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Associated Names
サンクチュアリ (史村翔)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.14 by Manga Underground over 13 years ago
v.13 by Manga Underground over 13 years ago
v.12 by Manga Underground over 14 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

in Country of Origin
14 Volumes (Tankoubon - Complete)
12 Bunko Volumes
7 Volumes (Tankoubon - Complete - Works edition)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.6 / 10.0 (602 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.5 / 10.0

Last Updated
March 3rd 2020, 7:25pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Big Comic Superior (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (9 Omnibuses - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #641 increased(+47)
Monthly Pos #1270 increased(+68)
3 Month Pos #1857 increased(+153)
6 Month Pos #2097 increased(+429)
Year Pos #2803 decreased(-56)

List Stats
On 540 reading lists
On 1163 wish lists
On 1393 completed lists
On 54 unfinished lists
On 362 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Interesting and Gripping Read  
by Miss Valentine
June 22nd, 2019, 9:23pm
Rating: N/A
one of rare series that get me hooked. It is interesting, still get some flaws but it made me unable to stop reading it. Highly recommended if you enjoy complicated and twisted political plot.

1. Plot
it is a realistic one most of the time and you cannot expect and over the edge extreme twist. It's mostly political turn, even the yakuza part.

2. Romance n bromance
some male characters actually cry for good reason. the female police chief disgust me, she's useless, but Yuki and Bisset are just adorable. but seriously, spoiler : that moment when Tokai said he wish he could replace Asami's body with his shows just how much he loves Hojo cuz he understands that on this earth, Asami is the man Hojo loves the most (non sexually ofc)

3. Antagonists
well, it is a political story. the villain could be your best allies in the next day.

4. Flaws
Hojo could be too charismatic sometimes, like that time with Wong. And , maybe becuz Hojo is intended to be the main character I don't know, but I suppose it would turn out better if Asami is highlighted as much as Hojo
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Very limited appeal  
by nozomiEX
September 19th, 2018, 5:32am
Rating: N/A
This one unfortunately stands between two extremes; too silly to take seriously, but not so silly that it becomes fun. It's the boring, unengaging kind of dumb "fun," sans the fun. It has all the ma-"cheese"-mo of the '80s with none of the goofy, over-the-top wackiness that defines that category. I don't think many people will find what they want out of this. If you are looking for a serious political action thriller, you will be sorely disappointed, but conversely, if you are looking for an off-the-wall action b-movie-esque manga with the political angle as a mere subtext, you will simply be bored to tears.
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An art in its time  
by ejusdemgeneris
February 18th, 2014, 1:42pm
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
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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Excellent adult story  
by Uthred
July 3rd, 2013, 4:25pm
Rating: N/A
A very clever adult plot with a moving ending. The plotting was sublime and while everyone is free to like or dislike any media product anyone who found the plotting "confusing" simply wasnt paying attention. Similarly everyone is free to like or dislike the artstyle but complaing that "there are too many faces" is simply asinine.

A lot of seinen manga are adult only in terms of their sensationalist content (e.g. gore, sex, etc.) Sanctuary is a truly adult piece and while it seems a little condescending perhaps it is so perfectly targeted at its intended audience that it doesnt resonate well with those outside it. The comments on here would be infinitely more usefuel/readable if people simply had the courage to stand by their opinions over whether they like or dislike a particular manga rather than trying to couch their dislike behind ludicrous "criticisms". Is "too many faces" the "sharp knees" of manga criticism?
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You rarely see a manga with such different reviews - think about it  
by SoaRin
October 10th, 2012, 6:07am
Rating: 9.9 / 10.0
Personally, this is (well, almost) the kind of manga I've been always searching for. In other words, a manga with:

First and foremost: a good, interesting and clever plot. No pointless fighting or sappy romance but a balance between the two and some great political scheming. If you know another manga with a plot like this, please do inform me about it (well, I'm also expecting a lot from Cesare but it still has a way to go);

Second: as for me, the art was magnificient. So realistic and meticulous. Well, maybe not as good as Mephisto, and I missed more distinction between characters but oh well. And it was one of those extremely rare seinen mangas where the female body is drawn the right way. For that, boy am I thankful. And seriously, I think some people are just blind. They must be so annoyed by the actually proportional to the face eyes in this manga that they fail to see those complex and properly placed shadows and beautiful strokes. I wasn't able to find a single drawing mistake throughout the entire series - a rare sight in nowadays' manga.

Another thing: I really liked that the main characters were no supermen, had their (almost undistinguished, but still) flaws and not everything always went as they planned.What I appreciated even more was that the rivals weren't just rotten, evil idiots that had to be completely destroyed for the sake of humanity. What I didn't like though, was that throughout most of the series, Hojo mostly overshadowed Asami. Not good. They were suposed to be equal.

Finally: even the ending was kind of satisfying. There was no overwhelming victory, which I find stupid, or a Hamlet-like tragedy, which for me is unbearable. Just realistic - a consensus and a moderate victory. Perfect.

As for the portrayal of women in this manga: yes, I found that annoying. And thus I always imagined my own powerful female political figure. You can judge me for that but it helped me get through this issue. Of course, making the policewoman stand out more wouldn't have hurt at all, but what can we readers do?

