's a recipe that's been done again and again (e.g. Vinland Saga), but like the many other repeats, it offers a fresh and interesting experience. This is particularly influenced by two things - the setting and the character development. The setting is Tokugawa Japan near the end of Ieyasu's life and afterwards, but what makes it unique is its focus on ninja. The character development is influenced by tragic and barbaric yet humanizing events. If I had any complaint, it would be that Azumi does not particularly face much challenge she has to overcome. The manga's focus is her as a person and her development, but she could easily kill anyone she wanted to. That's not necessarily bad. After all, that's a large part of the reason she's still alive while surrounded by death. Regardless, some might prefer external conflict over internal.
... Last updated on March 7th, 2015, 6:35pm
Tragic events make for an intense story
The first two chapters may astound and disgust you as it did to me, but it is quite good. The main character gets development as the chapter go on and it is a real page turner for me. I enjoy the action scenes, even though its old. The emotions the main character feel make this a great story in my opinion if you can feel them with her.
Not for the faint hearted
I watched the live action years ago, it was great, I even still listen to it's soundtrack.
The manga.... is even better, and yes, not for the faint hearted.
Bad, real bad things happened in this manga, but successfully stomach them and you will be presented with epicness.
Not for the faint of heart
A pretty gruesome series. It is not so much the gore that makes it different compared to other violent series, but the specific acts of violence that are perpetrated by the characters in this manga. Without giving too much away, right from the get go you see a level a violence that is rarely ever portrayed in manga.
... Last updated on October 23rd, 2013, 11:12am
The best Chanbara manga
Azumi is a must for every fan of the chanbara and good drama. The characters have real depth and Azumi especially is phenomenal. The violence is very gritty and no gratuitous sex scenes in sight (hello Kazuo Koike) just good old storytelling. Ok there is tons of sex and sexual violence but it´s a vital part of the narrative and not stupid/creepy fan service. The series isn´t for a general audience though as the violence is unrelenting and horrific even by seinen standards and there is a ton of sexual abuse but everything works so well that i read the complete manga series in one day long session. It is that good and just shy of masterpiece status. The art is also a lot better then it seems at first and the author is very good at conveying movement and facial expressions. The anguish in peoples faces when they die is just superb. I further suggest Azumi 2 and Oi! Ryouma (8,5/10) to get the complete picture and the reviewed Kamui Gaiden (8,5/10) is another forgotten genre classic.