All in all, I highly recommend to read this work and see for yourself. As for now, this is one of my favourite manga. But if I see something better, I'll change my rating accordingly.

... Last updated on October 10th, 2012, 7:36am
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good manga if...  
by andasideoffries
May 15th, 2012, 12:00am
Rating: N/A
Id say this is a very good manga- if you can appreciate oldshcool themes. like nail80 said-theres alot of patriotism going on. I personaly dont mind the machoism-more to the point, it was actualy refreshing to read a story that wasnt neutered so that it wouldnt offend people, or try to endear any current themes/politics (e.g peace and love, no nukes, whatever)

(though it does get tiresome-i personaly hate feminism/feminists but this manga just makes the woman, well...stupid. I'm not going to into it, because everyone else already did but...)

that being said- the final straw for me was when-they make America out as some evil monster (granted, many japanese mangas do this-still irritates me) and they take care of the problem by SPOILER sleeping with the American representative.
Wow! they're realy such manly manly japanese super heroes!

Bottom line: if you can stomach some of the more irksome aspects of the manga, then I would recommend reading it

... Last updated on May 15th, 2012, 12:05am
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Good, but still very flawed  
by nail80
April 19th, 2012, 1:12am
Rating: 7.5 / 10.0
Like the title says this is a very interesting piece but with plenty of flaws.
First of let me tell you about the art: simply hideous. That would be the way to describe the pages filled with faces. It's no lie, there are close ups in almost every single page, almost as if to fill spaces and to postpone the end of the manga. The old style drawings, reminding me of hardboiled series also do not look as good as they should be., the faces look weird and Asami's glasses top the charts in ridiculousness.
Then there's the matter of the sistematic abuse of women and how they are protrayed in the macho society in the manga. It just doesn't feel right, and most of all it serves no purpose because the story doesn't advance and it really does not develop any of the characters. The deputy chief is a prime example of this. She was simply there for fanservice, nothing more.
As for their grand design... it's also very flawed. I understand that nothing will ever be perfect, but they gamble so much, so so much, that it amazes me how they always get the upper hand. Their planning should have been better done. But hey, that won't affect the story that much.
This is a thriller, something rather rare in manga, so i enjoyed the story.
The intricate webs of conspiracy and connections are very interesting to see, and their ideas are fairly interesting. Asami and Hojo indeed move the plot and are amazing characters, some of the best i've seen, they are smart and cunning and rather complex.
The story is also good, but the plot starts wavering near the end. It's such a race that the story kinda loses track of itself. It begins to turn into quite a mess that somehow manages to clean itself up.
If you like politics and manga about the mob then this is for you. It's a very serious manga and one for mature readers, not because it's shocking but it takes a bit to understand.
Also it would be advisable to be a little tolerant towards the patriotic and nationalistic views displayed in the story and how the japanese duo seem to get the upper hand in several situations.
Again, this is a good piece, but one that could have been much better if it didn't have so many faces and much more plot.
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Very, very, annoying.  
by Ibleda
March 31st, 2012, 12:31am
Rating: N/A
ARGE! One thing I must mention first above everything else! This thing reads left to right for some damn stupid reason! Gotta say, annoyed the hell out of me.

Also, the art... I don't really like it. Although most the times I do like older drawing styles, but in this case, I don't. One chapter in and I realized, they can talk with their mouth closed and the seem to be able to jerk the edges of that tiny winy mouth up ridiculously high. Simply put, I don't feel like I'm reading a manga, much more like a mix between manga and those ancient chinese and japanese art which I have to admit I think is ugly. There's also some other parts that are simply too old styled and only look cheeky now... such as, the eyes = =;;
Another thing, the expressions look horrible to me. Doesn't come through. No emotion whatsoever. Well... maybe someone from the 40s or something might understand it? Certainly doesn't look like 90s art.

As for story, I gotta say, paired up with the reading direction and art, I didn't really get to enjoy it much other then thinking it as old and cheesy. *shrug* Might be good, might be bad, but the art was so bad it got me biased. Correction, modern bad, it's out of style, and I do believe even in the 90s if you compare this to other mangas around that time.
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My face when I saw Sanctuary was nothing but faces  
by Fundefined
June 19th, 2010, 3:44am
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
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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great stuff  
by coa88
February 21st, 2010, 4:20pm
Rating: 7.9 / 10.0
This manga sure is good, but as any other it has it's good and bad sides. I have to say that the story was absolutely phenomenally conceived. The whole thing about changing the country with the sole will of those with the dream is great. What I didn't like is some things that damages realism of this manga. For example, when something happens in some other gang or political party everyone finds about it almost immediately. Looks like they all have some serious leaks. Also all newspapers and media have no problem wilth labeling someone a criminal even though that person isn't convicted as such. That just doesn't go in life.

The end was little surprising cause it wasn't so straight forward as the rest of the manga. And what to say about art. At first it will look as bloody amazing, but as you read on it feels less and less so. It starts to get repetitive, and the thing I personally didn't like was recycling of the images, as in using the same image again usually just little zoomed or shifted.

Despite everything I wrote before I still consider this manga a worthy read. While it certainly isn't the greatest manga of all times it's still ranks high in top half and you could only lose if you miss it.

... Last updated on February 25th, 2010, 3:04am
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